The Gender Divide is Getting Smaller in the Armed Forces

Female Marines patrol MarjahThe United States Marine Corps (USMC) is by far the most male dominated of all four branches of the U.S. military. There are 13,800 women making up about 7 percent of the USMC’s total force of 197,800. So it’s a huge deal for our SheHeroes in the military that last month the USMC announced that it would finally be integrating women into war-fighting units, starting with its infantry officer school at Quantico, Va., and ground combat battalions that had once been closed to women.

These changes don’t change the ban on women serving as infantrymen, Special Operations commandos and in other direct-combat positions. But instead will help the pentagon see how women perform in formerly male-only units.

It will also allow combat support positions, including communications, intelligence and logistical positions, defense officials add.   In the past these jobs have been made available to women at the combat brigade level, but not at the lower battalion level, which was deemed too close to combat situation.

This is a huge step for what is probably the most male dominated career a woman can choose to pursue. And there are plenty of women out there choosing to do so.

Despite laws barring women from combat these new changes (along with The Pentagon’s announcement last in February that they were opening up as many as 14,000 positions that previously were not open to women) mean a lot t the nearly 300,000 women that have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the families of the 144 of them that have died in those conflicts.

In the last decade women have and continue to prove their ability to fight along with men in the combat and in this humble writer’s opinion it is only a matter of tie before women are allowed on the frontlines, officially.

Congratulations to the SheHeroes of yesterday and today who have served proudly in our Armed Forces. It’s an amazing moment to know that the SheHeroes of tomorrow who have a desire to enlist will have 14,000 new opportunities opened to them.

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