Women in the Armed Forces: Where Can We Go from Here?


Women have joined men in the Armed Forces in increasing numbers in recent years, and even most combat positions are now open to men and women. Military service, long thought of as a men-focused issue, is now bolstered by—and seeking to accommodate—women. Veteran Dustin DeMoss writes on Huffpost Women about issues including increasing numbers of women veterans, higher risk of suicide among women veterans than among women in general, and recent studies and efforts to help work toward a brighter future for women in the Armed Forces. Read an excerpt below, and click through for the full column.  huffingtonpost.com - While women in the armed forces aren’t necessarily a new concept, there is no denying that the ranks of female soldiers are growing at a rapid pace. Their increased presence and demand is reflected in some of the more recent announcements coming out of the Department of Defense. Most notably, Ash Carter, Defense Secretary, announced on December 3, 2015, that all positions and occupations within the military are now open to women.

You might be a bit confused by that announcement - after all, women were already serving in the military, right? Defense Secretary Carter’s announcement is significant because it officially “opens” up the nearly 220,000 positions in the military that were previously closed to women. These include positions like reconnaissance, special operations units, and infantry. According to the announcement, women are no longer to be pushed back from the front lines - not to say that plenty of women haven’t served on them, of course, but rather that the knee-jerk reaction seemed to favor keeping them away persistent and close combat situations.

Today, women have the same shot at high-ranking and heavily specialized positions as their male counterparts.

Read the rest here.