The Military Leadership Diversity Commission proposes that women be placed in units requiring their military occupation. In addition, the report demands military female inclusion in military career fields previously barred to women, including combat arms.
Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

Military Women Speak Up for Women in Combat

The Military Leadership Diversity Commission, established under the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, released a report in March 2011, recommending absolving gender barriers in military career fields.

The report may seem simple, but it is actually challenging an entire history of military gender bias and military culture toward women. The report called upon the Department of Defense to eliminate combat-exclusion policies, which currently exclude women from combat-arms specialties and units that routinely engage in direct combat.


The Military Leadership Diversity Commission proposes, through their report, that military institutions immediately place women in units requiring their military occupation. In addition, the report demands military female inclusion in military career fields previously barred to women, including combat arms.

Several of the proposed changes to gender barriers in military career fields need a congressional vote; others may be implemented by the Secretary of Defense.


Sgt. Amanda Solitario, an Army Reserve Soldier who served on occasion in an all-male infantry unit while serving in Iraq, expressed first-hand concerns about integrating women into male dominated military roles.

Solitario expressed concerns for overall health and safety of combat units, due to different physical standards for men and women. Solitario worried that male soldiers might prioritize protecting the women in combat over completing the assigned mission. This would endanger not only military efficacy, but the safety of every soldier in the unit. Solitario was equally concerned that female fatalities would have an especially harrowing effect on the country.


Staff Sgt. Genevieve Chase, a Military Intelligence Soldier and founder of American Women Veterans, believes that strong, able women should be able to serve as equals with their male counterparts, without catering to implied and fictitious limitations attributed to women in the military.

Chase noted that some female military service members rival their male counterparts when it comes to physical fitness, and therefore should have equal access to any military career path they choose.
Chase praised the Military Leadership Diversity Commission for their efforts and also voiced her opinion that real change starts on the ground: changing military culture, attitudes and misconceptions about women in the military.


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