Combat Exclusion

Women make up more than 14 percent of the 1.4 million active military personnel, yet the Defense Department’s longstanding policy barring women from thousands of ground combat positions, known as the “combat exclusion policy”, categorically excludes them from more than 200,000 positions, as well as from entire career fields. Combat exclusion is an archaic policy which does not reflect the values which our military espouses, or the actual capabilities of our service women. The combat exclusion rule also ignores the reality of modern warfare — women in combat are already serving their country in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, where there are no frontlines. Rather than enforcing a merit-based system, today's military bars all women regardless of their qualifications from access to prestigious and career-enhancing assignments, positions and schools, and is thus directly responsible for making servicewomen second-class citizens.

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The 'Brass Ceiling' Is Still Alive and Well in the US Military

The 'Brass Ceiling' Is Still Alive and Well in the US Military

By Greg Jacob, Policy Director, Service Women's Action Network at 12:42pm
The following is an excerpt from an oped on integrating women into combat positions that ran in Defense One on November 12. You can read the full piece here.
Pushing the Pentagon to Do the Right Thing

Pushing the Pentagon to Do the Right Thing

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 3:02pm

Yesterday, four servicewomen and the Service Women’s Action Network filed an updated complaint in their lawsuit against the Department of Defense for its ongoing policy and practice of banning women from thousands of jobs across the military, including…

On This 4th of July: Liberty and Justice For All!

On This 4th of July: Liberty and Justice For All!

By Hannah Brudney, Women's Rights Project, ACLU at 6:26am

In early June, Susan Herman, the president of the ACLU, gave a speech to the U.S. Army War College in which she discussed the ACLU's work on a broad range of important military issues, including two on which the ACLU's Women's Rights Project works: the exclusion of women from combat and sexual assault in the military.

Let My Marines Do Their Jobs

Let My Marines Do Their Jobs

By Colleen Farrell, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves at 11:41am

On January 24, 2013, we saw a great victory for U.S. servicewomen when the Department of Defense announced it was ending the ban on women serving in combat units and occupational specialties. As the Pentagon and the armed services begin implementing…

Military Reveals Plans For Integrating Women Into Combat Units, But Many Questions Remain

Military Reveals Plans For Integrating Women Into Combat Units, But Many Questions Remain

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 11:02am

Yesterday, the Pentagon made public the plans that each branch of the military submitted to the Secretary of Defense explaining plans...

Excluding Women from Combat Is Just Plain Wrong: A Navy Captain's Story

Excluding Women from Combat Is Just Plain Wrong: A Navy Captain's Story

By Dwayne Oslund, USN (Ret.) at 10:29am

On January 24, 2013, we saw a great victory for U.S. servicewomen when the Department of Defense announced it was ending the ban on women serving...

Baloney! A Message to the Women in Combat Naysayers

Baloney! A Message to the Women in Combat Naysayers

By Lory Manning, USN (Ret.) at 10:37am

On January 24, 2013, we saw a great victory for U.S. servicewomen when the Department of Defense announced it was ending the ban on women serving in combat units and occupational specialties. As the Pentagon and the armed services begin implementing…

Women in Combat: Policy, Meet Reality

Women in Combat: Policy, Meet Reality

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:33pm

Until today, official United States policy banned all women from being assigned to ground combat units. The policy was military-wide and covered our whole gender – no exceptions for women who were fast, strong, excellent marksmen, good at keeping…

Why Servicewomen Are Suing To Challenge The Combat Exclusion Policy

Why Servicewomen Are Suing To Challenge The Combat Exclusion Policy

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 9:40am

Last week, four servicewomen who served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the Service Women’s Action Network, sued the Secretary of Defense in federal court to challenge the combat exclusion policy.  This policy prevents women…

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