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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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 the change in policy, there are many issues that must be resolved, and we'll be keeping a close eye on the process. In an ongoing blog series, we will bring you voices of military experts, veterans, and other stakeholders who will discuss these issues and the need to fully integrate women in the armed forces.
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…

Women in Combat: The Marines Take An Important First Step, But More Is Needed to Ensure Full Equality.

Women in Combat: The Marines Take An Important First Step, But More Is Needed to Ensure Full Equality.

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 3:29pm

Less than three months after the Pentagon announced that it was loosening the rules that bar women from being assigned to ground combat units, the Marine Corps followed suit, taking important steps to open up previously restricted opportunities…

The Best Way to Honor Servicewomen This Memorial Day

The Best Way to Honor Servicewomen This Memorial Day

By Francesca Acocella, Women's Rights Project & Elayne Weiss, Washington Legislative Office at 3:15pm

This Memorial Day, we can show the women serving in the military how grateful we are for their brave service by giving them the same opportunities to serve, and the same recognition of their service, as men. This month, the Army and the Marine Corps…

DoD Comes Closer to Recognizing that Women Are Already Serving on the Front Lines

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 5:13pm

Last week, Pentagon officials got a few steps closer to recognizing what those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have known for years: servicewomen fight on the battlefield alongside their male counterparts, despite a longstanding rule barring them…

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