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

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.

A key lawsuit that fights for women in combat is still moving through the courts.

As a Marine Corps veteran, the month of November carries a great deal of significance for me. Nov. 10 is the celebration of the Marine Corps birthday. Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, of course. And Nov 14 marks the day I stepped off the bus and onto the iconic yellow footprints at Parris Island in 1994. It was my first day of Boot Camp and the beginning of my journey as a United States Marine.

I served in the Marines for a decade. I enlisted as a private and left military service as a captain. I deployed both on ship and on shore, on humanitarian missions and in combat. But when I reflect on my service there is one duty assignment I treasure the most. It is a job that among the ranks of the elite Marine infantry only a handful have been fortunate enough to experience:  I got to command both men and women in a gender-integrated infantry training unit.

Working with women might not sound like that big of a deal, but in the Marines it is. The U.S. military is the largest employer in the nation to have institutionalized gender discrimination through policies that deny women the opportunity to compete for jobs that they are otherwise qualified for.

Read more here.

Learn more about combat exclusion and other civil liberties issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Stay Informed