... but Comcast had our cable down again (this is the second Friday afternoon in a row).
First seen in soldiergrrrl's jourunal. I posted awhile ago about PFC Monica Brown becoming the second woman since WW2 (and second in this conflict) to recieve the Silver Star here.
And now they're pulling her out of her unit because, oh yeah, women aren't allowed in combat. Sure could have fooled us.
Silver Star Recipient Removed From Combat
It's a long article, so I'll present some excerpts:
KHOST, Afghanistan -- Pfc. Monica Brown cracked open the door of her Humvee outside a remote village in eastern Afghanistan to the pop of bullets shot by Taliban fighters. But instead of taking cover, the 18-year-old medic grabbed her bag and ran through gunfire toward fellow soldiers in a crippled and burning vehicle.
Vice President Cheney pinned Brown, of Lake Jackson, Tex., with a Silver Star in March for repeatedly risking her life on April 25, 2007, to shield and treat her wounded comrades, displaying bravery and grit. She is the second woman since World War II to receive the nation's third-highest combat medal.
Within a few days of her heroic acts, however, the Army pulled Brown out of the remote camp in Paktika province where she was serving with a cavalry unit -- because, her platoon commander said, Army restrictions on women in combat barred her from such missions.
"We weren't supposed to take her out" on missions "but we had to because there was no other medic," said Lt. Martin Robbins, a platoon leader with Charlie Troop, 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, whose men Brown saved. "By regulations you're not supposed to," he said, but Brown "was one of the guys, mixing it up, clearing rooms, doing everything that anybody else was doing."
In Afghanistan as well as Iraq, female soldiers are often tasked to work in all-male combat units -- not only for their skills but also for the culturally sensitive role of providing medical treatment for local women, as well as searching them and otherwise interacting with them. Such war-zone pragmatism is at odds with Army rules intended to bar women from units that engage in direct combat or collocate with combat forces.
Military personnel experts say that as a result, the 1992 rules are vague, ill defined, and based on an outmoded concept of wars with clear front lines that rarely exist in today's counterinsurgencies.
"The current policy is not actionable," concluded a Rand Corp. study last year on the Army's assignment of women. "Crafted for a linear battlefield," the policy does not conform to the nature of warfare today and uses concepts such as "forward and well forward [that] were generally acknowledged to be almost meaningless in the Iraqi theater," it said.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, noncombat units in which women serve face many of the same threats that all-male combat arms units do and are performing well, commanders say. "Army personnel were consistent in their perception that a strict adherence to the Army policy would have negative implications" and that the policy should be revised or revoked, the Rand study said.So, she pulled her weight, performed exceptionally well, did her job and saved her buddies. But she's a girl, so she can't be in danger. Because that's what the reg says. Just not what's happening in actual reality,
Never mind that with no clearly defined front lines, this policy isn't so useful.
For the record, I think women should be allowed into combat arms, provided they can meet the physical requirements. Having a Y chromosome doesn't make you a better fighter, a better soldier. While it's not a choice I would make for myself, there are women I have worked with who would have done it if they were allowed.
I know, I know - what if the men fail to do what they need to do because they're trying to protect the woman? Well, I would have to say, THAT'S THEIR OWN FAULT. They have to work to overcome it. The women who break into combat units aren't going to be pulling stupid "I broke a nail" BS. Thye're going to want to be there. They're going to want to prove themselves. And they will prove themselves.
To quote soldiergrrrl, "it's still very hard to be treated as second-class because of things we have *no* control over."
Americans may not be ready to see its daughters coming home in bodybags, but THEY ALREADY ARE.
SPC Lori Piestwa, first Native American woman killed in combat
Marine SGT Jeanette L. Winters - first female Marine killed in a hostile fire zone
1LT Tamara Archuleta, a pilot killed during a medical airlift mission
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Sharon Swartworth, killed in a 2003 helicopter crash in Tikrit
PFC Holly McGeough, 19, killed by an IED
SPC Isela Rubalcava, mortar round
SGT Cari Gasiewicz, IED - The building that houses my husband's unit HQ is named for her, as she was a Vigilant Knight
2LT Emily J.T. Perez, IED - first minority female to be the command sergeant at West Point, first female West Point graduate to be killed in
MAJ Megan McClung, public affairs, killed while supporting combat operations
These are not all of the names. There are more, and there will be more as long as women choose to enlist and serve.
Mothers, daughters, wives, sisters - and Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines.
This site is dedicated to our fallen sisters-in-arms : The Women Who Gave Their Lives