Insights from the Women in Combat Symposium
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV FORT MCNAIR DC
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When the U.S. Army invaded Iraq in 2003, Specialist Williams had a skill set that was desperately needed Arab linguist. In 2009, Major Hegar s skills as a medical evacuation pilot were in high demand. And in 2011, combat medics Olson and Bringloe spent days on foot patrols or dropping into hot spots in Afghanistan rescuing wounded soldiers. In a particularly demanding 40-hour period, Sergeant Bringloe rescued 11 soldiers despite suffering from a fractured tibia sustained during the third rescue of the 11 evacuations. At a recent event in Washington, DC, Specialist Williams described translating during combat foot patrols in Iraq without the benefit of Small Arms Protective Insert plates in her vest because women were not expected to be in combat, and Major Hegar calmly described being shot down by insurgents and the ground fight that ensued before a rescue team arrived to extract the Medevac team. All these Servicemembers share a common trait. All are women and all hold noncombat military occupations. In February 2013, these women along with members of partner militaries who have fully integrated their forces, as well as women who were among the first wave of earlier integration efforts gathered in Washington, DC, to share their experiences. The event organizers objective was to collect lessons for integrating combat specialties as the Services move to eliminate combat restrictions that have previously limited the military service of women.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations