The Weekly Geek: Women in Combat


As a good geek, and lover of sci-fi, I’ve always had a healthy crush on women in uniform. Having grown up with Star Trek and Star Wars, and fostering current obsession with Battlestar Galactica (thanks, Netflix instant!) and Mass Effect, I think military women are pretty much the best.

So, imagine my utter delight when the ACLU (full disclosure time: that’s where I work) brought a suit this week to end the discriminatory ban on women in combat, right here in actual reality. The reality of the situation is that the women serving in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan are in combat, but they aren’t getting the respect (and the promotions, and the career opportunities) that goes along with it.

So, four real-life badass women were named in the suit. Two are recipients of the purple heart. All of them had stories that would make for seriously great action movies: stories about getting hit with IED’s on desert roads, of getting shot down in helicopters during rescue missions and having to shoot their way out, stories about covering special forces’ backs in combat missions. These women are real-life G.I. Janes, and I was as giddy as a little school girl to meet them in person.

The whole story is available from The New York Times.

“The lawsuit asserts that the ban is a relic of a bygone military era and that in recent conflicts, where front lines have been virtually nonexistent, women have frequently found themselves in combat without receiving the same accolades or opportunities for promotion later. As a result of the exclusion policy, the suit contends, even women who have been “attached” to male-only combat units and fought in battles alongside men have been unable to attend combat leadership schools or been denied assignment to positions that are steppingstones to promotions.”

I wish I could take credit for more of it, but I pretty much just hung up the logo sign and the flag. Hey, I was just happy to be involved.

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