We Need To Stop Acting Like Women Aren't Already In Combat - Task & Purpose

We Need To Stop Acting Like Women Aren't Already In Combat

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Sgt. Margarita B. Valenzuela, automatic rifleman with 2nd Platoon, Company A, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, engages known-distance targets with the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle from the standing position during a three-day field exercise at the Verona Loop training area on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Dec. 3, 2014.

Sgt. Margarita B. Valenzuela, rifleman with 1st Platoon, Company A, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, engages targets with the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle during a three-day field exercise at the Verona Loop training area, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Dec. 3, 2014.

The argument over allowing women into combat arms has been repeatedly misstated as being a debate over women in combat, and there’s an important distinction to be made --- women are, have been, and will continue to fight in America’s wars. In her post “Women In Combat Arms, Just Good Business,” for War on the Rocks, author Katey Van Dam --- herself a combat veteran --- offers the accounts of several female aviators who flew combat missions who fired and were fired upon by the enemy.

Vam Dam argues that by precluding women from combat arms positions, the services are only drawing from a portion of their candidate pool and not the whole of it.

“The pointiest tip of the spear could be sharper,” writes Van Dam. “Combat arms units are not as lethal as they could be if they had full access to all eligible Americans, not just men.”