The expanding role of women in combat is examined in another new report from the Congressional Research Service.
“Laws prohibiting women from serving in combat units were repealed in the early 1990s,” the CRS report noted. “However, since then, it has been U.S. military policy to restrict women from certain units and military occupations, especially ground combat units. In recent years, efforts have been underway to remove these restrictions. Opponents have questioned the need to modify or remove these restrictions and the purposes for doing so.”
Meanwhile, “In 10 years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of female members have been deployed, and hundreds wounded and/or killed. According to the Department of Defense (DOD), as of August 31, 2011, over 26,000 female members were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. On numerous occasions women have been recognized for their heroism, two earning Silver Star medals.” See “Women in Combat: Issues for Congress,” November 8, 2011.