Female US Soldiers Sue to End Ban on Women in Combat

Posted May 24th, 2012 at 8:05 am (UTC-5)
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Two female U.S. soldiers have filed a lawsuit to force the military to end its policy of restricting women from combat duty.

Jane Baldwin and Ellen Haring, currently serving in the U.S. Army has reservists, say the current policy bars them from combat assignments solely on the basis of their gender, which they allege violates their constitutional rights.

Saying “the linear battlefield no longer exists,” Baldwin and Haring note that women are currently engaged in direct combat, even when it is not part of their assigned roles.

Women make up about 14 percent of active-duty personnel in the U.S. military. The Pentagon announced a new policy earlier this year that opened up more than 14,000 additional positions to women across four branches of the military, but stopped short of allowing women to serve in front-line combat jobs such as special forces.

More than 130 women have been killed and more than 800 others wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno announced last week that more than 200 women had begun reporting to combat teams. He also said the Army was considering letting women attend its elite Ranger School.