Women Marching in The Army
Women Finding Their Place
Women have always had a place in the military. The women in the military in 1943 belonged to an auxiliary unit called Women's Army Corps or WAC for short. They didn't do any of the dangerous or hazardous jobs that men did. They jobs they did were mostly clerical and nursing or any of the behind the scenes jobs that needed to be done. The jobs they did didn't put them in a position to make high rank which would have meant more money. This unit was disbanded in 1943.
Then in 1978 women were integrated into the main body of the services. Women being integrated meant they had to perform the same physical and mental testing as the men. I was in one of the first classes of this new Army. The group of women that I would go through basic training with didn't hear about this change until we got to the base in South Carolina. We were caught completely off guard. There was weapons training which involved shooting and taking the weapon apart, also night fire which involved bombs going off and the pretense that you were getting shot at. The physical training of a timed 2 mile run and no mercy drill sargents barking orders which was an everyday occurrence. There was the issue that the men really didn't want us there, and they made it known anyway they could. We wanted to be equal but had no idea what being equal truly meant. The way to pass the testing was to be friendly with the testers if you couldn't make it on your on. Women did whatever they had to do so they'd pass and not be sent home which was the ultimate failure. The jobs women got were still clerical, nursing and anything not on the frontline.The ranks were still below the men even when you had a man doing the same job. The high ranks were reserved for the men on the frontline line or the decision makers. The women were not satisfied with their roles.
The Military Reasoning for No
There are many arguments as to why women should not be put on the frontline. There was the fact that the composition of a woman's body made her not as strong as a man physically. The men didn't feel comfortable having to depend on a women in a life and death situation. It was thought that the women would freeze or emotionally breakdown in a life or death situation. There was the thought that fratenization would take place and the military was not prepared for women having babies. The biggest reason was that women were needed for reproduction if to many got killed it would stunt the growth of our population.
The military and corporate America had a lot in common in the way women were treated. Corporate Amerca believed that the women's place was in the home and most jobs they would give them were clerical in nature. They were always kept below the men and never were they put in any decision making roles. They to had to do whatever was necessary to not only be employed but to stay employed. Women were tired of the limited thinking of men when it came to them trying to move ahead in their jobs..
Women wanted inclusion because they were ready to die for there country just like a man. The military provided the best job around and the women wanted to be part of it. The military provided a free education, job security and you could see places you only dreamt of.
Times Change for Women
The voices for true equality for women in the military kept getting louder and louder. Women started proving themselves more and more physically and academically.. They took their weaknesses and made them into strengths that couldn't be ignored. They no longer had to to be friendly to testers to pass because now they could pass on their own merit. They now relied on their own intelligence and built up their strength in the gym.
Today there are women in some of those frontline jobs that were previously closed to them. They've proved themselves worthy of inclusion in the military in the Desert Storm and Iraqi campaign. Michelle J Howard is an admiral In the navy. She is the highest ranking female in the navy. Ann Elizabeth Dunworth was the first four star making female in the army. This is just a few of the women that helped women march to total equality in the military. They aren't finish but they've come along way since 1978.