Ban on Women in Combat: A Response

I recently had the opportunity to read Professor Mazzie’s post on the lifting of the ban on women serving in combat.  As a military officer with over 20 years of service to include a recent overseas deployment to a combat zone, I thought that I would offer my personal observations and opinions related to this matter.

First, while I personally have not served on the “front lines,” I generally agree with the lifting of the ban.  Since September 11, 2001, women have served alongside men in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other places around the world.  The majority of women have served with great distinction and all of them who have served have made great sacrifices (let us also not forget about the sacrifices that their families have made).  As Professor Mazzie notes, since September 11, 2001, 152 women have made the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good of this country. 

As a person who enlisted as a Private in 1992, I have seen how the military has grown, matured, and become more professional over the years, especially since the rapid deployment of service members over the last 11 years.  Professor Mazzie entitles her post “Ban on Women in Combat Lifted: Is the Military Ready?”  For the reasons cited above, I do believe that the military is ready.  If the military is not ready at this point in time, after 11 plus years of overseas operations in which women have played a key role in the success of these operations, I personally do not believe that the military will ever be ready.  To put it simply, I believe that the timing is right and the lifting of the ban is the right thing to do. 

All that being said, I do believe that some of the arguments made by opponents of the lifting of the ban have some validity. 

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My Deployment as a Military Lawyer

First, I would like to thank Marquette University Law School for the privilege of serving as the Alumni Blogger of the Month. Second, I would ask that readers of my posts please note that my submissions are my personal thoughts and opinions (unless otherwise indicated) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Wisconsin National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces.

I will now begin the more substantive portion of my post.

In September 2011, I received mobilization orders to deploy as a member of the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB). The MEB is located in Milwaukee. After approximately two months of training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana and Hohenfels, Germany, the MEB embarked on a NATO Peace Keeping mission serving as KFOR (Kosovo Force) 15. More specifically, the MEB served as the command element of Multi-National Battle Group-East.

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