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Unsung Heroes: Women’s Contributions in the Military and Why Their Song Goes Unsung

Chapter

Abstract

Six years after the terrorist attacks on the United States, the debate of women’s roles in the military continues to be hotly contested. The debate persists in spite of the fact that one of seven soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan (Ledford 2003) is a female and that women have received the Bronze Star for bravery in combat since the war in Iraq began in 2003. Officially, the US Pentagon maintains the policy that women cannot be assigned to a combat unit. However, women are assigned to support services that may be attached to a combat unit. Unofficially, however, the policy and the practice are apparently out of step. Whatever the assignments’ officially’ are, the reality is that any military assignment can potentially lead to a combat situation. The distinction between combatants and military support personnel is blurred. Those in the military are trained that’ a soldier is a soldier first and foremost’ and that they belong to the same team. The soldier’s sex/gender, on the other hand, is socially significant only to the degree that society makes it so.

Keywords

Gender Role Gender Stereotype Military Culture Female Soldier Combat Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Edinboro University of PennsylvaniaEdinboroUSA

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