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Running head: GENDER INTERGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY Gender Integration in the U.S Army Infantry
Kenya J. Spratt
University of Maryland University College 1 GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 2 Executive Summary
The research conducted for this essay is based on gender integration in the U.S Army
Infantry; the benefits of integration, the challenges of gender integration, what the law says about
gender integration and the readily available steps that should be taken to ultimately achieve
Recently, the Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, allowed for the lifting of combat
exclusion for females in previously closed occupations in the military. Females will now have
access to the all-male inclusive U.S. Army Infantry. This report will address and discuss the issue
and challenges the U.S Army Infantry will face with integrating females in this closed specialty.
The report will also discuss whether the enforcement of the policy change will be successful
without negatively impacting the end state of this specialty.
The report also looks at the current situation of the military and the positive impact that
the women have made since the lifting of the exclusion ban. Moreover, the reports handle how
the law has dealt with integration and the practices that have been put in place to promote gender
Finally, the report also discusses the actions that should be taken to ensure the complete
transformation and adoption of integration in all fields and the enforcement standards that need
to be put in place by the government and organizations against discrimination GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 3 Memo
To: Dr. Anne Opotowsky
From: Kenya J. Spratt
Ref: Gender integration in the U.S Army Infantry
Date: 30 July 16
REF: GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY
Gender integration in the United States Army is a significant issue that should be
put into consideration. Before the integration lift, women were not allowed to perform some of
the tasks in the military like participating in direct combat. Instead, they only provided services
to those occupations who took part in combat directly. There have been changes in the army
since the lift of the exclusion of females from taking part in direct combat.
Several female service members pushed for gender equality in the recruitment process
and how it was conducted. The women, together with their lawyers pushed for the lift of the
gender exclusion ban because it violated their constitutional rights. The push for the lifting of
the ban was successful, and women were given equal opportunities in joining the military.
The effect of the lift has been evident through the positive achievements of women in the
army. Several women have been promoted to some of the top jobs. The law, however, needs to be
clear on the guidelines for the integration and the restrictions on integration. The government, on
the other hand, must put in place the measures that will lead to the ultimate realization of
Thank you. GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY
Table of Contents
a. The ban on females in the military
b. History of females in the military
c. History of the male dominated infantry specialty
d. The recent event of females in the military
e. The lifting of gender specific ban
f. Steps for a successful transition II. BODY
a. Recent Contributions of Females during the GWOT
b. Recent achievements of females in the Army
c. The reason the lift was implemented and public and internal reaction
III. Male Type-A dominated occupations are now gender integrated
a. Male only schools and courses must conform to gender integration
c. Mentality must change
IV. Steps to conform to a seamless transition
a. Leadership training 4 GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY
b. Soldier Training
c. Infrastructure preparation
d. Standards Enforcement
VI. BIBLIOGRAPHY 5 GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 6 Gender Integration in the U.S Army
The ban of females in the military
Before the lift on the combat exclusion from aviation positions, women could not serve in
all the military capacity. Although the women played imperative roles I the military, they were
not allowed to participate in the combats; the women in the war included the nurses and the aides
(MacKenzie, 2012). The role of women in wars has been controversial despite the fact that the
women have been given some of the prominent positions in the military.
The history of females in the military
Women played integral roles in the military although they were not allowed to participate
directly in wars. They were aides and aircraft management. Before the World War I and II, the
women did not receive training to enable them to participate in combat missions (Goldstein,
2003). The world war period saw the integration of women take part in some direct wars in the
military and after the world war period, many nations began training women in readiness to
participate in combat missions.
The importance of including both men and women in the military was now evident. The
inclusion of women in the aviation was still not fair to the women because the number of men
recruitment in the military was still higher than that of the women. Half the positions were
available to the men, and the remaining half was given to both the men and the women.
The unfair inclusion of women in the military spiked debates on the importance of
women in the military. Lawyers argued that the deciding factors should be the qualification for GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 7 the recruitment and not the gender. The recruitment process was seen as a form of discrimination
on gender. Subsequent appeals of the combat exclusion policy in the military succeeded, and the
women were finally integrated into the military. Later, the aviation experienced changes like
mixed training to achieve efficiency and effectiveness.
Since the exclusion lift was not still clear, the Head Quarters Department issued
guidelines for the integration of the women in the military in August 2013. Today, more positions
are available to both the women and the men in the military (Segal, 1995). Before the exclusion,
only 67% of the positions were available to the women, but this has drastically changed to 95%
posts that are available to the women in the forces.
The history of the male dominated the infantry specialty
Infantry is the group of soldiers that engages in direct and close-ranged combat. The
infantry specialty was only for the men before the combat exclusion lift. The specialty receives
more physically and psychologically stressful training which is more demanding than any other
branch of the combat arms (Valimaki & Valimaki, 2005). Since the infantry soldiers engage in
combats on foot, they can easily maneuver sophisticated areas through the training that they
The field has been associated with men because it requires more and stressful training.
The men dominated in the infantry because of their physical superiority and an argument that the
women should be shielded from great physical risks and because cohesion would suffer from the
introduction of the women in the specialty (Valimaki & Valimaki, 2005). Furthermore, the men
dominated the infantry because they believed that inclusion of women would lead to a change of GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 8 dynamic because the specialty involved walking for long distances, and carrying loads of up to
The male, as argued, were not prone to physical injuries during their training, unlike the
women. The men were also swifter than the women during combats because infantry involves a
lot of physical movement, and on foot. An example is when negotiating a wall obstacle. The
males would easily, throw their bags over the wall easily but the women would need assistance, a
continued practice that would jeopardize the whole mission.
Recent event of the female in the military
The contributions of women in the military have been commendable after the lift of the
combat exclusion ban. Women have achieved more goals and assisted in the defeat in some wars.
The women have been deployed in contingency operations in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan
(Burnes, 2008). The women have received praises for the great wars that they have been doing,
and two of the women have earned silver medals.
The laws excluding some of the women?s activities in combats have been reviewed and
amended in for the women. Today, the women are included in the units above the brigade level.
To some extent, the women have served with more patriotism, courage, and energy, making
remarkable progress and advancements.
Today, women successfully are in more complicated fields such as the fleet ballistic
missile submarines. Moreover, the president of the united states; Barack Obama, recognized the
efforts of the women in the military by nominating an air force lieutenant general Janet C.
Wolfenbarger to become the service first women four-star general. It is, therefore, clear that the GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 9 women have positively and unprecedentedly contributed to the military through their hard work
The lifting of the gender specific ban
The lifting of the gender specific ban became successful after the world wars when the
women were assigned to the armed forces. The achievement which, before, was highly debated
by lawyers and the Congress. The lawyers, therefore, pushed for changes in the combat exclusion
rule. After the ban had been lifted, women were still restricted from taking part in some military
missions like infantry (Burnes, 2008). This, therefore, pushed for the need for the amendment
clarifications on the ban.
The efforts of the law reformers were successful when on 19th April 2013, the Head
Quarters Department issued guidelines for the gender integration. Moreover, the women were
precluded in taking part military missions like the infantry.
Steps for successful transition
Although there have been changes for gender integration, there is still need for clarity and
transition to achieve the task ultimately. More laws have to be put in place on the clarity of
gender integrations in the military. For a successful transition, there is a need for leadership
training. The women in the military need to be trained and be equipped with both the combat and
leadership skills in order to improve their performance. The soldiers; women and men soldiers
need to receive the same degree of training. GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 10 THE BODY
Recent contributions of females during the GWOT
The women?s contribution the global war on terror has been significant (Burnes, 2008).
The women who have taken part in the terror fights although not all may be directly involved in
the wars, they contribute significantly through the provision of services such as gunners, medics,
truck drivers, military police and pilots. The women have promoted group intelligence because
they bring a unique level of social sensitivity which is important for military professionals.
Bridging the gender gap created a rapport and earned the trust of the Iraq women to
provide information free for fear of retaliation from the al-Qaeda. The women who were tired of
the continuous violence in their neighborhood could freely provide vital information to their
fellow women. It is, therefore, evident that women have played a critical role in dealing with the
terrorist group in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Recent achievements of females in the Army
There have been achievements of women in the military including the implementation of
the combat exclusion lift in females. First and foremost, Senior Master Sgt. Lorraine A. Hieskill
was the first female to receive the First Ai Force Medical Service Senior Non-Commission
Officer Leadership Award. Secondly, women have been included to serve in the fleet ballistic
missile submarines (Burnes, 2008). Another great woman is Colonel Jeanie Leavit, who was the
first women to take command of the air force combat.
The president of the United States, Barack Obama showed his support and positive stand
for the integration process. Barack Obama supported most of the women activities in the
military. Apart from the support, the president also nominated Air Force lieutenant general Janet GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 11 C. Wolfenbarger as the first four-star general. Lieutenant Janet later received her fourth star.
Another notable achievement was that of Captain Susan Marchiano; the first woman to serve as a
career flight surgeon. Captain Marchiano, during his services, had saved eighty-two lives and
assisted in saving one hundred and forty-three other lives(Burnes, 2008). The contribution of
women to the military is, therefore, evidently significant and their efforts should be rewarded.
The reason the lift was implemented and public and internal reaction
Among the reasons for the implementation integration in the military was the need to
practice equality in all sectors. The female service members pushed for the implementation so as
to give equal opportunity to all member of the society regardless of their sexuality. They argued
that the ban on women from taking part in some of the activities hindered the women?s abilities
to ascend to the top regarding leadership. The women could control and lead most of the
missions of the Army if only they were given the opportunity to show their skills.
In the intensified debates that took place, it was argued that the women were not given a
fair treatment as the men. The unfair treatment was as a result of the limitations of in recruiting
the women into the army. More chances were provided to the men than the women. There was
the need to explore the importance of the women in the military and this could only be done by
giving the women equal chances I the army as the men.
Furthermore, the need for the ban of the exclusion of women in the army was because the
women felt that their rights were being violated. Lawsuits from several former female workers
proved that the deciding factor in the recruitment of military members was gender and not a
qualification as it should have been.
Male Type-A dominated occupations are now gender integrated GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 12 Today, the issue of equality between sexes has become sensitive. The top professional
jobs that women were not allowed to apply for are now available to the women. The qualification
for the jobs today is not the gender but the professionalism and ability to perform the task that
the job requires. Some of the top executives today are women. Women have taken challenges and
applied for some of the most complicated positions. In politics, women have represented their
nations in summits and provide helpful and skillful ideas. The Chancellor Angela Markel is one
of the greatest women in the world who runs a great country. Others include Hillary Clinton,
currently running for the president of the united stated and Oprah Winfrey who had excellently
done well in the business market.
Schools and courses must conform to gender integration
In the education sector, the education process has been changed to support both the male
and the female genders. For instance, women were not allowed to take part in football and soccer
but today, competitions in the games involve both males and women. Technical fields like
engineering and medicine are now open to both the male and the females. There is no course for
the males that the female cannot take. All courses are therefore gender sensitive.
Mentality must change
The negative thinking that women cannot perform the same responsibilities as men must
come to a halt. As proven, the women, if given chances and the support they need, can transform
the political, social, cultural and economic nature in the world. The continued debates on the
integration should, therefore, lead to laws supporting the norm of equality and fairness to the GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 13 whole society regardless of age. In giving out jobs, every member of the society should be
treated fairly, and the threshold for meeting the job, standards should be the same.
Steps to conform to a seamless transition
To achieve the ultimate goals of the integration, the government has to put in place some
guidelines and stop for the ultimate change
a. Leadership training
All organizations should adopt training that prepares every single individual with the
appropriate leadership skills. The army should equip the women with leadership qualities to
take charge in case of any emergency issue that requires the next available person to make a
b. Soldier Training
The military should also provide the same kinds of training to both males and the
females. The training should not be discriminatory in that they take place differently. The
men should be given the opportunity to interact with the females and learn from each
other different skills. The interaction would lead to peaceful coexistence between the two
genders and promote teamwork when working on missions.
c. Infrastructure preparation
With the right infrastructure that supports the need for both the males and the females,
there would be a transformation of the perception of women in the army and other
complex fields. The women should have special and not complicated ways of accessing
places when on missions.
d. Standards Enforcement GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 14 The law should put in place and amend laws concerning the working conditions,
freedom, environment and payment of the workers. All employees, regardless of the gender,
should be treated equally and receive the same amount of payment (Eisenbud, & Gesell,
1997). The compensation of the employees in case of any fault during their course of work
should be compensated equally. Employers should be accountable and manage the health
risks of their workers.
Furthermore, the environment in which the employees work should be friendly and meet
the requirements and working conditions of professionals working conditions. No worker
should be overworked more than their fellow employees. Every member of the society is
equal, and there is no better citizen than their fellows.
In conclusion, it is, therefore evident the lifting of the exclusion ban led to better
performance in the military and that there have been successive achievements. The integration
should be adapted to all fields because the women have proven that they can be handled more
complicated situations; even those that require critical decision-making. The law should also be
clear on the guidelines for gender integrations implementation. GENDER INTEGRATION IN THE U.S ARMY INFANTRY 15 References
MacKenzie, M. H. (2012). Let Women Fight: Ending the US Military's Female Combat Ban.
Foreign Aff., 91, 32.
Goldstein, J. S. (2003). War and gender (pp. 107-116). Springer US.
Segal, M. W. (1995). WOMEN'S MILITARY ROLES CROSS-NATIONALLY Past, Present, and
Future. Gender & Society, 9(6), 757-775.
Välimäki, V. V., Alfthan, H., Lehmuskallio, E., Löyttyniemi, E., Sahi, T., Suominen, H., &
Välimäki, M. J. (2005). Risk factors for clinical stress fractures in male military recruits:
a prospective cohort study. Bone, 37(2), 267-273.
Burnes, T. (2008). Contributions of Women to US Combat Operations. ARMY WAR COLL
CARLISLE BARRACKS PA.
Eisenbud, M., & Gesell, T. F. (1997). Environmental Radioactivity from Natural, Industrial &
Military Sources: From Natural, Industrial and Military Sources. Academic press.
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