Military officials at the Pentagon are lifting a ban on women serving as combat troops. For some Indiana women, this change opens up front line jobs including service in infantry or field artillery units, as well as positions as medics directly linked to combat units.
Women in Indiana University’s Air Force ROTC program see the news as an opportunity. Senior Cadet Logan Doyle says she is excited about her career in the military, and hopes the change will benefit not just her future, but the way people view women.
“One percent of the United States is serving in the military. Of that 1 percent, 14 percent are females, so already, females are very limited in the military in the first place,” Doyle says. “But if you’re the best person for the job, and you’re the most capable and the most qualified, I absolutely agree that you should have the opportunity to try out that career.”
Indiana National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Cathleen Van Bree says removing the ban is a way to keep up with 21st century changes.
“We no longer operate on a linear battlefield anymore,” Van Bree. “We haven’t for many years, over a decade. Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts have taught us that. I think this is just policy catching up to reality. Women are in combat right now, that is why we have had killed in action women as well as men.”
Van Bree says the realities of battle are changing, and only now is policy catching up.