With all the “equality” going on with women lately, this subject was brought to my attention and after thinking about it, reading about it, and trying to understand it more, I finally decided to write about it. Women have served in the military throughout history. As a child learning history, I always remembered the “We Can Do It” or “Rosie the Riviter” picture. It is an American World War II wartime poster from 1943 that was supposed to be an inspirational image to boost female worker morale. As many of you know, men went to war, women stayed home and worked in the factories building planes or other wartime things. Since 1914, women served in various roles during war and it grows all the time. In the 70s, most armies started letting women serve in active duty in all branches. There are 9 countries in which women are required to serve, but only a few of those countries allow women to serve actively just like men, Australia, Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
During WWI, it was in warfare efforts. Everyone contributed in which ever way they could, women in the factories, men fighting overseas. It was a country effort, you lived here you helped out. This was the first time in history that women were working together to help with the war. Upper class women generally stayed home and volunteered organizing things, while middle and lower class women worked as nurses or in the factories since the men were all gone to war.
WWII, Princess Elizabeth served in the British Army, during the 1940s and a woman named Roza Shanina, who was a Soviet sniper during World War II had 54 confirmed target hits. They say around 400,000 Soviet women served in the front-line mainly as medics and nurses. All the major participating countries in WWII enlisted women. They mainly worked as nurses and in the clerical field, but over 500,000 women had combat roles in anti-aircraft units in Britain and Germany, as well as front-line units in the Soviet Union.
During the Vietnam War there wasn’t much information about women in the military, but the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation estimates that about 11,000 military women were stationed in Vietnam during the conflict, again mainly they were volunteers and only about 90% served as military nurses, physicians, air traffic controllers, intelligence officers, clerks, and other positions in the US Women’s Army Corps, U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marines, and the Army Medical Specialist Corps. There is no confirmed number of how many civilian women served in Vietnam on behalf of the Red Cross, USO, and other organizations, or various news organizations. It is said that 59 female civilians died during the Vietnam War.
During the Gulf War in the 90s, about 40,000 American military women were deployed during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, but were not allowed to served in combat. A policy enacted in 1994 prohibited women from assignment to ground combat units below the brigade level. The reasons of physical demands and privacy policies were a few of the reason. Among the NATO nations as of mid 70s, women were able to attain military status in the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States and there were none required service in United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada where the highest levels of female military presences was achieved. Canada is very progressive in allowing gender equality in the military.
They say that the call for equal opportunity along with a decline of able-bodied men entering the military persuaded countries to reform their policies regarding women. With this an opening of submarine service in 2000 allowed women to enlist in any kind of military service they chose. Even then, the amount of women serving was about 15.3%.
What changes has our military gone through regarding women? Starting in 1993, about 67% of positions were open to women. In 2013, 15% out of 1.1 million soldiers in National Guard and the Reserves were held by women in 95% of occupations. By 2017, 78% Army positions were opened to women, in the Air Force 99%, but they were excluded from particular combat roles. By 2013 the US stopped the policy saying “no women in units that are tasked with direct combat”. By 2015 there were 19 women trying to become the first female Army Rangers and had actually passed Ranger School. Ended up 11 of them dropped out in the first 4 days, out of the remaining 8 there were 3 that were given the option to continue and 2 of them actually graduated in August 2015 and the 3rd graduated in October 2015. In 2016 all combat jobs were open to women.
Women have been injured, killed, and awarded high honors, 2 women have received the Silver Star, over 10,000 combat action badges have been awarded to women who served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Women now make up 16% of enlisted forces and 18% of officer corps.
So this all leads me to my original question, should women be included in the Selective Services? Well part of me says yes and part of me says no. There are several pros and cons to it. With all the hoopla about equal rights, I think if you want 100% equality then you need to be equal to have to do what men HAVE to do. Fair is fair. It is kind of the thought of be careful what you wish for, you may not like what you get. But in all fairness that is not every woman out there that is screaming for equal rights. Most average women just want equality in jobs, pay, and things like that. Honestly, if I had my choice, I would make all these “feminazi women” have to serve lol but that is just me thinking, hey give them what they ask for. Wonder how Alyssa would have managed.
Now do I think everyone is cut out for military? Hell no. Honestly I don’t think all men are cut out for it either. I think it is a choice that each person should make for themselves. For me the pros are it teaches responsibility, teaches respect, I like to think it teaches somewhat of a love and honor for your country. It gives a great opportunity for a education afterwards. There are more jobs than just being shot at, there are computer jobs, medical jobs, mechanic jobs, it to me would help lead into possibly what your dream job might be as a civilian.
While the pros are great, I also have my cons. As I stated already, I do not think everyone is cut out for the military, including men. I think that it takes a certain person to do that. Out of my 4 boys, 1 went in, the other 3 did not, and honestly he was prepping for this since he was about 13 being in Civil Air Patrol etc, that was what he wanted to do and it helped him grow as a adult, his wife also served, same MOS as him, but when it came to going to Afghanistan it was more or less a option for her. She stayed back and worked in the hanger, he went there and worked in the hanger. Point is they both grew into awesome people who learned a lot from their experiences in the military.
Now this is part of my mentality on saying yes EVERYONE should be forced to register and if we do go to war and if a draft happens, should be forced to fight for our country, it stems from the fact that the generation that has grown up over the past, say 20 years seem to be spoiled, disrespectful, hateful, arrogant, uneducated (history-wise) brats. The part of me that can’t stand these little jerks says “hell yeah, send their asses to the military, let them straighten their asses out, teach them some respect.” But then that also leads me back to not ALL of that generation are like that. I think its just that we hear more about and from them than we do the normal logical kid. Besides that, who is honestly to say that even drafting them or forcing them to serve would make them normal, they are so rebellious they might actually turn sides and go against their own country, besides rebellion seems to be their things.
I think back when I was a child, honestly, knowing what I know now, I would have definitely signed up, I think the military would have done me a lot of good and I think my life would have taken a different road from there. What it all boils down to is, out of all my kids I have no daughter, but I do have friends who have daughters and some of them serve(d) by choice, others grew into awesome girls or are growing into awesome girls without going in the military. I think that if you as a person chooses that life then go for it, I think all options should be opened for women as are for men, if you want to combat then you should be allowed, whereas if you choose another route out of the war zone then that should be a option also, but I would not want to see any of my friends daughters or my granddaughter be forced to fight, especially where there are other ways to serve your country without going to war, remember Rosie the Riveter.
It all boils down to one thing, whether you are man or woman, if you are or were willing to lay your life on the line for this country and our freedom, then I totally 100% honor and respect you for what you did and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.