90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Women On The Front Lines

On Memorial Day, we look at women and combat roles in the U.S. military.

In this Aug. 10, 2009 photo, a U.S. Marine Female Engagement Team wait for the signal to begin their patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. On Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, Pentagon rules will catch up a bit with reality, recommending to Congress that women be formally allowed to serve in more jobs closer to the front lines. (AP)

In this Aug. 10, 2009 photo, a U.S. Marine Female Engagement Team wait for the signal to begin their patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. On Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, Pentagon rules will catch up a bit with reality, recommending to Congress that women be formally allowed to serve in more jobs closer to the front lines. (AP)

American women in the U.S. military have been formally barred from direct combat roles. But in Iraq and Afghanistan, that line has become kind of a joke. Women now make up fifteen percent of the U.S. military. They’ve been all over these wars without clear front lines. When your transport column is under fire, you’re in combat. When you’re on foot, in uniform and armed in Khandahar, you’re in combat country.

Now the rules are changing.

This hour in an archive edition of On Point: On Memorial Day, women and combat in the U.S. military.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ashley Russell, a Captain in the U.S. Army, she recently returned from a 12-month tour in Afghanistan.

Margaret Harrell, senior fellow and the Director of the Joining Forces Initiative at the Center for a New American Security.

Kayla Williams, served in an Army interpreter in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, author of Love My Rifle More than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army. She is now a project associate with the RAND Corporation.

Robert Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, he is a senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “The Marine Corps, the most male of the armed services, is taking its first steps toward integrating women into war-fighting units, starting with its infantry officer school at Quantico, Va., and ground combat battalions that had once been closed to women.”

Christian Science Monitor “The Pentagon Thursday cracked open the door for women to serve in combat, though they will still not be permitted to fight in battle – at least officially.”

Armed Forces Press Service “Army leaders are asking whether — and how — to open infantry and armor ranks to  women, the service’s senior soldier said May 16.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

ISIS and arming Syrian fighters. Scotland rejects independence. NFL turmoil. US troops and Ebola. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Sep 19, 2014
Joseph O'Neill (courtesy of the author)

Author of “Netherland,” novelist Joseph O’Neill is back, with “The Dog,” on globalization, capitalism, and self-discovery in Dubai.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 18, 2014
(Flickr/AisleTwentytwo)

Billionaires. We’ll look at the super super rich, and their global shaping of our world.

 
Sep 18, 2014
Flickr/Steve Rhodes

After a summer of deadly clashes between Gaza and Israel, we talk to Jews on the left and right about the future of liberal Zionism. Some say it’s over.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment
 
Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

More »
1 Comment