Women in the Military/Combat Discussion (May 1996)

Women in The Military/Combat Discussion May 1996


>From Cindy A. Tribuzio tribuzic@cwu.edu 08 May 1996

I am writing a paper on the issue of women serving in combat positions. My topic is more about women in combat now. Why can't they serve in positions that fight? That is what I'm aiming for, discussing the present situation and supporting the argument that women should be able to fight. I have found a lot of government hearings on the matter, but they get too long and are not easy to read sometimes. If you have any input or suggestions on where to look I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.


>From Ruth R. Pierson <rrpierson@oise.on.ca> 09 May 1996

A good place to begin is with Cynthia Enloe's _Does Khaki Become You?: The Militarization of Women_.

Editor's Note: I just wanted to underscore Linda's recommendation of H-Minerva and the Minerva Center as a fabulous source for information on women and combat or any other topic concerning the military or war. It has also been my pleasure to hear Connie Devilbiss give two lectures on this topic. She is a wonderful scholar and I highly recommend her work. KL

>From Linda Grant De Pauw The Minerva Center minervacen@aol.com 14 May 1996

The publications of The MINERVA Center,Inc. and the H- MINERVA list are the best places to go for study of this issue, although many of our articles may "get long...not easy to read sometimes." We have, however, published some articles that are perfect for a quick study. One, in particular, I have been told is used constantly by students in the service schools who have to come up with briefing papers: M.C. Devilbiss, "Women in Combat: A Quick Summary of the Arguments on Both Sides," MINERVA: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military; vol. no 1 (Spring, 1990).

For the price of MINERVA publications and information about ordering back issues, please query Debra E. Morgenstern at mouseminer@aol.com.

>From Ann Rosenthal Roseann@aol.com 14 May 1996

Check with veteran's organizations which have women members. Ask your congressman for a list of women recipients of combat decorations. File a Freedom of Information request with the CIA and with Foreign Broadcast Information Service requesting files on women who have performed hazardous duty. Good luck. But remember to be careful what you wish for. You might get it.

>From Kimberly Jensen jenseki@fsa.wosc.osshe.edu 15 May 1996

Here are a few general works that may help you with the historical context of women and combat:

Binkin, Martin and Bach, Shirley J. _Women and the Military_(Washington: Brookings Institute, 1977).

Chapkis, Wendy, ed _Loaded Questions: Women in the Military_ (Amsterdam; Washington,D.C.: Transnational Institute, 1981).

Goldman, Nancy Loring, Ed _Female Soldiers--Combatants or Noncombatants?: Historical Perspectives_(Westport,CT: Greenwood Press, 1982).

Holm, Jeanne _Women in the Military: An Unfinished Revolution_(Novato,CA: Presidio Press, 1982).

Howes, Ruth and Stevenson, Michael R., eds _Women and the Use of Military Force_ (Boulder: L. Rienner Publishers, 1993).

Rogan, Helen _Mixed Company: Women in the Modern Army_(New York, Putnam, 1981).

And for the view that women will destroy the Army:

Mitchell, Brian _Weak Link: The Feminization of the American Military_ (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway;NY: Dist. by Kampmann, 1989). Best wishes in your work.

>From Tom Downs Norton T. Downs 102621.507@compuserve.com 15 May 1996

If you need first-hand accounts of women who served in combat units try _Dance With Death_by Anne Noggle (Texas A & M Univ. Press, 1994). During WWII, the Red Air Force included three regiments made up completely of women-command personnel, pilots, ground crew, etc. Two of the regiments flew bombers and one flew fighters. Ms. Noggle interviewed dozens of veterans of these units and compiled their reminiscences in this book. Good luck with your project.

>From Connie Reeves Lewisreeve@aol.com 15 May 1996

Pick up _Women in the Military: An Unfinished Revolution_ by Maj. Gen Jeanne Holm, resides edition Novato, CA; Presidio Press, 1992. The first edition was printed in 1982.

It also has a fairly good bibliography and is available at libraries and bookstores. There are not a great number of books available that discuss the issue of women in combat although there have been innumerable articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals. Check your periodical sources, especially the military Times series (Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times--they usually have the same major articles.) Also, by all means, check MINERVA: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military_. There have been a number of good articles published in it over the past few years and it should be in your library or obtainable through interlibrary loan.

>From Ann Rosenthal Roseann@aol.com 18 May 1996

I keep seeing replies to this post, and I keep wondering if the answer is really simple at all. It might help you to have some conversations with some of the people who are, of course, male, who have had to deal with the issue.

Probably one of the most insightful and intellectual of these would be General Paul F. Gorman, USA (ret.), who, I believe, still has a vineyard outside of Afton, Virginia. Since he was the lieutenant colonel in the Pentagon who coordinated the writing of the history of the war in Vietnam (The Pentagon Papers), he may be one of the more significant repositories of facts and contacts on the issue in recent wars.

If you decide to contact him, you may use my name as introduction: Dr. Ann Rosenthal AKA Mrs. Crum AKA Pocahontas.