Women in Combat
June 24, 2003

In a June 17 front-page article, the Washington Post attempted to clarify misinformation it had previously published in its own self-described “irresistible and cinematic” front page article about rescued prisoner of war Pfc. Jessica Lynch.  This was a transparent exercise in journalistic damage-control, and the paper deserves no laurels for it.  The Washington Post remains responsible for one of the most unprofessional, propagandistic “news” stories in recent history.

The April 3 “new journalism” cover story, titled “She Was Fighting to the Death,” created a vivid Amazon Myth of gigantic proportions.  It deceived the world by portraying Lynch as a “woman-warrior” from West Virginia who was shot, stabbed, and captured only after she had emptied her weapon killing Iraqis. . . Read More

June 24, 2003

The Center for Military Readiness, an independent public policy organization that specializes in military personnel issues, hopes that Army officials will investigate and answer the following questions about the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Unit, and the subsequent rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch. It is impossible to make sound decisions on any major personnel policy, such as women in combat, until relevant facts are known:

1.   A disturbing video of apparently executed soldiers was shown on Aljazeera TV, together with the frightened faces of Spec. Shoshana Johnson and four male captives. One month later, the remains of the last-identified casualty of the March 23 ambush were finally found. . . Read More

June 23, 2003
Double Amputee Escapes Notice of Women in Combat Advocates Read More

June 12, 2003

The entire nation has been moved by the dramatic stories of three female soldiers captured from a maintenance unit in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. First we saw the grisly sight of several slain soldiers, and the frightened face of Spec. Shoshana Johnson, single mother of a two year-old. She and four others were interrogated on videotape, moved around Iraq by their captors, and eventually found by American forces.

A Fedayeen thug slapped Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, a courageous and severely injured 19 year-old soldier, within the sight of a compassionate Iraqi man who initiated a rescue mission rarely executed successfully in the past 50 years. Special Operations Forces and Marines had to dig with their bare hands to retrieve from shallow graves the bodies of eight more soldiers from the same unit. Among the dead was Pfc. Lori Piestewa, a Hopi Indian and single mother of two young children. . . Read More

April 3, 2003

In the early weeks of Operation Iraqi Freedom, three enlisted women serving with the 507th Transportation Unit of the 3rd Infantry Division were captured or reported missing on March 23. The terrified face of Spec. Shoshana Johnson, who signed on to become an Army cook, was shown on an Iraqi video that also displayed the corpses of several of her colleagues. Pfc. Lori Piestewa and Pfc. Jessica Lynch were listed as missing. Pfc. Lynch, who put up a spirited fight to evade capture, was rescued on April 1 by a daring multi-force Special Operations Forces team.

The stories of these three brave women caused many Americans to wonder why the women were serving so close to the front line. Why were they so vulnerable to capture and likely abuse at the hands of the enemy? Aren’t there laws against women in combat? . . . Read More

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More background information and historic documents on this topic may be available in the 'Essential Resources' section of this website, or in a previous edition of CMR E-Notes, archived here.