Women in Combat
January 1, 2002
Twenty-eight members of the House Armed Services Committee, including five sub-committee chairmen and three Democrats, have signed a formal letter addressed to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, asking about the status of various issues involving women in the military. In particular, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and 27 other HASC members asked whether the Army is training female soldiers for certain Surveillance Troop positions in the newly-forming Interim Brigade Combat Teams. The lighter, faster IBCTs, which are key element in Army “Transformation” but will not be ready for deployment for several years, are designed to engage in Direct Ground Combat (DGC). An 85-member sub-unit of the Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) Squadron, called the Surveillance Troop, is of particular concern. CMR has since learned that only 12 of the 85 positions in the Surveillance Troop are coded "P1" for "all-male," even though the RSTA Squadron is designed to fight for information, if necessary, as part of the IBCT "full spectrum early entry combat force." According to the former Commander of the U.S. Army Armor Command at Fort Knox, KY, the mission of the RSTA Squadron "directly meets the Department of Defense definition of ‘direct ground combat,’" and should therefore be coded "P1" for all-male. . . Read More

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