Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney

Commander of Special Forces Acknowledges Women’s Contributions to Combat

SUMMARY: General Joseph Votel, commander of the US Special Operations Command, has stated that the SOCOM recommendation on women serving in direct-action combat units will be submitted shortly. Votel indicated that SOCOM has considered a range of studies conducted by various branches, including the Marine Corps’ study, which was heavily criticised by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. In the announcement, there was extensive acknowledgment of the women in cultural support teams, who were regarded as a “critical factor for us in being much more effective in things we were being asked to do on the battlefield.” The seemingly positive perspective on women in combat seems indicative of a recommendation without exceptions.

SOURCES: Matthew Cox, September 16 2015, ‘Head of Spec Ops Command: Decision on women in combat imminent,’,  

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