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  • Author: Natalia Zalietok, Steven Merritt Miner, Ann Todd, William A. Taylor, María Concepción Márquez Sandoval, Bradford A. Wineman, Rebecca Jensen, Shlomi Chetrit
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Advanced Military Studies
  • Institution: Marine Corps University Press, National Defense University
  • Abstract: The past century has demonstrated a clear history of crossing lines and breaking down barriers. With each advancement, women were told “no further.” And with each subsequent generation, women pushed the boundaries to do more—until there were no more boundaries. In December 2015, thenSecretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter announced that all military occupational specialties were open to women. Carter declared that “they’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They’ll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers, and everything else that was previously open only to men.”4 The history of women in the Marine Corps offers only one small part of the story. Women across the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the world have their own experiences, their own stories to tell. Few know these stories, as the focus usually remains on one’s own Service or country. A gap exists in understanding how other militaries have (or have not) integrated women successfully. This special issue is intended to fill that gap and provide differing perspectives on how other militaries have dealt with gender integration. Every Service and nation has walked its own path toward full integration of women. Some, such as the former Soviet Union and Israel, witnessed tremendous gender integration advances during wartime—World War II and the War for Independence, respectively—only to see those improvements nearly disappear during peace. Others made steady progress, experiencing full integration early on (e.g., Canada in the late 1960s). Still others advanced in some areas but waited decades for others (e.g., Australia integrated submarines in the 1990s but only opened infantry to women a few years ago). The authors here offer a variety of histories describing this journey of integration of women into the armed services of a variety of countries and cultures. From Mexico to Israel as well as the United Kingdom and the former Soviet Union, the diversity of experiences becomes clear. The reasons for integration (or not) are as diverse as the nations’ cultures and offer unique insights into how a nation views women and their contribution to their community and their country, for the integration of women reflects directly on their role in society.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, History, Military Affairs, Women, Psychology, World War II
  • Political Geography: Britain, Israel, Soviet Union, Palestine, Latin America, United States of America