American women ‘militarily necessary’ in combat
WASHINGTON – American women have served and died on the nation’s battlefields from the first. They were nurses and cooks, spies and couriers in the Revolutionary War. Some disguised themselves as men to fight for the Union or the Confederacy. Yet the U.S. military’s official acceptance of women in combat took more than two centuries.
New roles for females have been doled out fitfully, whenever commanders have gotten in binds and realized they needed women’s help.
“The main driver is that it’s been militarily necessary,” said retired Capt. Lory Manning, a 25-year Navy veteran who leads military studies for the Women’s Research & Education Institute. She points, for example, to creation of the Army Nurse Corps in response to the struggle against disease in the Spanish-American War.
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