Expository Essay Women In The Military

1290 words - 5 pages

The history of women in the United States military is both interesting and surprising and begins in the time of the Revolutionary War. The very first woman to join the military was Deborah Sampson who joined the Continental Army under the name of Robert Shurtlief. She disguised her gender and changed her name in order to enlist in the Continental Army as women were forbid to have any participation in the military ("Teacherlink", n.d.). During that time women had to be content with what the government stated that they could and could not do. However, there have been drastic changes since the Revolutionary War. The Department of Defense has allowed women to enlist in the United States Military and has issued many different regulations for women and men regarding their appearance, conduct, and functional roles. While there is no official bias towards women in the military, certain views, regulations for women, and combat roles for women are different from those for men due to military rules and regulations.Just as the Revolutionary War was the catalyst to women joining the military it was also the catalyst for women to face certain bias views. One of these views is that if women were allowed in direct combat it would cause readiness and morale issues, higher injury rates, unexpected pregnancies, and disciplinary issues (Donnelly, 2008). Another of these purported claims is that women would cause a delay in troop movement by needing extended time to use the restroom facilities. Additionally women have been viewed as weak, emotional, and lacking the upper body strength that certain military jobs require. The standing view of women for many years has been that of the "weaker sex", one in need of protection and not one who could indeed protect the country. Further, claims have been made that women cannot shoot and have not had the proper weapons training in order to be effective in ground combat.These bias views may have come to life through the rules and regulations that the United States military forces upon their enlisted troops and officers. These regulations dictate how the members of the military can and cannot dress, how they must keep their hair, whether or not they can have piercings, and many other areas of the military member's life. The physical fitness standard that must be maintained for men and women is an area in which the scores for men and the scores for women differ to a great extent. For instance, men must complete a one mile run in less than nine minutes and 36 seconds. However, for women, the very same one mile run must be completed in less than 11 minutes and five seconds (AFI10-248, 2006).Another area where the standards for men and women are different is in the area of their appearance. The regulations state that men must keep their hair cut short so that the hair of the head, when viewed with or without head gear, conforms to the shape of the head. The regulation regarding the women's hair is unlike that of the men. Women may...

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