January 24, 2014
One year ago today, the Defense Department announced its decision to end the combat exclusion policy, which for twenty years prohibited women from serving in units whose primary mission was to engage the enemy in ground combat. This policy failed to recognize the frontline realities and accomplishments of service women in Iraq and Afghanistan. SWAN applauded this Defense Department decision, which came shortly after SWAN and 4 service women, with assistance from the ACLU, filed a lawsuit challenging this policy.
Today, we celebrate this historic decision. But our work is not yet done. The Defense Department’s directives to further integrate women still fall short. And SWAN’s lawsuit continues because these injustices persist.
Yesterday, the Army announced that it will open 33,000 more jobs to qualified women. However, thousands of military jobs, including combat arms jobs, still remain closed. Service women should be able to compete for every school, assignment or job open to men. Every woman who meets the standard should get the job. Period.
Next week, the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and Combat Integration Initiative (CII) will host a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill to show senators and representatives why we cannot be satisfied with the status quo. More congressional oversight is needed to ensure the military does not continue to exclude women from positions for which they are qualified. No excuses.
Today, from 2-3pm ET, join SWAN, ACLU, NWLC and CII in a tweetstorm to raise awareness about the lasting impacts of this policy and urge the Defense Department to ‘finish the job’ with respect to integration. Follow @servicewomen and use hashtag #WomenInCombat. Sample tweets are listed below.
In honor of the anniversary of the decision to end the combat exclusion policy, please consider a gift to SWAN to continue fueling change and advancing opportunities for our service women and women veterans.
SAMPLE TWEETS: #WomenInCombat Tweetstorm TODAY 2-3 pm ET
Ban on #combatexclusion lifted 1 yr ago today. Thousands of #military jobs = still closed to women. What are we waiting for? #WomenInCombat
ALL #military branches should make clear: women will be allowed to train & compete for closed positions. #WomenInCombat
Why was combat exclusion policy lifted? Policy = archaic, contrary to reality of women on ground in Iraq & Afghanistan. #WomenInCombat
What did combat exclusion policy do? Prohibit women from units where primary mission = engage enemy in ground combat #WomenInCombat
Simple fact: #Military needs servicewomen in ground combat teams. No excuses. #WomenInCombat
Women pass enlisted #infantry course but #Marines still deny job. Women who pass course should get job. Period. #WomenInCombat
Bust through the brass ceiling once and for all. Let qualified women compete for combat positions. #WomenInCombat
Service women should be able to compete for every assignment, school, or job open to men. #WomenInCombat
When #military closes jobs to qualified women for no reason but gender, retention suffers. @DeptofDefense: open all jobs. #WomenInCombat
.@DeptofDefense: Every woman who meets the standard should get the job. #WomenInCombat
Our #military standards should be job-specific, not gender-specific. #WomenInCombat
.@DeptofDefense: Finish your mission. Get #combatintegration done NOW. #WomenInCombat
Fact: women have been risking and sacrificing lives in combat for years. #WomenInCombat
.@USMC doing “research” on whether women can handle combat. History shows they can. #WomenInCombat
.@DeptofDefense still excludes women from even applying for 1000s of combat positions solely bc of gender. #WomenInCombat
.@DeptofDefense’s policies on #WomenInCombat = talent drain of battle-tested women. #Military needs to retain trained, experienced women.
Even in Reserves, many units still closed to women. #WomenInCombat
.@DeptofDefense left possibility that some career fields, units, and jobs, could remain closed to women. Why? #WomenInCombat
.@DeptofDefense policy on #WomenInCombat harms #military readiness of world’s greatest fighting force.
.@DeptofDefense: don’t close #military careers to women. Women deserve right to compete. #WomenInCombat
.@USSOCOM: “Assessment” process perpetuates the myth that we don’t know whether #WomenInCombat works. No need to wait!
All-volunteer #military forces can’t afford to lose talent of experienced women fighters. #WomenInCombat
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