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Celebrating a decade of women serving in combat roles in the U.S. military

Jaster, center, Capt. Kristen Griest (left) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (right) are the first three women to graduate Army Ranger School.
Jaster, center, Capt. Kristen Griest (left) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (right) are the first three women to graduate Army Ranger School.

This year marks a decade since the Department of Defense lifted the ground combat exclusion policy. It banned women from serving in more than 200,000 military combat roles.

While it took years for all of the forces to update their standards to comply with the ruling, women wasted no time making strides in nearly every sector of the military.

Most recently, Admiral Linda Fagan made history as the first woman to lead a branch of the military when she became the 27th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard last year.

Despite these wins, women have also had their fair share of challenges. The Pentagon’s 2022 Sexual Assault and Prevention Report showed a harrowing trend.

Rates of sexual assault were the highest reported from women service members since 2006. That increase is coupled with a sharp decline in women service members who said they trust the military to protect victims of sexual assault.

How far has the military come in the past decade? What more can the military do to protect and support women in all areas of service?

We convene a panel of female veterans to discuss.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

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Lauren Hamilton