Society & Culture

Soldier Girls and the Stakes of War

President Obama is keeping his promise of “fundamentally transforming” the nation, especially when it comes to the military.

Women have been voluntarily serving in the Army officially since 1901, but today, with new policies being introduced at a rapid pace, the modern major generals in the Pentagon are changing the nature of combat units.

To be sure, women have been involved in varying degrees of military service throughout recorded history.  One of the most famous examples is Deborah the Prophetess (Judges 4-5).  Her job was to motivate a commander named Barak who had cold feet about fighting Jabin’s army.  Barak would not fight unless Deborah went with him on the campaign, and she pushed him forward into battle.  Barak’s army was victorious as was foretold, and Deborah was celebrated.  Other famous female commanders include Boudica, a queen of the Celtic Iceni tribe, and Queen Elizabeth I of England.  Boudica led a rebellion against the Romans in Britain around a.d. 60, and Queen Elizabeth I was the monarch in charge of the defenses of England during the failed Spanish invasion in 1588.

These famous and oft-cited examples of women in the military share two traits: They were capable administrators, and they were not splitting skulls as the men they commanded were.  Historically, when women have been used as soldiers, it has been in response to a desperate...

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