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It's Our Military Too: Women and the U.S Military

Judith Stiehm

Publication Year: 1996

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. v-viii

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pp. ix-x

Militaries are traditional institutions. When outsiders ask them to change, for example, by permitting openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in uniform, they are capable of energetic resistance. A phrase frequently used by opponents of change is "Not in my military/Army/Navy/ Air Force/Marine Corps!" as though because they are in the military they own it. ...


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1. Soldiering: The Enemy Doesn't Care If You're Female

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pp. 3-23

Should women be in the military? Should they be in combat? I must have been asked about these issues a thousand times since I was shot down in Iraq during the Gulf War. I don't think people think it's so remarkable that I've been in the Army, but do people really believe that being shot down in a helicopter and spending a week in prison makes you an expert on social/ military issues? ...

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2. Duty, Honor, Country: If You're Straight

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pp. 24-34

These are some of the responses I encountered from family, friends, and professors when I announced my decision to apply for admission to the United States Military Academy in the fall of my sophomore year in college. I was a good student and a varsity athlete, seemingly well on my way to graduating with a degree in biology and a life of defending the earth's ecosystems. ...

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3. The Creation of Army Officers and the Gender Lie: Betty Grable or Frankenstein?

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pp. 35-59

Army Regulation 360-5 requires that soldiers submitting articles for publication must first have their work reviewed by an official "who know(s) the subject matter and audience" (1986,13). I complied in preparing this essay for publication. It was reviewed and heavily criticized by senior officials, and, although I was never ordered not to publish, ...

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4. Just the Facts, Ma'am

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pp. 60-70

There are four military services: the Army, which is the largest: the Marines, which is the smallest; the Navy, which has a special relationship with the Marines; and the Air Force, which is the youngest. The Coast Guard is a uniformed service and has an academy to train young officers, but it is under the Department of Transportation. In wartime it comes under the command of the Navy (Table 4-1). ...


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5. The Military Woman's Vanguard: Nurses

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pp. 73-114

Women have served as nurses for and in the military of the United States since colonial days. Surprisingly, however, this special story has not been told adequately. During the nation's wars, American military nurses have endured the same conditions and privations as the soldiers with whom they served. Nurses, like soldiers, ...

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6. From Underrepresentation to Overrepresentation: African American Women

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pp. 115-135

Whenever I mention research I am doing on African American women who served overseas during World War II, my listeners almost invariably reply, "I didn't know black women served in the military during World War Ill" ...

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7. Gender and Weapons Design

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pp. 136-155

When Secretary of Defense Les Aspin announced the Clinton administration's new policy on women in combat in April 1993, he sought to implement a congressional mandate that would permit women to compete for all assignments in aircraft, including those aircraft engaged in combat missions (Aspin 1993). ...

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8. Gender Ideology in the Ethics of Women in Combat

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pp. 156-194

Nearly forty-one thousand women served in the U.S. military in Desert Storm, approximately 7 percent of the total forces (see Holm 1992, xiii). Even though women were officially excluded from combat duty, they were ssigned to posts that positioned them in or near the line of fire (see U.S. Senate 1991, 803; Association 1991, 18). (And, of course, the "line of fire is an artificial construct, given modern military technology.) ...

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9. To Fight, to Defend, and to Preserve the Peace: The Evolution of the U.S. Military and the Role of Women Within It

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pp. 195-202

"To Fight, To Defend, and To Preserve the Peace": These have been watchwords of generations of Americans who have served their country in the armed forces. Throughout our history, some of these Americans have been women, and their persistent presence in the military appears likely to continue (Devilbiss 1994, 136). But what will be the watchwords of the U.S. military of the future? ...


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10. Pernicious Cohesion

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pp. 205-219

Every day at the United States Naval Academy, midshipmen walk back and forth across "the yard" past memorials to their profession: a shiny black anchor big enough to dwarf the largest midshipman; an early-model fighter jet poised on the carefully mowed grass like an exaggerated lawn ornament; a bronze statue of Billy the Goat, ...

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11. Telling the War Story

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pp. 220-234

I listened once to Tim O'Brien, author of several prizewinning novels about the Vietnam War and himself a veteran of that war, as he sat and told stories to an audience of West Point cadets. After riveting their attention with tales of his first night "in country," of his base being mortared, of his sergeant, and of his friends being killed, he turned casually to his audience and said, ...

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12. Subverting the Gender and Military Paradigms

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pp. 235-269

Was has become a constant presence in our lives, whether through telecasting of "ethnic cleansings" in Cambodia or Bosnia or Rwanda or through experiencing militarization here at home. We may seem further away from nuclear night than we were as recently as 1989, but smaller-scale, widespread explosions of violence force us to ask why people who were living together in "peace" ...

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13. The Civilian Mind

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pp. 270-297

In 1994-95, we (U.S. citizens) spent close to $270 billion on defense. In 1990, we were 5 percent of the world's population, occupied 7 percent of the Earth's land surface, created 27 percent of the world's GNP, but made 41 percent of the world's military expenditures (Sivard 1993, 37). Since 1990, many nations (particularly the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) ...

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pp. 297-298


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pp. 299-309

E-ISBN-13: 9781439901472

Publication Year: 1996