Female Soldiers Sue Over Combat Ban

With 130 women killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, combat roles evolving
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2012 10:42 AM CDT
Female Soldiers Sue Over Combat Ban
In a May 9, 2012 photo, Capt. Sara Rodriguez of the 101st Airborne Division walks through the woods during the expert field medical badge testing at Fort Campbell, Ky.   (AP Photo/Kristin M. Hall)

Two female army reservists filed suit against the US military yesterday, claiming the policy preventing women from serving in combat is unconstitutional, reports Reuters. Being banned from combat "solely on the basis of sex" violates their Fifth Amendment rights and "restricts their current and future earnings, their potential for promotion and advancement, and their future retirement benefits," wrote Command Sergeant Major Jane Baldwin and Colonel Ellen Haring in their lawsuit.

The Pentagon announced a new policy in February that opened up 14,000 positions to women, but still keeps them from frontline combat in infantry, armor, and special-operations units. Woman now make up 14.5% of active-duty military personnel. Despite being barred from combat, more than 130 women have been killed and 800 wounded in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. "The linear battlefield no longer exists," Baldwin and Haring said. (More Pentagon stories.)

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