by Richard Sisk
Aug 31, 2015
In the coming weeks, the service chiefs will likely cite reams of data to support their positions on whether to lift restrictions on women serving in combat jobs.
A couple of the statistics will be hard to miss: More than 9,000 female troops have earned Combat Action Badges during modern combat operations, including those in Iraq and Afghanistan, and hundreds more have earned valor awards, including the Silver Star, the Army's third-highest valor award.
More than 214,000 women now serve in the military, account for about 14.5 percent of the force. The Marine Corps has the lowest percentage – slightly less than 7 percent. More than 280,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"As of April 2015, 161 women have lost their lives and 1,015 had been wounded in action as part of Global War on Terror (GWOT) operations" since the 9/11 terror attacks, according to the Congressional Research Service. The Army alone reported 89 women killed in the line of duty in Iraq and 36 in Afghanistan. "In addition, in modern combat operations, over 9,000 women have received Army Combat Action Badges for ‘actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy,'" the CRS said.
Through 2012, the Army reported that 437 women earned awards for valor to include two Silver Stars, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 31 Air Medals, and 16 Bronze Stars.
In some instances, the women earning awards for valor led men in firefights. Then-Army Capt. Kellie McCoy, a West Point graduate, earned the Bronze Star with "V" device for her actions on Sept. 18, 2003, for leading 11 male paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division in breaking up an enemy ambush between Fallujah and Ramadi in Iraq's Anbar province.Oh but let's not forget the Medal of Honor as well as even more,,,,,,,,,
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