Impact of new rule on woman in combat uncertain

Published: Friday, January 25, 2013 at 11:50 AM.

“It’s great the armed forces have stepped forward and done this, become an equal opportunity employer,” Goddard said.

The military is about 15 percent female and has not blocked women from rank and authority — the sergeant major of Cherry Point is presently a woman and a woman has served as commander at Camp Lejeune.

Dawn Mills of Morehead City served in the Air Force as an enlisted traffic management specialist for four years beginning in 1986 and has served another 19 years in the Air Force Reserve and she said she is pleased with the decision.

“Females have been in the middle of combat anyway,” she said. “They volunteer and serve as drivers in convoys that end up getting shot and blown up. Those are not combat career fields but they’re still in the middle of it and still run just as much risk as those in the infantry.”

Mills, who now works at NOAA, said she thinks “women should be able to do every job that men do but if they choose to do it, don’t go over there and get in a situation and use ‘I’m a female’ as an excuse.”

Former Cherry Point Public Affairs Officer Lt. Col. Aisha Bakkar, now stationed in Guam at Marine Forces Pacific-Forward, would agree.

Featured in a Guam Business magazine January-February edition profile, Bakkar shared that when she went to enlist more than 20 years ago the recruiter scoffed, telling her she was “too feminine.”



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