ISRAELI ARMY GOES CO-ED
Washington Times reports an interesting development:
Israeli army units with the first female infantry soldiers in 50 years are being upgraded to battalion status, a milestone in the fight of female soldiers to be accepted into combat roles in the Jewish state.
For the past three years, female ground troops from Israel’s Carcal company have patrolled the quiet desert borders with Jordan and Egypt, freeing up their male counterparts for duty in more dangerous areas. Now the military is appointing its first female company commander.
The integration effort follows years of public pressure to allow women into combat jobs – prohibited since the 1948 War of Independence – and could help boost the status of women in a society that glorifies the military.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I’m still a little skeptical but the integration of female troops onto combat ships and other previously male-only duties has gone much smoother than I would have guessed in the American military.
Still, this sort of thing is amusing:
In recent years, the army also has opened artillery, antiaircraft and the air force pilots’ course to women. Still, the idea of a mixed combat unit remains a foreign concept in Israel.
Sgt. Pini, one of the male members of Carcal, said he initially joined the company because he was promised a tour of duty on a tranquil border in a unit with “a lot of girls.”
“I thought, ‘Great, I’ll have a girlfriend,’ ” he said. “It didn’t work out that way. When you spend so much time together, it doesn’t make a difference. Everyone becomes one of the guys.”