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.”

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. nathan says:

    …and this is exactly why I am strongly in favor of allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military.

  2. Kate says:

    I’ve partaken in a couple of large organized paintball “wars” in recent years. They are held on a large open field, about 50 acres, with wooded areas, trenches, coil wire, etc. With over 100 footsoldiers on each side, a tank, armoured personel carrier, “helicoptor” drops, it’s a great way to spend a day getting dirty, tired and badly bruised.

    It’s no place to pick up guys, though. Bastards keep shooting at you.

  3. Please. I SO scooped the Washingon Post months ago.

    http://www.yourish.com/archives/2003/july28-aug2_2003.html#2003080102

    Someone should tell them to read the Jerusalem Post.