A recently released study by the Marine Corps found all-male squads were safer, more efficient and more lethal that squads the included women.
Iowan Joni Ernst is the only female combat veteran in the U.S. Senate, and says she is aware of the study, but hasn’t read the full report. “It is very interesting — I do think we have a number of challenges as we move into integrated combat roles for men and women. It is fascinating as we go through this,” Ernst says.
The Republican from Red Oak says she wants more information on the performance of women in the military. “I would like to see more than just a Marine Corps study,” Ernst says. “I would like to see across the board how we are integrating females into those combat roles in all branches, whether it is through the Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, etcetera.” Ernst says the role of women in the military has been changing rapidly.
“Going back to several weeks ago, we did have two females who graduated from the Airborne Ranger Training Brigade at Fort Benning, they completed Ranger school,” according to Ernst. “They are showing that women can compete and complete these types of courses. We need more information as actually move into integrating within the combat role, on the ground in combat.” She is anxious to see how the role of women in the military developEs.
“I think many of us agree that certainly there are roles for women in combat. We want to make sure that no standards are lowered to enable women to participate. Certainly we have women who can meet those standards,” Ernst says. She says we need to do “what is right and best for all of our troops.” Ernst is lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard and did a tour of duty in Iraq.