In the First World War, trench lines extended hundreds of miles throughout Europe. Enemy armies faced one another in fixed positions, with networks of tunnels and exit pathways clearly distinguishing the front lines from the rear areas.
Those days are long past. Today's combat is fluid, without fixed battle lines. Modern warfare is a matter of stealth and firefights, not battles of tens of thousands opposing one another from static positions.
That's why the term "women in combat" is misleading. Women are in combat. They serve in myriad roles that take them directly into the fighting against the enemy. They fly warplanes and carry weapons-and use them. Some have served with great heroism. For example, Sergeant First Class (SFC) Leigh Ann Hester of the Kentucky National Guard won a Silver Star for her actions in combat in Iraq in 2005.
However, the real debate is not about women in combat but about women in units of the Infantry and Special Operations Forces (SOF). It’s about women serving in units with men in primal conditions where privacy and personal hygiene are inherently indiscreet, and where many young men and women, forced
together in close proximity for long periods, invariably will engage in sexually intimate conduct.