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History of Women in Leadership Roles in the U.S. MILITARY
Women in military in the Revolutionary and Civil wars
Since the revolutionary periods of the war, women took center stage positions in leadership roles. This was unlike earlier periods, when they had to have disguises for them to serve alongside men in the military (Taber, 2011). During these times, the acceptance of women into military only permitted them into auxiliary positions. The reason for that was that the methods and weapons for war did not suit the female gender; however, as situations changed the warfare front had to incorporate women into more challenging positions. There was the realization of no importance held by gender on the battlefield, and women begun receiving leadership positions within the military in United States (Fredriksen, 1999).
In periods of the Mexican, Civil and revolutionary wars, remarkably few women got involved in combat. These women had to disguise themselves as men for any chance of enlistment into military, and they only got the positions under aliases (Zenor -- Lafond, 2008). Some of the first American women on the battle fields were like Deborah Sampson Gannet. She came from Plymouth Massachusetts, and had to the opportunity for serving in the military by enlisting using the name of her brother in 1782. During the Revolutionary War, She served in the Continental Army for two years and only got wounded twice. The Revolutionary War also had Margaret Corbin fighting alongside her husband, in the defense of Fort Washington in New York (Bloom, 2011).
At Kansas in Fort Leavenworth, KansasElizabeth C. Newcume joined the military for the battling of Native Americans in 1847, in Dodge City. Her gender got discovered ten months after enlisting, and she got discharged from military. It also took several women the disguise as men to serve in the Civil War, and that went on for an exceedingly long time with some women managing to get over with their service without having their gender discovered. However, this trend had to change during the World War I with the rising interest of women to enlist in the military.
Therefore, the period saw over 12,000 women enlisting in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.In the World War II, the total of women enlisted in the military rose to 350,000 with others serving as Navy nurses and others as Army nurses. The military created the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in1942, and they went to serve in North Africa. One Year later, it was turned to Women's Army Corps (WAC), and they got representation in France, England, New Guinea, Australia and Philippines. The World War II also saw the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard establishing reservations for women (Sarnecky, Borden Institute (U.S.) & Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 2010).
There was the development of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency (WAVES), by the Navy Military women in 1942. During this period, women began receiving acceptance in various administrative positions, communication and medical jobs. In the same year, SPARS was created by the Coast Guard and the Marine Corps Women's Reserve begun one year later. Most of the military women served in the states but by the end of the wars, the female personnel comprised 85% of serving women at the headquarters of the Marine Corps (Mulrine, 2012).
Reasons for women entry into military
The creation of such reserves was for the allowance of men to concentrate in fighting overseas. The Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPS) was created by the Air Force so there could be enough personnel to fly within the states men flew overseas. This was a crucial positioning for women like Jacqueline Cochran as she had the responsibility for defending women. She had to write letters to a couple of military leaders with requests to have women pilots flying non-combat planes. She became the director of WASP and received the Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Despite such successful positioning, there were several women serving in key positions and offices on the home front to see the success of the war (Mulrine, 2012).
However, in the 20th century, women roles changed and they took more challenging positions on matters of the war. Regardless of the congressional mandate baring women from joining the military for a long time, they managed to find positions by enlisting as disguises. It was time to venture into new perimeters and women were not taking anything seated down. They stretched their limits and begun taking up positions as leaders within the United States Military. Circumstances were changing and even the manner of fighting the wars changed (Zenor -- Lafond, 2008).
Therefore, the presence and availability of women in leadership positions became partly as a necessity, that the military could not do without in the battle times. Modern warfare's and weapons came in place like the roadside bombs and scud missiles with a blurring of front lines and danger for all soldiers. In the Gulf war, there was unprecedented engagement of enemies on new levels of war. More women joined military, and in 1990, the team that left for the Persian Gulf had several women alongside men going to war for the first time. There was also integration of war units within the war zones, with men and women taking up relatively equal challenging roles (Bomb, 2011).
There were several reasons as to why women genuinly needed to get into military. Most women felt attracted by the desire to defend their country, and found the profession attractive. For others, there were growing economic demands, and they had to join the labor force to provide for their families. The women needed to prepare for their future through involvement in reasonable training. The military had several training opportunities and that enticed many women giving them the desire for joining the military (Alfonso, 2010). There was also the issue of pay scales for other professions. The military had a relatively attractive remuneration for its employees. Both women and men in the same position gets similar pay, but it still ranks above what people got in the civil offices. Since women needed the opportunity for improving their lives, they thrived hard to get into the military. This was then followed by the struggle of climbing up through the ranks and getting salary increase.
With the increase of that desire, more women got enlisted into military and many more started climbing the ranking ladder. The many the women joined their responsibilities also changed, and the military started having women in leadership positions across its operational units. This can be seen openly with initial disguise to get into the military and the later acceptance for enlisting. Taking up leadership roles in the military has not been an easy task for women since, the military is male dominated and the men became instrumental stumbling blocks to the women (Zenor -- Lafond, 2008).
Obstacles for women entry into military
There was high attrition for women in the legal system preventing women from scaling the leadership ladder within the military. The policies, which permitted the enlisting of women allowed their selection for specific professions. They provided space for deliberating policies that deterred them from other things, which they may have wanted to get involved in while serving the military (Alfonso, 2010). This made the few women within the military to slot into lower sections of the military leaving the leadership positions to the men. The female soldiers were also exceedingly young and given the limited numbers of women in the military, there were few women to contest for leadership positions. These young military women lacked any role models, and given the high degree of stereotype in the leadership levels about women, it was extremely hard for the scalability of women into leadership.
The decision making processes within the military never favored the women in any way. At their prime ages, they got limitation for serving in the military. Any woman who got married or pregnant risked dismissal from the military; that meant that there would be little chance for growing, serving and climbing to the top ranks (Taber, 2011). The decision making processes also never favored women in military service. There was the insinuation of woman being costly in their service provision, for example, it was believed that employing one male typist equated to having two female typists in the office. This was contrary to the truth as women were equally competitive and it the contrary matched the situation better (Alfonso, 2010).
Women were also seen as incapable of handling the difficulties and bloodshed in battlefields. There was also the belief that it was impossible for women to give men orders. In fact, that was the main issue as women stayed in lower positions because of their being regarded as the lesser sex, and that meant that they were incapable of leading. The greatest suppression to the efforts of women to get into leadership positions within the military came from the top. That was the most frustrating aspect as the…[continue]
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