The US military formally lifted its ban on allowing woman in ground combat in January of 2013, but few know that this decision was made in the wake of a group of female soldiers who performed special operations roles in Afghanistan as early as 2011. In the conservative society of Afghanistan, male soldiers were unable to talk with Afghan women or enter their quarters without risk of causing grave cultural offence. From an intelligence standpoint this left the US half-blind: any information possessed by Afghan women was effectively unattainable. Women were banned from frontline units such as the SEALS or Rangers, but they could be “attached” to units that performed frontline operations such as special operations. The army offered a program to incorporate women into these special operations forces, and a group of women seized upon the opportunity. Speaking about the role of women in special operations following the lift of the ban on women in ground combat, Major General Bennet Sacolick singled out these women for their accomplishments: “They very well may provide a foundation for ultimate integration.”
Read the full story at The Telegraph.