Maitra 13 Sumantra, tutor of New Zealand Foreign Policy and Theories of International Relations at the University of Otago; “Women and War: Women in combat and the internal debate in the field of gender studies” Global Policy; April 22, 2013; http://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/blog/22/04/2013/women-and-war-women-combat-and-internal-debate-field-gender-studies
The role of women in combat is, thus a matter of intense debate and scrutiny. The debate is part of the army hierarchy, regardless of the speaker being male or female, and is not related to mindset. Col. Richard Mills, commander of Marines in Helmand says, “Infantrymen sometimes carry 100 pounds of equipment on their backs, the barrier was one of physical strength. There is a physical difference between what a man can carry and what a woman can carry, the physical demands of the infantry make it a male organization.” Col. Lori E. Reynolds agrees, “I don’t think they should close with and destroy the enemy. When you go out and see what the infantry does – the way they live, the way they train –- it’s good that it’s all male.” However there are voices of dissent too, as Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum, female veteran of the Gulf War, and American POW who was sexually assaulted, says, “The problem is that we've had this tradition in the military that women aren't offensive. War is not a hormonal event. It is a profession with discipline; Gender should not be a discriminator in combat roles.” She conceded, however, that she hadn’t met a single woman who actually wanted to be in the infantry. But incidents like Cornum or Jessica Lynch repeatedly highlight the situational difference when it comes to women combatants or soldiers.