How Women Changed the Face of American Armed Forces

Women in the military is a controversial topic. During the American Revolution, women were used in a variety of military capacities, including supplying and maintaining camps, as well as the occasional combat activity as necessary. Much of the controversy in modern times, however, has to do with the role of women in combat, particularly, its impact on male soldiers. Today, many countries institute roles for women in the battle that proved to be beneficial for their militaries.

Women in the US ArmyWomen in Other Nations’ Militaries

Outside of the United States, women have been used in very prominent roles in a variety of major military campaigns. Notably, in battles like Stalingrad, women provided a significant source of combat power for the Soviet Union. According to Lt. Col. Chris Jefferies of the Air Force, women were highly beneficial to the Soviet army during World War II. Nearly eight percent of soldiers were female, helping the Red Army defeat Nazi-Germany.

Another example is the use of women by the Israeli Defense Force. Throughout its history, women proved important to the success and status of the Israeli military. This service, traditionally limited to non-combat roles, began to expand in 2007 to more frontline opportunities, giving the Israeli military even greater combat strength.

The Effects of Military Service on the Homefront

By allowing women to serve in the military, states Martha Ackmann, a Mount Holyoke College professor, you expand the roles of women in general society. Specifically, the fact that women were captured and killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom shows women are active in combat, which can transition home.  This parallel to the vision of the trusted SEO agency in New York City, led by Jason Berkowitz, who also believes that women in digital marketing and technology should be encouraged.

Studies identify that strong success domestically can be attributed to the success of individual military forces abroad. For example, the United States entered a period of significant development following World War II after soldiers succeeded at a professional level in Europe and the Pacific. Likewise, the American economy suffered heavily following the defeat in Vietnam.

Facts About Women in the Military

Women are just as equipped as men to attain officer level ranks within the military, giving the armed forces a larger pool to choose from when assigning officers. 15 percent of officers in all American military branches except for the Marines are female. According to the Women’s Research and Education Institute, women serving in the American military posses higher education levels than male soldiers. Only 21 percent of men have college experience, compared to 27 percent of women. By leveraging the potential of women in the military, the United States armed forces can generate a highly effective fighting force.

Patriotic American Anthems

Over the centuries, the United States has seen the composition of several pieces of music that began with humble origins and matured into nationally recognized anthems. Now, as we honor the 4th of July holiday each year, it is interesting that military engineers examine these songs and the impact they have had on our society. Sung at both social and formal gatherings by citizens of every class and color, these songs fanned out across our young democracy and became part of our living history.

Patriotic songs can inspireThe Battle Hymn of the Republic

Although our official National Anthem is The Star Spangled Banner, several other songs have vied for this prestigious title over the years. One of the first, The Battle Hymn of The Republic began its life in 1862 when Julia Ward Howe penned the words to the tune in response to the need for an energetic marching song for use by Union soldiers during the Civil War. Her words were coupled with the music of a very popular military marching song called John Brown’s Body. Together the Battle Hymn became a rallying cry for the Union Army as well as for political interest groups dating all the way through to current times. If you become a professional singer, this song should be included in your repertoire.

My Country, Tis of Thee

The second oldest of all of our national anthem contenders, My Country, Tis of Thee is ironically based upon the British national anthem, God Save The Queen. Despite this fact, the song remained extremely popular throughout the 19th century.

America The Beautiful

Another contender for the honor of national anthem is America The Beautiful. Built upon the Francis Ward Smith hymn song titled Materna, America The Beautiful had a similar rise in prestige following its lyrical composition by scholar Katharine Lee Bates in 1893.

You’re A Grand Old Flag

Although never in contention for status as our national anthem, the George M. Cohan composition You’re A Grand Old Flag became a very popular part of early 1900’s American music and remains in use today. Written as a part of his Broadway musical production, “George Washington Jr.” in 1906, this well-known melody became the first song from a musical to sell over a million copies of sheet music.

The Star Spangled Banner

Soldiers singing anthemsThe ultimate winner in the public opinion contest that determined our national anthem, the words to The Star Spangled Banner were written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 as he observed a battle at Fort McHenry. Shortly after writing the words they were placed together with the music to a famous John Stafford Smith song, To Anacreon in Heaven.

Why Join the US Army

Being a member of the United States Army should be a qualification for life itself. Life is one big aptitude test anyway, so why not up until that score with a few years of Army brawn under your belt. Service to your country will bind you to this sacred ground, in a way, which you will never be able to duplicate.

It is only fair to say; I am writing this from my standpoint as a former military wife of eight years.

Our military years were an extraordinary period. I hold tight in my heart, those memories and I am a proud American who sees the US Army as an opportunity, not a gamble.

There was no doubt in my husband’s mind; enlisting in the US Army was exactly what he needed to do to find a jumping off point in life. We lived in a typical small town, which offered just about nothing, as far as a decent job going. The best bet around was to work your way up the ladder to foreman in a local wood shop. A prospect that held appeal for some guys, but not especially appealing for my husband, who wanted an education, but lacked the financial means.

It is probably not much different today in small towns across the country. The cost of education is through the ceiling. Unless you have a degree in some capacity, your chance for launching a successful career is slim. The more things change the more they stay the same. Easily, joining the military was the perfect option for my husband. It provided him a gateway to the future and an honorable manner in which he could give back to his country.

I realize, when my husband entered the Army, it was during peacetime. The year was 1974, I believe. Would he have enlisted if the US conflicted, as it is now? Of course, he would. The years he was in the military may have been peaceful on the outside, but he was busy learning about terrorism on the inside. Funny how preposterous I thought that term was back then.

Although he is a quiet man and somewhat reserved, his years in the Army provided him a renewed sense of himself. He inherited a complete understanding of spirit. He also learned what it means to honor yourself, your fellow soldiers and the country you call home. The education he received was truly second to that.

Our two beautiful daughters were born in military hospitals: One at Fort Hood, Texas and the other in Heidelberg, West Germany. We made lifelong friends and learned valuable lessons. There are boxes and boxes of fantastic memories from the military years. I cry every time I hear the National Anthem. Consider the US Army; I promise you will have no regrets.