Infantry: May 11, 2005


American marines in Iraq have begun to regularly take female marines with them on some raids. The female marines are there mainly to search Iraqi women who are expected to be found in the raided location. Terrorists have taken to giving some weapons or other items to women they are with, to hide in their clothing. American troops often do not search Iraqi women, because this makes Iraqi men more hostile, and often enrages them, leading to a brawl during an otherwise uneventful raid. Both soldiers and marines have used female troops for searching Iraqi, or Afghan, women, but on a sporadic basis. But now, marine units have assigned female marines, who normally do support jobs, to regular raid duty. Thus the same women would operate with the same male infantrymen on a regular basis. This enables the women to work better with the male marines in case there is a fight. The raids are usually conducted using hummers, that quickly move into an area, the troops get out and rapidly gain entry to the target building and begin the search. Sometimes there are armed terrorists in there, who start shooting. So everyone in the raiding party has to be ready for a fight. The female marines get the same infantry training as the men, although in all-female boot camp companies, and maintain their infantry skills later. The women regularly see action during combat movements, and no one doubts their ability to handle themselves in combat. Most of the women assigned to the raiding duty are eager and enthusiastic about it, as boot camp drilled into everyone that the primary job of every marine was infantry combat. 


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