Since 2002 I had closely followed the actions of women throughout the war and it quickly became apparent that women were doing things they had never done before.Â Women like Kayla were successfully serving as imbedded members of combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan.Â They were being used in ways that clearly violated the intent of the combat exclusion policy.
KaylaÂ Williams is a former sergeant and Arabic linguist in a Military Intelligence company of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). During her deployment to Iraq, Williams was at the forefront of troopsâ interaction with Iraqis while also navigating the challenges of being part of the 15% of the Army that is female.Â KaylaÂ is the author ofÂ Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army, a memoir about her experiences negotiating the changing demands on todayâs military. She regularly speaks and writes about military and veteransâ issues for numerous media outlets, including MSNBC, CNN, BBC, Huffington Post,Â The Guardian, andÂ Slate.
Ellen Haring is a senior fellow with Women in International Security where she directs the Combat Integration Initiative project.Â Her research and work focuses on women and gender in the military.Â She is a West Point Graduate and a colonel in the US Army reserves. Haring has been a guest speaker on numerous foreign and domestic news shows including: BBC Radio, CNN, PBS News Hour, NPR, and Voice of America.Â She guest lectures at universities and has been invited to address members of Congress.
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