NEWSFLASH: First Women Graduate Elite Combat School

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On Friday, for the first time in history, two women will graduate from the United States Army Ranger School, outlasting 17 other women and 287 men to earn the distinguished honor. As students in this year’s first ever co-ed class, Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver endured 62 grueling days of intense physical and mental […]

Warrior Women: Breaking New Ground on the Battlefield

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This Memorial Day, as we honor the United States servicemen and servicewomen killed in our country’s history, the debate surrounding women’s role in combat rages on. From World War I and II to Vietnam to the Persian Gulf War, women have demonstrated time and again their ability to hold their own on the battlefield. And […]

Kirsten Gillibrand: Taking On Military Sexual Assault, One Bill at a Time

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This March, for Women’s History Month, the Ms. Blog is profiling Wonder Women who have made history—and those who are making history right now. Join us each day as we bring you the stories of iconic and soon-to-be-famous feminist change-makers. “We should all be able to agree our brave men and women in uniform deserve blind justice,” […]

Military Rape Report Card: Still Failing

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The latest annual study on military sexual assault from the Department of Defense (DOD) shows that reports of such assault rose 8 percent since 2013. Perhaps even more striking, however, is that the incidence of retribution against those who report sex crimes is a stunning 62 percent. That means service members who came forward with […]

U.S. Army Releases “Racially Biased” Hairstyle Regulations

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Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the National Guard in Georgia has always plaited her hair into two twists around her head. She has been in the military for six years and has worn her hair natural (meaning no chemical treatments [perms] or hair extensions [weaves]) for four of those years. But according to the new hair-grooming […]

Congress Tries Again to Protect Survivors of Military Rape

Congress is challenging top brass' the handling of sexual assault.

The statistics on sexual assault in the U.S. military speak volumes. Nearly one in three servicewomen are raped while serving, twice the rate of the general population. Nearly 90 percent don’t report the assaults, however, and the few cases that get reported are rarely prosecuted. A year after the documentary The Invisible War drew widespread […]

Women’s Peace Groups Oppose Drones

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On a warm day this past September, 75-year old Edith Cresmer stood with a clipboard outside the New York Public Library by an 11-by-8-foot replica of a weaponized military drone. She collected petition signatures, spoke with passersby and pushed for a ban on all unmanned government aircraft—especially those that kill. A member of the Granny […]

DOD May Only Take “Baby Steps” to Confront Military Sexual Assault

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Amid the growing recognition of sexual assault in the military, the Department of Defense is primed to release six executive actions addressing how the military handles the issue. The proposed actions were drafted and circulated in an internal memo, but were obtained and released to the public by Politico. They are expected to be formally announced soon. […]

House Approves Bill to Protect Victims of Military Assaults

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The House last week passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act with two amendments pushed forth by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.). The amendments, if passed through the Senate and signed into law, could right some of the inherent wrongs in how the military handles sexual assault cases and and stop the further victimization of survivors. […]

Another Sexual Assault Prevention Officer Accused of Sexual Assault

It’s obvious by now that in the U.S. military we’re not only dealing with an unacceptable environment that discourages people from reporting sexual assault, we’re dealing with a full-on culture of impunity. Pentagon officials last week announced that an Army sergeant in Fort Hood, Texas, who worked as a a sexual assault prevention and response coordinator is under investigation […]