A preliminary finding from a survey of 170,000 female Army soldiers finds that for all the talk about opening doors to combat for women, most don’t want to jump into the middle of the battle zone anyway.
The Associated Press reported that only a small fraction of the 170,000 say they want full-fledged combat positions. The survey also found that neither male nor female respondents wanted military standards dropped to accommodate women for the combat roles.
By the numbers, less than 8 percent of the 170,000 female soldiers who responded to the survey said they desired a combat position, AP reported. And of those, most said they’d like to join an elite force like the Night Stalker unit, best known as the special operations helicopter crew that flew the Navy SEALS into Osama bin Laden’s compound in 2011, AP reported.
The survey was emailed to active duty, reserves and Army National Guard members in order to determine their attitudes about women in combat roles, AP said.
It comes on the heels of a Pentagon order signed last year requiring that women military members be given the same opportunities as men for combat roles. The Army reported that of its 1.1 million jobs, about 200,000 — or 20 percent — are considered either direct or indirect combat positions. Meanwhile, direct combat and front-line fighting force roles only make up about half of that — or 9 percent, AP reported.