Women in the Army? Fighting, even? It used to be unheard of. Traditionally, women have had very specific roles in the Army, and those roles most often involved typing and medical care. But the Army has evolved, and women are allowed in nearly every role it offers. By 2016, women will be allowed in combat, and, for the most part, anything you dream of doing in the Army is available to women.
Combat jobs were off-limits to women until June of 2013, when a movement was made to integrate women into combat areas by 2016. While these positions will be officially closed to women until 2016, women can enlist and start tactical training for these positions before that time so that they are well placed when combat positions open.
Many women have an affinity for languages. Army linguists get to interact with language every day, and women are heavily recruited for this role. Linguists are in high demand because the job is a bit dangerous. In this job, you would learn an in-demand language like Farsi, Arabic, Egyptian or Pashto at the Defense Language Institute in San Francisco. Training takes 16 months, after which you could be stationed in a combat area. Linguists converse with locals, act as interpreters and sometimes question detainees.
Women in science fields can flourish in the Army -- there is no shortage of great opportunities, and all of them are open to women. If you love chemistry, you could work as a biochemist. If you live for wildlife and the outdoors, you could be an environmental scientist. If biology is what makes you get out of bed in the morning, the Army is always seeking biologists. No matter what the scientific passion, women can succeed and prosper in this area of the Army.
Female techies are always in need, and the Army has a huge tactical need for technology specialists in many different areas. If you like creating and breaking codes, you can work with them as a cryptologic specialist. If you study maps nonstop, you can be a geospatial intelligence imagery analyst. Military intelligence comes from this area, so if you’ve always wanted to be a high-tech spy, this might be the career path for you. No technological fields are off-limits for women.
The Army is responsible for many people, and all of those people are going to need health care, be it at home or overseas. You can work as a lab tech, a nurse or a doctor; if medicine is your passion, opportunities abound, and medical professionals are heavily recruited. Again, there are no restrictions on women in this area, and you can often get advanced training in your area if you desire.
Based in the Pacific Northwest, Arin Bodden started writing professionally in 2003. Her writing has been featured in "Northwest Boulevard" and "Mermaids." She received the Huston Medal in English in 2005. Bodden has a Master of Arts in English from Eastern Washington University. She currently teaches English composition and technical writing at the university level.