The NYT has a slide show concerning 40 Female Marines trained to serve as “Female Engagement Teams” on traditionally male foot patrols in Afghanistan. This effort comes as a welcome sign that our military recognizes cultural barriers that challenge traditional tactics. The ability to interact with women in the community will enable better care as well as better perspective as the mission moves forward.
Most importantly these female troops have been able to provide basic medical care to Afghan women who otherwise would be unable to receive such services. This is a fantastic move forward as women are barred from combat positions in the Marines, so the addition of these female soldiers to infantry groups marks a large step for gender equality on both sides of the fence.