Master Sgt. Amy Cartas
Job: Combat Videographer
Unit: 4th Combat Camera Squadron
Hometown: Murrieta, Calif.
Women have been serving in combat for quite some time now and I speak from experience, because I have encountered hostile fire while assigned to units engaged in combat. Now that women are officially able to fill combat specific positions, a great inequality has been corrected and now the proper recognition can be rendered, deserving of our actions. I feel that if anyone, regardless of gender, is physically and mentally capable of meeting the requirements of a combat position, then they should be able to fill it without prejudice.
Staff Sgt. Mark Bramble
Job: Customer Service Technician
Unit: 452 AMW Financial Management
Hometown: Oxnard, Calif.
Actually, it’s about time! Women have been serving in combat zones for years and have met, if not exceeded expectations. If they are mentally and physically able to perform as men in extreme conditions, then I am all for it — the issue is focusing on their capabilities, not their looks. I am former Army and have served time in combat situations — I would not have an issue with women fighting alongside me. In my opinion, this is one of the last big-ticket items on civil liberty issues — we have already lifted bans on race and alternate lifestyles, so this move is only fitting.
Job: Not Applicable
Unit: U.S. Air Force Reserve
Call me old fashioned, (or just plain old, like my daughter does), but I don’t think women should be in direct combat. That’s not to say I would deny that right to a woman who felt differently. In my opinion, women are critical thinkers and analyzers who far exceed men when it comes to verbal negotiations. We will talk it out for as long as it takes. Men are good at diffusing situations with a fight-or-flight reaction. If they can’t fight their way out of it, they leave. I understand that there are those who don’t fit this generalization and will be angry at me for my opinion, but that’s what’s so great about this country — we can agree to disagree.