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Women's Role In Military Continues To Grow

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Officials say the role of women in the military is growing. Officials say there are currently about 200,000 active duty females in the military and another 200,000 in Guard units or reserves.

"I was commander of the first military police company that went into Uzbekistan and Afghanistan in November 2001," said U.S. Army Capt. Sarah Albrycht.

Female soldiers were not allowed on the front line, but they were close. As military police, they handled the enemy detainees. This month, the Armed Forces honors its female service members.

"Since the Army became an all-volunteer force in the 1970s, women have filled a lot of the ranks when there weren't enough men volunteers to make the Army as strong as it is today," said 42nd Military Police Detachment Cmdr. Capt. Maggie Pratt.

As the military relies more on technology, women hope they can do more, too.

"We can do as much as the males do. We don't have as much muscle, but we go out there and use our brains and do what we can." said U.S. Army Sgt. Janet Hunter.

The women say they understand that they would not be able to do nearly what they do here in most countries, which they say is another reason why they are glad to be serving in the United States.

"We're lucky to live in America. People need to remember that and it's important for people to remember that women are patriots, too," Albrycht said. "We have just as much excitement to be in this country and we stand here ready to defend it every day alongside the men,"

According to the Military Women Veterans group, 33,000 served in World War I, 500,000 served in World War II, 120,000 served in Korea, 7,000 served in Vietnam and 40,000 served in Operation Desert Storm.


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