Carrie French, 19, Killed in Iraq

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Another woman has been killed in Iraq.

carrie_french.jpg

Carrie French

Carrie served as a Specialist in the National Guard’s 145th Support Battalion, which was attached to the 116th Brigade Combat Team. She was killed by a roadside bomb explosion in Kirkuk, Iraq.

Who is in charge here?

The President said last January, emphatically, no women in combat. But clearly, women are in combat. The military has saluted the Commander-in-Chief, said “Yes, sir,” and then turned right around and sent women into combat. By using the word “attached,” they get around the regulations that say women can’t be “assigned” to a unit with a combat mission.

I support this President; I support this war; I support our troops, both the men and the women. What troubles me is this fiction of saying our policy is one thing — no women in combat — and then doing another — deliberately sending female troops in harm’s way.

In addition to her Purple Heart, Carrie will qualify her for a Combat Action Badge, awarded posthumously. And her death in harm’s way continues General Schoomaker’s Boiling the Frog strategy of legalizing women in combat.

A Thank you to Mudville Gazette’s Open Post

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7 Responses

  1. S McCain says:

    The war in Iraq is unique because of the tactics used by the terroritst, putting all service personel on the front lines. If the terrorists were “playing by the rules” then military commanders could oblige the no women in combat order; however, this then leads me to ask – “If women want to serve on the front line and are willing to pay the possible sacrifices, who’s to say they should not be allowed?”

    Each and every hero lost brings sadness to their family regardless if they are male or female.

    Sue

  2. sgtmech says:

    I’d just like to know what possible argument you guys have for excluding women from combat. Israel and a number of other countries have been doing it for years. And it’s not like she was in a firefight when it happened. She wasn’t in COMBAT. She wasn’t clearing a building or breaching an obstacle under fire…she was in a convoy for heaven’s sakes. I think she knew the risks she was taking when she joined the military, and to get upset at a female soldier getting killed in the theatre of operations is ludicrous. She lived a soldier and died a soldier. Who’s to say this is the right of males only?

  3. AFSpaceVet says:

    It’s ashame we are losing hero’s like Carrie, But I am proud that she served her country. She looked like such a happy person. Rest in peace.

  4. SGT Ted says:

    Unless we don’t let women into Iraq, there will be “women in combat”. The rule is NOT “no women in combat” the rule is no women in units with a high probability of direct combat with enemy or whos job is to close with and destroy the enemy. The rule makes sense in regards to past wars with a linear style battlefield with a FEBA and a rear area. But this rule doesn’t really apply to this type of fight. Personally, I didn’t care who was next to me or on the gun in a HWMMV as long as they could do the job. Support Battalions are rear area units that often send their personnel forward to support the fighters. ALL troops in Iraq are in harms way.

  5. The Drill SGT says:

    Charmaine,

    I agree with the other posters. This death, tragic as it may be, isn’t a violation of the Army Policy since the late 70’s. quoting from your own pages: “. . .battalion size or small units which are assigned a primary mission to engage in direct ground combat or which collocate routinely with units assigned a direct ground combat mission.”

    The young woman was in a FWD SPT BN attched to a Brigade, rather than a BN sized or lower level unit. Additionally, she wasn’t dismounted on a mission, she was blown up in a convoy. Not any different really than taking a scud hit at an airfield in GW1, or a V1 into a London street in WWII. regardless of how rigid or porous the lines are, bad things can get into the rear areas.

    Having said that, women are fine in some combat or semi-combat roles. The make better pilots than men for example. The lack of testosterone can be a plus. Less macho stupid risk taking… I would draw the line at Infantry, Armor and CBT Engineer type MOS’s. The physical requirements of those jobs are just so intense, the number of women who would both be capable and willing to do them so small, and the morale impact of those line units so negative, that I don’t see a positive cost benefit from allowing a hand-full of women into real combat jobs.

  6. Caelestis says:

    You commented on my blog before, so I wanted to return the gracious favor. I am headed for Kirkuk in 3 weeks to support the 116th BCT as a systems analyst. I am also former military, so let me make this short and sweet. Being in an FSB (Forward Support Battalion) means you are not fighting on the front lines, you are delivering supplies to different FOB’s. With this mission comes the risk of being attacked, this unit does not go out and seek combat, but it definitely comes to them. This in no way violates the no women in combat ban, if a woman is killed by a mortar shell on her FOB is she in combat? If a woman is on a transport plane evacuating wounded

    and the plane is shot down on the way out of country, is that combat?

    Look Ms. French was a hero, she joined the Army to do something with her life. She chose her MOS and it was not a combat MOS, it was a support MOS. That being said every single military recruit goes through combat training in the event they are on the receving end of hostile fire.

    Unless you want all women out of Iraq these things will continue to happen.

    One final note, the combat Action Badge is awarded to every soldier regardless of MOS, Rank or Unit that is engaged in combat operations. Combat operations means someone shot at you, detonated a bomb at you, tried to kill you and you fought back. That could happen on a FOB, on a convoy or in actual combat, it could also happen to an medic, an intel specialist, or in this case an Ammo specialist.

    Caelestis

  7. Bill McEwen says:

    Dear Charmaineyoest.com author, Hi I realize it is a slippery slope we all

    walk . However, your ” support ” for the Cheney Bush Iraq situation needs to be examined. By supporting it, you concede that the folks such as Carrie French are to be paid half as much money as the private security guards on the ground in Iraq. I hope this is not the first time you have seen this. If you need more info, please visit http://www.blackwate

    rusa.com to learn that the soldiers of the conventional US military , including Carrie French, are being paid very little money at the same time as these private security guards in Iraq get paid very much. And that is only the beginning really. Please visit http://www.blac

    kwaterusa.com AND / OR these sites…..

    http://www.optruth.org

    ( OPERAtION TRUTH , a soldiers advocacy group )

    http://www.publicmoneyprivatearmy.org

    http://www.bringthemhomenow.org

    http://www.leftinthewest.com

    AND http://www.usatoday.com

    Please e- mail me

    bmcewen@fresnobee.com

    Bill McEwen 6 / 13 / 05

    Fresno, California

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