Cultural Support Team training in 2011. U.S. Army photo

The Women Who Fought Alongside Navy SEALs

Women served in combat roles long before the Pentagon removed the ban


When Defense Secretary Ash Carter officially lifted the ban on women in American military combat roles in late 2015, think pieces decrying the new policy flooded the Internet.

But the American public — and official policy — was just catching up to reality. For years, the women of the Cultural Support Teams served alongside American Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan. They conducted night raids, fired their weapons and gave their lives. They did the job just like any other soldier.

This week on War College, we speak with author and journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon about the Cultural Support Teams and how the role of women in the military isn’t changing — it’s just getting the stamp of approval.

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