While the role of a woman in the military has always been controversial, today the jobs of women are becoming increasingly more important. Women in the Army ROTC program at Auburn University feel that their college education has a large part in preparing them for their future careers in the Army.
It is still true that there is not a place for women on the front line in combat, but that doesn’t mean that the units they serve in are unimportant. In fact, many of the careers that women work in are some of the most vital for making combat as successful as possible. Some of these careers include military intelligence, logistics, nursing and aviation.
Julia Yarbrough is a junior in Army ROTC majoring in Business Management. After graduation she intends to enter the Army working for the Medical Services Branch in Hospital Administration. She feels that her education at Auburn has played an important part in preparing her for her future in the Army.
“Going to college opens up more opportunity for continued education in the Army,” said Yarbrough.
She also feels that being a woman in the military will give her the best of both worlds. While many of her male peers in ROTC will have the chance to fight in combat, depending on their unit, they won’t get an opportunity to use what they have learned in college. Yarbrough also describes the importance of women when approaching civilians overseas.
“The Army needs more women to be in patrols in Iraq and Afghanistan because it’s disrespectful for a man to talk to a woman,” said Yarbrough.
Although she does believe that ROTC has been effective in preparing her for what to expect, Yarbrough wishes that there was a woman officer on the Army ROTC staff to give guidance about what it means to be a woman in the Army.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of women in the Army because my dad has served my entire life, but a lot of girls haven’t,” said Yarbrough.
It may not be apparent in Auburn’s ROTC staff, but a woman officer is not uncommon to come across in today’s U.S. Army. No matter what their career, women can be officers and lead soldiers within the same branch. Yarbrough says she is not worried about what male subordinates would think if she were to be their commanding officer.
“I think if you’re a professional than most guys can respect you,” said Yarbrough.
Overall, Yarbrough and the other women in Auburn’s Army ROTC program are confident about where their education will take them in the Army. As being a woman in the Army becomes more accepted, they are happy to play the part and set the standard for future generations.