MCU Journal, Special Issue, 2018

Gender Integration and the Military

From the Editors



British and Soviet Women in the Military Campaign of 1939–45: 

A Comparative Review
Nataliia Zalietok

MCUJ SI 2018


Abstract: This article investigates women’s participation in the Second World War in the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which represent democratic and totalitarian regimes, respectively. The article shows differences in women’s participation in the auxiliary organizations, armed forces, air forces, antiaircraft divisions, naval forces, and intelligence services. The goal of this research is to determine the similarities and differences between these two countries’ policies concerning women’s engagement in the military and their society’s attitude toward female combatants.


Keywords: women in combat, Second World War, World War II, WWII, United Kingdom, UK, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR, democracy, totalitarianism, combat, gender stereotypes, gender integration, armed forces and women



Nataliia Zalietok holds a PhD in history and is the author of Women in Social and Political Life of Great Britain (The Second Half of the XIX Century—1939) (2017). In 2017, she headed the Department of History at the V. I. Vernadsky Taurida National University in Ukraine. Now she is a senior researcher at the Ukrainian Research Institute of Archival Affairs and Record Keeping.

“Things must be bad at the front”: 

Women in the Soviet Military during WWII

Steven Merritt Miner, PhD

MCUJ SI 2018


Abstract: A number of claims have been advanced about the enlistment of some 900,000 women in the Red Army during WWII—that it resulted from the Communist commitment to gender equality; that voluntary service proves that the population supported the Stalinist regime; that the Soviet state was able to harness effectively its human and material resources; and finally that female service in combat units was both commonplace and a decisive factor in the war. In fact, far from being a well-executed policy, Soviet mobilization of women was hesitant, muddled, inefficient, and cruel. In other words, it reflected the many endemic social and governmental ills of the Stalinist state. If the experience of the wartime Red Army has any utility for debates elsewhere concerning women in the Armed Services, it is largely as a cautionary example.


Keywords: women in the military, women soldiers in the USSR, World War II, WWII and memory, male-female relations in the Soviet military, Soviet soldiers’ motivation, role of women in Soviet victory



Steven Merritt Miner is professor of history at Ohio University, where during the last decade he served as director of the Contemporary History Institute. He is the author of two books, with a third due to be published this coming year, titled The Furies Unleashed: The Soviet Peoples at War, 1939–1945. A fourth book is under contract and nearing completion. His first book, Between Churchill and Stalin: The Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the Origins of the Grand Alliance (1988), received the American Historical Association’s George Louis Beer Award. He also has published in newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, and he has been interviewed on television and radio networks including NPR, the CBC, and the BBC World Service (in Russian).

Rumors, Lies, and Fake Radio Broadcasts:

One Woman’s Pioneering Efforts in Psychological Warfare

Ann Todd

MCUJ SI 2018


Abstract: During the Second World War, Elizabeth P. McIntosh spent 18 months serving in the Office of Strategic Services in what has been called the “forgotten theater” of China-Burma-India. As a member of the Morale Operations Branch, she employed black propaganda to deceive, confuse, and demoralize troops in the Imperial Japanese Army. This article will analyze McIntosh’s trailblazing path in the field of psychological warfare.


Keywords: Office of Strategic Services, OSS, morale operations, psychological warfare, China-Burma-India, CBI, World War II, WWII, black propaganda, psychological operations, psyops



Ann Todd has been a contributing author and consultant for the National Geographic Society, given presentations in National Parks about OSS operations, and served in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is currently working as a historian for the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

From WACs to Rangers: 

Women in the U.S. Military since World War II

William A. Taylor

MCUJ SI 2018


Abstract: This article examines women’s participation in U.S. military service from World War II to the present. It argues that there have been five major milestones that have expanded opportunities for women within military service and that these momentous changes have revealed a dichotomy in causation between national need based on personnel shortages and the pursuit of equal opportunity. As a result, this article contributes to an informed understanding of the dynamic and contested nature of military service.


Keywords: All-Volunteer Force, Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, DACOWITS, draft, equal opportunity, military occupational specialty, MOS, military service, national need, Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, Selective Service System, Women’s

Armed Services Integration Act



William A. Taylor is an award-winning associate professor of security studies and previous department chair in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Security Studies at Angelo State University in San Angelo, TX. Taylor is the author of three books: Contemporary Security Issues in Africa (2018); Military Service and American Democracy: From World War II to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars (2016); and Every Citizen a Soldier: The Campaign for Universal Military Training after World War II (2014), which won the Crader Family Book Prize Honorable Mention in 2015. Taylor has won 14 national fellowships and research grants and won the 2016 Angelo State University President’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor and the 2016 Texas Tech University System Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Award.


The Observatory for Equality between Women and Men 

in the Mexican Army and Air Force: Guardian of Gender Equality

María Concepción Márquez Sandoval, PhD

MCUJ SI 2018


Abstract: The 2007 reforms implemented by President Felipe Calderón brought unprecedented changes for the Mexican Army. Female recruitment reached a new high, allowing women to join combat positions in tactical units and special forces as well to be admitted into some military academies for the first time, including the previously male-only Heroic Military Academy and the Higher War College. This article contextualizes these reforms and focuses on one of the most tangible efforts by the Mexican Army to set in motion gender equality: the creation, goals, and mission of the Observatory for Equality between Women and Men in the Mexican Army and Air Force.


Keywords: modern Latin American history, Latin American armies, Mexican modern history, Mexican Army, women in the army, Latino women, gender equality in Latin America



María Concepción Márquez Sandoval is a PhD (ABD) in Latin American history at the University of Arizona.

Gender Integration and Citizenship: 

A Civil-Military Perspective

Bradford A. Wineman, PhD

MCUJ SI 2018


Abstract: In the debates over the inclusion of women in combat specialties, the arguments raised by those opposed to female inclusion almost always default to women’s physical capabilities. As those issues are quickly becoming reconciled, this article proposes a shift in the discussion to the topics of the meaning of military service, its connection to the national concept of citizenship, and the impact of these concepts on the issue of women integrating into combat roles.


Keywords: women, combat, civil-military relations, citizenship, women in combat specialties, meaning of military service, military service and citizenship, integration of women into combat roles



Dr. Bradford A. Wineman is a professor of military history at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University. The author would like to thank LtCol Beth Wolny, USMCR, and LTC Larry Doane, ARNG, for their tireless guidance throughout the writing of this article.

Opening Marine Infantry to Women: A Civil-Military Crisis?

Rebecca Jensen

MCUJ SI 2018


Abstract: In 2016, the secretary of defense directed all U.S. military Services to work toward the inclusion of women in all roles, including combat occupations. The United States Marine Corps has shown more resistance to this directive than other Services, particularly with respect to infantry. This article discusses the history and extent of the civil-military gap between the Marine Corps and American society and analyzes different dimensions of this gap. Using a framework that describes different drivers of military resistance to change, it argues that the nature of the civil-military gap in the Marine Corps makes mandated gender integration a multifaceted threat to the Corps’ identity and institutional culture—and a greater threat than in other Services. The inclusion of women in infantry training is thus a crucial issue for the health of the civil-military relationship, as it pits effective civilian oversight against Service culture.


Keywords: civil-military relations, civil-military gap, gender integration, United States Marine Corps, USMC, women in the infantry, civilian control, Service culture, institutional culture



Rebecca Jensen is a Gen Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. Memorial Dissertation Fellow and a doctoral candidate at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Canada.

Guarding the Border, Crossing a Barrier:

Women Trooper Integration in the Israel Border Police, 1995–98

Shlomi Chetrit

MCUJ SI 2018


Abstract: Between 1995 and 1998, the Israel Border Police conducted a largescale experiment, training women conscripts to operate with male police and deploying them in operational units. At the time, this was revolutionary: Israeli women did not serve in operational roles in the police or the military. Moreover, the Border Police, a masculine and traditional organization, was not the natural candidate for such a gender-neutral policy. The experiment proved successful, and it led to the widespread integration of women in the Border Police. This article examines the history of female integration in the Israel Border Police, the rationale behind the project, the challenges faced by its participants, and its outcomes. The way in which the project evolved is a relevant case study for any military or paramilitary organization seeking to improve gender equality.


Keywords: police, Israel Border Police, gender integration, internal security, Mišmar Ha-Gvul, trooper, policewoman, gendarmerie



Shlomi Chetrit is the director of the Israel Police Heritage Centre and a PhD student focusing on the history of policing and internal security in Israel. Chetrit’s military background includes command of an infantry battalion and of an integrated military unit in the IDF. The author wants to thank Maj Tal Misgav, commander of the Border Police Museum, Maj Ori Kossovsky, head of the Israel Police history unit, and Maj Benyamin Davidov of the Border Police for their kind assistance in providing information used in this research. Many thanks also to the police officers who agreed to be interviewed for this article: MajGen Israel Sadan (Ret), Col Hadas Shapira-Madmoni, and SgtMaj Dikla Hanuqer.



Marine Corps University