Fire When Ready, Ma'am

The invasion reopens the debate on women in combat

A dog kennel seemed an odd venue for a watershed event in U.S. military history. But when members of the 988th Military Police Company from Fort Benning, Ga., engaged Panamanian soldiers in a firefight at an attack-dog compound near Panama City, the American platoon was commanded by a woman: Captain Linda L. Bray, 29, of Butner, N.C. Bray, one of 771 Army women who took part in the Panama operation, had added a page to the annals of American warfare: for the first time women, who compose almost 11% of the U.S. armed forces, had engaged hostile troops in modern combat.*...

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