Prior to Panetta news – one woman in combat

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has announced that policy at the Pentagon has spun around and the U.S. would lift the ban on allowing women to take on combat roles.

CNN's Kimberley Bratic story

CNN’s Kimberley Bratic story

CNN’s  Ashley Fantz  covered one woman’s story in her article on Kimberley Bratic.

Teresa Broadwell-Salomon’s (now Grace) story appeared in 3 parts on Military Success Network.

She had combat experience due to her particular military duty. Her actions in a fire fight contributed to the saving of many American lives under attack. 

Teresa and Jake Grace

Teresa and Jake Grace

“I just did what I was trained to do,” she said in part 1 of an interview that took place in January 2012 and was posted on Military Success Network.  

Grace responded with the grit one can only hope for in a service member under fire and charged with saving her ambushed battle buddies. She was barely 20 years old. It was her first active combat role.

Now on active duty as a mother of three and a military spouse, she lives on base and is married to Jack Grace.

While part 1 of her story traces her joining the military, her first deployment to Iraq and how she earned  a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V for Valor, part 2 deals with her sudden return directly  from combat.

In a conversation today, I asked Grace, what she thought of the lifting of the ban on women in combat.  “I don’t think they should be infantry, Special Forces or Ranger but I think they deserve a shot at other front line jobs as long as they can prove they can do it.”

Enduring the physical demands of training for combat positions seems to be the determining factor. Many troops agree the time has come for women in combat units

One element of combat, however, has always been blind to gender. And that is, its impact. Men and women are changed by answering the call to help in conflict zones, to go to war and then to return to families. They all hope to close the loop on their experience through a healthy and resilient transition.

Read more about Teresa Grace:

Part I civilian to military to active duty and deployment

Part 2 suddenly civilian

Part 3 dealing with the impact of combat in every day life




  1. At least half of the anecdotes we included in “Warrior Police” involve women MPs in combat. Fought some very tough actions, many won valor awards and were wounded, and hung right in there with the men. Opening up some MOSs will not be a problem as long as standards are upheld.

    • Well said Gordon! Couldn’t agree with you more!

    • Helena Kaufman says:

      Thank you sir, for your service and for your continuing interest in bringing the lives of warriors to light.

      Dear readers, Lt. Col. (Ret.) in an author of several books, one of whit is Warrior Police: Rolling with America’s Military Police. Proceeds from that book go to fund Valhalla Project.

      A blog post on Valhalla can be found here http://tinyurl.com/aj8457m

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