The Changing Face of America's Front Lines: Women in Special Operations and Combat Roles

Policy Circle Briefing Series

Book cover of Ashley's War by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon


September 21, 2015


5:30 p.m. – Reception with wine and hors d'oeuvres
6:30 p.m. – Program
7:30 p.m. – Book signing


RAND Corporation
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA

  Listen to the Audio


Two women recently became the first females to graduate from the intensive Army Ranger School, but unlike their male peers, the current ban on women in combat prevents them from serving in elite units. For the past three years, the military has been working on a plan to incorporate women in all positions by early next year. Services have until October 1 to seek exemptions. We'll discuss how a pioneering team of women who served alongside Rangers and SEALS in Afghanistan in 2011 helped pave the way, as well as the issues that remain for women on the battlefield.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Contributor, the Atlantic's Defense One; Author, Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield

John D. Winkler

Director, Forces and Resources Policy Center, RAND National Security Research Division; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Personnel (2001 to 2007)

Susan Marquis

Susan Marquis (Moderator)

Dean, Pardee RAND Graduate School; Vice President, Emerging Policy Research and Methods at RAND; Author, Unconventional Warfare: Rebuilding U.S. Special Operations Forces

Further Inquiries

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