G.L.A. Harris has embarked upon a research and book project to examine how the career pursuits of former military women may serve as a pretext and implications for repealing the combat exclusion policy which bars women in the military from engaging in activities, perceived or real, that potentially places them in direct ground combat. She is under contract with Taylor and Francis Publishing, a division of CRC Press, to publish a book based on her research and which is tentatively entitled Living Legends and Full Agency: Implications of Repealing the Combat Exclusion Policy. Harris enlisted the assistance of several women veterans’ organizations in this endeavor and received an overwhelming response to her Call for Participation from former military women who volunteered to participate in the research. Harris spent the better part of the summer months traveling and interviewing a total of 17 former military women from around the country by identifying what she has operationalized as pioneering, prominent and/or elite former military women. Here, the women who were eventually selected for interviews met the following criteria:
- Former U.S. military women who are now private citizens
- Service on active duty, the Reserve and/or National Guard
- Assumed precedent setting roles
- Unique achievements, nontraditional occupations, critical assignments and/or promotions held
- Enlisted and commissioned corps
Harris hopes that by chronicling the lives of these pioneering, prominent and/or elite former military women, their experiences should serve as yet more compelling evidence of the need to repeal the combat exclusion policy and the impact that such repeal could have on the recruitment, promotion and retention of women in the military. Harris expects to submit the book manuscript to the publisher no later than June 2013.