Aug 16 at 3:03pm by David Tate
The first time I encountered frontline female soldiers was when I was with BLT 1/6, 22nd MEU, in Oruzgan Province, 2004. Back then Lt. Col. Asad Khan already understood what we are relearning now, which is basically the need for cultural sensitivity. He called his Marines, “Charlie’s Angels” because they were a part of Charlie Company at the time.
Their job: Liason between the male soldiers and female civilians the Marines would encounter on combat operations. Keep them company, talk with them, glean intel from them…
Fast forward to February 2009: 3/8 Marines operating in Bakwa district, Farah Province, unleash what they believe is the first of unit of its type in Afghanistan: Team Lioness. This unit, like its predecessor, is designed to help fill that cultural gap.
While 3/8 may not have been first, the fact they thought they were first indicates just how limited the use of such units is in Afghanistan.