Women have served in a combat zone since the beginning. Hundreds of women disguised themselves as men and served in the Union and Confederate Armies during the Civil War. They deserve to be supported and recognized.
Founded in 2017, Combat Female Veterans Families United was established to directly confront the issue and lack of support services to address the unique and multi-layered post deployment obstacles female Veterans and their families face transitioning to life after war.
We accomplish this by:
– Supporting the voices of Combat Female Veterans and their families at the local, state, and national levels
– Addressing the unique and multi-layered post-deployment obstacles the face as military females
– Connecting them with the vital resources and support structures necessary to ensure their healthy returns to the civilian world
Our mission is to provide transition services to Combat Female Veterans and their families, supporting life after war.
CFVF United seeks to engage Combat Female Veterans and their families, as well as deployed combat females preparing for their returns to the civilian world. With focus on transition, economic, and advocacy, CFVF United acts as a conduit between these military heroes and the vital resources they need to ensure long, healthy, and fulfilling lives after war.
Since America’s founding, women have served alongside their male counterparts in war environments, with their involvement and participation levels progressing incrementally from war to war. As early as the American Revolution, women – often by necessity – moved with soldiers, battlefield to battlefield, serving their country as nurses, laundresses, and cooks. By WWII, American women could be found working as pilots, hospital administrators, nurses, mechanics, and ambulance drivers. History records some 7,000 women as having been deployed to serve during the Vietnam War, more than 40,000 women served in combat zones during the Gulf War, and an estimated 150,000 American women were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan between the years 2001 and 2012. Today, the number of combat female Veterans has reached the highest in U.S. military history and, now that ban has been lifted on women in previously-restricted combat roles, these numbers stand to climb. (Women currently account for 15% of active service members, 20% of new military recruits, and according to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, “By 2035, [women] are projected to make up 15 percent of all living Veterans.”)
So, What Makes the Experience of a Combat Female Unique?
Studies show that women in combat experience the same general set of challenges as their male peers. However, they tend to experience war in different ways. For instance, women in combat report higher instances of military sexual trauma (MST), post-deployment depression, and PTSD resulting from sexual trauma (vs. injury) than do combat men. To add some perspective, military women deployed during wartime report experiencing incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault at a significantly higher rate than non-deployed military women. While data varies, some suggest that as many as two in every five combat females experience sexual trauma while serving, to include rape. As staggering as that is, the Department of Defense estimates that as many as 86.5% of violent sexual crimes are never even reported!