In 2013, when the U.S. Department of Defense overturned the ban on women serving in combat, its decision reflected the complex realities of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where approximately 292,000 U.S. military women served. It also raised anew some longstanding questions about the role of women in combat and their impact on fellow soldiers.
On Wednesday, Nov. 13, the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs at Washington College will host a speaker with both personal and academic insights into the subject. Army Captain Jackie Munn will deliver a talk titled “A Woman in a Man’s World: 10 Months in Paktia, Afghanistan with U.S. Army Special Forces” at 7 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Munn recently completed five years of honorable military service as an Army Captain. Her military experience includes a year-long deployment to Iraq as a supply chain logistician, two years with the Warrior Transition Brigade at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and a 16-month assignment as a Cultural Support Team Leader for 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, NC. The latter included 10 months with Special Forces at a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan. She also completed a brief internship with the Israeli Defense Force.
Munn’s awards include two Bronze Star medals, the Parachutist badge, and a Combat Action Badge for being engaged by enemy forces in Pakitya, Afghanistan. She holds a B.S. in sociology from the United States Military Academy at West Point and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Nursing from Vanderbilt University.
At West Point, Munn was a student of Ryan Kelty, now Associate Professor of Sociology at Washington College. Kelty is an expert on the sociology of the military and issues such as gender, race, and class in the service. Munn was a “special student,” he says, “and I was delighted to see her leverage her passions for sociology and military service to become one of the leaders of the Cultural Support Teams in Afghanistan.”