Women Serving in Combat: A Panel Discussion
Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress (March 24, 2009)
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The Veterans History Project screened the documentary film Lioness, about women soldiers serving in Iraq, on March 24, 2009. A panel discussion followed, moderated by VHP Historian Tom Wiener. The discussion covered particular points in the film but also took on the larger issue of U.S. policy which forbids women from serving in units dedicated to ground combat. The five women depicted in Lioness (an informal nickname given to their unit) served in support of a Marine combat unit patrolling the streets of Ramadi and found themselves of necessity involved in combat situations during their tour of duty.
Lioness was shown on PBS in the fall of 2008 and has screened at festivals and in public showings around the country. An encore screening on PBS is scheduled for June 2, 2009, and the film will be commercially released on DVD around that time. For more information on the film, go to its Web site » http://lionessthefilm.com/
Major Mara Boggs served two tours in Iraq, one as a commander of an Airborne Engineer Company that conducted over 800 combat missions. She is currently a Military Legislative Fellow in the office of Senator Barbara Boxer.
Darlene Iskra served in the U.S. Navy from 1979 to 2000. She was the first woman in the history of the Navy to command a ship. She is currently serving as Deputy Director of the Leadership Education and Development program for naval officers at the
University of Maryland.
Lory Manning is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy and the Director of the Women in the Military Project for the Women’s Research and Education Institute in Washington, DC.
Captain Lauren Miller is an active duty U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officer currently serving in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (the Old Guard) at Fort Myer, VA. She returned from a deployment in Iraq in May 2005.