Janice Laurence, an internationally recognized military organizational psychologist, can comment on the decision to allow women in combat.
"This 'opening' is a long time in coming and in many ways just formalizes what has been happening in the field -- women HAVE been in combat and can now be recognized," says Laurence. There are still issues to address, she says, including "eliminating harassment and assault and treating women with the dignity and respect they deserve."
Laurence, who recently retired from the Pentagon as director of research and analysis in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness, has collected and co-edited all of the latest knowledge from the field of military psychology for the Oxford Handbook of Military Psychology (January, 2012). She was the principal researcher for the 1999 Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender Related Issues and the former Chair of the Board of the Alliance for National Defense (a positive voice for women in the military). She is an associate professor at Temple University’s College of Education.
NOTE: An ISDN line is available on Temple's campus at WRTI. WHYY is also nearby. For TV, reporters can work with Temple's on-campus videographer or with Videolink.