US Army


JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - The Pentagon's decision to allow women in combat roles has some female soldiers rethinking their career trajectories.


Army Spc. Heidi Olson received a Purple Heart last year for shrapnel injuries she got during a foot patrol in Afghanistan. She feels she's earned the right to call herself a combat medic.


"Originally as a female, I wasn't allowed to be titled as a combat medic," Olson says. "It was a 'health care specialist.'"

Chantal Anderson / Northwest News Network

Lisa Hallett was cradling her 2-week-old daughter at a military family support meeting when a commander called her out of the room.

"There’s just this panic. And we walk across this big field. We're in one building, we're going to this other building and I'm like tell me John's okay, tell me John's okay."

But he wasn’t.