The U.S. Army has deployed its first teams of female soldiers serving in front-line combat units in Afghanistan -- and they apparently are doing quite well.
Military.com reports that earlier this year the Army announced it was creating "Cultural Support Teams" of women attached to commando units. Their primary mission would be to deal with Afghan women.
"When I send an [Special Forces team] in to follow up on a Taliban hit … wouldn't it be nice to have access to about 50 percent of that target population -- the women?" said Maj. Gen. Bennet Sacolick, commander of the Army Special Warfare Center and School, which runs the program.
Some 30 female soldiers are now deployed to the war zone, talking to women and gaining possible intelligence information in villages and towns that combat troops have cleared.
"And now we're doing that with huge success," Sacolick said. "They are in Afghanistan right now and the reviews are off the charts. They're doing great."
The women are not on combat missions, but they do have to go through similar training that the Special Forces endure.
"They're supposed to be used on secure target areas," Sacolick said. "I don't want them fighting their way to a target. I place less emphasis on the immediate physical standards. What I don't compromise on is intellect. I'm looking for smart kids."