Yesterday it was revealed that Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is planning on officially lifting the U.S. military’s ban on women in combat. What this means is that there will be 237,000 positions opening up for women in different branches of the service.
In a statement at a ceremony celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Panetta stated: "Every person in today's military has made a solemn commitment to fight and, if necessary, to die, for our nation's defense. We owe it to them to allow them to pursue every avenue of military service for which they are fully prepared and qualified. Their career success and their specific opportunities should be based solely on their ability to successfully carry out an assigned mission. Everyone deserves that chance."
Senator Patty Murray, leader of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee immediately voiced her support for the decision. She also reminded people that even though women have officily been restricted from combat roles, “in recent wars that lacked any true front lines, thousands of women already spent their days in combat situations serving side-by-side with their fellow male service members.”
In fact, 20,000 women have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and 152 have died for this country with another thousand injured. At RT, we would like to take a moment to remember these brave female soldiers who sacrificed so much for our country. And we also want to say a huge thank you to the women who will come after them to protect us at home and overseas.
To honor this historic change in military policy and celebrate another victory in the fight for gender equality, we have chosen to share some of our favorite women warriors from recent and upcoming romance novels. We hope you enjoy reading about these incredible fictional characters and take time to let the heroines in your own life know how much you respect and appreciate everything they do. Now on to the books!
Readers first meet Interpol agent Sarah Carson while she is on a mission in the jungles of East Africa. Even though she is wounded and shocked to be reunited with her past lover Jose James, nothing gets in the way of Sarah stopping an attack on the U.S. embassy. With challenges and surprises that don’t let up, neither does Sarah until her mission is complete.
Former SWAT team member and now the lead sniper for the covert organization Kelly Group International, P.J. has proven herself as one tough lady. Not afraid to pull the trigger to save a team member, this is one sharpshooter we would be happy to have protecting our backs.
Just because she was raised as a Quaker in a pacifist household, doesn’t mean that Kate Grey wouldn’t be the perfect choice for infiltrating the enemy. In The Turncoat, heroine Kate undergoes a complete transformation, making herself into the perfect spy for our burgeoning country. Seducing the enemy is just one skill that this lovely lady is not above using in order to control the enemy.
Looking for another lady spy? Then we recommend Mary of Mar from McCarty’s fabulous Scottish set historical The Recruit. While Mary may not be working undercover by choice, she quickly finds her loyalty and does what needs to be done to protect her family and her countrymen’s legacy. Making her the exact kind of soldier we want on our side.
Nicknamed “Sassy Tassy” Lieutenant Nicole Tasso is a WEAL, the author’s female version of a SEAL, and always ready to engage in combat. In Kiss of Surrender, Tassy shows that she is not only strong enough to go up against dangerous terrorists, but also is able to hold her own after falling in love with her partner, Trond Sigurdsson, an ancient warrior on his own mission to find redemption.
After their community is destroyed, former Army officer Randa Thomas holes up in an underground bunker with a mix of humans and vampires. Through her training and sheer grit, she helps her partner Will Ludlam, the son of the treacherous Tribunal leader, keep their charges safe from enemies. We say anyone who can befriend vampires to aid in the cause of humans is alright by us!
Don’t let her nickname fool you, Leah “Princess” Girardi is anything but a girly-girl. Daughter of a motocross champion, this lady has adopted the motto of “faster is better”. So her job as a fighter pilot flying F-16s suits her just fine. As does her new role as a domme in her rekindled relationship with Captain Mike Templeton. In control of both her jet and a paddle, we don’t know anyone with the guts to tell this lady that she can’t go into combat!
She may not be military, but as the head of security for the super secret mercenary group The Circle, Abby Rodriguez has seen it all and done it all. From giving assassins orders to training spies in the making, this strong minded and perfectly toned warrior woman is ready for any mission. Well, any mission that doesn’t include her ex-fiance... Too bad that is exactly her next assignment.
Combat medic Megan Trayhern is just the woman you want at your side in time of war. Her courage under fire is unmatched which she proves over and over again when she is sent to a Marine corps post in Afghanistan. Megan lives life day-to-day in the war-ravaged country and stands side by side with Navy medic Luke Collier who is absolutely blown away by her dedication and bravery. Much like we are.
Unafraid of getting her hands dirty, Marshal Kendra Armstrong hunts fugitives for a living, so facing a few enemies on the front line wouldn’t phase this lady one bit. With her training and experience, she would undoubtedly outthink and outmaneuver her enemies in no time flat, much like she does in Thurlo’s Harlequin Intrigue Secrets of the Lynx.
Is there a fictional heroine that your would like to share with readers? Let us know in the comments below. And for more strong female characters, make sure to check out our Everything Romance Page!