Women's Marine Team Conducts First Mission in Afghanistan
A team of all-female marines who are part of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force in Afghanistan has conducted their first mission. The team mirrors similar operations in Iraq and was formed because it is culturally taboo for male marines to interact with Afghan women.
The team's leader, 2nd Lieutenant Johanna Shaffer, said in a press release that "We were accepted by both the men and women villagers and were able to obtain valuable information about the way they lived and what they thought about the Marine Corps operating in the area…We also do not know much about the daily life of Afghan women. This provides us not only the opportunity to learn about the women, but also to build and maintain faith and trust of the Afghan women."
Marine Corps Captain Mike Hoffman said that the team "provides us access to half of the population that we normally do not have access to. [The team] did extremely well interacting with the female villagers."
Media Resources: American Forces Press Service 3/10/09