Women Shooting on the Front Lines

James Estrin – New York Times – Monday, 04 February 2013 (originally published 28 Jan)

Jesse Russell, a senior pilot with the 82nd Airborne sitting on helicopter in Afghanistan
Jesse Russell, a senior pilot with the 82nd Airborne, on call as a medevac pilot at a base in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Dec. 4, 2009. Image: Lynsey Addario/VII

Lynsey Addario, a  photographer for The New York Times, has extensively covered the war in Afghanistan, often focusing on female soldiers. She spoke with James Estrin about the Pentagon’s recent lifting of the ban on women in combat. The conversation, which took place via Skype from her home in London has been edited.


When I heard about the lifting of the ban on women in combat, I thought about your coverage of female soldiers for The Times, and also about the interview we did about women covering conflict after you were freed from captivity in Libya. What was your reaction to the announcement?


It is a huge step historically, of course, but it’s actually just stating publicly what has been happening little by little over the past decade. Women have been fighting this war more and more, whether we acknowledge it or not . . .

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