They've gone hunting for hidden bombs and walked foot patrols in war zones. Women have been killed and taken captive but they're still banned from combat jobs like infantry.
Colonel Ellen Haring is one of two female soldiers suing the defense department to allow women access to combat jobs.
Haring is a mother of 3 with nearly 30 years in the army. But coming out of West Point, she couldn't get the army's elite combat training like ranger school.
Only 3% of Marine corps generals are women, and only 4% of the Army's. The Pentagon is reviewing combat restrictions, and recently opened about 14,000 jobs to women. But officials are wary of going too far, too fast.
More than a quarter-million women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade.
But online, some are criticizing the women's lawsuit. Quote, "I don't see how two women made it to the senior levels of leadership with their careers 'hampered' because they are women. What were they held back from? In Farah Province Afghanistan Marines were slowed down and cut their patrols shorter to facilitate the (female engagement team) that was assigned to them, because they couldn't keep up.
Another argument is that women just aren't as physically strong as men. That a woman couldn't drag a 200 pound soldier off the battlefield.
The government has 60 days to respond. Most likely, it'll argue this case has no merit and ask the judge to throw it out.