Combat Law and Legal Definition

Combat is generally defined as a fight or contest between persons or groups. For example, in 2003, President Bush announced "Mission Accomplished" and declared an end to "major combat operations" in Iraq.

Combat zones are designated by an Executive Order from the President as areas in which the United States (U.S.) Armed Forces are engaging or have engaged in combat. An area usually becomes a combat zone and ceases to be a combat zone on the dates the President designates by Executive Order. Under a Pentagon policy from 1994, female troops in all four service branches are prohibited from serving in units below brigade level whose primary mission is direct ground combat.