U. S. military opens all combat positions to women

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WASHINGTON – All U.S. military combat positions are being opened up to women, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Thursday.

The decision allows women to fill about 220,000 jobs that are now limited to men — including infantry, armor, reconnaissance and some special operations units.

“This means that as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before. They’ll be able to drive tanks, give orders, lead infantry soldiers into combat,” Carter said at a news conference Thursday.

“There will be no exceptions,” he added.

Carter’s historic announcement comes after years-long reviews, and after public push-back from the Marine Corps, which had sought exceptions to keep positions such as infantry, machine gunner, fire support and reconnaissance to men. A Marine Corps study suggests all-male squads are more effective in combat and less likely to be injured than integrated groups.

Carter acknowledged the Marines’ resistance, but said he’d decided to set a policy that covers the full department.

“We are a joint force, and I’ve decided to make a decision that applies to the entire force,” Carter said.

The policy move will take effect after 30 days, Carter said.

He said the decision doesn’t mean there will quickly become an even gender split in most combat positions. He said there are “physical differences on average” between men and women and that “thus far, we’ve only seen small numbers of women qualify to meet our high physical standards” for some units.

“Going forward, we shouldn’t be surprised if these small numbers are also reflected in areas like recruitment, voluntary assignment, retention,” he said.

He acknowledged that “some service members, men and women, have a perception that integration would be pursued at a cost of combat effectiveness.”

However, Carter said: “The military has long prided itself on being a meritocracy.”

Two women made history in August by becoming the first female soldiers to complete the Army’s Ranger School, but they couldn’t apply to join the 75th Ranger Regiment, an elite special operations force — until now.

3 comments

  • Kevin JK

    I guess we better require 18 y/o women to sign up for the draft now. Since women are equal now regarding the military, there isn’t any reason not to.

  • Dan Gray

    I am still waiting for a woman to pass the Ranger course. The two that supposedly did were recycled 6 times to the upcoming classes, even though regulations clearly say that if you get recycled/fail any part of the course, then it is six months before you can try again. So can someone tell me why these women were not required to wait the six months and just added to the next class coming up? Or in the Army Times Newspaper and Stars and Stripes, it is clearly said that these same women failed the end test 4 times, and the instructors were told to pass them no matter what under the direct orders of Ash Carter! The exact order stated that the “POTUS wanted this done, and if the POTUS wanted this done, then I want it done as well, PASS THEM!”

    Now the very first time some soldier is killed because of the stupidity of this social test tube policy, then we should demand that Ash Carter be brought up or murder charges. I am sorry ladies, I love you but the reality is YOU STINK! Blood can be smelled on the wind over a mile away. Now since you have a period, are you trying to tell the military that for a week every month you cant be in combat? And you also get yeast infections if you dont bathe on a regular basis. How are you going to bathe in a combat foxhole? Or on a front line? And a yeast infection smells just as bad as your period, again giving away your position which could lead to death for you and anyone around you. And lets not forget there are no bathrooms or potty breaks in combat, are you willing to drop trou in front of other men in a foxhole or a trench? And lets not forget as another poster said, that you should be required to sign up for the draft or service when you are 18. Someone should sue for that and make the military either require it or reverse the decision.

    I have spent time in combat and I can assure you women, its not a place I wanted to be nor hoped to be and I have seen men break under the pressure. Are you trying to say that you deserve the chance to come back maimed and battlescarred just to prove a stupid point that your ego wont let you let go of?

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