Women in Combat Deemed “Job Opportunities”
“They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They’ll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers, and everything else that was previously open only to men.” –Department of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, April 2016
Although Marine Corps officials asked former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to keep women out of positions such as infantry, machine gunner, and fire support, the request was denied. Mr. Carter declared that the rule placing women in combat would “apply without exception.”
Background. The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 excluded women from combat. In 2012, during the Obama administration, Pentagon policies were changed to allow women to serve in 14,000 military positions formerly restricted to men, leaving 238,000 men-only positions. Soon, women were admitted to Navy submarines and the Army Ranger School which graduated three women in 2015 – two in August and a third several weeks later.
Also in 2012, three years after a group of servicewomen sued the Pentagon, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced a subsequent rule, that “just happened” to come two months after the suit was filed, and “just happened” to allow women to serve in combat.
By January 24, 2013 the Combat Exclusion Policy was lifted, as recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in that Administration. To avoid the term “women in combat,” the Pentagon ordered all services to admit women into all jobs by January 2016. Also that date was the deadline for all military services to change to gender-neutral physical tests and adopt a policy that requires men and women (without exception) to serve in front line combat and complete combat operations. Therefore, front-line combat positions became co-ed and mandatory.
Under current military policy, both men and women deemed fit for combat are eligible for assignment to front line combat positions, the Pentagon calls “job opportunities” for women.
In April 2016 the U.S. Army announced the first 22 women to become infantry and amour second lieutenants in charge of units of 40 troops. Also in April 2016, of the 29 women who tried to complete the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course, all 29 of them failed.
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