"I didn't lose my legs in a bar fight—of course women can serve in combat. This decision is long overdue."—Democratic Congressional Representative from Illinois Tammy Duckworth, on US Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter's announcement today that the military "is opening all jobs in combat units to women, a landmark decision that ends a three-year period of research with a number of firsts for female service members and bitter debate at times about how women should be integrated."
Hahaha don't forget the bitter debate!
The decision opens the military's most elite units to women who can meet the rigorous requirements for the positions for the first time, including in the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, and other Special Operations Units. It also opens the Marine Corps infantry, a battle-hardened force that many service officials had openly advocated keeping closed to female service members.This decision is important for a lot of reasons, not least of which is that, as long as the military remains the best option for lots of young people in poverty (which is a whole other issue), giving women the exact same opportunities as men is crucial.
"There will be no exceptions," Carter said.
...Carter said that top leaders in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and U.S. Special Operations Command all recommended that all jobs be opened to women. The Marine Corps recommended that certain jobs such as machine gunner be kept closed, but the secretary said that the military is a joint force, and his decision will apply to everyone.