- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Pentagon move will send women into direct combat
Move lifts barriers to military jobs
Question of the Day
However, the memo also states: “If we find that the assignment of women to a specific position or occupational specialty is in conflict with our stated principles, we will request an exception to the policy.”
The policy change evoked a variety of reactions from Capitol Hill.
Sen. Carl M. Levin, Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed the lifting of the ban.
“I support it,” Mr. Levin said. “It reflects the reality of 21st-century military operations.”
“The focus of our military needs to be maximizing combat effectiveness,” Mr. Hunter said. “The question here is whether this change will actually make our military better at operating in combat and killing the enemy, since that will be their job, too.
“What needs to be explained is how this decision, when all is said and done, increases combat effectiveness rather than being a move done for political purposes — which is what this looks like. The idea that every combat mission and future conflict will mirror Iraq and Afghanistan is extremely naive and shortsighted,” he said.
“Today is a historic day for not only women currently serving in our armed forces, but for all of the women who have selflessly put their lives on the line in theaters of war throughout our nation’s history,” Ms. Gabbard said. “This decision by the Department of Defense is an overdue yet welcome change, which I strongly support.”
Advocacy groups also assessed the Pentagon’s change.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said the move is premature and lacks empirical justification.
“Secretary Panetta on his way out the door is imposing huge burdens on the infantry that will affect morale and readiness,” Mrs. Donnelly said. “Thirty years of research, reports and studies … indicate that this is not a good idea. It will indeed complicate life in the infantry and make life more dangerous.”
But Ariel Migdal, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the women who have sued the Pentagon, said the ban was constraining commanders in the field and limiting the military’s ability to recruit and retain the most qualified women.
“Does this mean of the 238,000 positions that are now closed to women — will they be able to compete for those?” Ms. Migdal said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Despite Pentagon cuts and eye on Pacific, Air Force implored to save the 'Warthog'
- Rep. Hunter to Pentagon: Don't lower combat standards for women
- Pentagon welcomes budget deal but says more defense spending needed
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
- Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- Federal judge rules D.C. ban on handguns in public is unconstitutional
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq