Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made comments at a Pentagon press conference on Thursday that will undoubtedly be used by critics of the decision to open up combat roles to women.
When a reporter mentioned that the Pentagon’s stance appeared to keep open the possibility that some occupational specialties would be off limits to females, Gen. Dempsey responded: “[I]f we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?”
CNS News reports that the policy shift by the Defense Department could potentially open up 230,000 positions to female service members.
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