Female U.S. Army recruits will have 33,000 positions open to them that were once off limits, the Department of Defense said Thursday. The change in policy will open up slots in combat units below the brigade level.
Since 1994, women could not be assigned to a combat unit regardless of their military occupational specialty below the brigade level.
"Opening these positions ensures the Army is properly managing the talent of all our service members, balancing readiness and the needs of a smaller force, and positioning all soldiers for success with viable career paths," said Col. Linda Sheimo, chief of the Command Programs and Policy Division at the Army G-1, the Army Times reported.
In April, the Army says it will have opened up roughly 55,000 positions to women when the numbers from a pilot program started in May 2012 are included in its statistics.
The Army conducted surveys in units that were part of its pilot program, and it had "pretty positive feedback," said Col. Sheimo in The Army Times report.
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