senior defense officials wednesday said pentagon chief leon panetta is removing the military's ban on women serving in combat. the ban will open hundreds of thousands of front-line positions & potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade of war.
the groundbreaking move recommended by the joint chiefs of staff overturns a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. panetta's decision gives the military services until january 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.
a senior military official says the services will develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions. some jobs may open as soon as this year. assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including navy seals & the army's delta force, may take longer.
the official said the military chiefs must report back to panetta with their initial implementation plans by may 15. since the announcement on panetta's decision is not expected until thursday, the official spoke on the condition of anonymity.
panetta's bold move expands the pentagon's action nearly a year ago to open up about 14,500 combat positions to women, nearly all of them in the army. this decision could open up more than 230,000 jobs, many in army & marine infantry units, to women.
in recent years the necessities of war propelled women into jobs such as intelligence officers, medics & military police sometimes attached - but not formally assigned - to units on the front lines. women comprise 14 percent of the nearly 1.4 million active military personnel.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.