DoD

January 31, 2013

Defense Department expands women’s combat role

Tags:
Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service
(DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta hands Army Lt. Col. Tamatha Patterson a document he signed during a news conference at the Pentagon, Jan. 24, to lift the Defense Department’s ban on women in direct ground combat roles.

WASHINGTON — Following a unanimous recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today announced the end of the direct ground combat exclusion rule for female service members.

U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs chairman, joined Panetta at a Pentagon news conference in announcing the policy change.

The secretary also announced that the service branches will continue to move forward with a plan to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service.

The change is intended to ensure that the best qualified and most capable Service members, regardless of gender, are available to carry out the mission, Panetta said.

“If members of our military can meet the qualifications for a job, then they should have the right to serve, regardless of creed, color, gender or sexual orientation,” he said.

In a statement released following the announcement, President Barack Obama praised the decision.

“This milestone reflects the courageous and patriotic service of women through more than two centuries of American history and the indispensable role of women in today’s military,” the president said. The decision opens up about 237,000 positions to women — 184,000 in combat arms professions and 53,000 assignments that were closed based on unit type.

Women are an integral part of DOD’s ability to fulfill its mission, Panetta said. “Over more than a decade of war, they have demonstrated courage, skill and patriotism, and 152 women in uniform have died serving this nation in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.

The new policy is the culmination of a process that began last year, a senior defense official told reporters today. More than 14,000 assignments in ground combat units or collocated with ground combat units were opened to women in February.

That extension of women’s roles had a positive impact, Panetta said at the news conference.

“Every time I’ve visited the war zone, met with troops, reviewed military operations, talked to wounded warriors, I have been impressed with the fact that everyone is committed to doing the job,” he said. “They are fighting and dying together. The time has come for our policies to recognize that reality.”

The change ensured sufficient female mid-grade and senior enlisted and officers were in place to guarantee successful integration of junior personnel, a senior defense official said.

The secretary has directed the military services to undertake an evaluation of all occupational performance standards to ensure they are up to date and gender-neutral. Specialty schools will be included in the evaluation, a senior defense official said. The results of this evaluation are to be submitted to the defense secretary by May 15, while the entire process is to be completed by Jan. 1, 2016.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystie Martinez)

Summer burnout

Langley Air Force Base, Va. — Some of the very things we enjoy during the summer can also wear us down. Juggling work, family schedules, vacation times, and outdoor squadron activities can take a toll. The chronic engagem...
 
 

Who receives your SGLI proceeds – your spouse or your former spouse?

JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON — Payment from a Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance policy may be the largest sum of money that your family receives if you die while on active duty. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your SGLV 8286 form – the SGLI Election and Certificate – is accurate and up to date....
 
 

Voting now open for American Airman Video Contest

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — Voting for the 2014 American Airman Video Contest is now open and runs until Aug. 22 at 3 p.m. CDT. The contest launched July 1 for all total force Airmen to showcase their Air Force stories in short selfie videos. “Every Airman has a story — and smartphone...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar)

Proper flag display honors nation’s history, ultimate sacrifices

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — From front yards to the top of the White House, people have flown U.S. flags as emblems for sacrifice and independence. But to honor Old Glory, they must display it with proper eti...
 
 

AETC commander: 162 FW’s contribution ‘cannot be overstated’

The Tucson Air National Guard 162nd Wing hosted Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, Aug. 2-3 during the August Unit Training Assembly. Rand said he gained more knowledge of the unit’s diverse mission outside of the its F-16 schoolhouse to include the 162nd Wing’s support to the Air Force Reserve Test Center,...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

Davis-Monthan gets mentally fit to fight

The 355th Fighter Wing participated in the Comprehensive Airman Fitness Day, Aug. 11. CAF is a lifestyle taught to strengthen an Airman with four domains: mental, physical, social and spiritual. This quarter’s CAF Day focuses...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin