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 Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Don’t become a target

Considering recent threats against Americans and the exponential growth of social media use, becoming a target of an adversary is easier than ever. Operations Security is a process that identifies unclassified, critical informa...
 
 
BreastCancerAwareness_pict

An Airman’s story: My mother didn’t fight alone

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – His green eyes frantically searched the crowd for his dying mother. During his final pass and review at basic military training (BMT) he saw her in the stands, cheering him on. A year later, ...
 
 

Fire Prevention Week 2014

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski) Sparky the Fire Dog, National Fire Protection Association spokesdog, and members from the 355th Fire Emergency Services flight taught children from the Child Development Center how to stop, drop and roll at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 8. The 355th FES conducted several events in conjunction with Fire...
 

 

Troops to Teachers helps Airmen serve after separation

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – For many service members who are separating from the military, finding employment that utilizes prior training or skills gained while serving can be difficult. For Airmen who are honorably discharged from their military commitment and have an interest in ‘serving’ again as an educational instructor, the Troops to Teachers program is...
 
 

Military Tuition Assistance Program implements changes for FY15

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – Air Force active duty Airmen who want to take advantage of the military assistance programs for voluntary education in the coming academic year can expect several changes that were implemented on Oct. 1, 2014. The new Air Force Credentialing Opportunities Online, also referred to as AF COOL, will take the place...
 




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