Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Thursday that the military will lift its ban on women serving in combat roles, which will open about 230,000 posts, including those on the front lines.
“Women have shown great courage and sacrifice on and off the battlefield, contributed in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission and proven their ability to serve in an expanding number of roles,” Panetta said at a Pentagon news conference. “The department’s goal in rescinding the rule is to ensure that the mission is met with the best-qualified and most capable people, regardless of gender.”
Military service chiefs unanimously support the change, which reflects the realities of the modern military, said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The Joint Chiefs share a common cause on the need to start doing this now and to doing this right,” Dempsey said. “We are committed to a purposeful and principled approach.”
President Obama said Thursday he supported Panetta’s decision.
Do you agree with the decision? Should women be allowed to serve in combat?