Leon Panetta Clears Women For Combat, Declares Right To Fight

WASHINGTON — The military services began racing Thursday to open jobs across the armed forces to women, a historic change that likely will put more women into direct combat in Afghanistan and in any future conflicts.The sweeping new rules at the Pentagon, ordered by outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta after a year of consultations with senior military officers, require the military services to expand all positions to women — or convince the defense secretary why those jobs should remain exclusively male.”Today Gen. Dempsey and I are pleased to announce that we are eliminating the ground combat exclusion rule for women and moving forward with a plan to eliminate all gender-based barriers to service,” Panetta said in the official announcement of the policy change at the Pentagon. “Our purpose is to ensure the mission is carried out by the best qualified and most capable service members, regardless of gender and regardless of creed and beliefs.”Read More…
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Leon Panetta Clears Women For Combat, Declares Right To Fight

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