Photo courtesy U.S. Navy Seabee Museum
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior defense officials say Pentagon chief Leon Panetta is removing the military's ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war.
The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule banning 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.
Senator Jack Reed is strongly supporting the Pentagon's plan.
“I applaud the Secretary for formally removing the ban," said Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "The reality of today’s battlefield is that all who serve are in combat.”
Health & Wellness
News & Tips for staying fit in the Ocean State
Free, local print & mobile savings
Go Green RI
News & Tips for sustainable living in Rhode Island
RI Pet Center
News & Features especially for animal lovers