The Pentagon has officially removed the longstanding military ban on women in combat. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta formally announced the move on Thursday in Washington.
Leon Panetta: “It’s clear to all of us that women are contributing in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission of defending the nation. Women represent 15 percent of the force: over 200,000. They’re serving in a growing number of critical roles on and off the battlefield. The fact is that they have become an integral part of our ability to perform our mission.”
In being officially allowed to serve in combat roles, women will be afforded opportunities for medals of recognition as well as for advancement to positions they have been unable to pursue.