U.S. Opens Up Slots for Female Soldiers to Serve in Combat Zones
By Erik Pineda | January 24, 2013 5:16 PM EST
U.S. female soldiers could see combat deployment soon following reports that Pentagon has decided to lift the ban of sending women to active fighting zones, with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta set to announce details of the new policy on Thursday.
Calling the development 'groundbreaking', The Associated Press (AP) reported on Wednesday that the American military establishment will likely open up combat duties for its female service members, currently numbering to hundred of thousands.
Reportedly heeding the recommendations earlier submitted by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mr Panetta's new directive will quash the rule that prevents all branches of the U.S armed services to put women in harm's way.
Citing a military official as its source, AP indicated on its report that beginning this year female members of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines will be considered for frontline assignments or in active theatres of war where U.S. forces are deployed.
The same source also suggested that female recruits could see actions in elite commando units such as the Navy SEALs and Delta Force. However, this scenario is not expected to become a reality anytime soon.
According to Agence France Presse (AFP), Mr Panetta will instruct key officials of the U.S. armed services to draw up plans for the implementation of the new policy. Military commanders will be given until January 2016 to submit their recommendations for consideration in the formulation of the policy guidelines.
Per Pentagon's figures, some 204,000 females service members will 'benefit' from the lifting of the ban, which was earlier implemented by the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy, AFP said on its report.
In a reaction, a member of the U.S. Congress called the Pentagon move as unnecessary.
"The question you've got to ask yourself every single time you make a change like this is: Does it increase the combat effectiveness of the military? ... I think the answer is no," Rep Duncan Hunter of California told USA Today on Wednesday.
But U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia welcomed the policy reversal, saying in a statement that "it is appropriate that we recognise the realities of modern military combat."
Another lawmaker took to Twitter to air her support of lifting the ban on combat duties for U.S. female soldiers that has been in effect since 1994.
"America's daughters are just as capable of defending liberty as her sons. Lifting the ban on women in combat is good for our nation," Rep Tammy Duckworth tweeted.
A double-amputee, Ms Duckworth served as a Black Hawk pilot during the U.S. invasion of Iraq, AFP said. She lost both of her leg sin active combat.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- In Photos, Typhoon Rammasun Blasts the Philippines
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- Flight MH17 Attack: Russians Claim 'Putin A Terrorist,' Memorial at Dutch Embassy Overflows [PHOTOS]
- New Zealand and China Decide to Boost Defence Ties
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Russian Govt Found Tinkering Wikipedia Crash Info
- Scientists Warn MERS Virus Could be Spread Airborne
- British PM Cameron Urges Tough Sanctions Against Russia
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Apps Leak Online, Five Fresh Features to Expect from the Android Smartphone
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Soon Along with 2 More HTC Android Tablets – Reports
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- iPad Air 2 Release Date Will Skip IGZO Panel; To Rollout with Super-Slim iPad Mini Air
- Upcoming iPad Mini 3 Could be 30% Thinner and Likely be Called iPad Mini Air; Apple Q3 Results Show 9% Decrease in iPad Sales