Reports: DoD Expected to Lift Ban on Women Serving in Combat Roles
Media outlets in Washington are reporting that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is planning to lift the ban on women serving in combat-graded positions.
In reality, women have been engaging in close-quarters combat for many years, including the entire duration of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Women already serve as combat pilots, military police officers and in a variety of other positions that require them to engage in combat. Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, a Tennessee Army Guardswoman, earned a Silver Star as a member of a Kentucky Army Guard military police unit for the assault that she and another Guardsman led on an enemy trench after their unit was ambushed in Iraq in 2005.
While the details of Panetta's action are still unknown, they could open up not only additional jobs to women in the military, but increase the career advancement potential for both enlisted and commissioned personnel.