Military to Open Close Combat Jobs to Women

| by Emily Smith
article imagearticle image

Top military leaders have began making way for women to enter combat and special operations jobs with plans for them to train as Army Rangers by 2015 and Navy SEALs a year later.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved the goals and ordered them to move ahead.

The plan includes changing physical and mental standards that men and women must meet to qualify for the infantry, armor, commando or other front line positions and introducing one equal standard for men and women for each job.

In making changes to the infrastructure, officials hope that the increasingly alarming sexual assaults problem within the armed services will come to a halt. Joint Chief of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey said the longstanding ban on women created a male warrior persona versus other forces — the psychology of which lends itself to a disrespect for women.

Military leaders plan to bring senior women from the officer and enlisted ranks into special units forces in an effort to ensure a support group for younger lower-ranking women making the transition.

An exception to the rule allows researchers from disqualifying women from some jobs if testing finds that women could not be successful in sufficient numbers. However, researchers would have to defend themselves to top Pentagon leaders to pass such a restriction.

The plans came into effect as a result of blurring frontlines in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars where women served as medics, military police and intelligence officers who were informally assigned to battalions.

Officials will begin developing gender-neutral standards first in July for engineers followed by field artillery in March infantry and armor jobs in September.

Sources: Fox News, ABC News