Secretary of Defense Panetta lifts ban on women in combat roles
Panetta’s decision overturns a 1994 rule banning women from combat roles.
The services will have until January 2016 to implement the changes, the official said. Last year, Panetta opened up an additional 15,000 jobs to women. He ordered the remaining exclusions lifted because he had been committed to doing so since taking office, the official said.
The chiefs of the services unanimously support the change in policy, the defense official said.
The move comes as Panetta prepares to leave office. President Obama has nominated Republican former senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Vietnam combat veteran, to take his place.
The policy change requires notifying Congress, which must have 30 days to consider it.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican and Iraq war veteran, criticized the announcement, saying “it is totally out of left field. Completely.”
So the Directive for Woman 18 and over to sign up for Selective Service is forthcoming?
and the White House Tweets?
If there’s one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting women from violence. Congress needs to pass the Violence Against Women Act.
— Valerie Jarrett (@vj44) January 23, 2013
@vj44 so lets send them to the front lines during a war?
— Politisite.com (@Politisite) January 23, 2013
The Weekly Standard has similar thoughts
Jarrett’s tweet comes the same hour Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the Obama administration would allow women to serve in combat. The AP reports:
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.