WASHINGTON , DC – Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley told lawmakers the Army is opening the door to every job a Soldier can hold regardless of gender.

“This is the right decision for our Army,” said Murphy, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee today. “The personal courage and selfless service made by women in our Army is no different than that exhibited by our men… we owe them the respect and honor to offer them the opportunity to succeed anywhere in our Army based upon only the merits of their performance.”

Murphy said that after several years of extensive research, collaboration and practical evaluation, the service came to three primary conclusions – that women are capable of performing every job in the Army; that the maintenance of high standards, performance and professional conduct will be based solely upon what the position requires and nothing else; and that leadership is critical to integration.

Murphy added that full integration will likely take several years as the Army adjusts both to the culture and to growing individual skills within the force.