Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has announced that all combat roles in the US military will now be opened to women. How this will be implemented, despite widespread objections by the Marine Corps and Special Operations, remains to be seen. Waving a magic wand and announcing that women will now be able to join the Infantry, the Ranger Regiment, Special Forces, and Navy SEALs does not mean it is just going to happen overnight.
The Marines conducted an in-depth study of the course of several years, finding women had trouble carrying casualties, were less accurate with every weapon system except the M4, and were more susceptible to injuries. The secretary of defense has cast aside empirical evidence stating, “I came to a different conclusion,” from the data provided by the Marine Corps.
From NBC News:
The Pentagon announced all combat jobs will be open to women in a historic shift in policy, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday.
“Our force of the future must continue to benefit from the best America has to offer,”Carter told reporters during a Pentagon briefing. “This includes women.”
The move comes about two years after former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced plans to change the rule excluding women from serving in combat roles.
In late September, the military services had to submit recommendations about opening all combat jobs to women — deciding whether they will open everything up or if they will request waivers to continue to prohibit women from serving in certain areas.