“Today, Secretary Carter announced his decision to fully integrate all positions, career fields, and specialties to women,” SOCOM Commander General Joe Votel said in an official announcement on December 3rd, 2015. “I want to take this opportunity to state that I stand behind Secretary Carter’s decision, and fully support opening all special operations specialties and units to female service members.”

SOCOM was given the opportunity to submit an exception to the new decision to integrate females into the force, but General Votel chose not to.

I want to firmly state right up front that that as we move forward with integration, we will absolutely not lower, raise, or create multiple sets of standards for special operations,” General Votel continued.  “If candidates meet our time tested and scientifically validated standards and if they have proven that they have the physical, intellectual, professional, and character attributes that are so critical to special operations than we will welcome them into our ranks.”