For John, BLUF: SecDef Panetta says women can serve in all combat roles, and then allows Services to apply for exemptions over the next three years.
This will be interesting. The Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, has opened up all jobs in the Armed Services to women.
BC-US--Women in CombatDrudge has a link to Fox News, but this above came from elsewhere.
Panetta opens combat roles to women
Panetta removes military ban on women serving in combat
Eds: APNewsNow; will be updated.
By LOLITA C. BALDOR
WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.
The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule banning women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta's decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.
The questions are: (1) is this a good thing for women, (2) is this a good thing for unit readiness, (3) is this a good thing for our American view of what a woman is and is not.
My tentative responses are (1) yes, (2) who knows, (3) mezzo-mezzo.
UPDATE: My wife is still under the weather, so I have taken her to Chili's for dinner. Enroute we discussed this issue. She is against. Negative from both the male and female perspective.
While we were discussing I contemplated the timing of the announcement. It is after the election, but just before Mr Penetta leaves office. So, a quotate came to me, attributed to both Tallyrand and Prince Metternick. On being informed of the death of the Turkish Ambassador, the (whichever) Foreign Minister was supposed to have said: "I wonder what he meant by that?"
Regards — Cliff