Military Combat Roles Open to Women

Defense Secretary Ash Carter says U.S military combat roles are being opened up to women; a decision that will allow women to fill more than 200,000 jobs that are currently limited to men.

President Obama calls this announcement a “historic step.”

All U.S. military combat positions are said to be open for women beginning next year.

“That is to proceed with opening all remaining occupations and positions to women,” says Defense Secretary, Ash Carter.

Carter’s decision will allow women to join front line combat jobs such as infantry, special operations units and other positions offered only to men.

Female advocates were thrilled about the news.

“I think that it’s great that the military has opened up combat to women. It’s what a lot of women have fought for, to be equal. And it’s a great step in that direction,” says Co-Founder Stand Up For Women North Dakota, Jen Hoy.

Senator Heitkamp responded to the women military limitations being lifted.

“Young women across North Dakota and the country grow up hearing they can be anything they want to be, this step help makes that true in our armed forces.”

Heitkamp also goes on to say “I continue to support the opportunity of young women everywhere to grow, achieve and serve this country with pride.”

Major Penny Ripperger, who has been on the 119th Wing for 20 years, says although she has never experienced limitations within the National Guard,  on the larger scale, that this is an exciting time.

“If they can do the job just like the men can do and pass the test like the men do, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t serve,” says Major Penny Ripperger.

Veteran Daniel Montana served in Europe as an infantryman during the cold war supports the idea.

So long as they’re qualified.

“I served several exercises with these gals from the Israeli army and German army and they had the job nailed down. So as far as I’m concerned, if you can do the job then bring it on,” says Cold War veteran, Daniel Montana.

What seems to be a change many are opened to, some recruiters have not made the switch.

Fargo Army Recruiting Center says, “Until the North Star Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion gets new policy instructions on combat arms job eligibility for women, our current recruiting operations remain unchanged. Women are not eligible for all Special Forces and infantry enlistments, along with a few field artillery and tanker jobs.”

The ban on women in combat is to be lifted within 30 days.

Defense Secretary Carter says services will have until April 1st to accommodate women in all roles.

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