WASHINGTON (WAVY) - The Pentagon announced Tuesday that women in the military will be able to join the best of the best when it comes to combat.
Over a two year span, women's roles in the military will expand, allowing them to be in previously restricted combat positions and elite special forces, like Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.
"Each service and SOCOM is conducting a thorough doctrine, training, education, and policies analysis to insure deliberate and responsible implementation," said Juliet Beyler, DoD Personnel Management Director.
"To ensure we do this right, right means we maintain combat effective units across the total force and we don't set our female marines up for failure by not preparing them for a resulted institutional change," said Colonel Jon Aytes.
But their male counterparts will have to be prepared for institutional changes as well.
The Force Management Director for U.S. Special Operations Command, Major Geneneral Bennet Sacolick said he thinks Tuesday's special operations warriors need more than physical strength; intellectual prowess is required whether the combatant is a man or a woman.
"The days of Rambo are over," he said. "...and when people fail in the Special Forces Qualification course, predominately they fail because they're not doing their homework."
And it's not just Special Forces reevaluating the physical requirements of their operators. All combat positions across the armed forces will look different in the 21st century.
"The skills that a maintainer may have needed in the 1970s and the strength is very different than the skills and the strength they might need in 2013, for an F-22," said Brigadier General Gina Grosso. "And so what you want to understand is how much the tool box weighs 25 years later."
For a look at the history of women in U.S. military service, view our special coverage page by clicking here.
For more information about the plan for the expansion of women combat roles take a look at these links:
- The secretary's memo is available at: http://www.defense.gov/news/SecDefWISRMemo.pdf
- The U.S. Army's plan is available at: http://www.defense.gov/news/ArmyWISRImplementationPlan.pdf
- The U.S. Navy's plan is available at: http://www.defense.gov/news/NavyWISRImplementationPlan.pdf
- The U.S. Air Force's plan is available at: http://www.defense.gov/news/AirForceWISRImplementationPlan.pdf
- The U.S. Marine Corps' plan is available at: http://www.defense.gov/news/SOCOMWISRImplementationPlan.pdf
- The U.S. Special Operations Command's plan is available at: http://www.defense.gov/news/SOCOMWISRImplementationPlan.pdf
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