MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a lifting of the ban on women serving in ground combat, saying he believes women have become an integral part of the military's ability to succeed. Panetta said not everyone can meet the qualifications to be a combat soldier.
But, he said everyone is entitled to the chance. Panetta's decision would apply mainly to the Army and the Marine Corps, as the Air Force and Navy already have lifted most prohibitions on women in combat, allowing them to fly fighter jets and fire weapons on warships.
Women currently represent almost 15% of those serving as active duty military.
Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, the secretary vowed that the decision would not compromise military readiness and pledged that the armed forces would not lower standards for service, such as for physical fitness and this change would make our military stronger.
Because the military is not going to relax for women the tough standards for physical strength and battle readiness we support putting the best qualified and most capable people on field of battle, whether you are a man or women.
Valor knows no gender and war is a friend to no one. The brave women that will raise their hand to combat deserve our praise, thanks and prayers.