from the anything-you-can-do... dept.
"This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before," Mr. Carter said.
He spelled out the implications of his decision: "They'll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They'll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men."
[...] The practical effect of the announcement is to open up the 10% of positions that still remain closed to women--nearly 220,000 jobs--in infantry, reconnaissance and special operations units.
[Much more after the break.]
ABC News brings us some words from combat veteran and US congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (link again):
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., one of the first Army women to fly combat missions in the 2003-2011 Iraq war, welcomed the decision.
"I didn't lose my legs in a bar fight -- of course women can serve in combat," said Duckworth, whose helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. "This decision is long overdue."
The Kurdish militia is another option for women who want to fight. Fox News earlier this year wrote about one such woman, Gill Rosenberg:
A Canadian-born Israeli woman who joined a Kurdish militia to fight against the Islamic State group said that after a stint in prison, she felt compelled to do something positive with her life and battle against the "genocide" unfolding in Syria and Iraq.
Gill Rosenberg, 31, was among the first female volunteers to fight in the Syrian civil war.
Vice brings us a story about another woman determined to fight ISIS, model Hanna Bohman:
As thousands of Syrian refugees flee the country, escaping Bashar al-Assad's barrel bombs and the barbarism of ISIS, one woman from Canada has headed to the war zone for a second time.
Hanna Bohman, aka Tiger Sun, joined the women's militia army of the People's Defence Unit, known as the YPJ in the Kurdish region of Syria (Rojava) following a near-fatal motorbike accident last year.
Also see NPR's coverage: Pentagon Says Women Can Now Serve In Front-Line Ground Combat Positions.
The U.S. Senate has passed a provision that would require women to register for the draft, but don't expect any changes soon:
On Tuesday, the Senate passed a defense authorization bill that would require young women to register for the draft — the latest development in a long-running debate over whether women should sign up for the Selective Service. The provision would apply to women turning 18 in 2018 or later and would impose the same requirements and rules that currently apply to men.
The policy is still far from being law. The House, after considering a similar provision earlier this spring, ultimately passed an authorization bill that omitted it; the two branches of Congress now must resolve the differences between their bills. And the bill faces a veto threat from President Obama over other elements of the legislation, such as the prohibition on closing down the Guantanamo Bay military prison. But the bill's passage brings women a step closer to Selective Service registration — a historic change that has bipartisan support in Congress but is firmly opposed by some conservative lawmakers.
For decades, the U.S. policy of having a draft for men, and not women, was approved as constitutional by the Supreme Court. But as NPR's David Welna reported last year, the court's reasoning relied on the fact that women were barred from combat roles. Now that women are eligible for combat duty, "Congress seems to have lost its court-endorsed rationale for limiting Selective Service registration to males only," David wrote.
Previously: Women Warriors Coming Soon to US Forces