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Military combat jobs finally open to women

Pentagon Chief Leon Panetta has removed the ban

Pentagon Chief Leon Panetta has removed the ban on women serving in combat roles. The ban removal was reportedly recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, overturning a 1994 rule keeping women out of ground combat units. Credit: Getty Images

One of the nation’s last glass ceilings was shattered by the Pentagon’s announcement that all military combat jobs, from Navy SEALs to the Marine Corps infantry, will be open to women. “There will be no exceptions,” said Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter last week.

That’s the way it should be. The announcement was particularly historic, given the military’s long-standing rule against women officially taking on combat roles. More recently, some branches have opened up. Two women graduated from the Army’s intense Ranger School this year. The military had long argued that some jobs should remain closed to women, a decision that left women without the experience needed to rise to the top ranks.

Congress has 30 days to review the decision but, hopefully, this particular battle is over.

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