Today, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced that the Pentagon will open all combat jobs to women and that, “there will be no exceptions.” This means that the 1994 Pentagon rule that restricts women from artillery, armor, infantry and other such combat roles has been overturned. Women will now be eligible to join the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations Units. Of course, they still will have to pass the tests and meet the standards for each division.
The U.S. Marines requested an exemption from this change, due to the fact that they segregate recruits by gender for basic training and are 93% male. In the video above, Carter rejects their request, arguing that all parts of the military should operate under the same standards. Carter claims: “when I became secretary of defense, I made a commitment to building America’s force of the future. In the 21st century that requires drawing strength from the broadest possible pool of talent. This includes women.”
Although a great decision towards gender equality in the military, simply opening combat roles to women will not create a fully integrated military. In September, the Marines released a $36 million study that found that integrated combat units were "slower, fired weapons with less accuracy and had more injuries."
President Obama defends Secretary Carter, stating: "together, we're going to make sure our military remains the finest fighting force in the history of the world, worthy of all our patriots who serve — men and women."
What is your opinion on the following questions:
- Do you think that the Marines had the right to be exempt? Do you think there is there any possible reason for exemption?
- Were you previously aware of this 1994 Pentagon rule? If not, why do you think this was not well known?
- Do you think the $36 million study is accurate? Is this a valid reason to not have integrated units?
New York Times (Video): http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/04/us/politics/combat-military-women-ash-carter.html
Washington Post (Video): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/12/03/pentagon-chief-to-announce-how-womens-roles-in-the-military-will-expand/
NBC News (Video): http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/pentagon-nbc-news-all-combat-roles-now-open-women-n473581
CNN (Video): http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/03/politics/u-s-military-women-combat-positions/
Reuters (Video): http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/12/03/us-usa-military-women-combat-idUSKBN0TM28520151203
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/buO27A5C4Vs