Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, recently signed an order wiping away generations of limits on women fighting for their country.
Women in the military will soon have the same opportunities as men to take on grueling and dangerous combat jobs.
Women on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan have been fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than a decade. Of the more than 6,600 U.S. service members who have been killed in those conflicts, 152 have been women.
Modern warfare doesn’t consist of a classic military front moving forward across miles of ground. Lines constantly shift and the front is wherever the next roadside bomb or terror attack hits.
Leaders say no physical standards will be lowered to send more women closer to the battlefront.
Good. But women, already dying in war, deserve the chance to fight in front-line units if they are moved to do so.
More than 230,000 jobs, many in Army and Marine infantry units, could be opened to women.
The right to serve in combat will open up advancement opportunities currently limited for women.
In addition to questions of strength and performance, there also have been suggestions that the American public would not tolerate large numbers of women being killed in war.
We don’t like it when our soldiers die in war. But serving in combat sometimes requires service members lay down their lives.
But are our son’s lives worth any less, or more, than our daughters?
— Distributed by The Associated Press