Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: January 24th, 2013
Women can now serve in combat

The Pentagon is lifting its ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after generations of limits on their service, defense officials said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. There are conditions, according to the article:

— That they were obligated to maintain America’s effective fighting force.

— That they would set up a process that would give all service members, men and women alike, the best chance to succeed.

—That they would preserve military readiness.

The move reverses a longstanding rule issued by the Pentagon ion 1994, ”prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units.” Recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it would require all branches of the armed services to develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions. Some of those would be open as soon as this year, but the military has a deadline of January 2016 to makethe case for some positions to remain closed to women.

While the decision was roundly supported by members of Congress, some trepidation exists about how the general public will feel about women being killed in combat.

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