Spurning requests from the Marine Corps to exclude women from certain front-line combat jobs, Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday ordered the military to open all combat jobs to women, according to The Washington Post.
Carter said there would be no exceptions and that all jobs would be open to women as long as they meet qualifications.
The decision opens the military’s most elite units to women who can meet the rigorous requirements for the positions for the first time, including in the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations Units. It also opens the Marine Corps infantry, a battle-hardened force that many service officials had openly advocated keeping closed to female service members.
Carter said that top leaders in the Army, Navy, Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command all recommended that all jobs be opened to women. The Marine Corps recommended that certain jobs such as machine gunner be kept closed, but the secretary said that the military is a joint force, and his decision will apply to everyone. The top Marine officer who made that recommendation, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September, and did not appear alongside Carter on Thursday.
The military has 30 days to submit plans on how they will implement the change, the Post writes.
SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty