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Ashton Carter: Service Branches Open All Positions to Women From January

Ashton Carter
Ashton Carter

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said women who meet designated standards will be allowed to fill any military position or occupation by January 2016, DoD News reported Thursday.

Cheryl Pellerin writes Carter made the announcement through a memorandum issued to military departments’ secretaries and service chiefs.

“They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat,” Carter said.

“They’ll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers, and everything else that was previously open only to men.”

The defense chief said Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work and Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be responsible for the implementation of the decision on a short-term basis and provide updates to Carter and Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Carter noted that all service branches will use seven guidelines for the incorporation of women into combat positions, Pellerin reports.

These guidelines include the designation of jobs and tasks based on ability, use of improved force effectiveness as a goal for the implementation, and consideration of physical differences between men and women.

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