Defense Secretary Opens ALL Combat Roles To Women, ‘No Exceptions’ (VIDEO)

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Since the dawn of the United States military, combat roles have been designated to men only. However, that is all about to change.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced on Thursday that the Pentagon is now opening all combat roles to qualifying women. He said:

“I’m announcing my decision not to make continued exceptions. That is, to proceed with opening all these remaining occupations and positions to women. There will be no exceptions. This means, that as long as they qualify, and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before.

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

And even more importantly, our military will be better able to harness the skills and perspectives that talented women have to offer.”

In Carter’s announcement, when he said, “I’m announcing my decision not to make continued exceptions” it goes to show that, previously, it has been very purposeful to keep women out of combat roles, despite their abilities and being able to qualify.

According to the New York Times:

“The announcement Thursday was a rebuke to the Marine Corps, which has a 93 percent male force dominated by infantry and a culture that still segregates recruits by gender for basic training. In September, the Marines requested an exemption for infantry and armor positions, citing a yearlong study that showed integration could hurt its fighting ability. But Mr. Carter said he overruled the Marines because the military should operate under a common set of standards.”

And he’s exactly right. There should be one unifying set of standards for ALL those who seek to go into combat roles, regardless of gender. If women are capable and qualify, they should be granted the same opportunities as men. Heck, a lot of these women who seek these roles have beat out men, as evidenced by two female Army Rangers who could do what many men couldn’t — complete training.

To simply disqualify women based solely on gender is not only misogynistic and wrong, but stupid. The U.S. military was excluding half the population from participating in combat roles, and in a nation that is very prone to involving themselves in conflicts, they’d be smart to allow in as many qualified individuals as possible.

Hammering home that point was Defense Secretary Carter, who told reporters:

“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.”

Women are more than capable of fulfilling the duties once only thought a man could do. This goes beyond the battlefield into workplaces nationwide. Having an extra appendage between your legs doesn’t make anyone automatically more qualified to do a damn thing. Having the courage, the skill set, and the utmost ability is what makes individuals stand out and up amongst the best and brightest.

Kudos to Secretary Carter for finally acknowledging that women are just as capable as men. It’s been a long time coming.

Video: NY Times/Featured image: Pixgood