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Pentagon To Allow Women In All Combat Roles

[U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Sienna De Santis and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Heidi Dean](https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Defense.gov_News_Photo_101029-M-5881H-124_-_U.S._Marine_Corps_Lance_Cpl._Sienna_De_Santis_and_U.S._Navy_Petty_Officer_3rd_Class_Heidi_Dean_both_with_Female_Engagement_Team_India_Company.jpg).

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Sienna De Santis and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Heidi Dean.

Despite requests from the Marine Corps to exclude women from certain roles, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is pushing forward with plants to open all U.S. military combat jobs to women, the Associated Press is reporting.

“To succeed in our mission of national defense, we cannot afford to cut ourselves off from half the country’s talents and skills,” Carter said. “We have to take full advantage of every individual who can meet our standards.”

Roughly 90 percent of the military was already open to women, but special operations forces and other elite units were still off limits, as were certain roles within the Marine Corps. Despite objections from Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford who argued that certain jobs should remain exempt, Carter decided to move ahead.

Dunford had based his concerns on recent studies suggesting mixed-gender units did not perform as well as all-male units. But now that a decision has been made, Dunford said in a statement that he will “lead the full integration of women in a manner that maintains our joint warfighting capability, ensures the health and welfare of our people, and optimizes how we leverage talent across the joint force.”

(Source: The Associated Press)

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