Women allowed in all combat units by 2016
Washington (CNN) — The Pentagon unveiled plans Tuesday for fully integrating women into front-line and special combat roles, including elite forces such as Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.
While Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine and special forces commanders detailed steps they will take, not all shared the same comfort level with the initiative, raising potential real-world scenarios that must be addressed before moving too far forward.
There was concern for how women might handle some of the more taxing physical demands of combat across the board and for how men might view the presence of female troops in tight-knit elite units.
Women are permitted to serve in some hazardous jobs and did so in Iraq and Afghanistan where a number were killed. But it wasn’t until January that then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta formally lifted the official ban on women in combat.
Top leadership embraced the overall concept and goal of completing the change by January 2016, but gave service commanders some room to fill in the details.
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