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Office of the Press Secretary
January 24, 2013

Statement by the President on the Opening of Combat Units to Women

Today, by moving to open more military positions—including ground combat units—to women, our armed forces have taken another historic step toward harnessing the talents and skills of all our citizens.  This milestone reflects the courageous and patriotic service of women through more than two centuries of American history and the indispensable role of women in today’s military.  Many have made the ultimate sacrifice, including more than 150 women who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan—patriots whose sacrifices show that valor knows no gender.

Earlier today I called Secretary of Defense Panetta to express my strong support for this decision, which will strengthen our military, enhance our readiness, and be another step toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals of fairness and equality.  I congratulate our military, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for the rigor that they have brought to this process.  As Commander in Chief, I am absolutely confident that—as with the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’—the professionalism of our armed forces will ensure a smooth transition and keep our military the very best in the world.    Today, every American can be proud that our military will grow even stronger with our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters playing a greater role in protecting this country we love.    


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Comment Preferences

  •  Day 3 of Second Term, Already Made History (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prinny Squad, Sophie Amrain

    On Monday I couldn't help but marvel that as the President and First Lady walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, two of the Secret Service agents closely shadowing them were women.

    Women fly helicopter gunships, 1500 MPH fighter jets, the space shuttle.

    They serve on submarines, police & FBI SWAT teams, and have been decorated for close ground combat with the enemy.

    On 9/11, Lt. Heather "Lucky" Penney was fully prepared to crash her unarmed F-16 into hijacked Flight 93 in order to protect Washington DC.  Had she made that sacrifice, there's no doubt she'd have been the first woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor for combat.

    If they can meet the grueling physical and mental challenges to do all of the above, then there is no job in the military that they should be forbidden from.

    Will this take time to implement? Yes.  Infantry, airborne, and special operations units may take years to fully integrate.  But today marks the beginning of the end of gender inequality when it comes to the opportunity to serve one's country in uniform.

    Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:34:05 AM PST

  •  Good, since the US is always at war, needs fodder (0+ / 0-)

    since we're so militarized and it's now a fact of life that we need to be "defending" the country by sending people overseas with the finest weapons ever devised, we will need more and more of these kids to fulfill the mission, whatever it is now.

  •  Tammy Duckworth said it best (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain, Amber6541
    I didn't lose my legs in a bar fight.
    Women have been in combat zones far longer than we'd like to admit. Now at least they will have the same opportunities to promotions that require serving in combat positions.

    "Life is too important to be taken seriously" Oscar Wilde

    by Annie B on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 12:54:18 PM PST

  •  Rep. James Lankford's opening statement: (0+ / 0-)
    I am interested to know everyone's thoughts on Women in direct combat roles. While I have no doubt of capabilities, my Southern hospitality makes we wish we could protect ladies from combat, but I know ladies have served in combat in the Israeli Army for years. What is your first thought?
    hahaha The GOP acting like they care about women! hahaha

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:53:01 PM PST

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