"The Minnesota National Guard's First Brigade Combat Team is one of nine brigades around the country helping to pilot the Pentagon's new policy lifting the restriction on women in combat," writes MPR News reporter Jess Mador. She continues:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday lifted the 1994 ban prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. The move opens more than 230,000 new jobs to women nationwide.
More than 16 percent of the Minnesota National Guard is female. Sgt. Katie Warden, a military police officer from Cottage Grove, has been waiting for this announcement.
Warden has served in the Guard for more than seven years. She said the changes allowing women to officially take on combat roles will mean more opportunities for her and other women in the military.
"It's a historic change, but I was really excited about it," she said. "Knowing that there is an opportunity out there later on, then so be it if I happen to want to jump on that train."
Women make up 14 percent of the 1.4 million active military personnel and this decision could open more than 230,000 jobs to women. Some combat positions may become open to women as soon as this year. Assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALS and the Army's Delta Force, may take longer.
Now that the ban on women in combat has been lifted, what happens next? What might the effect on the military be as a result of this policy change?
Greg Jacob, former U.S. Marine and policy director at the Service Women's Action Network, and Anne M. Coughlin, professor of law at the University of Virginia and head of the Molly Pitcher Project, join The Daily Circuit Friday, Jan. 25 to discuss the change.
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