Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–December 3, 2015. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08), one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, today responded to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s decision to finally allow women to serve in all military roles, combat or otherwise, without exception. Until now, America’s female troops had been prevented from serving their country in several high-profile combat roles as a result of antiquated military policies.
“I didn’t lose my legs in a bar fight—of course women can serve in combat. This decision is long overdue.”said Congresswoman Duckworth.
Congresswoman Duckworth has long been an outspoken supporter of opening additional combat roles to women who meet the same physical standards as those required of men in those roles. Following the Pentagon’s 2013 decision to lift certain restrictions on women in combat, the Congresswoman said “it’s about time” and that “the inclusion of women in combat roles will make America safer.”
During a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee earlier this year, Congresswoman Duckworth spoke out powerfully in favor of an amendment to the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act that removed burdensome restrictions making it more difficult for the Department of Defense to make policy changes like the one announced today. She said at the time: “I was in combat, and women are in combat now. Some women can’t handle it as infantrymen and some men can’t handle it as infantrymen. But the fact of the matter is let them compete. The ones who can make it will make it. And let them proudly do the jobs that they want to do to defend this great nation.”
More than 280,000 women, including Congresswoman Duckworth, have deployed and served alongside men in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today’s decision—which comes after almost 5 years of thorough research, analysis and study—opens more than 200,000 military positions in 52 different specialties to our female troops.