Yesterday the Pentagon announced new measures that will bring women serving in the military closer to combat than ever before. With the new policy implemented, women will be able to fill thousands of jobs, including medics, intelligence officers, and helicopter pilots, previously reserved for men only. Women have been allowed to serve in these positions at the brigade level since 1994, but this new policy assigns women to the battalion level, which is much smaller and more likely to see direct combat. Women are still not allowed to serve in the most dangerous positions in the military including infantry, armor, or special operations forces.
Since combat experience plays a factor in promotions, women have faced challenges moving up in the ranks. Keeping them away from combat has acted as a built-in glass ceiling. "We believe it's very important to explore ways to offer more opportunities to women in the military," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said. "It doesn't stop today. We'll continue to look for ways to open more positions to women in the military."
This is great news for military equality, but not everyone sees it that way. GOP candidate hopeful Rick Santorum spoke out against this decision yesterday, expressing skepticism about women's ability to perform their duty on the front lines. "I do have concerns about women in front-line combat, I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission, because of other types of emotions that are involved," Santorum said. I sure hope Republican women allow their "emotions" to stay out of the voting booth as the party selects their presidential candidate. Santorum, who is notorious for fighting the repeal of the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, has a pretty terrible record when it comes to respecting the people who serve our country.
The Pentagon's proposal will be up for review in Congress, where it will either be opposed by misogynists like Santorum or approved and implemented by this summer.
Watch Santorum dig himself into a hole here:
Image source MotherJones
Text source Reuters