The Department of Defense’s officials said Pentagon chief, Leon Panetta is lifting the military’s ban on women serving in combat areas.
Local airwoman, with the Tulsa Air National Guard, E4 Jenny Adamus said this is a decision that was a long time coming.
“Choosing to be put on the ‘front lines’ is not something for me, but any kind of equality or decision to show that women can be just as tough mentally and emotionally, needed to be made,’ said Adamus. “We should have the opportunity to say, I can do this, I want to do this, so let me do it.”
The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule banning women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units.
Panetta's decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.
Adamus’s youngest daughter, 11-year-old Lizzy Adamus wants to be a Navy Seal one day. Before Wednesday’s announcement from the DOD she heard women cannot become Navy Seals but now she believes her dream can come true.
“I want to show everyone that us girls are awesome and strong,” said Lizzy Adamus. “My parents were both in the military. My grandpa was in the Air Force, my dad was in the Army and now my mom is in the Air Force, I want to follow the tradition.”
Senator Jim Inhofe commented on the issue:
“It is unacceptable that information on the Defense Department’s plans related to women in combat was leaked prior to Congress being briefed,” said Inhofe. “As a result we don’t yet know the details of this announcement. Based on my conversation today with Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, I believe that Secretary Panetta will provide specific direction to the services on how to evaluate and identify opportunities for women to further serve their country. I do not believe this will be a broad opening of combat roles for women, because as the 2012 report indicated, there are ‘serious practical barriers which must be resolved so that the department can maximize the safety and privacy of all military members while maintaining military readiness.’
“I served on the House Armed Services Committee with Les Aspin who fathered this cause. In 1994 as the Secretary of Defense, he opened opportunities for women to be assigned to all positions for which they are qualified except units below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct ground combat. Since he opened these opportunities, women have demonstrated their abilities to serve with distinction, in some cases making the ultimate sacrifice for their country. For instance, women currently fly combat missions in tactical aircraft. As a flight instructor, I have flown with both men and women, and their skill sets are the same.”
Lifting the ban will create 230,000 more jobs for women in the military. This will be implemented as early as May and fully implemented by 2016.