Women will now be able to serve on the front lines. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made the announcement Thursday that lifts the nearly 20-year ban barring women from ground military combat.
It's a move women serving here in the Pacific said is about time.
The faces on the front line are about to change, now that the U.S. military has lifted the ban on women serving in ground combat.
First Lieutenant Ashley Sorensen is a platoon leader for the 74th Ordnance Company EOD, 303rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Support Command, US Army Pacific, Hawaii. Her job is one of the most dangerous.
“When I was going through school, there were no other options for women to get close to combat. This was it,” said Sorensen.
She said lifting the ban opens many more doors for women in the military.
“It’s a step in the right direction in offering women the opportunities they’re qualified for,” said Sorensen.
Some roles for women in areas such as special forces operations, including Navy SEALS and the Army’s Delta Force may take a while to see change.
But, the U.S. Army Pacific fully supports the Defense Department's decision to lift the direct combat exclusion rule.
“We’ll take a hard look at how they’re going to implement it with the exact ruling. At the end of the day, though, it’s not anything new,” said Col. Mike Donnelly, US Army Pacific Chief of Public Affairs. “Women have been serving in combat roles for a long time now.”