Originally published 01/25/2013
Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the leading female Soviet sniper of World War II.After more than a year of planning, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta overturned the ban on women's ability to serve in combat roles in the United States military. Panetta's removal of the ban followed an official recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin E. Dempsey. This decision to allow women to occupy the front lines came yesterday as a formal gesture following the last decade of women's unofficial service in combat positions; since 2001, around 280,000 women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.While the Senate Armed Services Committee may have an opportunity to reverse the decision through legislative means, prospects look hopeful for this shift in the military's stance, which was largely a decision made internal to the military itself. By May 15 of this year, the different branches of the armed services are expected to present specific implementation plans for their integration of women into combat roles, including requests for exceptions to the new policy.
Originally published 01/14/2013
Credit: Wiki Commons.