Garamendi Praises Historic Milestone for Women in Armed Forces, Qualified Female Servicemembers to Have Access to All Combat Roles
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, today praised a decision by the Pentagon to allow qualified women in the military to have access to all occupational specialties previously closed to women, including many ground combat roles. The decision came after five years of research through more than 30 studies analyzing the impact of the change. Prior to the announcement, approximately 213,000 jobs (10 percent) in the military were closed to women.
“Today, women in our Armed Forces have shattered a camouflaged glass ceiling. The United States has taken an important step forward in our continuing efforts to fully integrate the military and to ensure that every position is filled by our best and our brightest, whoever they may be,” Congressman Garamendi said. “Women have fought and died protecting our nation, and if they want to serve in combat units, they deserve a chance to prove themselves capable of meeting the very high standards. By eliminating arbitrary barriers to achievement and advancement, we are creating a stronger and readier military, keeping America safer at a time of rising global uncertainty.”
Many of America’s closest allies already allow women to serve in front line combat roles, including Canada, Israel, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Australia, and New Zealand. Approximately 14.5 percent of active-duty U.S. servicemembers are women. Over the past 14 years, more than 280,000 women have deployed during combat operations to Iraq and Afghanistan.