Combat Integration: The First Year of Firsts
12/4/16 Deptment of Defense Secretary Ash Carter
One year ago, I announced that the Department of Defense would be opening all combat positions to women. As I have said repeatedly over my time as Secretary, our military is strongest when we draw from a pool of all eligible women and men who possess the skills and talents necessary to meet our standards. The defense of our nation depends upon all of our people, especially the men and women who have performed so valiantly in combat over the last 15 years.
The discipline and commitment that have marked our military Services’ leadership of this change has been the keystone of our success. I’m pleased to announce that each of the military Services and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) are on track with implementation efforts and seeing positive results and lessons that will make our force stronger.
In this first year of implementation we have witnessed many “firsts” making the policy change a reality. The Army has seen the fruits of thoughtful implementation as our first 10 women graduated from the Army’s elite Ranger school. We’ve seen the Army’s first female enlisted infantry soldiers, and this week 13 women graduated from Army’s first integrated Armor Basic Officer Course.
- 12/3/15 DOD Secretary Carter Opens All Military Occupations, Positions to Women
- 12/3/15 Statement by the President on Women in the U.S. Military