Cap't Sara Rodriguez of the 101st Airborne Division walks through the woods during the expert field medical badge testing at Fort Campbell, KY. on May 9, 2012 (Kirstin M. Hall/AP)
Well there it was in this morning's newspaper headline, "Women to get combat role." [i]
Sometime today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will announce the lifting of the ban on women in combat. A Defense official characterized it as "opening up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them".
Implementation is to be done as "quickly as possible" according to a military official but it will take some 3 years before all the services can fully implement the combat role for women.
Apparently Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin E. Dempsey wrote in a January 9 th letter to Panetta stating, "The time has come to rescind the direct combat exclusion rule for women and to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service."
The question is, why now? Did a light bulb go off in Dempsey's head and instinctively he thought this was the time to lift the ban? Please.