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Military’s Progress on Women in Combat Criticized

Article here. Excerpt:

'A year after the Pentagon opened combat jobs to female servicemembers, plans for integrating women into these jobs remain problematic, women’s advocates said this week.

The Marine Corps and the Army, which have the largest number of military occupational specialties still closed to women, have, according to critics, unclear and inconsistent approaches to integrating women fully into the forces by January 2016, the deadline set by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

The Marines have made little progress in integrating women into jobs they already qualify for, and the purpose of a proposed physical screening test is questionable since it focuses on strength-based measures and not skills actually needed for the work, according to Greg Jacob, a former Marine and policy director of the Service Women’s Action Network.
The critics, which included veterans and members from the ACLU, National Women’s Law Center and Women’s Research & Education Institute, have called for more transparency into the research and progress the military has made.

The Army has yet to open 100,000 positions in 14 specialties and the Marines still have to open 70,000 positions in 32 specialties, said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who has spearheaded efforts highlighting issues females face in the military.
“We need to be able to hold them accountable for preventing the best-qualified individuals from competing for these positions,” Gillibrand said. “Integrating women into combat strengthens our country both morally and militarily.”'

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