Rep. Maloney Statement on New Pentagon Rules on Women in Combat

Feb 9, 2012 Issues: Women's Issues
Press Contact: 
Joe Soldevere (212) 860-0606

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) issued the following statement on new rules released by the Pentagon this afternoon that would allow women to serve closer to the front lines, but would retain the longstanding ban on women serving in front-line assignments -- such as in the infantry, armored units, and special forces:

“The new rules on women in combat are a step in the right direction.  I give Secretary Panetta credit for opening up as many as 14,000 new jobs for women in the military and for recognizing the leadership and skills of our women in uniform.

“However, I continue to believe that we must end the ban on women in combat.  Servicewomen are an indispensable part of our operations in Afghanistan, just as they were in Iraq.  Women are carrying firearms, they are involved in the fighting, and they have been killed in battle.  The Pentagon’s rules should reflect this reality.

“Combat service leads to higher pay and greater opportunity for advancement.  There are a great many women who are ready and willing to serve -officially- in combat roles, and fairness dictates that the military should not continue to leave them behind,” Maloney said.