Tomorrow, the Pentagon is expected to announce plans to allow the first women to train in Army Ranger battalions in 2015, and Navy SEAL units a year later, according to multiple news reports.
The Ranger and SEAL units are a considered Special Operations, and are among the most elite and dangerous postings in the American armed forces.
The integration of women into special forces roles is the most daunting portion of a combat exclusion lifted in January by the Pentagon. The stipulation is the the physical standards for these elite units must remain the same for men and women
Earlier this year, under orders from then-Secretary of defence Leon Panetta, the Pentagon lifted the ban on women serving in combat capacities.
After more than a decade of complex counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan where the front lines were blurred and women found themselves an important part of civil affairs and outreach, the U.S. military decided it was time to change the policy.
“The fact is, they have become an integral part of our ability to perform our mission, and for more than a decade of war they have demonstrated courage and skill and patriotism,” Panetta said.
148 female service members have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Washington Post.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.