Below, statement from Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraq combat veteran...
I applaud the decision by Secretary Panetta to begin the process of
lifting combat restrictions on women in the military. Throughout
American history and in the last decade in particular women have
served in combat zones with distinction and honor. In fact the Army
has adopted the Combat Action Badge to all troops who engage in
combat, including women.
This decision to allow women to serve in combat will allow the best
man or woman on the frontline to keep America safe. There has always
been some level of opposition to increasing the diversity in our
military whether it has been minorities or women. It is clear that the
inclusion of groups like African Americans and Asians has made our
military stronger. As a combat Veteran I know the inclusion of women
in combat roles will make America safer and provide inspiration to
women throughout our country.