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    US Military lifts ban on women serving in combat

    7:47 PM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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    (Photo: Thinkstock)

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- One of the biggest policies in the United States Military changed today. The defense department lifted its ban on women serving in combat.

    The ban lift, of course, will take some time to implement, but the order will open up more than 200,000 more jobs to women.

    Working out and pushing the limits is something Tracy Brandon does every day. Brandon's been in the Army National Guard for two and a half years; she's also involved in ROTC at UALR.

    "I went to basic training at South Carolina, I did individual training in Virginia," said Brandon. She said it's that training that has her ready for the front lines. "I have come across a lot of people that would like to serve."

    Women make up about 14 percent of all active-duty personal, and now the Defense department lifted a ban on women in combat. Now, they'll be able to serve as infantry on patrol and even in elite special operations like the Navy Seals.

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said it will strengthen the military's ability to win wars.

    Congressman Tim Griffin pointed out that women have been sacrificing their lives for our country for some time.

    "Women have been fighting in combat for years, it may not technically be the front line, special operation units or what have you," said Griffin.

    Raina Ames is a veteran, and likes this idea.

    "There are going to need to be a lot of standards changed as far as women in the military. I believe they should have to fill the same requirements as men do," said Ames. She served in the Air Force and said this is exciting for women everywhere.

    The order will open about 230,000 more jobs to women primarily in the Army and Marines, but each will require women to meet strength standards. It's this new opportunity that keeps Brandon pushing forward.

    "Even if they can't make it, they can try. That's all you can hope is to try," said Brandon.

    The American Legion came out this afternoon saying women are performing magnificently in the military, and they would not be able to accomplish missions without them, but they do not believe the administration should change long-existing policies without review and oversight from congress.

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