Local military discusses ban lift on women in combat

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced on Thursday that the military will lift its ban on women serving in combat roles, which will overturn a 1994 rule restricting women from serving in infantry units.

While the new policy shift is said to entitle everyone to a chance, Panetta stresses that it will not lower standards for those serving in combat.

According to Colonel Brad Smith and Colonel Dale Kuehl, this milestone will not modify training at Camp Shelby.

"The Army's decision to open positions for females in combat units and combat operations will not change training at Camp Shelby," said Colonel Brad Smith.

"Honestly it will not change anything we're doing," said Colonel Dale Kuehl. "We're still training soldiers to standard, we have women that are integrating just about every formation we have coming through here and the standards are completely the same."

Panetta noted that note every woman who applies for a combat role will be given an opportunity, but the change is expected to open 230,000 front-line positions to women.

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