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Lifting the "Brass Ceiling"

(The Verge)-On January 23, it was announced that Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta would lift the Military’s ban on women in combat. The change will be implemented in the next three years, before January 2016.
The new decision overturns the 1994 Pentagon rule which restricted females from combat roles. Even though women have been officially excluded from front-line duty, over 280,000 women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the New York Times, as of last year, more than 800 women have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than 130 have died.
With the ban lifted, female military members will have the opportunity to fight in direct combat, expanding the military’s potential power. The plan represents an effort towards equal opportunity in the workplace, a basic civil right that is still an issue in the United States.
The lift on the rule has followed a November 2012 federal lawsuit challenging the ban. The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union represented four women who could not seek leadership positions, because the Department of Defense did not officially recognize any experience in combat, even though they had actively fought and been wounded in warfare.
The fact is that women have been actively fighting wars for the U.S. for years, and have not been getting the

Thanks to a recent decision from Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta, women are now cleared to fight in battle on the front lines. Image taken from:

acknowledgement and honor they deserve.
Although this advancement in women’s rights is a huge step for our country, there have been some mixed reviews about the subject.
In an Op-Ed in USA Today, Former Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin said, “…we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan that ground combat still requires levels of sheer physical strength, speed and endurance that are relatively rare among women. If current physical standards are maintained, few women will be able to meet them, and there will be demands that they be lowered. If those standards are lowered, the effectiveness of the fighting force will be directly compromised.”
In contrast, a nationwide Quinnipiac University poll found that three-quarters of those surveyed favored allowing military women to engage in close combat. The times are changing, and determined females have proved themselves to be just as able-minded and able-bodied as their male colleagues. There should be no restrictions on the leadership positions they are able to obtain.
With the 2011 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the lift on this ban, the military is taking two giant steps in the right direction towards human equality.