Air Force to Pursue
Opening Remaining Combat Positions to Women
January 30, 2013
With 99 percent of Air Force
positions already open to women, the service now will pursue opening the
final 1 percent, the Air Force chief of staff said yesterday.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced yesterday that the
Defense Department is rescinding a policy that had barred military women
from serving in certain direct-combat positions.
"2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the Department of Defense allowing
women to serve as combat pilots," Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said. "By
rescinding the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule,
we can pursue integrating women into the seven remaining Air Force
career fields still closed, all associated with special operations.
We're focused on ensuring America's Air Force remains capable and ready
with the best-qualified people serving where we need them."
Air Force will partner with U.S. Special Operations Command and the
other services to review opening these positions in a deliberate,
measured and responsible way, officials said.
Positions now closed to women in the Air Force are combat control;
combat rescue and special tactics; and special operations weather
officer positions for commissioned officers, and the combat control,
tactical air command and control, pararescue and special operations
weather specialties for enlisted airmen. These career fields represent
about 3,235 positions, officials said.