With the backing of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced a seismic shift in U.S. military policy--women can now serve in front-line combat roles.
With this change, women could start filling combat positions as soon as later this year.
McCain said he supports the decision because, "American women are already serving in harm's way today all over the world."
Reports already indicate that this change in policy could lead to women taking positions in our most elite special forces units over time, leaving Americans with the harsh reality of facing images of U.S. servicewomen captured, tortured, and killed by our enemies in the future.
McCain, even as he signed off on women in combat, warned, "It is critical that we maintain... the rigorous physical standards for our elite special forces units," so as to not sacrifice operational effectiveness in the name of inclusiveness.
Photo credit: Megan Locke Simpson/U.S. Army