Pentagon Panel: End Combat Ban for Women

Draft report calls restrictions discriminatory
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2011 6:26 PM CST
Spc. Monica Brown received the Silver Star for bravery in combat. The Pentagon prohibits women from serving in front-line combat roles, but modern wars have blurred the "front-line" distinction.   (AP Photo/U.S. Army, Sgt. Jim Wilt, HO)

(Newser) – Another military taboo to fall? It looks like the ban on women serving in direct combat roles is in jeopardy. An advisory panel's draft report declares that the practice of restricting women's duties is behind the times and discriminatory, the Huffington Post reports. Among other things, the panel says it constitutes a glass ceiling for women, since distinction in combat is a primary way that soldiers advance their careers.

"The Commission recommends that DoD and Services remove a structural barrier for women," reads the draft report from the Military Leadership Diversity Commission, made up of 24 senior military officials along with academics and business leaders. It also shot down arguments that integrating women into combat would harm unit morale or cohesion. The draft report is under review and is expected to be out in March.

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