WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47),senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, on Thursday released the following statement in response to an announcement by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that the Department of Defense’ assignment policy changes regarding women in combat will be implemented May 14. These changes will effectively open 14,325 additional positions to women. Some are positions which co-locate with ground combat units,and a few positions are at the battalion level in select direct ground combat units in specific occupations.
“I commend Secretary Panetta and the Department of Defense for making these changes to open additional positions to our female service members,” said Sanchez. “I strongly encourage the Pentagon to continue taking an even closer look at the combat role our service women in Afghanistan and around the world are already filling successfully. As the highest ranking woman on the House Armed Services Committee, I believe these service women deserve our country’s recognition for the combat service they already provide. I urge the Pentagon to repeal its direct combat unit assignment prohibition and I will continue to fight for this repeal in Congress.”