Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that with women now eligible to fill combat roles in the military, commanders must justify why any woman might be excluded – and, if women can’t meet any unit’s standard, the Pentagon will ask: “Does it really have to be that high?”
Dempsey’s comments came at a Pentagon news conference with Defense Sec. Leon Panetta Thursday, announcing the shift in Defense Department policy opening up all combat positions to women.
Dempsey, who is at the pinnacle of the military’s top brass, was asked by a reporter: “You indicated that — well, at least it sounds like that there may be certain combat operational forays that women might be excluded from still. I mean, what would be the reasons for that? What sorts of operations?”
Dempsey replied: “No, I wouldn’t put it in terms of operations, Jim. What I would say is that, as we look at the requirements for a spectrum of conflict, not just COIN, counterinsurgency, we really need to have standards that apply across all of those.”
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