Historic decision opens approximately 220,000 military combat jobs to women
By Susan Murphy
December 4, 2015
“Most people didn’t know I was a female because you’re completely covered in flak jackets and Kevlar."
Women can now serve in all military combat roles, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Thursday.
By Susan Murphy Natalie Slattery, a Navy veteran who served in ground combat in Iraq in 2008 as a convoy gunner, talks about her experience outside the San Diego Veterans Museum in Balboa Park, Dec. 3, 2015.The historic decision will open approximately 220,000 jobs to women and clear the way for them to serve in battle-hardened roles, including the Navy SEALs, as long as they can meet the rigorous requirements.
Carter also acknowledged that women have been serving for years on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I’m very happy that they’ve made it public now for people to know. It’s about time," said San Diego Navy veteran Natalie Slattery, 28, who served in ground combat in Iraq in 2008.
Female pilots flew through combat zones, female medics treated the wounded on the front lines and all-female teams known as “lionesses” accompanied troops in house-to-house searches.
Slattery was a convoy gunner — a position that wasn’t typically open to women.
“I was that person you see on top of all the trucks and in all the gear,” Slattery said.
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