UPDATE, April 19: Marine Corps Times posted online this morning the story teased below. It’s available here.
In 1994, the Pentagon explicitly forbade women from joining combat units, saying they were banned from “assignment to units below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground.”
The decree was made even as the military eased restrictions on other fields such as combat aviation, which allowed women to become war-zone pilots for the first time. It has stood for nearly two decades, including throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Change could be in the air, however. As reported by Marine Corps Times previously, a panel appointed by Congress recently recommended that the military open all military occupational specialties to women, even in the combat arms.
In a cover story on newsstands this week, Marine Corps Times advances the story considerably. We lay out what the Corps has done this year alone in light of the recommendations, and what the change would mean to infantrymen, mortar men and other grunts in the combat arms. It goes without saying that this is an emotionally charged issue for many Marines.
You can pick the newspaper up on newsstands now, or subscribe here to read it online.
Also, we want to hear from more Marines on the subject. After checking out the story, please consider weighing in with a letter sent to marinelet (at) marinecorpstimes.com.