"Im announcing muy decision not to make continued exceptions, that is, to proceed with opening all these remaining occupations and positions to women. There will be no exceptions," said Carter here at a press conference.
The announcement came after years of researches, and it would eliminate limits on how and where women can be engaged in US military operations.
"They (women) will be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat," said Carter. "Theyll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALS, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men."
His announcement was a flat rejection of Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Joseph Dunfords previous remarks which argued that the U.S. Marines should be allowed to keep women out of certain front-line combat jobs, citing studies showing that mixed-gender units would be less capable as all-male units.
Carter said though the Marine Corps had asked for a partial exception in some areas such as infantry, machine gunner, fire support reconnaissance and others, "we are a joint force, and I have decided to make a decision which applies to the entire force."(*)