SANCHEZ QUESTIONS DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ON IMPLEMENTATION OF WOMEN IN COMBAT POLICY CHANGE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, today questioned General James Amos, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, on the implementation of the women in combat policy change. Rep. Sanchez served as Ranking Member of today’s House Armed Services Committee hearing on the FY14 National Defense Authorization Request from the Department of the Navy.
“I’ve worked for many years to make the military an equal workplace for female service members. Alongside Secretary Panetta, I was proud to oversee the groundbreaking decision to eliminate the ground combat exclusion policy for women in the military. I firmly believe this change will provide more opportunities and create more paths for service women to become leaders and will lead to a stronger and better-served armed forces.
“The timeline put together by the Department of Defense to address this policy change is aggressive, and I asked General Amos to give our committee an update on the Navy’s implementation plan. I wanted to know what steps the Navy is taking to open positions in combat to servicewomen, and how Congress can help with implementation of this new reality.
“General Amos agreed with me that we’ve had women in combat for more than twelve years, so women risking their lives is not new. He believes this is a positive policy change for the military and he assured me that the Marines are on track to opening more positions. The Marines are currently developing gender-neutral occupational standards including physical standards for its positions. General Amos stated these standards would be implemented by January of next year.”