A surprise announcement from Wednesday is now official. The military is ending its ban on women serving in combat. Thursday afternoon, Defense Secretary Leon Pannetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey signed the order. Pannetta said not everyone has the qualifications to be a combat soldier, but everyone should be given the chance.
"I think that for so long enlisted females have already been doing the job that the military is just now going to technically allow us to do," said 2nd Lt. Sunny Walker of Fort Campbell.
Walker said she's already been pushed forward to the front line as a combat medic. Even with her experience, she said Thursday was history.
"Every female just wants to serve their country the best that they can, and this is going to allow us to do that," said Walker.
"Honestly, if a girl's running down the street and passes guys, the guys are going to speed up and run faster," added Capt. Heidi Miller of Fort Campbell. "I think this news is great. It's going to push guys to work harder as well."
Walking through the crowds at the Hiring our Heroes job fair at LP Field Thursday, applicants of varying military backgrounds had different takes on the news.
Bettie Hoard, a 25-year veteran, said she believes it's the wrong move.
"Infantry, no," said Hoard. "We're just not made to work the front line. The men will be too concerned with trying to protect us."
Renee Bobb, who served in the Navy for five years, said this is a day she's long waited to see.
"This is an opportunity to be on the front line and actually show the talent and skills that we have," said Bobb. "Regardless of our gender, we're able to stand up and do the same thing that men can do. It's very exciting."
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