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    DOD opens all Battlefield Airmen positions to women

    SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, SC, UNITED STATES

    02.16.2016

    Story by Senior Airman Diana Cossaboom 

    20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S. C. - Ashton Carter, U.S. Secretary of Defense, announced all positions in the U.S. military will be open to both men and women, Dec. 3, 2015.

    After reviewing studies and data from senior leaders, spanning the last three years, Carter determined that all remaining positions not currently open to women throughout the DOD, will no longer hold that exception.

    Within the U.S. Air Force this includes six career fields: Combat Rescue Officers, Special Tactics Officers, Pararescue, Combat Control, Tactical Air Control Party and Special Operations Weather Positions, known as Battlefield Airman career fields.

    By eliminating gender stipulations, the Air Force is able to meet its goal to ensure the most qualified and capable Airmen carry out its mission.

    "Like our outstanding force of today, our force of the future must continue to benefit from the best people America has to offer," said Carter. "In the 21st century, that requires drawing strength from the broadest possible pool of talent. This includes women, because they make up over 50 percent of the American population. To succeed in our mission of national defense, we cannot afford to cut ourselves off from half the country's talents and skills."

    Approximately 220,000 additional positions and career fields DOD-wide, including approximately 4,000 positions within the Air Force, are now open to women.

    Effective Jan. 4, Air Force Battlefield Airmen positions previously unavailable to 19 percent of the Air Force opened.

    The physical standards for the Battlefield Airmen positions have not changed and will not change for women. Women must achieve the same standards as the men, ensuring occupational standards and battlefield requirements.

    "The military has long prided itself on being a meritocracy," said Carter. "Where those who serve are judged not based on who they are or where they come from, but rather what they have to offer to help defend this country. That's why we have the finest fighting force the world has ever known. And it's one other way we will strive to ensure that the force of the future remains so, long into the future. Today, we take another step toward that continued excellence."

    The Air Force, an all-volunteer force, opened these positions to maximize the talents of all personnel without sacrificing mission performance, unit readiness, cohesion or quality.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.16.2016
    Date Posted: 02.16.2016 12:20
    Story ID: 188942
    Location: SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, SC, US 

    Web Views: 242
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN