Our View: Women who serve deserve more

DKS Editors

The Pentagon is slowly but surely catching up with the rest of society — at least when it comes to women’s rights.

The Defense Department recommended to Congress Thursday that women be allowed to serve in more military positions. These positions are closer to combat, though they still don’t allow them to be up front, and they offer military women the opportunity to advance their career in a more substantial way than they’ve been able to before. Around 14,000 new military jobs will be open to women.

The new recommendations would also replace an 18-year-old policy that prohibits women from serving on ground combat units below the brigade level, according to a USA Today report.

While we’re happy to see progress made in the area of women’s military service, it isn’t enough. It seems incredibly outdated and restrictive to keep women out of infantry units just because they are closer to the “front lines.”

USA Today’s report noted that roughly 280,000 women have gone to Afghanistan, Iraq or neighboring countries. With the advancements in nuclear war and the increasing presence of suicide bombers, it’s a scary reality that these women, though they aren’t alongside counterterrorism teams, are still in danger.

The front lines have been blurred — maybe even eliminated — making policies like these seem pointless.

Women experience difficulty in achieving career goals when prohibited from serving in combat units, as promotions and rankings are more readily available for those who can.

USA Today’s report also noted women are often “attached” to battalions so they can do similar work without the same recognition.

These rules and loopholes are hardly indicative of the enthusiasm and strength that women in the military represent.

Let’s give them the freedom to serve where they choose.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.