It's About Time To End Ban on Women in Combat: Army Reservist

Women have the endurance needed for combat roles, Miami psychiatrist Delvena Thomas says

Women will soon engage in combat roles in the United States military. Miami psychiatrist and Army Reservist Delvena Thomas says it's about time.

”Clearly women are in roles as athletes, women have shown that they too have the physical endurance, although we do have different body types, we can build that stamina,” Dr. Thomas said.

The Pentagon is lifting its ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after generations of limits on their service, defense officials said Wednesday.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is set to announce the changes on Thursday. But they will not happen overnight, as the services must develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions, a senior military official said.

There long has been opposition to putting women in combat, revolving around questions of whether they have the strength and stamina needed for certain jobs, and concerns about unit cohesion.

Dr. Thomas said, however, that if a female soldier finds herself in a hand-to-hand combat situation, don't count her out.

“They train us, they teach us, they show us all the techniques that they demonstrate to the male soldiers,” she said. “There's no reason to believe that a woman cannot hold her own.”

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