Women will have shot at front lines as military prepares to open 237,000 combat positions

Military unveils plans to place women in combat

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It's nearly decision time for FAU senior Jyni Gaspard. 

To teach? Or join the military?

"It's just a sense of pride in following in my family's footsteps," said Gaspard.

The Pentagon explained today that by 2016, each branch will integrate women by establishing physical standards, training practices, and unit procedures that both men and women will have to follow.

Slots in elite Army Special Ops and Navy SEALs will be on the table for prospective service members like Gaspard and the 200,000 women who already serve.

"If I join the military, I'd want to do it full force," said Gaspard. "I think I can prove myself."

Critics wonder whether a combat unit of women and men will jeopardize close-kint ground combat operations. 

The military is already struggling with a wide ranging sexual assault scandal. 

Gaspard's FAU classmate, Frantz Boisrond, who is definitely enlisting, says he isn't sure how he feels about it.

"Women serving on the front line is very progressive. I guess it's yet to be seen whether it's a positive or a negative," Boisrond.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel made the order in January to open 237,000 posts to women. 

As Gaspard spends her final college days deciding whether the military is for her, she sees the debate in a different way.

"It's just kind of giving the men an opportunity to prove themselves," said Gaspard. "If we are granted the same opportunity as them and they can't focus and we can, who is the stronger person?"

She and the military will soon begin to find out.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments