Placing women on the front lines in infantry roles during war could impair the ability of troops to complete their assigned missions, said Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., in an interview on Wednesday.
The freshman member of Congress said on the Laura Ingraham radio show
that he opposed an Obama administration move to change rules barring women from combat roles in the U.S. Armed Forces based on recent studies into the issue.
“To have women serving in infantry could impair the mission’s central task in those units,” Cotton said. “That’s been proved in study after study just as a matter of nature . . . To have them in the infantry, in either the Marine Corps or the Army, could impair the mission — the central task of those forces.”
The Obama administration last February said it would open up about 14,000 combat positions to women, though most of the more than 230,000 other roles would stay off-limits as they were reviewed for appropriateness.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has been reviewing the positions, as well as several studies into whether or not women would even want the positions and could excel in them, according to the Army Times
"I think they'll be surprised by the number that will come forward [with interest]," said 25-year Navy veteran Lory Manning who retired in the 1990s. Manning now works for the Women’s Research and Education Institute.
"If you asked someone in 1985 about going to sea, she would have been thinking, 'Girls don't do that and so I don't want to do that,'" Manning said. "But when push came to shove, they did it, they loved it."
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