House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the military will be lifting its ban on women serving in combat roles:
"I'm pleased by Secretary Panetta's announcement, in conjunction with the Joint Chiefs' decision, that women will be allowed to serve in combat roles. This is a long awaited change in policy, and reflects the fact that women have courageously served in our armed forces for years. As I said when the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy was repealed, our military is made stronger when it welcomes the service of all brave Americans willing to fight for their country. This is another step toward a fully inclusive military, and our nation will be better for it."