Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Letter to Carl Levin, Chairman of Committee on Armed Services and John McCain Ranking Member of Committee on Armed Services


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) has requested a full Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Defense Department policies regarding women in combat. The request comes after Senator Brown urged Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to allow women in the military to serve in combat positions.

Last week, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette published an op-ed by Senator Brown calling for removing barriers for women in the military and ensuring they can "compete for the same jobs and opportunities currently available to men."

Senator Brown is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a 32-year member of the Army National Guard.

The hearing request is as follows:

The Honorable Carl Levin
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable John McCain
Ranking Member,
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Levin and Ranking Member McCain,

As you know, the Department of Defense recently submitted to Congress its Review of Laws, Policies and Regulations Restricting the Service of Female Members in the U.S. Armed Forces in order to meet the requirements of Section 535 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011. As someone who supports women who wish to serve in combat positions, I respectfully request your consideration to convene a full hearing of the Senate Committee on Armed Services on that issue and other policy changes discussed in the report.

The results of the study were very promising and there are many things we can do now to enhance the capabilities of our armed forces. The Department's review of all gender-restricting policies resulted in the following vision statement: "The Department of Defense is committed to removing all barriers that would prevent Service members from rising to the highest level of responsibility that their talents and capabilities warrant." This goal is both realistic and readily achievable, and I share the Department's commitment to remove any barriers for women service members.

Based on the findings of its review, the Department intends to:

* Eliminate the co-location exclusion from the 1994 policy;

* As an exception to policy, allow Military Department Secretaries to assign women in open occupational specialties to select units and positions at the battalion level (for Army, Navy, and Marine Corps) whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground;

* Based on the exception to policy, assess the suitability and relevance of the direct ground combat unit assignment prohibition to inform future policy decisions; and

* Pursue the development of gender-neutral physical standards for occupational specialties closed due to physical requirements.

I am mindful that the decision to eliminate gender-restricted assignment policies requires deliberate action. I believe that a hearing will help reveal how we can best provide opportunities for all military members and enhance our armed forces' level of readiness.

Thank you for your consideration.


United States Senator

Skip to top

Help us stay free for all your Fellow Americans

Just $5 from everyone reading this would do it.

Back to top