U.S. Senator Tim Kaine issued the following statement today regarding expected action by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to overturn the 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to ground combat units:
"I support the recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to allow women to fully serve to the best of their abilities in the military. Despite the 1994 executive prohibition, women have been serving in combat zones and facing personal risk for some time. Some have suffered serious life-altering injuries and others have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Today's announcement spotlights this reality, honors those contributions, and represents an important step forward for our nation's armed services community. In the same way that President Truman's order integrating the military paved the way for broader progress towards racial equality, the military's leadership in allowing women to serve to their full capacity will expand opportunities for women throughout society."