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DOD Decision 'One More Opportunity' For Women In Uniform

Eileen Pace | Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio

The Air Force is now working on implementing the policy change by the Department of Defense allowing women into combat roles. Coincidentally, 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of women being able to become combat pilots for the Air Force.

Christa D'Andrea is the chief of public affairs for the Air Force Recruiting Service at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph and served on active-duty for 11 years. She said the integration of women in these roles is the next logical step in the military.

"I had the opportunity to work with some of the most courageous and professional women," she said. "We've got women who've contributed in unprecedented ways. They've served alongside men in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their record of performance has been nothing less than outstanding. And so the Department of Defense announcement, it's one more opportunity to allow women to serve their nation in various careers."

D'Andrea says it's too early to tell how this could affect the military's recruiting efforts, but the Air Force will be partnering with the U.S. Special Operations command and other services to review opening up the seven remaining Air Force career fields still closed to women.

"Each of the services will be submitting a detailed plan by May 15 for implementation. That's going to really give us a better idea of how these changes are going to be implemented across the Air Force."

D'Andrea says the seven career fields closed include three officer and four enlisted fields in jobs like combat control officer and enlisted para-rescue.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.