2 female Army Reserve officers sue U.S. Department of Defense over 'combat ban policies for women'
Washington, May 26 (ANI): Two women in the Army Reserve have sued the U.S. Department of Defense and the Army, in a bid to reverse military policies banning women from serving in combat roles.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia accuses the government of violating the constitutional rights of servicewomen, by excluding them from certain ground combat units and other positions solely on the basis of their gender.
It also seeks to end such policies by the Defense Department and Army and to require the military to make all assignments and training decisions without regard to a service member's gender.
According to CBS News, the lawsuit, filed Wednesday, names Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of the Army John McHugh, Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Thomas Bostick and Assistant Army Secretary Thomas Lamont.
It is believed to be the first lawsuit to challenge the combat ban, according to a study at University of Virginia Law School by professor Anne Coughlin, who led an effort to look into the policies.
The lawsuit also noted that women are already serving in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and instead of assigning them to combat units, the military is purposefully and deliberately circumventing the exclusion by "attaching" them to such units.
In doing so, the policies reportedly put the women in more danger than their male counterparts because they're barred from receiving combat-arms training necessary for engaging with hostile forces.
Department of Defense spokesman Todd Breasseale declined to comment specifically about the lawsuit.
However, he said that Panetta "remains strongly committed to examining the expansion of roles of women in the U.S. military, as evidenced by the recent step of opening up thousands more assignments to women." (ANI)
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