April 16, 2013
For women headed to newly opened combat roles, there’s this very practical consideration: body armor.
California Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Democratic member of the Armed Services Committee and founder of the Women in the Military Caucus, said last week during a subcommittee hearing that she is concerned that women — now that they can serve in combat — will be encumbered by ill-fitting body armor designed for men.
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted the ban on women in combat in January, overturning the 1994 Pentagon rule restricting women from artillery, armor, infantry and other combat roles. Women had lobbied the Pentagon to end the restrictions since many have found themselves in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.