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Pentagon Plans To End Rule Excluding Women From Combat

OPB | Jan. 23, 2013 2:50 p.m.

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Women around Oregon and the nation reacted Wednesday to news the Pentagon plans to rescind the rule excluding them from combat.

Sharon Murtagh is currently a graduate student at Marylhurst University. But in 1985, she was in a combat-assigned position in the Marine Corps. She says that when she got orders for Operation Desert Storm, her colonel said she couldn’t go.

She says he told her she’d cause an international incident in Saudi Arabia by driving and not covering her head and arms. She says the rule change is a long time coming, and if women are going to be in the military, they should be taking the same risks as their male counterparts. 

“All this is going to do is allow women to go higher in the ranks of civilian and military society,” says Murtagh. “Because once the first woman earns the Congressional Medal of Honor, whether posthumously, or lives to tell about it, that is going to be a milestone.” 

The change could open more than 230,000 military jobs to women.

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