Each of the four services this week submitted implementation plans to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel detailing how to integrate women into combat roles, Defense Department spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen told the Daily Report on May 16. Christensen said DOD is “conducting a thorough review” of the plans, received on May 15, and anticipates submitting its proposal to Congress later this summer. “It would be inappropriate to discuss the content of those recommendations, or speculate on any decisions the Secretary may come to subsequent to the review,” he said. “The successful integration of women into currently closed positions requires the department to be thoughtful and deliberate in determining the next steps,” he said. The Pentagon announced in late January plans to open more combat roles to women. Unlike the other services, most Air Force specialty codes already are open to women, except for some special operations positions.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.