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OSU Military Historian Welcomes New Women in Combat Rules

An Ohio State University military historian says it will take some time and possibly an act of congress to implement new Pentagon rules allowing women to serve in ground combat units. Retired Army Colonel and OSU military historian, Pete Mansoor, says congress will have to weigh in on whether women will have to register with selective service on their 18th birthday. "Well, it would be up for congress to decide whether to subject young women to enrolling in selective service, but I think they should. If women are eligible to serve in the combat arms and all positions in the military are open to them there should be no reason why they should have that option and not be forced to do so if the nation is in peril." Says Mansoor. Mansoor commanded the 1st Brigade in Iraq from July 2003 to July 2004. Both men and women served in the unit. A brigade is a unit of about 3,500 troops. The new Pentagon rules will allow women to serve in smaller infantry, artillery, armor, combat engineer and special operations units. "I think socially the young soldiers will get along fine. There's going to be some issue with sexual violence and so forth, which there already is in the military and that will be addressed." Mansoor says. In his announcement, Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta says he's making the change to ensure the best qualified and most capable people serve, regardless of gender.