H. R. 1928
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 13, 2011
Ms. Loretta Sanchez of California introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services
To amend title 10, United States Code, to repeal the ground combat exclusion policy for female members of the Armed Forces.
This Act may be cited as the
Women’s Fair and Equal Right to
Military Service Act.
Findings and purpose
Congress finds the following:
260,457 female members of the Armed Forces have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, or Operation New Dawn.
25,099 female members of the Armed Forces are currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are not excluded from providing support to combat units or other frontline units.
As of April 1, 2011, 137 female members of the Armed Forces have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, and, of the women killed, over 60 were killed in combat.
More than 1,300 female members of the Armed Forces have been wounded in action, of which 758 were wounded in hostile action.
The current nature of war has changed in Iraq and Afghanistan and, despite the prohibition on female members of the Armed Forces serving in combat, so has the role of female members of the Armed Forces.
Women are increasingly attached to combat units and engaging in frontline roles despite the current ground combat exclusion policy.
Female members of the Armed Forces are engaging in direct combat without receiving adequate combat training due to the current ground combat exclusion policy described in current section 652 of title 10, United States Code.
The Secretaries of the military departments should be given the authorization to assign an eligible member of an armed force under the jurisdiction of that Secretary to a unit of that armed force based on the needs of the unit, regardless of the member’s gender.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has stated that women have been serving in combat already and female members of the Armed Services have expressed that because they’re not in a combat military occupational specialty, they haven’t had combat training, but they’re on a combat patrol.
The purposes of this Act are—
to ensure that modern military combat policies reflect the current operational environment of the combat operations; and
to raise the profile of the recognition that female members of the Armed Forces should receive for their service, particularly when it involves their contribution with regard to direct combat operations.
Repeal of ground combat exclusion policy for female members of the Armed Forces
Section 652 of title 10, United States Code, is repealed.
The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 37 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to section 652.
Revision of current military personnel policies
The Secretary of Defense shall revise the military personnel policies of the Department of Defense and the military departments so that such policies do not restrict members of the Armed Forces from assignment to units and positions based on gender.
Notice and wait
Any change in a military personnel policy that would exclude based on gender shall not take effect until—
the Secretary of Defense submits to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and House of Representatives a notice of the intent to make the change; and
a period of 30 legislative days has expired following the date on which the notice is received by the committees.
Legislative day defined
In this subsection,
legislative day means a day on which either House of
Congress is in session.