Brent Scowcroft Center Nonresident Senior Fellows for Military Affairs and National Security Policy Dave Barno and Nora Bensahel write for TIME on the developing debate regarding the role of women in combat positions, in light of the two women graduating from Army Ranger School:

Friday morning, two West Point graduates — Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver — will make history as the first women to graduate from the Army’s intensely demanding Ranger School. Their remarkable accomplishment is a monumental milestone in the progress of women in the US armed forces — and should end the debate about whether women are capable of serving in all combat positions.


Yet they will not be allowed to immediately serve in infantry jobs, Army special forces, or in the Ranger Regiment. These units remain closed to women, though that may change soon. In 2013, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta officially declared all military positions open to women as of Jan. 1, 2016. The services have until that date to request and justify any exemptions that would keep specific positions closed. That means that in a few short months, current Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will make the final decision about which positions, if any, in the armed forces will remain closed to women.

Read the full article here.

Related Experts: Nora Bensahel