As Donald Trump takes office and appoints a new Secretary of Defense to replace Ash Carter, many are wondering how many, if any, current rules will be changed or remain the same, in terms of some of the newer, more controversial issues that have gone into effect during Obama’s administration. One issue is the expanded role women, most especially their new role in the combat arms jobs in all of the military branches. As for the outgoing Secretary, Carter hopes that things remain the same.
During a recent Pentagon press conference, his last, Carter opened up and said that he believes any change to this current policy by Trump would be a mistake. He reiterated his stance that allowing women to participate in all military jobs, including combat arms, was necessary for both recruiting and retention in a “modern society.”
It is no secret that many in the Republican party are against women in combat roles, and they even made it a part of their 2016 party platform. The language used exempted women from “direct ground combat units and infantry battalions.”
If the Trump administration decided to rescind the current policy, it could be done without having to go through Congress. The new Secretary of Defense would only have to change the policy and give Congress a thirty-day advance notice that he is doing so. This could also include policy changes on transgender military personnel.
As of today, 13 January 2017, Trump’s position on any policy change is not known. His past remarks might shed some light on this issue: Trump has stated that he will not use the military for “social engineering” purposes, and that he will not be led by “political correctness” on matters relating to the military. He also has said, more than once, that he would consult with generals before making any decisions.
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