The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) makes its way into Apra Harbor at U.S. Naval Base Guam. Freedom is on a deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region conducting maritime security operations. (U.S. Navy photo by JoAnna Delfin/Released)
In January, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed an order that started the process of allowing women in combat. Gender-neutral standards are being developed and physical standards are not to be lowered to allow women to qualify for jobs on the battlefront. However, all branches are reviewing the standards for different positions, including strength and stamina.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reviewed the plans and has ordered the services to move ahead with this proposal. This plan calls for men and women to meet the same physical and mental standards to quality for certain infantry, armor, commando and other front-line positions across the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, including elite special operations like the Navy Seals.
The Navy plans on allowing women in the Riverine force and will begin training women next month. The goal is to assign women to units by October 2013. The Riverine Squadron is not part of the special operations, but do perform close combat and security detail in small vessels. With the rise in military sexual assaults, some believe this move to allow women in combat will ease the tension between men and women. The hope is the idea of the male warrior against the rest of the force will be erased and replaced with a greater respect toward women.
TRICARE is an important issue for NERA. If you have questions regarding your benefits, what you and your family qualify for please follow this link to your benefits: http://www.tricare.mil/.
Access TRICARE brochures, handbooks, booklets for your region: TRICARE SMART
If you still have questions or have problems that are not addressed please contact Steve Sandy, Executive Director.
TRICARE updates will be posted as we receive them. Check back often for news pertaining to policy changes.
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