POSTED: Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 7:46pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 8:44pm
Washington, D.C. - Some are calling it a milestone for women in the military. Others say it was long time coming.
The Pentagon announced Thursday, changes in its policy that would now officially allow women closer to the front lines.
Military personnel we spoke with say, Thursday's news is merely a formality as women have often served in battalions in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The policy will still keep women from serving in infantry and Special Operations positions, but it'll open up about 14,000 jobs that were reserved exclusively for men.
"I don't consider myself a female first," 2nd Lt. Yecenia Diaz said. "I consider myself an officer first. So, to know that there's certain things we can't do because we're women, it's frustrating. You join up knowing that there are limitations but to know that maybe some of them are getting lifted, is a success."
"It's a long time coming," Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard said. "We don't have to say, 'Oh, so and so is really in this unit,' when in fact, she's in this unit that is in combat. I'm happy about it."
"(It's) a blinding flash of the obvious," Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard said of the changing policy.
According to The Pentagon, 144 military women have been killed in combat and non-combat incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new policy is expected to go into effect later this Spring.