REPORT FROM REP. TULSI GABBARD’S OFFICE – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement on the news that the Department of Defense will lift the ban on women serving in ground combat roles:
“As a twice-deployed combat veteran, I have a firsthand appreciation and understanding of the contributions women in uniform make every single day, all around the world. I have had the honor of serving with incredibly talented female soldiers who, if given the opportunity, would serve as great assets in our ground combat units. It is crucial that we shed light on the great value and opportunities that these women bring.
“Today is a historic day for not only women currently serving in our armed forces, but for all of the women who have selflessly put their lives on the line in theaters of war throughout our nation’s history. Female service members have contributed on the battlefield as far back as the Civil War, when some disguised themselves as men just to have the opportunity to serve their nation. This decision by the Department of Defense is an overdue, yet welcome change, which I strongly support. I look forward to hearing the details of how this will be executed, and will support full and equal access for our highly capable female service members to serve our country in all roles, which will only stand to strengthen our Armed Forces, and our national defense.
“This change is a huge step toward maximizing their potential, and honoring the tremendous sacrifices that our military women have made throughout history.”
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is one of the first female combat veterans ever to serve in the U.S Congress. In 2004, she voluntarily deployed to Iraq with her fellow soldiers of the 29th Brigade Combat Team, eventually serving two tours of combat duty in the Middle East. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom, was the first female Distinguished Honor Graduate at Fort McClellan’s Officer Candidate School, and was the first woman to ever receive an award of appreciation from the Kuwaiti military on her second overseas tour. Congresswoman Gabbard continues to serve as a Military Police Captain in the Hawai‘i National Guard.