McCain Backs Panetta Decision on Women in Combat

by Eliana Johnson

Following on the heels of his friend and colleague Kelly Ayotte, Senator John McCain is voicing his support for Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s decision earlier today to overturn the ban on women in combat. “I respect and support Secretary Panetta’s decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat,” McCain said in a statement, noting that “American women are already serving in harm’s way today all over the world and in every branch of our armed forces. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice, and our nation owes them a deep debt of gratitude.”

McCain added that, as the new rule is implemented, “it is critical that we maintain the same high standards that have made the American military the most feared and admired fighting force in the world — particularly the rigorous physical standards for our elite special forces units.”

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