From the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
LANSING, MICH.— Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Vadnais, the Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard and the Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs supports the Pentagon’s decision to clear women for combat roles in the U.S. military.
“Michigan women have already served in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Vadnais said. “Expansion to allow women into ground combat units really comes as no surprise. We remain standards driven organization; the best-qualified and most capable people will successfully accomplish our missions, regardless of gender. The policy move opens up additional options for service women and provides official recognition for those serving in some of the most dangerous positions protecting our nation.”
Women are currently excluded from only 8 military specialties in the Michigan Army National Guard. Approximately 3,000 female Soldiers have deployed since 9/11. Nearly 1,000 Michigan National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are scheduled to deploy in contingency operation in the coming year.
In a Pentagon news conference earlier this week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey announced the decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat and said woman are integral to the military’s success, noting their demonstrated willingness to fight and die in combat in order to defend and protect American freedom.
The Michigan National Guard stands ready to make any and all changes necessary in accordance with Department of Defense initiatives.