Military Salute: Women in combat - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Military Salute: Women in combat

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HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) -

Much of America may have been shocked when Washington open some combat jobs up to female military members. But many soldiers at Fort Stewart already know what a combat zone is like.

"This is really more about semantics," said SFC Margaret Beatty. "We've been in combat situations, just not in combat jobs. This finally recognizes that."

"We've had women MP's, women truck drivers, and other jobs who've been in combat areas and been in combat. Now they'll officially have the job," added SFC Michelle Tyson. Both women are members of Third Infantry's First Brigade.

Both women said they are glad for the female soldiers just starting careers who have the opportunity. However, both said it was not something they would pursue at this point in their service.

Tyson voiced some concerns over how long it would take to change the culture within some of those combat jobs for those soldiers to accept women in their ranks.

"It is different in almost every job, it will take time to see how women cope in each one and how they handle women," she said.

The Defense Department issued an order last week that will open many combat-related jobs for women. Some could be available for women as soon as the end of this year, while others could take longer. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta cautioned the physical requirements for those jobs would not be adjusted for women and they must meet the existing standards.

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