2 Female Army Officers Sue to Reverse Combat Ban

May 25, 2012

Two female Army Reserve officers have sued the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Army, seeking the reversal of military policies banning women from serving in combat roles.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia accuses the government of violating the constitutional rights of military servicewomen by excluding them from certain ground combat units and other positions solely on the basis of their gender. It names Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of the Army John McHugh and two other top-ranking Army officials.

Command Sgt. Maj. Jane Baldwin and Col. Ellen Haring both allege that the combat exclusion policies have hindered their career advancement.

The legal effort stems from an initiative by a University of Virginia professor and several law students.

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