Female Soldiers Sue U.S. Government to Enter Combat


Two female soldiers are suing the U.S. government in an attempt to lift the country's ban on women in combat.

Command Sgt. Maj. Jane Baldwin and Col. Ellen Harding filed the federal lawsuit to put an end to restrictions in combat positions "solely on the basis of sex."

The women—both Army reservists—claim their military careers have been hampered by the ban on women in combat, and want the court to rule it unconstitutional for violating their equal protection rights under the Fifth Amendment.

The Pentagon unveiled a new policy in February that opened up 14,000 more positions to women in the military. It still barred them from serving in infantry, armor and special-operations units whose main job is frontline combat.

Women make up about 14.5 percent of active-duty military personnel. At least 144 female troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and more than 860 have been wounded since the conflicts began.