Panel:Rescind the Policy Preventing Women in Combat

Oregon Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Jo Turner (left) and Spc. Cheryl Ivanov are battle buddies who stick together and help each other cope with the emotional and mental stress of combat operations in Afghanistan. (Photo by 1st Lt. Amanda Straub, 41st Brigade Combat Team)

It took 18 months of analysis, but today a panel on diversity called upon the Department of Defense to rescind its 1994 policy that prevents women from being assigned to combat units.

Women are already serving in combat environments in Iraq and Afghanistan,  being shot and killed concluded retired Air Force Gen. Lester L. Lykes who chaired the Military Leadership Diversity Commission. Changing the “women in combat policy” is one of 20 recommendations made by the commission.

The panel of 31 independent civilians and military personnel, found the policy was a barrier to women advancing into senior leadership in the military.

You can read a DOD article about the report or read the full 162-page report.

Tillman Military Scholar Applications Open Today

Pat Tillman.

Veterans, active duty service members from all branches and their family members at 12 universities are eligible to become a Tillman Military Scholar .

The University of South Florida, recently partnered with the Pat Tillman Foundation, is one of the 12. The other university partners are: Columbia University, San Diego State University, University of Michigan – Flint,  the University of Wyoming, Cleveland State University, Mississippi State University, Texas A&M University, University of Arizona, University of Arkansas, University of Maryland and University of Oregon.

Tillman Scholar applicants must write a compelling and genuine essay addressing three questions: their unmet financial need, their motivation for joining the military and their goals and future plans. Other criterion includes demonstrated community service and personal achievement.

Hurry. The application process to become a Tillman Military Scholar opens today. And, according to the Tillman Foundation website, only a limited number of applications will be accepted. So, don’t delay, apply as soon as possible.

Learn more about eligibility and criteria by visiting the Pat Tillman Scholars Frequently Asked Questions page.

The university partners were selected in part for their support services and proven culture of community for military families including outreach to its veteran student population as well as strengthening their academic and personal experience.

The scholarship program fills the financial gaps not covered by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Tillman Military Scholarships covers tuition and fees and also other needs including housing and child care. To date, 111 Tillman Military Scholars representing 28 states and attending 46 academic institutions nationwide have been awarded over $1.3 million.

USF’s Office of Veterans’ Services works with the Veterans Administration to assist veterans, active duty servicepersons and members of the Selected Reserve, as well as eligible dependents, enrolled at USF, with their financial and academic needs.  It can be accessed by visiting

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