Jim Webb defends record on women in military

jim-webbJim Webb, in 1979, wrote a magazine piece titled “Women Can’t Fight” addressing the role of women in combat. Now running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, Webb would like you to know that he didn’t write the headline.

“I did not title that article, by the way,” the former Virginia U.S. senator said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, in which he defended the piece for being “a strong article on women in combat.”

The defense also noted the context of the times. A Vietnam veteran, Webb was on his way to serving in the administration of Republican President Ronald Reagan as Secretary of the Navy.

“And if you look at my record as a government official, when I was secretary of the Navy, I opened up more billets to women than any secretary of the Navy in history.  We did it by having the military talk to the political process.  My record in the Senate was very clear on this,” Webb said.

Webb was questioned on the topic of women serving in combat roles in the military in the wake of news last week that two women had graduated from Army Ranger School, the first female graduates of the grueling program in the nation’s history.

“I’m very proud to look and see that these two women who are West Point graduates, and they went through the rigorous training.  And the military decides – should be able to decide how they would be used,” Webb said.

– Story by Chris Graham

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