5 Ways Women in Combat Will Change Everything

3. "GI Jane" Will Be a Reality - Women may soon be welcomed to train to become Navy SEALs and Army Rangers. Whether they'll actually join remains a big question mark. The military is working on developing gender-neutral standards that align with the tasks people will actually need to do for certain jobs, but once those standards are in place, men and women will have to meet them equally. In other words, if a requirement for a job is to load a tank round, the weight of the rounds will be the same for both men and women. Military leaders said on Tuesday they don't have any set quota for how many women they want to fill certain positions, adding that they would continue to look at ways to help women advance. They plan to open the new combat positions to women who already hold other senior jobs, for example, so they can help ease the transition for less-experienced women.

4. Changing Care - More women in combat positions inevitably means more wounded female veterans down the line. That could impact everything from the services offered by the Veterans Affairs Department to the services available to disabled veterans looking to own their own businesses.

5. More Women at the Top - It's worth noting that admitting women to previously forbidden career tracks will result in more women at the top of the military's rank structure. A Chairwoman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would have significant influence over how women in the military are treated and progress through the ranks. That would also have a cascading effect on U.S. politics and culture, since military leadership is a highly sought-after trait in corporate executives and politicians. It could also change the world of Beltway defense contracting: There would suddenly be female veterans qualified to work in critical contracting roles that rely on people with high-level military experience.

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