Wisconsin (WFRV) - Thursday the U.S. military officially lifted its ban on women in combat roles.
The historic order was supported by military chiefs and the President.
The move will open hundreds of thousands of positions on the front lines to women, possibly including roles with elite commando units like the Navy Seals.
"It is going to be nice to be equal down the line instead of being inferior in certain fields" says Sarah Gage, a new enlistee in the Army.
The 18 year old is leaving in less than five months for basic training. Gage is committed to five years with the Army.
"I am going to be a medical lab technician" she explains. "Working in a lot of hospitals and things like that".
Sarah and other women will now have access to more than 200,000 front line positions previously only available to men.
"I always thought that positions should not be chosen by gender, but by qualifications. I think this is going to open up opportunities to some women that never had that opportunity before" says Laurel Weyenberg who worked her way through the ranks for 36 years.
She is applauding the changes saying "my initial reaction was soldiers are soldiers. They all have specific military occupation specialties".
Women will have to meet fitness requirements, which could keep them out of some units.
"It kind of changes the perspective" says Gage. "When I signed up there weren't combat positions available so it will be interesting to see the different people in the different fields versus the way it is now".
"I am very proud of the fact that women can stand up for the country like any other men" says Weyenberg.
The changes will not come overnight, the new policy will be phased in over the next 3 years.