Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made his final pitch for keeping the military's current policy that opens up all jobs to women – including combat roles.
At his last Pentagon news conference as Defense Secretary, Carter conceded that "I can't talk to the next administration," nor could he comment "on anything that might happen in future," Military.com reported Wednesday.
"What matters for future of the all-volunteer force is that we emphasize, attract and retain the most qualified people who can meet our standards" regardless of sex, he said, Military.com reported.
"It is important, it is essential to the excellence of our military that we put foremost the ability of an individual to do the job."
It's expected President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Defense Secretary, Marine Gen. James Mattis, will be grilled on the issue of military women in combat at his confirmation hearing Thursday, the news outlet reported.
Mattis has in the past balked at sending military women into combat – and suggested their close contact with male soldiers in the trenches "is not setting them up for success."
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