An advocacy group for female service members and veterans has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming that Pentagon leadership is illegally stopping women from serving in combat on an equal footing with their male peers.
The suit, filed Dec. 18 in San Francisco by the Service Women’s Action Network, alleges that the Trump administration is taking every step possible to undo President Obama’s policy that would open doors for women who wish to serve in combat units.
The suit specifically challenges the “Leaders First” policy in place within the Army and Marine Corps, which prevents female junior enlisteds from joining combat battalions until at least two or more female leaders are already assigned to those units.
The policy “deliberately leads to the isolation and segregation of women, either during training or upon accession to a combat-arms unit,” the lawsuit claims.
The group also contends that the Marine Corps’ policy that segregates men and women during basic training “relegates females to second-class status.”
Publicly, Pentagon leaders still plan to move forward with plans to open combat billets to women who earn them.