Junior ROTC members agree with women in combat - Fox 2 News Headlines

Junior ROTC members agree with women in combat

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The military is ending its ban on women in combat. Qualifications will not be reduced -- they'll have to go toe to toe with their male counterparts.

Supporters say the changing face of war has forced women onto the front lines already.

Combat jobs could be open to women by the end of the year, so this change will have a big impact on the next generation of military members.

We caught up with some Maryvale High Schoolers who are also members of the Junior ROTC. All of them, both males and females, are excited about the idea.

"I think it'd be a huge opportunity for women," says Lizbeth Carillo.

At Maryvale High School, three female students hold the highest positions in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program – including battalion commander Lizbeth Carillo.

"If you look at it like, some women are strong and it just depends on how they live their life."

Like her fellow classmates, Carillo thinks women, who make up 15 percent of the military, can hold their own in combat – mentally and physically.

"The label they put on women that they're too extremely emotional is not true," says Yanet Penaloza.

At Maryvale, boys and girls undergo all the same training.

Ivan Velez plans to join the army, and says he'd feel safe with a woman fighting by his side.

"Long as they put in work and they can do the training, they should be able to react calmly in a situation," says Velez.

Students say it's important for men and women to be held to the same physical standards.

"I know they won't send somebody into combat if they knew they weren't ready for the mission," says Penaloza.

All of the young women we talked to said the possibility of being on the front lines doesn't affect their desire to enlist.

FOX 10's Kristen Keogh reports.

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