The commander of U.S. special operations said Tuesday he expects to see women in the elite commando forces now that the Pentagon is allowing them to serve in combat.
Adm. William McRaven, head of the US special operations command, said he was "fully supportive" of the decision to lift the ban on women in combat.
"It's time to do this," he said, noting that women have long served in supporting roles for special operations forces.
He said that over the next couple of years his command would work out how to integrate women into its combat forces, which includes commando units like the Navy SEALs that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Special operations units are famously selective, putting prospective recruits through punishing physical and mental tests, with most applicants failing to make the grade.
"What we don't want to do is say, hey, if you want to become a SEAL, then we're going to have a female standard and a male standard."
"We've always had a standard. And I guarantee you, there will be females out here that will ...(undergo) training, be Rangers and do a phenomenal job."