Jim Webb ‘proud’ to see female Rangers

Posted at 10:51 AM, Aug 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-23 10:51:13-04

WASHINGTON — Former Sen. Jim Webb says he is “proud” to see the first two female Army Rangers, even though he’d opposed women in combat positions in the wake of his experience in the Vietnam War.

Webb, a former Virginia senator who’s now a Democratic presidential candidate, told CNN’s Jim Acosta in an interview Sunday on “State of the Union” that he no longer believes the position he took in a 1979 op-ed in The Washingtonian.

“I came back from a very hard war where more than 100,000 Marines were killed or wounded. I had my views about how the political process should be dictating to the military that they make changes,” Webb said.

“I am totally comfortable now with the military being able to make these decisions in a way that goes to performance,” he said, “and I am very proud to see — these two women are West Point graduates, and they went through the rigorous training, and the military should be able to decide how they are used.”

Two women recently became the first females to earn their Ranger tabs after completing the Army’s Ranger School in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has commissioned a survey of positions in the U.S. military that are not open to women right now, and said last week that he plans to decide by the end of this year whether any of them will remain so.