"Laws prohibiting women from serving in combat units were repealed in the early 1990s. However, until recently, it has been Department of Defense (DOD) 'policy' to restrict women from certain units and military occupations, especially ground combat units. In recent years, efforts have been underway to remove these restrictions. Others have questioned the need to modify or remove these restrictions and the purposes for doing so. On January 24, 2013, the ground combat restrictions for women were rescinded by DOD. Nevertheless, Congress has authority to make changes in these matters. Congress may consider additional issues including equal opportunity, equal responsibility (such as draft registration), readiness and cohesion, manpower needs of the military, and training standards."
CRS Report for Congress, R42075