With the women-in-combat ban ending, local soldier says she's ready for the front line

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A groundbreaking decision from the Pentagon will soon allow women to serve their country from the front lines. An official announcement that will end a 20-year ban on women in most forms of combat is expected Thursday.

Army Specialist Kali Files grew up in the Kansas City area and is now stationed in Fort Lewis, Wash. Files, who enlisted in 2010, said she knows there will still be roadblocks even when the the ban is officially lifted.

"I have mixed feelings about it because there's the people that think that women can't do it, and then people like myself -- I just want to ... prove to you that I can," Files explained.

Concerns from inside the military include whether women can meet the physical demands required in combat, and how their presence might affect the entire unit in the field. Files hears this from the men at the base, and she doesn't hold that against them.

"They don't think their standards should be changed over just to accommodate a woman, and I agree with that, honestly," she said.

If female soldiers can meet the standards, they can apply for the 237,000 combat-related positions that had been unavailable to them over the last 20 years.

"Not every woman is going to be able to do this job, but there are some that I know that will definitely be able to handle the stresses of the daily tools that that job takes on you," Files said.

Some of the jobs in combat could become open to women later this year.

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