One of the U.S. servicewomen who sued the Defense Department over its policy against women in combat says she hopes a pending reversal allows some women to enter special-force units like the Navy SEALs.
Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Jennifer Hunt said Thursday she doesn't know yet whether Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's reported decision to open combat jobs to female troops renders her lawsuit moot.
“We're still in a wait-and-see pattern and cautiously optimistic" about Panetta's decision, Hunt told CNN's Ashleigh Banfield on Thursday morning.
Hunt, who was awarded the Purple Heart after an explosive device injured her in Iraq, said that "women have been demonstrating for the past 11 years during these conflicts that they are able and willing to execute the missions that are put before them."
A senior defense official told CNN that even with Panetta's decision, branches may decide that certain jobs still will be off-limits to women. Hunt said she hopes that women will be allowed even in special-force units such as the Navy SEALs, which have especially tough physical standards.
“I definitely think that women have the capability to put forth the effort to accomplish any mission that the military sets before them and take full advantage of any opportunity that the military gives them, so I’d definitely be excited to see those career paths opened up to my female counterparts,” Hunt said.