Marine recruit Christina Wauchope waits with other female recruits to fire on the rifle range during boot camp Feb. 25, 2013, at MCRD Parris Island, S.C. Female enlisted Marines have gone through recruit training at the base since 1949.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Starting in 2016, all U.S. military combat jobs will be open to women, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Thursday, USA Today reports

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"In the 21st century, that requires drawing strength from the broadest pool" possible, Carter said during his announcement, citing the importance of building a force of the future. 

According to the report, some were not thrilled with the announcement, with Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who sits on the Armed Services Committee, calling it a politically motivated move that will affect the military negatively. 

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"No. 1, this is being done for political reasons," Hunter said, according to USA Today. "What is it going to do to our ability to be lethal at the small-unit level? It degrades that ability."

Carter said that the Marines had requested some exceptions, but he ruled them out, saying that “we are a joint force … there will be no exceptions." 

There are currently about 240,000 male-only jobs in the military, based heavily in infantry units in the Army and the Marine Corps, USA Today notes. 

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