February 9th, 2012
08:39 AM ET

Women in combat policy to change

By Barbara Starr

The Defense Department is notifying Congress Thursday it will open up nearly 14,000 jobs to military women that will place them even closer to the front lines of combat.

A senior Pentagon official confirmed details to CNN, but declined to be identified until a formal announcement comes later on Thursday.

Under a 1994 policy, women are restricted from formally serving in small ground units directly involved in combat. The reality of the last ten years of war however has been that many women serve in support positions–such as military police or medics–which place them in harms way. They are not formally assigned to combat units, but rather informally "attached" which means they do not get the crucial credit for combat duty that is needed for promotions to higher grades.

Some of the jobs that will now be open to women include specialties such as tank or artillery mechanic, crew members on missile launcher, and field surgeons in forward deployed brigade combat teams.

However, women will still not be permitted in front line jobs directly involved in combat such as infantry units or counterterrorism sniper teams.

Over the last several years, advocates as well as some senior US military commanders have increasingly called for more ground combat jobs to be open to women.

According to Pentagon statistics more than 140 women have lost their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and more than 860 have been wounded.

The new changes may not go into effect fully until later this year as Congress must have 30 days in continuous session to have a chance to voice objections if there are any.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Air Force • Army • Marines • Military • Military life • Navy
soundoff (1,168 Responses)
  1. Jeffery

    Hello.....there were and are no "front lines" in Iraq or Afghanistan. When my daughter was escorting convoys in '04 she exchanged fire on a regular basis. My female aeromedical techs in Saudi Arabia were not immune to Scuds either.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • bdgarcai

      Your daughter can't do anything. Guarding supply convoys is a lot different then going into a battle.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  2. Mahmood H

    We moved form Pakistan to the uk and would never move to amerika femenists run amerika...take example form the Holly Allah and you will be stronger!!!

    February 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  3. LOL

    SAS: Are you Tough Enough.

    Anyone see that? I remember how much the women kicked butt on it. The macho men dropped like flies and those female aerobics instructors carried their combat gear and themselves through hell. No complaints. They had to FORCE one woman to quit because of an infection (common). She wouldn't give up.

    They did particularily well on the torture training. The MEN WERE CRYING and the women came out smiling.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • JOH

      Duh it's proven women are just more hard-headed and more determined and tougher than men mentally.

      But it isn't going to be all fun and games, and feminists will realize what a mistake this is when our female veterans are getting raped by group of Iranian soldiers. Or getting raped by our own soldiers or our allies.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  4. Jordan

    Unless a woman passes the MALE PFT, I do not want her anywhere near the front lines: you can"t carry me out of harms way stay away.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • fieldmedik

      Not only can I pass the same PRT, carry you out of the line of fire, but I can keep you alive until we can evac you. Can I serve now?

      February 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
      • bdgarcai

        When you stop lying you can. You can't do anything and you know it.

        February 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • jeff

      again a bucn of crap. It is about fear and adrenaline. Most of the troops I know/knew couldn't carry their buddy ought of harms way on agood day with all the crap we carry. Sorry, but that argument don't test out.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
      • fieldmedik

        Well Jeff, you would be mistaken. I have been under fire and I did pull my patient our of harm's way. The guy did live and he was about 190 lbs. And that was in the good ole USA. If I can do it on the streets of KC I can do in the streets of Iraq. BTW, I was also under fire during a humanitarian mission for the Navy.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  5. Fichts

    You want to destroy a really close military unit? Put an attractive female in it, men are stupid and aren't mature or ready to work with women. It's not the other way around.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  6. jeff

    thanks Grunt. I have similar respect for the ladies I spoke about. By the way Semper Fi, 1977 – 92 USMC, 2005 – 2011 USAR.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  7. kurtis

    Would it be worth thinking about having an all female army separate from the males? I think it would eliminate a lot of problems I've read so far on this thread.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • LOL

      I think it would be really good to have at least 2 women in every group, not just one. Just so the women feel less on the outside. I have experience working with many different military groups around the world. I find ones where women are fully integrated do not have any of the problems mentioned here. The women really become like sisters to the men and their is respect between them all. They also trust each other with their lives and the women are not coddled.

      All the anti-women theories running around here are not based on fact but the writers own issues. Fully integrated military's are safer for the women enlisted and the public. All the FACTS indicate this.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  8. Andrea

    If it is the primal urge of men to protect women then why are there so many domestic violence cases? What an idealized & antiquated way of thinking....

    February 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  9. Vic M Alvarez

    I am a female Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army. While deployed to Iraq, our unit had female Soldiers manning a 50 caliber machine gun in the gunner position of a vehicle during convoys. Our unit also had female Soldiers conducting patrols and kicking down doors with the Marines. These female Soldiers did it with less extensive training than that of combat arms men. Women absolutely have the mental strength. After all, it is typically women who have the mental strength to deal with their family's day-to-day challenges even more so than men (mainly due to men working full time or simply not being around for their family in some cases). The question in everyone's minds is will the women be physically capable of being combat arms. When men join the Army and sign up for a combat arms job they go through the same physical exam women do. The only qualification men have to enlist in a combat arms position that women don't have is the gender. Once these men join and ship out, the Army takes care of getting these men to the physical fitness they need to have in order to become an Infantryman, Artilleryman, Tanker, etc. The same way the Army prepares men for combat (both physically and mentally) we can prepare women. I have met combat arms men who couldn't do as many push-ups as I did or who couldn't run as fast as I did in my younger days. Not all women will be cut to be combat arms just like not every man is capable of being combat arms. I say train both men and women to the same capacity. Do not lower the standards or requirements for these combat arms jobs. Let the results be the deciding factor. Other countries have women serving in combat arms, so why are American women any less capable? If anything, I believe it will end up being a good thing for all. A lot of the PTSD combat arms men are suffering from are mainly because they don't have a way to vent. Their masculine ego sometimes won't allow them to reveal their true to feelings to other men for fear of being perceived as wimps. Men tend to be less fearful of being themselves in the presence of a woman. Being able to vent and deal with their issues while having to continue on in the heat of battle will keep them mentally strong. Gender shouldn't be the deciding factor as to who can serve in combat arms. Competency and performance should be all that is taken in account.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • JS Bers

      Well said. And thank you for your service.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Infantry Squad Leader

      SGM i have to respectfully disagree with you. I think you are correct on many points I've met women in the Army that are incredibly tough. And I've unfortunately seen alot of 11B men that are garbage. However think about it this way. We conduct train up to go down range. We have to complete about a years worth of training to be qualified to do everything. SPC Jane Snuffy gets pregnant misses the entire train up goes down range and unfortunately loses her team leader slot because there was someone else that had to step in. Is that fair to her? Is it the best solution though. Men don't get pregnant bottom line. If i have a soldier who's wife is pregnant i tell him congrats and get ready to go to the field for a month. I CAN'T lose a soldier for x amount of months it would totally ruin my squad. The only answer would be to require birth control which is so barbaric its unthinkable. What we do in the Infantry is incredibly important we can't miss months of training, we have to be there day in and out.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • mykidsfather

      I have been a Marine for years. I do not believe you that women are running around kicking doors. That just doesn't happen. Mostly women go on patrols to engage local women and make them feel comfortable. Anyone can go man a machine gun in a vehicle. This is not a hard job to do. When on patrol going to anywhere that enemy contact is expected the teams with women were steered away from those areas, because it was iffy if they would actually fight back and charge the enemy. As for the Army boot camp being the the same for males and females. If you had been in for a while you would know that when the army went coed training the physical standards where brushed aside in favor of academic standards to give the appearance of women being as capable as men to complete the training. Can some women go to combat. Yes. The majority cannot physically do it day in day out carrying heavy loads. There is going to be all these women allowed into combat arms for politacally correctness and weaken the fighten force because its mandatory to fill there quota for females in infantry units.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
      • Carawaigh

        I believe the job should be appropriate to the persons's ability to perform the job. There are, believe it or not, differences between men and women. If a man or a woman is not capable physically or mentally of doing a job, they should not be doing it; if they can do it, they should not be barred. Oddly enough the military is getting pretty progressive about this.
        The good thing I get from this news item is that women will be allowed formally to perform in hazardous positions, which means they will get hazard pay for the risk. Right now, a lot of female soldiers are in the same position the Guard was in a few years ago– hazardous duty, but no commensurate pay. I'm glad to see this getting rectified.

        February 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  10. Consequence

    I have no doubt some women are equal to the best men in certain combat roles and, with harder training, they may well raise the bar even higher. But, as daughters, wives and mothers, women occupy a special place in society beyond just the combat capabilities of their gender. it is more valuable to society that women put their energies at being better daughters, wives and mothers than competing with men in the combat arena, but at the same time, it would be helpful if more men improved at being better sons, husbands and fathers and did not have to go into combat in the first place.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  11. Patel Singh Phd

    I'm form India and we don't have this kind of problem with women. Indian woman obay or else!

    February 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Carawaigh

      Or else what?
      So what will you do when the women "or else" you right back?

      February 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  12. Dusty2701

    Men still have to register with Selective Service and women do not. Make so called equality open to all. Require women to register with Selective Service like the men and open ALL jobs to women and let the chips fall where they may. American body bags should be filled equally with men and women. It's been lopsided against the men far too long.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      You are the first person to bring up this point. You are correct in asking this question. In 1980 when the draft Registration was reinstated a group of men said they would not register. The Supreme Court said the military could only require men to register because men were the ones in the combat roles. I guess that has changed. My question is, will they change the Selective Service Act now?

      February 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  13. M.BROWN

    TYPICAL DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL CORRECTNESS THAT IS GOING TO GET UNPREPARED AND INCAPABLE WOMEN KILLED AND THEY WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO HAVE LITTLE NEW SOLDIERS AS THEY DID BEFORE......INSANITY...TYPICAL LIBERAL INSANITY.........

    February 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  14. Dr Mohammed Zaheef

    america needs Islam to fix its problems not femanism!! bring Sharia law to america and women will obey

    February 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • M.BROWN

      YOU MY GOOD MAN ARE A MAIN PART OF THE PROBLEM IN THE WORLD TODAY........EVERY SINGLE CONFLICT AROUND THE WORLD RIGHT NOW MILITARILY IS MUSLIM INSTIGATED...........A FACT.......

      February 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
      • Mahmood H

        I moved form Pakistan to england and would never move to amerika femenists run amerika...take example form Allah and you will be stronger

        February 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
      • Manny

        Mr. Brown I am going to ask you not to feed the internet trolls, thank you for your co-operation in this matter as they are on a restrictive diet of Justin Biever tears.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • teacher

      Your living in the dark ages. I don't agree with women going into combat but even more I don't agree with Sharia Law and hurting women. Women are setting themselves on fire in Afghanistan because of such laws.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • nini

      yes , lets enslave our women, Y am i even wasting my time responding to a sexist , you make me sick. i respect ur religion not your attitude towards women. its disgusting maybe you guys should take a few pointers from our women.

      February 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  15. Jeffrey

    Women shouldn't be aloud to serve in the front lines
    for the same reason Male Police Officers hate working with Female officers (if its a Real City not a little tiny town)
    Women are targets they are perceived as weak (not me! but other people have this view FACT) therefore endangering the unit that they are in. For example a women police officer walks up to a car the man in the car may perceive the women as weaker therefore giving him the confidence to try and take her down which endangers everyone. I am totally
    on the side of women and i think they could definitely do things men can do. However in the way that other Men and Enemies Perceive women it could actually put the whole unit in more danger than less. So Actually they shouldnt be aloud to serve on the front lines. Only because of their perceived weakness

    February 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • jeff

      what is your experience or expertise that allows you to speak to this issue? Just curiouos. I was something I blieved 15 years ago but my experience has made this to be only a nice thought with no factual basis. However, I am open to having my position on this changed if the information or experience warrants it.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • bhibsen

      That is because those men are idiots. No police academy would graduate a woman who cannot take care of herself at least as well as her male counterparts. In fact, due to this perception, women officers will tell you that instructors can be a bit harsher on them than their male counterparts, just to ensure they are up to the job. Ask any femaile officer how she feels about that person thinking she is weak and it is an opportunity to overpower her and she will tell you "go ahead and let him try, he'll get a rude awakening". Besides, any number of variables can cause a suspect to resist or become violent and perception is only one of them. Unless you could control all of them, you have no argument for targeting the presence of women officers as the variable you want reduced.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  16. Tyme5

    I am a male who stands 5'5" tall and I weigh-in around 120 lbs. Quite small. And yet, from my experience, I am stronger, faster, and more athletic than probably 90% of all the women I have met in my life.

    If a manboy like me is more fit for front line duty than the vast majority of women, how could women ever think they could equal the physical capabilities of male soldiers.

    And that isn't meant to be an insult. It's just a fact.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      $100 says Serena or Venus Williams would stomp you.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
      • Tyme5

        $10,000 says you are absolutely right. They obviously fall into the 10% of women who are more athletic than me. 10% is quite a large number if you consider all the women in the world.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • fieldmedik

      I meet the same PRT standards you do. I went through the same boot camp, same hand to hand combat training. I did not score the best but wasn't anywhere near the bottom either. I am well trained and capable. I can't carry you 5 miles back to the base but I can keep you alive until I figure out a way to get you there. I can kill as well as you and die as well as you. I shoudl be allowed to serve the same as you. If ANYONE can't cut the same standards they should not be allowed to serve. ANYONE that can, should!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
      • Tyme5

        Not trying to sound like a jerk, but everything you said you can do was cancelled out by the one thing you said you couldn't do. Male soldiers don't have that one thing they can't do. So why send someone who can't do everything when there are plenty of people you can send that can do everything?

        We are talking about combat. There is no reason to take chances. Its not personal. I truly believe women contribute in the military. I just don't see why it has to be on the front lines.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • bhibsen

        Tyme, there are plenty of men in combat who couldn't carry a soldier five miles to safety either. That is why fighting units are groups and not individuals.

        February 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • veggiedude

      Being stronger and more athletic are fine qualities for a grunt but they don't make you shoot more accurately, or drive a tank better and certainly don't help in a push button war.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
      • Tyme5

        Pushing a button isn't a front line job. I never meant women weren't capable of serving in the military; just not on the front lines.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Peters19D

      You probably aren't fit for the front lines. I would know cause I currently in Afghanistan in a combat platoon and I believe that most girls in the Army probably would out do you on a PT test. They are trained the same way, do the same PT as us, and are tougher then most men I know who aren't enlisted. I don't work with woman, but I am around them on various COP's and FOB's and a lot of women are doing just a well as the men if not better in some cases. I see them out on patrols (MP's) and they do fine, I have had them in our platoon as medical support they did great, and overall I believe if they are up for it let them do what we do. You are right, most are not as strong as men, but they don't really have to be. As long as they can carry their weapon, kit, and still maneuver they would do just fine.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
      • Tyme5

        Guess those women fall into that 10% then don't they. And don't assume I'm not fit for the front lines. My father weighted 90 lbs when he joined the military and ended up in the 101st Airborne. I haven't served, but believe me, the boys in my family came out tough enough mentally and physically fit enough to do so. My father was a M'fin hard### and gladly punished with PT he learned in the military.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
      • bhibsen

        Also, in modern warfare, there really is no such thing as combat and non combat positions. In situations where they are dealing with terrorist attacks, limited human resources and the enemy coming to them, women are just as likely to see combat as men. They simply don't get credit for it because of a classification.

        February 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Todd

      Most women don't do much strength exercise that men do. While yes men are generally stronger then women especially in the upper body. However Military training will probably help balance that.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  17. Bekwel

    I agree that the Russians in WW11 used women on the front lines, as well as snipers. They were some of the ugliest women in the world.
    We should do the same. Put all the ugly women on the front lines.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  18. Paul

    Women should serve in combat, as long as they can pass the same exact physical tests men have to take to make it onto combat units.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Frank Pendle

      Agreed.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  19. Dr Mohammed Zaheef

    Unfortunetly women are unclean according to the holy Koran and not capable of performing in combat.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • Melissa

      In that case, I have an idea where you can stick that Koran.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Frank Pendle

      . . .and that's why I'd rather base my life on fortune cookie strips than a hodgepodge of ignorant superstition such as the Koran.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • perkpi

      Your brain is unclean

      February 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • JC

      Nobody cares what the Koran says. Women in Infantry units, no. Forward support positions? If they are qualified and can do the job, sure.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      No where in the Koran does it say that..the prophets wife was business woman and conducted her business with men. So stop portraying yourself and your culture in a disgusting manner. no wonder people are islamophobic. You reinforce stereotypes

      February 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • Major Phil

      Mohammed you are an idiot. Hope you get your 72 virgins soon.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  20. Laurie

    I am a male having servered in the infrantry I wonder how women take care of personal needs . We had to pee and poop in public as it was to dangerous to go to the bush were the enemy may be waitring to ambush ?

    February 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      Your a male with the name Laurie????

      February 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • veggiedude

        Maybe he is Hugh Laurie?

        February 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • Laurie

        Yes , I am a male, my MOS was also Special Forces were women could be used in certain circumstances ! My question is for front line Infantary men !women in the Infantary >

        February 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  21. Jayne Dough

    Women were always on the front line. I served in the combat zone five years ago with other females with whom I will serve again. Actually the women were even more thorough, fit and ruthless than some of the men. Do I want to spend three month in a nuclear sub under the Artic ice? Not really. Some rules are in place for a reason. With limited berthing, hot-racking are used on most small ships. When my ferromones are all over my shared rack, they wont be thinking about combat. It may be politically correct but not pratical.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • mikey2gun

      i do believe this article is about women on the front lines, in which they should stay far,far away from, but rather in a submarine away from the front lines, underneath the Artic ice...

      February 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  22. Brandy

    I am a military MP, my husband is an 11B, I have trained with some of them...just for fun. ITS HARD PEOPLE....I dont care if you can carry a 200 lb man full kit 200yds. My husband had to bring back a soldier whom was wounded, 7 miles back to safty. I KNOW I CANNOT DO THIS, there are things women can do that men cannot, Lets leave the front line to those whom are mentally and physically strong for combat...THE MEN. Just to slam another thing down, There was a WHOLE PLATOON of females sent to Infantry training, most more physically fit than some men I know, they all dropped out within 2 weeks. The Rangers have accepted Females for 6 years, NONE have completed the course to this day. STOP the WOMAN POWER crap, Its just fact. We should not lower our military standards just so women can feel more important, I am important..I have a loving husband that fights for my freedom, AND I WILL NEVER TRY TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM HIM.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • Louise

      But I'm sure there were MEN who couldn't have carried that 200lb guy 7 miles either. Women should not be excluded if they can physicially do it. Things I find "hard" to do, may not be as hard for another woman. Don't use your own abilities as a measure for what someone else can and may want to do. And besides that, being combat isn't a choice. Ask Shoshana Johnson and Jessica Lynch.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
      • Brandy

        both females werent suppose to be outside the wire, and guess who had to save them, INFANTRY...The same school no female has been able to pass. I am not saying I am the strongest person, but yes every Infantry man I have met has to be able to carry thier partner at least 4 clicks. Remember dont believe everything on the news...Its not always portrayed as it happened.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
      • Infantry Squad Leader

        Shoshana Johnson from the looks of her looks like she doesnt meet height and weight standards. And Jessica Lynch did nothing besides get captured and saved by 1st Batt.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Melissa

      My goodness. Are you bitter that there are women out there that can do other things besides cook, clean, and pop out kids? All the law allows is that women have the OPPORTUNITY to serve in the front line. So long as they can meet the current specs for operation, who are you (a breeder) to say otherwise?

      Typically woman. Let the man fight and die while you stay home on your ass eating bon bons.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • Brandy

        No, I sit home makeing sure that my children have one parent there for them. I am a Military Police Officer, I have done my tours, but now I work stateside. I also go to school full time, and work a second job....so sitting eating BON BONS would be a vacation for me, If I ate junk food. Most of the time I am working out, when not doing my homework....There is something we all must do, and I support my husband 100% and taking the one job he fully enjoys....NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
      • Over There

        Melissa, if you bothered to read what she wrote, you would notice that she is in the military as an MP, an extremely dangerous job in Afghanistan and Iraq, not a "breeder" popping out kids and eating bon bons. What she is saying is that women should not be on the front lines, meaning infantry. I was a Combat Instructor for three years at Camp Pendleton, the course to become an Instructor is 3 months of getting thrashed physically. We opened up a class to females and got 13 that were perfect PFT / CFT score, outstanding female Marines. All 13 dropped out in the first three weeks. Does that diminish the jobs in the Corps that they hold and excel in? Not at all. It's not sexist or anything, it's just the way we as males and females are built. Get off your moral high horse and join the real world.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Infantry Squad Leader

      Finally someone with some sense. Also everyone knows that in the Infantry its a totally different ball game. The Army has standards on how to treat soldiers, but in an Infantry line Platoon that all goes out the window. We treat E-4 and below horribly to enforce discipline and to build esprit de corps. Taking my squad and putting through the most physically demanding training imaginable builds their confidence and it also promotes competition between the Squads and Platoons. The Infantry is a BROTHERHOOD we have a completely different mentality than other MOS's. To introduce women would destroy morale, tradition and create innumerable problems.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
      • Brandy

        I know that the Infantry is a BROTHERHOOD, a much needed union in the Military. I have seen so much emotion from all the guys in each unit we have went to, new babies, marriages, its all wonderful. I COMMEND YOU ALL, I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING YOU GIVE, YOU ARE THE HERO'S....GOD BLESS.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Medic

      While I agree we should not be lowering our military standards or putting unqualified soldiers (of either gender) into the fray, if there is a woman who is qualified and wants to serve in those positions why not make it legally okay for her to do so. This doesn't mean every woman is going to decide to go, let alone be put there by higher ups. And it also doesn't mean she is stealing the position from a more capable male counterpart.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  23. Deborah

    This is just not a good idea for so many reasons.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • veggiedude

      War is never a good idea for so many reasons... but why exclude capable people who want to serve their country?

      February 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  24. Don Ritter

    I understand that women desperately want to be considered equal in all aspects in life. I don't disagree with that but some things cannot be overlooked. I know how I was a young solder at the ripe old age of 19. My army buddies and I were largely on our own for the first time in our lives and the one thing we had in common was "women!" I think most women do realize how it feels to be amongst a bunch of men. I just think that it is a bad idea to have men and women in that close in that situation. You just reported that rape is a problem in the military. That says it all doesn't it?

    February 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • fieldmedik

      Yes it is a lack of leadership and dicipline. Not a gender issue. Rape is not a sexual act, it is about power. Leadership can and does play a role.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
      • Infantry Squad Leader

        Its not a leadership issue. Is it a leadership issue when your soldier goes out and gets a DUI? That is complete garbage, blaming everything that soldiers do on their leadership is absolutely ridiculous. Look if you allow women in the Infantry they are probably going to hang out with their battle buddies, then their going to get drunk and hormones will be hormones and something regrettable will happen. I can counsel my soldiers till my hand falls off and im blue in the face. But i cant be with them 24/7. We encourage and in allot of case enforce that soldiers hang out together when off post, saying that they can't hang out with their female counterparts would be ridiculous and cause morale issues. Best not to have them there at all imo.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Melissa

      I think rape is a problem in the military because the military tends to foster the idea the men are "better" than women. In that kind of an environment, rape will be more common than in a more egalitarian one.

      That being said, yes I do know what it's like to be with men all the time. To work with them and to live with them. But being a woman who's sole interests are construction, engineering, and cars; that is to be expected. On the same note, I've never been assaulted by a male, never even felt threatened of being assaulted by another male. Ever. Of course anyone that knows me knows that I have the kind of brain and steel stomach to mete out some medieval torture if I so wanted to.

      The success of women in combat will have nothing to do with men. The women that choose combat will most likely be the kind that could make any man piss his pants if she so wanted to.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
      • Over There

        Not to troll, but jeez, for someone who isn't in the military you sure know alot of what is going on with us. I work in an office with just about equal numbers of females and males. I've put up two females for meritorious promotion and zero males. Why? Because in my Supply MOS, those two females outperformed their peers, period. No one in the military who's in charge of anything, says males are better than females. However, when I take my 28 Marines on a 10 mile 50 pound ruck hike through the mountains of Camp Pendleton, 12 out of my 13 females fall out compared to one male, FACT.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Brandy

      I agree with you, I know that as is saying phrases like " PUSSY" OR "COCKHOLSTER" is now demeaning to women, I was raised in a Military family, I think such phrases are...Well FUNNY. But now in the military we cant even curse around the soldiers, THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO IF FEMALES ENTER OUR COMBAT FRONTLINE, MORE PUSSY BULL S***

      February 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  25. Commenter

    I'm suprised no one has mentinoed the Russian female snipers, some had confirmed kill digits in the hundreds in WW2 against the Nazis, these women participated in battles in Germany so they weren't just defending their homeland. This example shows that women can be effective in combat. The real question is this: The United States has the #1 military in the world, will adding women to all combat units make the military better?

    February 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  26. Gwendolyn

    I am totally against women in the Military. Men start the wars, let them fight them. I've seen too many women who were traumatised by the Military, and then raped there. We should go fight the enemy and then get molested by the people we defend? That's NUTS !

    February 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • veggiedude

      Don't discriminate. Anyone who volunteers should be given an equal chance.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  27. My thoughts on this

    Ok I have been reading this and taking in to consideratino what has been said and who is posting. No I have not served and I respect and thank every man and women who has served this great country. Now do i think women can do same jobs as men yes i do. However, if women do serve yes the PT standerds and quailfing tests do need to be equal to male standards sexist? no fair don't agree don't care. In a way it's like Hilary Clinton running for office 4 years ago she thought cause Bill did it she could but she wasn't ready. Yes women do and have served but not on the front line in the trenches and it will be awhile before that is "accpected" and not all men are "programed" to protect women if they were there wouldn't be abuse on women by males. I do think it is a step in the right direction we are just not ready to see it happen just yet.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  28. K

    The only thing I want to know is...why do women want to go to the front line?

    Seriously?...women the biggest mistake you made was wanting to work in the first place...I'd enjoy nothing better then to be a stay at home husband taking care of the kids...cooking...laundry...heck I'll even put out when you get home from the office...

    You had the dream...and now you want to go to war...

    February 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • lilred

      Sweetie, I'm not working away from home because I wanted to, I'm working away from home because the money is needed. Some want a career and what is wrong with that? Some are out here because we have to be in order to help take care of our families...and that should be treated with respect.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  29. Pershing First

    Well as an FEMALE Army Veteran, I appaulade the Department of Defense. About time women got a little balancing of the genders in the military. I for one wish I was back in and able to serve this way. I was in a Nuke unit and still had to do what the men did including moving 100LB cables, sitting in foxholes, M-60 crews and everything else they did. The one thing I wanted was to run the wrecker but was unabe to because they said i could not pull the cable. Well I proved them wrong and still was unable too.
    Women can do just as much as men and sometimes we are even better at it. Females make good soldiers and most of the time they are better than the men. Yeah alot cannot carry 180 pound rucks, or dead left another man but by damned we will figure out a way to get it done one way or another. Yes their are some woman that join just to find a husband or to get pregnant when the going gets tough. But not all. Alot of us worked or work our rear ends off to prove to jerk headed men that we can do it and be the best we can at it. I think women can stand the rigors of combat. you try keeping every thing running in a home when your partner has deployed for 18 months. Raising kids, payingthe bills and being 2 parents at once. Most of you men cannot handle it for 5 hours before you go ape. Also if it is good enough for the Isreali women to fight in front line positions it is good enough for us to fight too. I think alot of you men are scared we might show you up and take your jobs away . But that is my opinion

    February 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      Isreali women are tuff and are raised that way, Most American women are not so tuff, look at the way BCT has transformed due to the women complaining about it, Stress cards, cell phones, smoking, none of this was allowed when i was in and because of it our soldiers are no longer disciplined when the finish BCT and almost anyone can make it through. All we need is the standards of our infantry and special forces being dimenished. I am sorry, but i think it should be a per person deal, where if you can pass the test your in, but if you cant handle it then too bad, the standards for combat units should remain the same as they are today and should be the same for men in women, THIS INCLUDES THE PT TEST which currently has seperate standards for men and women, if you cant carry me off the battlefield then you dont belong. Another issue is combat units spend months at a time in the field and women need to much personal hygiene and have to be catered to or else they get infections and stuff. It just doesnt really make any sense to allow women into combat units when they have special needs.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • Not today

      This is some type of women power scheme .. .... this is a freaking joke sorry but women can not do everything a man can in combat, a woman can in no way over come a man in a physical fight. They lack strength and the mentality a man has. Yes there are some super dykes out there that think they are just as manly a man as any man but the truth is they are a women with mental issues.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  30. Margaret B.

    Other countries like Canada already let women in combat possitions. Why don't we? As long as the women can pass all the same test, physical and psychological, as the men do and to the same standard, they should be allow to serve in all the same possitions.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • K

      Canada doesn't really have an army...

      February 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • Roy Cohn

        Neither does this country. 15 years in Vietnam – lost.
        10 years against Iraq and (12th century) Afghanistan – nothing.

        Lot's of dead civilians, though.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • kev

      What happens if a female is fighting on the front line for months at a time and she has her period and it's 100 degrees day after day? When I was in the Army, females were aloud to take showers and constantly leaving the field for this reason. The males hardly took showers and couldn't leave the field. As a former 19D I see more negative than positive from women being on the front lines to fight a war. The women were in support roles and I always wondered about this!!!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
      • kev

        How many wars have Canada been in. They never fight in a war so Canada is a bad example to use.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  31. jeff

    what a bunch of crap. I was in Sadr City as part of a Engineer Task force and the Army "infantry brigade responsible for our AO had women in it. I remember 2 young women in paticular, one was a SAW gunner. They were out on patrol almost every day for at least 5 months and their patrols took casualties from close combat and IED's. Women serve in combat units and seem to be holding their own. Just my humble opinion. Is there a male soldier out their who had a lady on your team that can speak to this?

    February 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • cpl grunt

      We had a female corpsman. She was awesome! She stood toe to toe with everyone of us but we had to leave her behind when we deployed forward. You want to talk about a morale killer, that was it! She probably couldn't carrry us 10 miles back to camp but she would for damn sure keep us alilve until she could get help and would have killed or died for us and we for her!!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • jeff

      thanks Grunt. I have similar respect for the ladies I spoke about. By the way Semper Fi, 1977 – 92 USMC, 2005 – 2011 USAR.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
      • kev

        Jeff, I am hearing about a few women here and there who could stand toe to toe with men. Overall you think the majority of women could stand toe to toe. As a male the first instinct is to protect the female which makes it harder for a male to do his job while trying to protect the female because that is human nature.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  32. JC Inter

    The US military should do like other nations. Have women military units segregated from male units. The female units are all females. The mixed sex units now we have in the US, is the worst type of women in military.
    The female units should be just like the male units. Infantry, artillary, armour, combat engieers, paratroopers, fighter pilots, all-female ships, even specila forces, etc. If some women want to make military career through fontline combat credits, there are chances for them. BUT THEY HAVE TO EARN IT JUST LIKE ANY OTHER SOLDIER.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  33. Conrad Miller

    The most feared on the Eastern Front in WWI were the Russian snipers–many of whom, along with their spotters, were women. There were also all-female squadrons of forward-deployed bombers. I do not believe that women should necessarily be integrated into male units, but small front-line support detachments of mortar or machine gun crews, even engineers
    –why not?

    February 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  34. michaelfury

    Women cannot be relied upon in combat because they become hysterical under stress, like this EMT who was hallucinating on 9/11:

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/signs-and-wonders/

    February 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • Melissa

      Fallacious argument. One woman out of the entire population does not a fact create. I bet I can find tons of videos of males having breakdowns over less stressful situations.

      Rhetorical FAIL!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Lame troll is lame.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  35. Joe T.

    I think this is something that should be decided by active duty members of the military. They are the ones who would know what's best and what is right. They would know better than some politician sitting in Washington who wouldn't even think of sending his own children to fight.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • terry

      So, the issue about women would be decided by men ? That's real smart, don't you think ?

      February 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
      • Chartreuxe

        Male chauvinist doesn't realise how chauvinistic he is.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  36. Justin

    Wow you Americans are way behind in the times. When I was in the infantry back in the 90's in the Canadian army, I had 5 women in my platoon. And 1 of them was my fire team partner. She was just as tough and motivated as any of the men I served with. I would have had no problem going to fight with her. Women can do just as much as men in that role with no problem at all. Time to get out of the 1800's America.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • Tommy

      That is also the reason America could piss on Canada in war... not saying woman shouldnt have the chance...

      February 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • Roy Cohn

        Yup – just like "we" pissed all over the North Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqi's and Afghans.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Chris

      The problem with American women serving is that American women are a bit on the soft side. They will expect to have lower standards then the men and that could potentially hurt an infantry squad in combat. If they hold the women to the same standards as the men then fine, but if I'm in combat and I am expected to be able to carry my battle buddy to safety if injured then so should the women. Women have already had a dramtic impact on the way we train soldiers in that they complain to much and the standards have been lowered to a point where are soldiers are not really disciplined anymore. When I was in basic we got a butts chewed out every minute of everyday, we had no cellphones, no smoking ciggerettes, no sweet food, we would only get a couple hours of sleep a night, but now they get stress cards where they can take a break if they feel they cant handle it, they get cell phones and can smoke, it is ridiculous and the only reason why we are still as powerful as we are is really becasue of our technology and special forces.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • What

      Canada has an army?

      February 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • veggiedude

        Yup. They were in both world wars long before America decided to get into the action.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
      • Roy Cohn

        Dude, you don't even know where Canada is.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Chartreuxe

      My Marine nephew just came back from 3 tours of combat duty in Iraq. He had zero complaints about the women he served with in combat.

      Seems like none of you have a clue about this issue. We should defer to those who do so.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • Over There

        Since your nephew was deployed with the Marines and worked with females, he was not infantry, nor were the females that he worked with, therefore your point in this matter is irrelevant. I deployed with females in Afghanistan this past year, they all knocked it out of the park, just like we all did, SUPPORTING the infantry.

        February 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • mr

      infantry, canada...thanks for your expertise on the matter

      February 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Reply
      • Justin

        Mr. I think with my 1st hand experiences in the combat positions they are talking about, I do have more expertise and credibility then you will ever have, once you have server then you can make comments. I am now an Officer (Capt.) in the air force and work daily with women in uniform, and never have and never will have a problem letting them serve in the front line.

        February 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  37. MrT

    As long as they are held to the same standard (i.e. same physical fitness test standards) then I have no issues with this.....

    February 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • Flatsguide

      They always lower the standards for women. Just look at Police and Fire Departments, it happened there.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
      • Wendy

        That is so incorrect. My niece is a cop and the women have to pass the same physica fitness tests as the men. Seriously get your facts straight before you spew random crap like they are facts.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
      • mr

        your neice lied to you...get your facts straight....physical standards for initial enlistment into the armed forces is already lower...that is a fact

        February 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
      • Over There

        @Wendy:
        US Marine Corps PFT scores needed for perfect 300 score:
        Males: 18 minute 3-mile run, 100 crunches, 20 pull ups
        Females: 21 minute 3-mile run, 100 crunches, 6 pull ups
        Same basic differences exist in: Army, AF, Navy, CG, Police Departments and Fire Departments. Maybe you're the one that needs to do some research, it's called Google, check it out some time.

        February 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Lisa

      As long as the physical standards actually apply to doing the job and not used to keep women out of the job. But I do agree with your basic precept. If you can't do the job you have no reason being there.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • Flatsguide

      No, Wendy, they don't.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  38. zz

    To some, it's not about gender equality. It's not just to prove that women can do what men can. It's just about wanting to protect the country they love. Men are not the only ones passionate about keeping freedom in this country intact.
    It should be up to the military leaders to put any one where they seem fit regardless of gender.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  39. armywife

    The issue shouldn't be whether they can or cannot fight. They are a DISTRACTION. PERIOD. And distractions get people killed. Not to mention many deployed women have caused family issues and marital problems. The army says they are for FAMILY, but then they want to send females over to basically live with and set up house with my (and many others') husband. I am a woman & I don't think they should be allowed to even deploy. Get over it. They don't belong there in ANY kind of role.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • terry

      Are you living in the 19th Century ? Or just very insure about your marriage ?

      February 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • john smiith

        You ever been in combat?

        February 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • fieldmedik

      Wow are you insecure or what. If you man is going to cheat, it won't be with me. I am here to do my job. If he can't keep his mind on his work, he needs to find a new line of work. I should not have to!!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • kjb

      Women are not the only ones who cause family and marital problems in the military. Every "relationship" is two-sided. If your argument against women being in the military is because they have affairs, then your argument should be for no one to be in the military. My husband has been deployed and has plenty of stories about men who play just as big of a role in extra-marital affairs as women. Your point is completely invalid.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • JustAGrunt

      Quiet Dependasarous, go back to stuffing your face at the PX food court.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • kalapj

      Haha, so one of us banged your husband so we shouldn't be permitted to serve now? That's a brilliant deduction. How about this deduction? Your husband probably shouldn't be your husband if he was that easy for one of us to lay...just a thought.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • cass38

      Are we just a bit insecure of your marriage..I think if women want to be in the front lines then let them.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • oneteam

      Wow!!! You must have an absolutely terrible marrige to be that insecure about women in combat zones. Also you should look at the bigger picture, it takes two to tango,so maybe your husband is going around looking for a desert queen cause his wife is nothing to write home about.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • femalesoldier

      Seriously your insecurity over your husband is degrading your gender overall. I am a former soldier, an expert shot, met the MEN's physical standards, and I am a woman. If you think women are a distraction in the military, perhaps its time to start believeing in personal responsibility of all people, men and women. If he can't control himself that is his issue (and obviously yours). Ten to one, the women who go to combat related positions would have no interest in 'distracting' your husband. They would be too busy protecting him. Sex has no place in the workplace period, heterosexual or homosexual or whatever. The people of this country just need to be thankful that there are men and WOMeN out there willing to serve!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Armywife, the real issue is your bad marriage or your lack of trust in your husband or perhaps your own jealous nature. Get some therapy, get some help or get a divorce. The world does not revolve around you. Nor should it. Part of being an adult is the realisation that the world will not adjust to your needs and desires, but that you must adjust to the world.

      Women want to serve and protect their country. We will continue to do so because we deserve to do so. If you have a daughter one day she may want to serve her country. Shouldn't she be free to follow this path?

      If you've been harmed by infidelity, the harm was done by your own spouse. Don't blame the other party exclusively. Desiring all women in the military to pay for it is irrational. Many women in the military are wives and mothers and they have their own families to support.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  40. HM8432

    I've served with women in combat. They usually fall into two catagories: They do well, or they become blubbering emotional messes at the worst time; the latter are usually the women who are constantly going around telling everyone they can do anything just as good as any man can! However, I don't have a problem with women in combat; the Russians, VC, and Israeli women proved their worth in combat. Females are also surprisingly good shots.

    Women serving in combat only becomes a problem when physical and mental fitness standards are lowered to accomadate them. They should be able to keep up with the guys in other words...but in today's Politically Correct 'let's be fair and not hurt anyones feelings' society, women will be patronized by social engineers with a dubious political agenda, and the military standards will be lowered to present the illusion of 'true' gender equality.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • fieldmedik

      So if we meet the same standards as the men you have no issues? I met them. So I can serve?

      February 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
      • MrT

        Sure. As long as you gotta do the same number of push-ups and sit-ups as I do and run the 2 mile run in the same time.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • fieldmedik

      I always tested under the PRT requirements for the men. It was a respect issue.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • Over There

        Pardon my ignorance, seriously, but I'm assuming the PRT is Army? If so, congrats to you on testing under the male standards, no sarcasm implied. However, the PRT (or PFT in my case) does not include dragging, carrying, or lifting 200 pound bodies with 40 pounds of gear on them out of danger. That's the only reason I'm glad the Marine Corps has the CFT now. As a test, we had a female Marine in my section, who had a perfect PFT/CFT score and weighed 145 lbs try to fireman carry my 225lbs (incl gear) 100 yards. She collapsed and could not continue after 35 yards. We then had a 300 PFT/CFT score male carry the same weight disparity. He went the 100 yards and made it 75 more yards back before he could not continue. Small sample size, just one little experiment, but it pretty much exemplifies alot of the doubts about this going forward with alot of us..

        February 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • JG

      Objective standards should not disqualify anyone based on their gender (or sexual orientation, or religious beliefs, etc.). If they are physically and mentally capable of doing the job they should be able to have the job. Not every man is capable of serving in combat and plenty of women are.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  41. bret

    its not all about the Phyiscal requirements it takes to be an infantry man. there is so much more that comes into play. I have seen a Female soldier break down and start crying because a male NCO was correcting her because she was walking around on a FOB with A mag in and weapon on SEMI. Great there are females stronger than men. but at the end of the the day is Little sally rotten crotch going to step up and put two in the chest and one in the head of a women combatant or even a child preparing to throw a hand gernade. then there is the enemys stand point what is the media going to do when a team of female soldiers a shown being violated on camera and not only phyiscaly torturered but sexually. I dont care if they want to serve and do there support jobs (underwater basket weaving or whatever keeps the Infantry supplied) But they will never be the INFANTRY........

    February 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • fieldmedik

      Apparently you don't understand just what a woman is capable of, just try to threaten someone I care about. Yes I put put two anywhere I had to to protect my brothers, sister, mothers, fathers, and children and without hesitation. I would also take two to protect them if I had to.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
      • bret

        Oh i know what they are capable of. they are capable of being targets. why do you think the highest percentage of rape victims are wemen. why do you think the enemy would rather have a women hostage than a male. everyone is more sempathetic to a women in danger than a man.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
      • fieldmedik

        1. Men don't report being raped (it does happen)
        2. Men don't believe it's possible to be raped (it is)
        3. Rape is a power issue not a sexual one
        4. Men are targets as much as women, they are captured, and tortured the same way women are

        February 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Liz

      Wow, Bret, you are a huge sexist. There are plenty of men I know that cry at the drop of a hat too, you can't base your opinions of an entire gender on an isolated experience. Yes, women can kill just as efficiently as men, why don't you and I get together and I'll show you first hand how truly wousy men can be.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • john smiith

        Sounds like you think you're ready for the NFL

        February 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Wendy

      You clearly aren't familiar with the Israeli army. Women have been fighting in front line positions for generations. Your remarks are clearly those of a neandrathal. I grew up in the military during Viet Nam, and knew many women who served there as nurses, MPs, etc. Your comments are complete BS, Perhaps you didn;t hear about the female chopper pilot who pout down ground cover for the infantry – she was the pilot of choice for strafing during her tour in Iraq. Totally fearless. You are so behind the times you have to be in your 80s. Go drool over your walker.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Lazlo

      Bret – So are you telling us that in the history of the US military (all branches) there has NEVER been one single MAN who has been overcome with emotion (no matter what the circumstance) while in service of our great nation? There has never been one single MAN who has thought twice about shooting a woman or child and, perhaps, decided against it? Unless you can answer with a 100% resounding "NO", then my friend, your argument has no base. The fact is women serving in front-line combat units is in our very near future. And I welcome them.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  42. Wrong

    Women can pass the PT test no problem. They have done blind tests where women have aced the test without knowing they were being tested.

    They ran with 100 lbs of weight on their backs. 30-50 lbs is a joke. My g-friend curls more than that. She gained more than that when she was pregnant!

    Another LAME lie.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  43. Geesh

    How quickly people forget the absolute circus that the Jessica Lynch 'rescue' turned into. We've had other young military personnel get captured in Iraq and in Afghanistan. None of them got the ridiculous amount of attention Lynch got. We already have women serving in combat zones, and taking fire. Their jobs just aren't defined as 'front line combat,' even though they see combat. And women have been flying combat missions in fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft for, what, over a decade now? Clearly there are women who can 'hack it.'

    But the Jessica Lynch media circus shows that the American people are still really uncomfortable with the idea of women in combat.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  44. zackdryer

    As a combat arms soldier, I understand that this is all just political. The senators and representatives that are pushing this issue have for the most part never served and if they have they were not combat troop. Although the thought of equality is a nice one, it is wholy impossible logisticaly. In Afganistan and Iraq I, as well as a lot of combat troops, was placed in remote outpost where we went weeks without access to showers, restrooms, or living quarters. Myself and three other men once lived in the cab of an 1151 (HUMMER for civs) for a month, we ate, slept, changed, and showered together with no privacy whatsoever. To shower one would strip naked while anothr stood on top of the truck and poured a 5 gallon jug over your head. When we did have bathrooms they were communial not individual. I am not saying women cant do the job, lord knows we have had ourshare of weak men who are a detriment to the team. I am however going to say that we do not need to sacrifice womens rights to understand that it is just not logisticaly sound. And as for the idiots that are going to say just build more showers, bathrooms, and tents, are you going to foot the bill or come to this 125 degree desert and build it, if not keep your comments to yourselves

    February 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • Briza

      I totally agree, well said. But no the idiots won't say build more showers, etc. They will probably try and start some kind of all woman brigade combat team LoL. The women in my family can't even pull of a Thanksgiving dinner without fighting and changing plans, imagine that.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  45. Briza

    I know of 14 women at the military installation I work at who have gone to combat and in less than 6 months came back because of pregnancy. Either women really don't want to be in combat, or they really shouldn't. While they do a great job most of the time at their MOS in the military, I don't see a woman really enjoing being on her period in the middle of a desert with limited resources and hardly any women IF any, to help her out. I can't stand being around men on my period anyway, let alone a hundred men in 100+ degree weather in the desert, come ladies becareful what you wish for.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  46. MXD

    I'm not in the military, but I do not think women in combat is a good idea, for many reasons. 1 – sexual tension. You're talking about putting a woman in a highly charged, socially isolated situation with a platoon of twelve 19 year old alpha males – do you REALLY think they're not going to be thinking about – and trying to – boff this woman most of their waking hours?? At the very least the woman's presence will be distracting. 2 – As has been stated, men are biologically programmed to be protective of women, especially young, macho-soldier types. A wounded or in-danger female soldier will cause undue and innappropriate attention \ time \ effort from her platoon-mates – causing a dangerous situation. 3 – Physical limitations – sure, there are SOME women who are "as strong as men", but they're the exception. If my life and the success of my mission depends on able-bodied soldiers I'd REALLY prefer not to have to take on a less-abled soldier becuase of some political initiative. 4 – POW's – if a female soldier is taken prisoner it will be instant and contsant psycological pressure on her male counterparts as they know \ suspect the woman is being sexually abuse, possibly repeatedly. So the men will go to extraordinary lengths – to the point of being counterproductive or putting more people in harms' way – to rescue her. Not that we also don't want to rescue male prisoners, but female prisoners could cause unwise rescue attempts and distractions.

    This is all not to say anything negative about women – but we have to recognize the physical differences between the sexes, and how men will react to females in these situations. We have more than enough males trying to get into the military these days – we don't need women to fill roles. But it seems that women want these roles for promotion opportunities – to me this is turning a blind-eye to the liabilities involved. And that is both selfish and dangerous.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • fieldmedik

      Trust me when the bullets are flying NOBODY is thinking about sex. If a woman meets the same phyical standards that blows your "limitations" theory, as for POW, do you think the men are treated with kid gloves?

      February 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
      • MXD

        "when the bullets are flying nobody is thinking about sex" – ok, but what about the other 99% of the time? Also, it's not just the male sex drive, but, as stated, the male instinct to be protective of females. Are you telling me THAT dissppears, too, when the bullets start flying, or might it only increase? As for physical requirements, sure, if the woman can meet the SAME requirements then that point is moot, but my understanding is that the requirements are STILL not the same. For POW's, the possible sexual abuse of females would play MUCH stronger with the troops and be MUCH more probable that with male POW's. Other excellent points other's have brougt up are where and how will women in pee and crap – given that many battle situations don't afford privcacy. Also, what about pregnancy? I've read lots of stories of a high percentage of women in the Navy getting pregnant – no surprise, given that they're surrounded by hundreds or more willing sperm donors. Woman get's pregnant – has to leave the platoon – messes up the platoon. Not fair to the male soldiers remaining.

        February 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • femalesoldier

      Your line "how men will react to females"....there is the problem right there. Until the culture of the United States changes, outdated and unecessary generder roles are removed and American men can learn to control themselves and recognize that men and women are human beings capable of the same things and not a penis or a vagina, then the overal mentality of this debate won;t change. I guarantee that if we females soldiers are out there showering with a five gallon bucket we wouldn' be staring at your bodies, but focusing on getting clean! Why can't you men learn to do the same and start looking at us as fellow soldiers and not just our body parts!?!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • Peters19D

      There are a lot of things wrong with your "theory". To get the record straight, I am in the military in a combat MOS, in Afghanistan. First, you say sexual tension... You don't think it works both ways? I am around women and yes they do hook up. It's not always between soldiers in the same platoon. Girl have urges also. We all look at each other the same, we are all soldiers therefore we all look after each other the same. Also girls do have physical limitation, but as long as they can carry there kit, weapon and a wounded soldier they are fine. And when the time comes your adrenaline is pumping so fast that you could carry a 500 pound soldier if you had to. Your 4th point made me laugh, do you really think that men aren't raped as POW's. Shit... They have problems with man on man rape on FOB's! If you didn't know, a lot of Afghan men fool around with each other. If a girl can hack it, let her roll with us. I would have no problem with it. I have worked around army women and they have done just well.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  47. america

    Don't mess with thousands of years of Survival instinct. Even the most Primitive tribes on the planet have Hunter/Gatherers the male, facing an unknown situation. Like for example running into a hungry lion while on a hunt. Males by evolution have testosterone that would kick in and give that adrenaline rush to fight the fight. The female would stay back at the safety of the encampment, not because they are weak but because they can bare children... You lose the women you become extinct. Not my rules it's natures rules.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • fieldmedik

      Excuse me but that hunting lion is actually the lioness, SHE does the hunting!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
      • america

        The hunters might run into a lion or some other mean monster. I wasn't talking about who does the hunting in what species, yeah in some species like the black widow spider the female is dominate. Were talking about the human female species lol. I knew this would turn into a back and forth thing.
        The friggin point haha is that guys have a problem with women fighting along side them it's all in the mind and also ... the body LOL... I don't want to go into it, but this can't work... Every solider is secretly laughing their ass off... I also don't see to many garbage women on my block... Not that they can't do it, but see where i'm going? I also don't see to many roughneck women.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • BDuce

        Are you really that obtuse? If lions and humans were the same, men would lounge around most of the time while women did all of the work. If a woman refused she would be killed. Pull your head out and face reality. Think about it, if you were faced with combat to the death, would you rather face the average female or male? It is easy to quip and have ridiculous ideas about women beating up strong muscular men (thank Hollywood for that fantasy) but reality is your average male would decimate your average female. However, if a woman is willing to train hard and she can prove herself by being held to the same standards as her male counterparts (in the military, female physical requirements are far easier than male's) then let her fight and die alongside her male counterparts.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  48. Haha

    "Men have to go long periods of times without showers at times and the women can't do that due to health concerns"

    WTF is that suppsed to mean? You have just proven how stupid men are. I don't know what you think goes on with women's bodies but trust me when I say that they aren't dirtier or more in need of a shower than men.

    I still can't believe I just read that. .....PS you do know that women have been living in the desert for millions of years without showers, right?

    February 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • K

      The desert is one ting but you clearly have never spent 44-days in a tank.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
      • Actually

        Actually, I have sweetcheeks. I still don't get what the hell he's talking about. Women don't need to shower more than men. He obviously doesn't know anything about women.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Tom

      You can laugh all you want but this is the reason given when we are training with women and we are not allowed showers yet the women are so if you think it is funny it is just because all the whiny ass women complain about needed a shower because their little nasty vaginas get dirty and they cant go without because they get yeast infections and UTI's so laugh all you want but you women are the cause.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
      • america

        haha that's what i was trying to say, i didn't know how vulgar we could get on here! LOL

        February 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
      • Actually

        That's BS. Besides I'm sure ANYONE who wants can take a pack of wipes with them. That is the dumbest crap I've ever heard,
        The military gets what it asks for. If it has been telling women that they can't fight frontline and don't train them for it and then put them on the frontline...Their gonna freaking complain. Who wouldn't?

        February 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
      • Well

        I'm a woman and that's not true. If the military is telling women they can/should shower then that's a bunch of MEN telling women what to do. It's not women saying they have to.

        You're confusing male patronizing with female needs. Face it. Male officers think women are aliens with special needs.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
      • america

        ROFLMAO... hahaha
        i can't type anymore this is too much.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • armydoc

        Sure, women get UTIs, but men get smegma. Look it up. It's far worse than a UTI

        February 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • Major Phil

        I can't believe how misogynous some of you guys sound. I've never had to worry about a woman doing her job or being dependable. Can't always say that for the guys. I've served in Air Defense Artillery, Armor, and Military Police, and I would have no problem having women serve with me. Maybe it's just some of you old phartz who still think of them as WACS.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • america

      you didn't reply to anyone. But i said dirty bathrooms vs clean bathrooms. The analogy would be in combat you can have very few if any distractions, guys can go hard smelling like a yaks ass, but stinking would bother a woman, a distraction. Women scientifically have a better sense of smell than men.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
      • america

        oh and Tom is right on the money, no showers. Men don't have the same hygienic needs as women.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
      • Well

        That's BS. Women can't smell themselves anymore than men can themselves.

        So, women can handle poopy diapers and cleaning other peoples crap up and men puke at the thought but women can't handle being dirty? Women have always handled the shyt in life. What a bunch of sexist assumptions. And did you know that sometimes when women say things like "boy, I need a shower bad" It doesn't mean they can't handle it they are just acknowledging that they stink. As usual women are under the microscope by men. Have to be 10x better and never speak to get even common respoect. Grow up.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • america

        I just knew i was sticking my foot in my mouth.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • airborne

      exactly.. they have been living, not fighting.

      You really dont know what your talking about.

      They would need to be bald and cut their hair like men so it does not get in the way of your eyes when you have to shoot and move.

      Periods.

      A whole platoon would have to wait at least 3-5min just so they could take a piss, and with all that equipment on, you dont just pop a squat and piss and ur done. its like they have to take a shit basically everytime they need to go to the bathroom while on movments. And those moments of vulnerability are crucial cause that takes one weapon/position out of the fight.

      So no men are not stupid, we are just being logical because we have EXPERIENCE in this job field for years and years.

      You are just ignorant and naive.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • Melissa

        Women can survive without showers for weeks on end and not suffer any more ill effects than men do. I can assure you our vaginas are not delicate little flowers. As recent as several hundred years ago it was not uncommon for anyone, male or female, to bathe on a regular basis. Judging by the fact that we're still here, I'd say the females survived just fine. Oh and so far as periods go, I haven't had one in 3 years. Why? Because we have medications that can stop all that from happening, even so, I've never had a period slow me down in the slightest.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
      • Well

        It doesn't take 3 minutes to pee. Women are already in combat in other countries and handle everything fine. There are also women who do activities like rock climbing and manage. How? First because it's not a big freaking deal. Second there is a thing women can use so they can pee standing up. Worry about yourself not their peeing habits.

        PERIOD? I know it's a big issue for you but woomen have this thing called a cup or they can use tampons. These items which you may not be familiar with stop the "period" from coming out of the body hence no need for a shower.

        Taking birth control pills also stops women from having their period.

        You have serious issues.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
      • america

        ROFLAMO! STOP hahahahaha....

        February 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  49. Kelvin

    I have go agree with what others have been saying, if a women can pass all the same physical training tests as a man, which means being able to carry a 180 pound man clad in body armor adding another 30-50 pounds this all being dead weight, than sure women should be allowed in front line combat. The reality is most women physically cannot pass the same pt tests as men, most men can't pass the pt test required from front line service. Women should be equal to men, but we as people should realize that for the most part physically men are simply stronger, and this means there are some things we can do that women simply cannot.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • julian

      With more women in the infantry will that mean that more sex will happen on the base?

      February 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • Melissa

      250 pounds isn't exactly a whole lot of weight you realize. With training, most women I would bet could easily carry such a sized male for quite a distance. It's not that much weight, really.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • john smiith

        I'll take that be

        February 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Hmmm

      Women actualy have stronger lower bodies than men and studies show that with proper training they gain strength faster than men. Fact estrogen builds stronger muscle than testosterone which is why a woman's muscles can be smaller but just as strong.

      Do they separate smaller and larger men? Are you saying that it's OK for a man who weighs 135 to be on patrol with larger men and vice versa? Reality is no one carries another alone. You're a team. Any solo helping is short and quick not for a long distance. No one can do that.

      I know for a fact that in Canada as part of passing the physical you have to carry your teammates a distance. This means the women have to carry the men and they do.

      Also, I know lots and lots of women over 6 feet and 200 lbs and lots of men who are short and weigh 135. Are you telling me that the man is going to be able to carry the bigger woman but she can't carry the smaller man? Cause I know that's not true. I am a 5'8" woman who weighs 127lbs (which is not tall in my group of female friends) and I can lift my 6'5" boyfriend who weighs 220 no problem and that's when I'm not in shape. I am also able to gain 20 lbs in muscle in strength no problem when I train.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  50. airborne

    If you can meet and exceed the minimal pt standards of males then by all means yes. But the standard will not be lowerd because if so you will be fighting with men, how you can drag or carry that wounded man if you cant even do 25 pushups, 10 pull ups? run a 13-14 min 2 mile? Note that we wear about 50lbs of just body armor, and when one guy goes down whos gana carry his equipment? his ruck? if you can hack it out and shoot then hell yea ill serve with you.. if not then get the fuck out... but from what i have seen, most women in the military are pansies and deserve to stay behind the desk and on the fob.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • fieldmedik

      I am a FMF corpsman, I have the same military training (I has more cilivian training as a degreed paramedic), passed the same PRT (yes the standards for the men), do the same work. I was a civilian fire/paramedic. Yes I could pull a 200 lb man in full gear 200 yards to safety. I was better suited mentalilly (the marines in my unit would agree) to the tasks at hand. I had been under fire in the civilian world and had been shot. My marines respected me and would come to me before any other corpsman. Why exactly should I not be allow to serve in combat?

      February 9, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
      • mike Mastrogiacomo

        I would be honered to have you at my back.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • fieldmedik

        Thank you, I am a bit fierce about it. It kills me that I was not able to be there for my boys and two died because of stupidity and narrowmindedness.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • BeccaJ

        You can cover my Marine husband's 6 any time; thank you for your service. I work with and for Marines. With equal training, I believe females can perform in combat arms just as well as equally trained males. Our society wants to make lots of excuses as to why woman cannot serve in these roles. One caveat I believe to be true is that there should be one cutting score, not different classes. You either meet the standards or you don't and if you don't meet the PFT/CFT single standard, then you don't get to play whether you are male or female.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • america

        That would be SOP, because your the lifesaver, if you get incapacitated that's the one asset that keeps the other assets functioning. Protect the medic.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  51. Alex

    "They are not formally assigned to combat units, but rather informally "attached" which means they do not get the crucial credit for combat duty that is needed for promotions to higher grades."

    This is a misinformed LIE. Soldiers in support positions do not need "credit" for combat duty for promotion (deployment time to combat theater helps, but anyone can do time overseas). A supply clerk or medic is NOT competing against an infantryman or artilleryman for promotion. There is a promotion system in place that is job-relevant. Lies, lies, lies. Stop spreading misinformed BS, CNN.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
  52. Tom

    Truthfully its not about if the women can physically handle it or whether they are equal. The problem really lies in the fact that alot of times the hard core infantry jobs require hygiene compromises that women cant do. Men have to go long periods of times without showers at times and the women can't do that due to health concerns. I am currently serving in Afghanistan and though I wouldn't mind having some females here they definitely couldn't handle the shower situations here. So its not about toughness it is about health of the women.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • Melissa

      Tom, it wasn't' all that long ago in human history (a few thousand years) that nobody, male or female, bathed on a regular basis. Seeing as how we humans are still here, I think that's reason enough to believe that the females did just as well as the males under those circumstances.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  53. Yup

    MEN SHOULDN'T BE IN THE MILITARY...HISTORY HAS PROVEN THAT

    February 9, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
  54. JMB

    It took them 10 years to come up with this decision, AND after they formally pulled out of Iraq. Not a coincidence, I'm sure.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
  55. Arno

    Basically, the only change that we'll see here is that we will no longer "accidentally" put women on the front lines. Female soldiers train the same way, live the same way, and -like it or not- they end up on the front lines. They can kill as well as any man, they can dodge bullets the same way, they can even get involved in prisoner-abuse scandals the same way. Male or female, heterosexual or gay, they're all everywhere. Today, we just have to admit that they are.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
  56. Rabbit One

    Women (individual women) should they desire the opportunity/accountability to serve in combat should be granted that wish, same as men – because nature may in fact have even made individual women better equipped for combat than individual men – bottom line it should be case by case, person by person and motivated by equal opportunity and equal accountability.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
  57. JBernstein

    I'm 100% for hot women serving on the front lines as long as they are cooks or hookers. I served in Iraq and we needed hookers on the front lines the Iraqi women just didn't do it for us.!!! I would keep the moral higher and men happy!!

    February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
  58. Yeah, right

    Men here argue that's in a man's nature to want to protect a woman. WHAT A LIE. It could actually be argued that it's the exact opposite. There is NO species on this planet where the female relies on a male. It is more common for female and males to be in conflict.

    Women should do whatever they want. It's no one's business to decide for them. And if they are being put on the front line anyway then they should get credit and promotions. And women have ALWAYS been on the front line. Protection? Did you know female nurses in the UK army were supposed to give up their parachutes to wounded males if their flight was shot down? Protection except when they wanted women to sacrifice themselves. Protection? Women on frontlines without weapons because females aren't allowed to carry. Is that what you call male protection. Looks more like hatred and placing NO VALUE on the lives of women. Protection? All those women raped by their own military...all those women raped by the US military in Vietnam and now Iraq. Men have always been happy to let women do their dirty work when it's convenient for them. It's hypocrisy to put women in danger but to have technicalities in place to make the men keep up their macho status quo. Other western military forces have all positions open to women. And they don't have as much of a problem with their male members raping their female members because they are legally expected to treat women as equals...no semanticas or technicalities. If I was a country in need of help I would pray to god it wasn't the US but rather Canada or Sweden or somewhere else...Forget civil turmoil your safety is sure to go to hell when the USA arrives. Let the raping begin. The US military is so full of male morons that they can't tell the difference between an orphanage and a terrorist compound. They need some female leadership.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • stop foolin

      they just get pregnant

      February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
      • Chartreuxe

        All by themselves. Right.

        February 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Arno

      Right, and it's the man's protective nature than leads to the current rape epidemic in the military.
      And yes, female soldiers might find a way to get pregnant.
      I've never seen that as my manly disability, but I'm sure that, if a man could pull that off, he'd do it too.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Big Bob

      Geez! Bitter much?

      Don't stand around waiting for other militaries to come and save you. There just aren't that many of them and they don't begin to have the global capability that our glorious military has.

      Now iron my shirt!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • FACT

      MEN GAVE WOMEN RIGHTS WOMEN NEVER WON THEM

      February 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
      • Chartreuxe

        I've always wondered, is ignorance really bliss? Do tell.

        February 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Jamal

      I agree we need hot women hookers and cooks on the front lines. Keeps the stress level lower.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Cry me a river.....

      Men invented all the comforts you modern lasy *itches enjoy today including planes, wepons and parachutes etc. We invented 98% of usefull things in this world. Also we invented a vacume cleaner to make your chores easier.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
      • Chartreuxe

        Women invented anti-rejection drugs, the anti-fungal drug (Nystatin) which has saved hundreds of thousands of lives all over the world, the anti-herpes drug, the antivirals which keep millions alive who suffer from HIV, isolated the process to clone stem cells, created the windscreen wiper, Hedy Lamarr (look her up) invented a radio-frequency manipulation device that helped win WWII, emergency flares, safety elevators, and Kevlar. There are police officers in my family. Kevlar's a good one.

        In addition, a woman invented the dishwasher, the APGAR score which tests every single newborn baby in this country (even you), the electric water heater, the disposable diaper, the elevated railway, the fire escape, life rafts, Liquid Paper, medical syringes, THE ROTARY ENGINE, Scotchgard Fabric Protector, Street cleaning machines, and anti-Leukemia drugs.

        We shall never know how many other inventions were created by women because in the 19th Century a woman was prevented by law from obtaining a patent.

        Thanks a bunch for airplanes, the parachute, and what was that other one? I think the anti-retrovirals are my favourite of the list. Oh, and the life raft, not to mention the fire escape. Those are brilliant.

        February 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • Chartreuxe

        Are you really expecting me to be grateful for weapons?

        Ignorance is no excuse. Read a book.

        February 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • Mahmood H

        Phelix Wankle Rotery engine hahaha you are a brainwashed femanist!

        February 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Yeah Right is Right

      I agree, Yeah right is right on the mark. I know of numerous cases of women in the military, from research institutions to military academies, military hospitals and on-the-ground combat situations who are disrespected at best and assaulted sexually or even murdered at worst by military colleagues. There is a culture of male dominance that is hard to shake. I also know of many good men who support women, and help them in their career paths, because they are not so concerned with male vs. female issues, they just want to help a good person get ahead, and it happens to be a women because she had demonstrated competence, strength, high analytical capabilities, team work and all of the virtues of a high level of professionalism. Women, stay strong, and just go out there and do your best, and don't let any guy push you around or tell you are aren't good enough. Call out oppression and discrimination when you experience it. And guys, to those of you who have opened professional doors for women, who believe in womens capabilities and equality, and many times have put your own careers on the line to help women, a BIG THANK YOU and a lot of gratitude. And to women over the centuries who have fought oppression and have brought us to the level of equality we have today, knowing there is still a ways to go, a HUGE THANK YOU and debt of gratitude to you!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  59. fieldmedik

    As an FMF corpsman, I went through the same military training (I has more cilivian training), passed the same PRT (yes good enough to pass even the standards for the men), could do the same work. I was a civilian fire/paramedic. Yes I could pull a 200 lb man in full gear 200 yards to safety. I was better suited mentalilly (the marines in my unit would agree) to the tasks at hand. I had been under fire in the civilian world and had been shot. My marines respected me and would come to me before any other corpsman. Why exactly should I not be allow to serve in combat?

    February 9, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • MrT

      Because once a month you'd attract bears to the patrol base.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • fieldmedik

        You are an idiot and btw, wrong. And my marines would be glad to explain it to you.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  60. R3alM@n

    Women don't belong on the front lines, nor should they be in the military.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • Phil

      Thanks for your input, troll. To be fair, women don't belong around you.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
      • R3alM@n

        Troll? I am not the one calling people names on a forum. I just offered up an opinion.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  61. Lee S

    I would like to think this is a good idea, but could go either way. Psychologically, if we sent an entire unit of women combatants into a country like Iran or any country in the ME for that matter, it might prove to be useful, but if one or all of them was captured. We would probably never hear from them again, unless its via videotape. The only issue I see is if you are on the front lines are you going to be able to move and stay cohesive with your unit with 120 pounds on ur back?

    February 9, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
  62. MASTRODAMUS

    Great! Now there will be even more "blood" and fighting on the battlefield. Guess I won't be re-enlisting after this contract runs out.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
  63. scriss

    If women are serving in combat zone, getting killed or injured, how are they not getting "credit" for combat duty? Every soldier setting foot in Iraq or Afganistan should be getting credit for being in a combat zone. No exceptions!

    February 9, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • Arno

      I could not agree more. My ex-wife was as capable of killing or dying as any man.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  64. frank and ernest

    There are women right now integrated with a couple of special forces teams, including seals, and Delta Force. They were individually selected and are in a trial period. You heard it here first!

    February 9, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
  65. Aspen

    Infantry vet here, Hey as long as the rules remain the same and a woman is willing to be in the field for 2 weeks at a time without a shower, cleaning with wetnaps and a few drops from a canteen then sure. I also feel there should be a combat MOS PT test vs the Male/Female PT test. Reason on the latter is that if someone else goes down most non-combat personal would not be in the shape required to fireman carry a 180LB infantry guy with battle armor 100meters and if a female is going into that MOS that requirement should stay. As long as that is met I have no other complaints about them serving in any capacity they qualify for.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
  66. USMC1987

    Having served back in the cold war days, I can say that I believe that gender should not play in the decision of assigning anyone to a specific MOS. Ability is the discussion. There are some women that are physically more capable then some men, and obviously vice versa. At the time I was on Parris Island, the highest score held in the KD marksmenship course was held by a WM (Woman Marine). If a woman is a "hacker" and has the ability to perform the duties required, then by all means she should be able to. I'm not saying open it up willy nilly to everyone, I'm saying if you can meet the minimal standard for the job, not for a female, which was lower in my time in the Corps, then by all means grab your gear and hit the beach.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • Lee S

      Ok, Hacking is not a front line duty job. Getting shot at directly while running and moving while carrying 120 pounds on your back, is.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • tort100

        That's true but there are plenty of lousy male grunts too who underperform at many basic skills.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • ei8htx

        LMAO, this isn't the same "hacking" as in hacking a computer. Don't comment on stuff you've no clue about.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • Arno

        Yeah, if the Marines have anything in common with firefighters (another job where we tend to assume women can't measure up) "hacking it" just means getting done what's necessary.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  67. Augstus

    As much as most ppl including me agree that women should be allowed to serve in the front lines as long they don't lower the standard for them or both sexes to qualify. But knowing how things work in this hippy world they will lower the standards for one or both sexes.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • stop foolin

      they all just get pregnant as fast as they can and get out of the military.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
  68. Big D

    Come on ladies, here's a great opportunity to show men and the world what you can do in combat. Just get all your die hard I want to be in combat GI Jane buddy's together and volunteer to fight the Taliban, they're waiting. I'm sure a thousand women marching on the capital demanding their right to fight in combat will be granted. Any volunteer

    February 9, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • asterik

      You mean like all of the women who are already voluntarily serving in close-to-combat roles in the military?

      February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
  69. chris

    I spend 10 years in the Marines and Its not that women aren't capable of fighting in combat. I met plenty of women that were pretty tough but majority of your military is comprised of males. And it is sad to say but sometimes women in the military expecially in an isolate combat situation create problems internally and become to much of a distraction because of the males. I didn't like serving with women and glad I am out cause I wouldn't want to manage a Platoon in combat that had women in it.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • Melissa

      The fact that the majority of the military is comprised of males is a fallacious argument. The majority of the military is comprised of males BECAUSE we have laws restricting females in the military. I am by far not the only female I know who passed up the military because she wouldn't be able to kill. It was very important to me that I be able to drain the life from an enemy in return for putting my own life on the line.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  70. Sam

    Should "women and children first" rule on a sinking ship be changed to just "children first" too? Seems to go hand in hand with all this "women are equal to me" stuff. On a somewhat related note, should the NFL start allowing or even requiring women to play, I mean if they're truely equal physically it must me our sports world is sexist. Right?

    February 9, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Joe T.

      Yeah and how about that "Ladies Night" thing? Women drink free? Pfft, when was the last time a woman bought you a drink at the bar?

      February 9, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
  71. YeaiSaidIt

    Watch the movie COLUMBIANA! Nuff said.. womean can be badasses as long as they shoot rockets and are smokin hot.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
    • Joe T.

      I think an army of Michelle Rodriguez's would be a darn good army.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
  72. america

    Except for the Tamil Tigers, the worst places in the world with Armed forces have no women in them... Vietnam had women fighters but that was a different story, they were more like camouflage.
    There are certain points in any country where you must draw the line. Not to say that a Woman can't be just as hardcore as a Male counterpart, it's mostly the Male that's going to have a problem. It's primal instinct for the Male of a Species to protect the Female, this is a distraction that I thought they had already worked out? It's psychology not Womens rights...

    February 9, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • Kajal

      I think it is fair to let women try to do what they think they can. Why are you assuming that it's not OK? Whatever your belief is (that men have the psychology to protect, etc), if someone wants to do something, that generic belief about whole genders should not stand in the way of the individual.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
      • anon

        This is WAR we are talking about people. There is no room for error. it is Life or Death. Tell me then after you think about it like, are your beliefs going to be keeping you alive? Physical and mental capabilites need to meet the same requirements for a male and a female. If it cant be accomplished 100% you tell me who you want next to you....

        February 9, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • erqfr

      If it is the primal urge of men to protect women that is the problem, why not make an all female platoon?

      February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
  73. Bill Miller

    I would not want my daughter fighting a physical fight with the enemy. It is bad enough for guys to fight in wars. It is not that they couldn't do it, because many could put a whipping on a lot of men. I just think certain things should be left for men to do and certain things should be left for women to do, then there are certain things that both can do. The bottom line is that it is up to the woman if she really wants to fight in a war with enemy men who have little or no respect for the female, except for breeding and caring for the family. I hope I didn't offend any of the woman folks, just some tasks are mainly a man's task.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • sarah

      You're right. It should be up to her.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
      • terry

        So, is it also that the men should have a say in whether or not to fight in a battle. Wht sloud a wowan get to decide such when the men don't get to decide for themselves?

        February 9, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  74. Ben (veteran)

    I have always been impressed by the Russian Women during WWII. They served on the front lines with machineGuns alongside men as well as being the most famous Snipers the world has ever known. Those Brave women proved they are equals to men in front line combat. Just ask any German soldier that managed to survive the encounter!

    February 9, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • america

      Yeah but we're talking about Klingons Vs Humans... the Russian women could probably drink the Russian men under the table too! LOL

      February 9, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • YeaiSaidIt

      Just ask the german who survived the encounter wit the russian males... O WAIT HE DIED!

      February 9, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • sarah

      The US has Russian Immigrants and their children. Not all women in the US are the same person.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
    • Joe T.

      Russians also had a policy of shooting many of their own soldiers. Not to mention 20 million Russians died in WWII. I'd say their policies weren't very effective.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • Alexander VI

        Effective enough to wipe out approx. three quarters of the Wermacht.

        Only a regime as brutal, as criminal, as the Nazis could've done that.

        February 10, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  75. Jon Michael

    One more consideration: If the argument supporting women in combat roles is the concept of "equality", then consider the following: The next time we have a major war in which a draft is required, do you want your 18 year old daughter drafted into a combat infantry unit? Do you want your daughter who just graduated high school dropped from a helicopter and subject to a life expectancy of 30 seconds? I didn't think so.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • former army SGT.

      good point

      February 9, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • sarah

      And they want this for their sons? Not all men are cut out for combat either. If a woman who is capable and volunteers takes the place of a cannon fodder quality boy, I'm sure the parents would be grateful.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
      • YeaiSaidIt

        I think they are allowing women to fight more now because it's legal to be a butch lezbo in the military. Makes sense to me! They are pretty much men any way,.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:36 am |
      • zrxgrim

        Having both a teenaged son and daughter i would have to agree with Sarah. Few people want to see their children, male or female, in harm's way. But if called to serve, one should serve if capable, not be deferred because of gender. Additionally, how many men have been drafted since january '73 in the U.S.?

        February 9, 2012 at 11:40 am |
      • Jon Michael

        @yeaisaidit: you are not contributing to the debate. Please refrain from thinking or speaking :-) In answer to the replying question: No, as a parent, I would be in distress if any of my children were drafted into a combat role (or drafted at all). I would be distressed if they volunteered to (that is the role and nature of a parent). That said, I have raised my children in such a way that they would probably volunteer in the first place, if it were a war on such a scale that would require a draft. My point is, my son would be better quipped to survive than my daughter, and as such I would worry more about her.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Military wife

      Well, Jon Michael, I'm not really fond of the idea of my 18-year-old SON being drafted and dropped into a war zone either. If it had to happen, I'd be worried and proud of ANY of my children.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
      • Jon Michael

        To be sure, neither would I. I would be sad, and if it was a war I did not believe in, you could be sure I would protest. However, if it were my daughter, the USA would have more to worry about than just the enemy they were fighting. ;-)

        February 9, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • america

      Haha it's been like this for thousands of years... Yeah there were Female Gladiators, but they were few... Only a few Amazon Warriors... Yeah there are some MMA women that could knock a man out but then again few...
      The difference of the Men's bathroom and the Women's bathroom should be the simple control method, guys use the Bathroom and it's for one thing... Women prefer a clean bathroom... haha come on, I thought they figured this out already. I hate to sound chauvinistic but War is the worst thing in the world...

      February 9, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • possum

        My wife prefers a clean bathroom but when we are out fishing she will hang her backside off the stern of the boat to pee when nature calls. I imagine that most young women would and could do the same. The problem is how the young men in the unit deal with the view. Even more challenging is how this change affects military families. We talk about the very real and deep challenges that service poses for families and then adapt policies that make it more difficult.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • T

      Men have to register, women should have to also. The way the country is today many of them are disqualified due to weight – men and women. Even if there were to be another draft, who says that they would be put in those front line jobs. The equipment is changing and requiring less people to operate.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
      • WASP

        T: yeah the equipment is requiring fewer bodies to operate it, however the problem is you need personel to secure the ground after the equipment has done it's job.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Haley

      There's never going to be another draft. We don't have those kind of wars, not after vietnam. People need to stop letting sentiment get in the way of equality. I don't think you'd want your 18 year old son to be drafted either. The fact of the matter is gender isn't as clear cut as this conversation leads us to believe. Many women are stronger than many men. The fact of the matter is gender should be ignored, accomplishments and abilities should be the lone criterion for the military.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  76. former army SGT.

    As a former infantryman, I would say that women should not be in direct combat. As a former Black Hawk Crew Chief, I would say that women are already in direct combat. I flew with them all the time. Many people don't know that women can be crew chiefs and a crew chief is considered a combat job. Although its not infantry.

    The infantry argument against women, other than the stereo-typical arguments of women aren't as strong as men, is that the male infantry will stop fighting and help a wounded female. It is a males very nature to protect women and children from harm. The primary role of infantry is to kill the enemy. Saving your combat buddies is second. If women were to be in a direct combat role, it may reduce the combat effectiveness of the unit until the unit was used to females being hurt or killed. Getting used to a thing like that would take a massacre or a long time. I think the slow introduction the military is choosing allows for the 'long time' to pass and the military to adapt to having women in all roles.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • zrxgrim

      Then change the beurocracy behind the fighting to allow attachments to units equal front line service in terms of pay and advancement consideration.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • Jamar

      Agree 100%... As a former Marine people think its just about woman fighting.. The reason we even have grenades in war is to cause harm and take three to four enemy combatants out of action to care for the wounded. Not to actually kill the enemy.. Now imagine going to the front lines and hearing woman scream for help, how many of the U.S. men can continue on fighting with woman screaming for help on the front lines. How many of our killing machines on the front lines, would, stop and become compassionate humans and help the woman on the front lines?

      February 9, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Mr. hate

      what's the difference between a zebra and a female sergeant.....a zebra doesn't have to lay on his back to get his stripes. leave the military the way its is. life isn't fair get over it and let us do our job.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  77. SGM

    Well I find this article full of incorrect data- as I recall, During my last two tours in Iraq, Woman have been directly involved in the fight and even incharge of samll units fighting the fight- as Mlitary Police. You can say what you want and have you opinion, but I personally know alot of women who engaged the enemy, were in fire fights, controlled the situation, killed the enemy, and have even died doing it. So to say they cant, or that they havent been doing it– or to even say that they are not receiving the credit for serving in combat– is FALSE!!!

    February 9, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • sarah

      Officially, in Washington and in the public eye, they are not acknowledged.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
  78. RetArmInf

    We had a female medic in Afghanistan... she was flippin hard as nails... we did several dozen air assaults and she was usually on them. She carried a M-4 and we seen her use it. She carried a huge flippin aid bag (heavy I'm sure). She was way tougher than me (11B)...

    February 9, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • america

      and she has to be 100 times what she would have had to be if she was male...

      February 9, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
  79. Andrew

    This is long overdue, but not quite there. Many allies allow women in combat roles, so American women can do it too.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  80. CT

    I have always believed women should be allowed to hold front line roles, as long as they pass all the same tests as men.

    However, I learned some interesting stuff during a class I took in college called Philosophy of War & Peace. Some people think women are not on front lines because they allegedly cannot cope with the stress. However, the psychological effect actually impacts men more than women. It's men who cannot cope with women on the front lines - specifically when they're wounded - according to studies (I don't remember them or I'd cite them ... this was 8 years ago). The problem is that male soldiers abandon the "rules" of combat during battle to protect the women. For example, a man might abandon his position and leave 5-6 male soldiers in the line of fire to save one female soldier. Or they might get themselves killed trying to "save" a female soldier who is actually doing just fine on her own. Essentially, men are hard-wired to protect women, which leads hem to abandon their military training when it matters most. Think of Vin Diesel getting killed in Saving Private Ryan because he's carelessly walking around in the open to save a little girl. Stuff like that.

    It's an angle that never occurred to me, but it hasn't changed my mind. With more women on the front lines, men will eventually learn to treat them as fellow soldiers and not weaker creatures that need protection.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  81. WASP

    i agree female soldiers should be given proper acknowledgement of achievements in combat zones with all the benefits. on one simple ground i disagree with placing females in combat MOS' or jobs for non-military personel. the reason is females require more hygene and can suffer from more debilating symtoms from extended periods of lack of hygene. i would love to have a female fighting beside me, they tend to be more level headed then most guys i know, but if in a long drawn out battle she starts having sever cramping due to menstral cycle or becomes ill due to unclean enviroment then one i would feel horrible for her suffering because there wouldn't be a thing i could do but push her to keep going. second if the pain was great enough from her menstral cycle then it would take her out of action and at times having two rifles able to fire is the difference from dying or living. i'm not saying men are special, we have our weakness but the chances of the guy beside me if we're stuck in a foxhole for extended time of just folding over out of pain for no reason is slim.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • sarah

      You really don't know how the female body works do you? Most women can control their periods with BC. Eliminate them entirely. If she's been on it for a year, she's got it covered. There are no special hygiene requirements.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • terry

      Reply to WASP – You are just a complete idiot ! Or is it that you have no education at all ?

      February 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • WASP

      @ terry and sarah: not saying it can't be done, last time i checked guys don't have a huge openning straight into there body. i have seen my ex-wife that was on BC fold over in pain due to menstral cramps. it tore me up not being able to help her, i had to just watch. my current wife still ovulates on BC. its lighter then her normal flow,but she still has a cycle. now take either of those women and throw them into a situation to where they are stuck without clean water to wash themselves. not to metion you're both forgetting that BC isn't readily availible in combat.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
      • BCs

        Not all birth control is the same. You can have an injection that will do away with all periods for up to 3 years. Not everything is a pill. Women have been living in the bush for thousands of years, frequent hygene is nice, but not a neccesity.

        February 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  82. JK

    As a man, I think this is fantastic. I don't see why I'm forced to be a bullet sponge via possible conscription while women get to stay home sitting pretty. Let them do some of the work, I say.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • T

      I served my country and many women have and are serving. We do the same things our male counterparts do. We often do more because we feel like we have to prove ourselves. Most of the time the males we work with don't like working with females or are so overprotective we are not allowed to do our jobs.
      I think a woman should be allowed to serve in any role she wants to, right along side the men that serve our country. But in saying that, all the sexual assults need to be taken seriously. Still to this day our male soldier rape our female soldiers. Our females have more to worry about from our own soldiers than the enemy in many caes. If congress is going to let females in combat MOSs then they need to make strictrer regulations that prosecute the males that rape them.
      I loved being a soldier and I am still with soldiers everyday. My husband is a retired vet, my father served and so did my brother and grandfathers. The military has come a long way in many things but women should not have to carry a knife to protect herself from another soldier when she goes to use the latrine, take a shower etc.............

      February 9, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • terry

      AMEN !!!!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  83. deadtorights

    Served with women and they can be very dedicated to their job and the people around them. In certain situations, they can be an asset, but in the daily grind, they are not. Like it or not, they're pushed thru against different standards than men, but no one is applying different tactics in the heat of battle. Hand-to-hand, physically challenging workloads (dragging supplies, people, etc.) and brute force during combat are not there. We tend to think of our units as families and try to never leave someone behind, but when a woman is caught our options are reduced because we know that every moment she is being used as a pincushion by the enemy. Not saying women can't or haven't served with distinction, just saying that I have limited resources in the field and I want the ones with the best force projection and least liability. No one would ask me to trade in my heavy artillery for a sidearm because they both can hit a target and I don't like being asked to reduce my unit strength to include "equals" that are inherently unequal.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  84. CincyJim

    Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned.

    Getting shot at, is being scorned en extremism, eh?
    Did the Israeli women fight in 1948?

    February 9, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      *Everyone* fought in Israel in 1948. They were fighting for their lives.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  85. AK

    Am I the only one to notice that Captain Annie Kleiman is listed as Army when she is clearly in an Air Force uniform?

    February 9, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
  86. bret

    You know I served as a US Army Infantry Man for 8 yrs in and out of Iraq. At this point im tired of fighting about females capabilitys of being an 11B. If they want to do it fine that lightens my load. However dont mix them in with an all male unit. set up a Brigade completly filled with Female 11B's from Col Down to the lowest private and send the Lambs off to Slaughter and when they have to send the Real Rangers or SF out to bring them back we will put this issue to rest once and for all.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • america

      i'd be go for that mission.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • CincyJim

      Women have NEVER fought in combat?

      February 9, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
      • bret

        im not saying they have never been in combat. my last tour to Iraq we had a female MI soldier with us that was passed around the Company like a peace pipe. it got to the point it was so bad she had to be moved to another COP with a different company where she started all over. They are a distraction and im not going to die because a love sick 19yr old is watching out for his girlfriend rather than doing his job.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • 60's Veteran

      Sadly you are correct. That IS what it will take.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • armywife

      The issue shouldn't be whether they can or cannot fight. They are a DISTRACTION. PERIOD. And distractions get people killed. Not to mention many deployed women have caused family issues and marital problems. The army says they are for FAMILY, but then they want to send females over to basically live with and set up house with my (and many others') husband. I am a woman & I don't think they should be allowed to even deploy. Get over it. They don't belong there in ANY kind of role.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
      • WhoAreYou

        A jealous wife, lol. I wonder what is motivating your views. THANK GOD you do not speak for women. They have every right, and they do awesome work. Sit home and eat your cake, and watch your soap operas all you want. But please, shut your ham hole.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  87. Jeepers

    I don't understand why people work so hard to get the right to be shot at.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
  88. 60's Veteran

    Wishing to be in heavy combat is one of those be careful what you wish for deals. Anyone who has been in combat would NEVER wish for anyone else to have to do it. Nor do they wish they had to do it. The movies glamorize it and sterilize it. I feel bad enough seeing maimed men. I don't want to see a woman in that shape.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • CincyJim

      "heavy" combat?

      Was I in "heavy" or light combat in Việt Nam?

      February 9, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
      • 60's Veteran

        IMaybe a poor choice of words but IMO intensity does play a part. If my unit is a target for a sniper versus 100 g__ks on my tail. I'll take the sniper.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:28 am |
      • america

        Heavy Combat is a 360 threat, your were in heavy combat.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Mark

      I must say I like 60's post; it does not glamorize war, does not denigrate women; I think your this is the key thing that is missing – too many small minds draped in big flags. Truth be told, on this issue, I place more weight on those that have been there than some twit going on about Call of Duty, or rambling about 'freedom and democracy". Thanks 60', good post.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  89. truefax

    Let's be real here other than a few exceptional women, the vast majority of females just don't meet the same physical requirements. This is why there is a seperate set of reqs for women. Seriously ppl if so many females can't defend themselves from rape in the military (see other article) then how can they hope to deal with actual combat?

    I don't mean to come off as a jerk but unless a the women in the service can learn to fend off drunk gi's then they don't need to be in actual combat.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • CincyJim

      Interesting, the US Army decides who will be in combat IF they can fight-off a drunk?

      February 9, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
  90. Michael

    Well for centuries only men have been conscripted to go fight and die and it was unthinkable to force women to face enemy bullets. War is pointless but I guess if we're going to keep going we might as well agree that both genders can die equally well for the needs of the comfortable minority at the top.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • Dave

      War is pointless....well I think my grandfather on my mother's (POW was on Corregidor) would disagree. And I know my wife's Family (Filipino) were vey glad to be freed from the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. And my dad signed up for WWII following the attack on Pearl.

      The ugly and sad truth is that sometimes war is a necessary evil

      February 9, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
      • america

        HAHA my grandfather fought the Germans... Sometimes it's bring it to them or they Bring it to you!

        February 9, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  91. Klean9

    I think this is great. Just what wil those terrorists and Taliban think when they get their a$$ handed to them by Suzy, Sally and Penny?

    February 9, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
    • CincyJim

      LOL, dat wood pizz dem off BIG TIME!

      February 9, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • WhoAreYou

      UhhhhRaahhwwww

      February 9, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
  92. Bob Knippel

    Great, as if war isn't a big enough waste of human life, both physically and emotionally, now the door is being opened to subject even more human beings to something that the human race would be best served in eliminating completely, rather than expanding the realm to include others.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • Marc L from NY

      Grow up. War is inevitable. Every species on this planet goes to war. There is no way of eliminating it. Only minimalizing it.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
  93. Tr1Xen

    It's crazy to think that it's 2012 already and we still don't allow women to fight on the front lines, assuming they can pass the same battery of tests as men.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • Grayly

      Its an evolutionary instinct from a bygone era. Before the modern era, permitting women to fight in war risked crashing the population. There do not need to be many men in order for a population to grow. Women set the threshold for population growth. Infant morality rates and small population numbers made the loss of a potential mother devastating to the health of a population. It is an instinctual response to this problem.

      In the modern era this is not a concern anymore. However, that instinct, like many, is hard to break.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • John

      They can not. Let's just wait and see. The first woman to get killed operating in this capacity and the first woman who will fail to secure a downed member of the team (because of physical limitations) will bring a hail storm of unwanted controversy and media coverage. The liberal media is ready to pounce on this scenario. I state this with the utmost respect for women who serve in the military. I have served alongside women in the Armed Forces and some women are better fit than some men, however, this article is covering SF units not your typical regular military, not your typical "coffee and donut G.I. Joe".

      February 9, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
  94. Jon Michael

    As a USMC infantry veteran, I am not sure how I feel about women attached to infantry units whose basic role is combat. Please do not confuse chivalry for sexism. One thing is certain; if we allowed such a thing to happen, it would be tragic if we did so without requiring women to pass the same physical fitness tests as the men. If I am going to rely on the woman behind me to have my back; marching 60 miles in two days; I hope she had to do more than hang from the bar and do push-ups on her knees. It is a basic fact of life; men are better suited physically for such things than women. Yes; there are amazon women out there that could beat the "average man". But when you consider the greater scope of the sexes in general, the "average man" is much stronger and physically agile than the "average woman". I promise you this; one of two things will happen if they make men and women adhere to the same PFT standards, (1) there will be fewer women in the military than there are now, or (2) they will lower the standards for everyone so that a greater number of women can pass. Therefore, in the interest of chivalry (as the means justifying the ends); I am a proponent of women in combat roles; so long as all women are subject to the same PFT standards without lowering them. I digress.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • Well Said

      Jon Michael is head on. And I'm a woman.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • sarah

      I agree that the women who go into combat roles should pass the same tests. It wouldn't be equality otherwise.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Bob Knippel

      I am certainly not sexist either, but generally, I agree, for the same reason. Both men and women have attributes somewhat gender specific, which is what makes men and women different. Infantry is physically demanding, and failure affects not only success of an operation, but the security of fellow infantrymen. I have been very physically active most of my life, and the fact is, men and women operate on two different physical levels. I certainly enjoy the company of women, but when involved in tasks which require brute force, such as hauling bundles of shingles up a ladder onto a roof, or moving wheelbarrows full of rock around a construction site, I have found the average man to be a significantly better performer than the average woman. Downgrading the physical capacity of an infantry unit places everyone in that unit at greater risk, which isn't in anyone's best interest.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
  95. AK

    Regardless of the intent of this policy, there are some physiological facts that make a strong argument for the hundreds of years of American military tradition that have led to things being the way they are with men taking the lead in combat roles for our fighting forces. Let's look at a few of them to understand the gravity of the situation. I have served for the past 13 years and have some experience in this regard.

    1. An average man is taller and heavier than an average woman and is over 30% stronger, especially in the upper body. Although many feminists cannot face this fact, females simply do not have the strength or endurance necessary to be, for example, effective combat soldiers. Average male infantryman weight is 180 lbs. plus gear.
    2. Differences in intake and delivery of oxygen translates into some aspects of performance: when a man is jogging at about 50% of his capacity, a woman will need to work at over 70% of her capacity to keep up with him.
    3. Men and women differ physically from men in a lot of aspects, diameter of the trachea for example, which would require additional medical equipment for the medics and more weight for them to carry on patrols.

    Those factors alone present a challenge. Counter to what some people idealogically feel women should be able to do, they simply cannot make themselves taller, stronger or faster th an men. This presents a liability when special exceptions must be made to allow them into certain roles. Those liabilities translate into more risks for everyone involved, and risks translate into more casualties on the ground.

    Psychologically and behaviorally, men are more physically aggressive. Women are less likely to successfully commit suicide, but more likely to attempt it and express their emotions more readily and experience a greater intensity of emotion. Several studies have shown that depression affects females twice as often as it does males. Anxiety disorders are chronic illnesses that occur more often in women than men. The risk of post-traumatic stress disorder following some traumatic experience is much higher in women than men. This translates from the battlefield to time spent in the rear and back home, into potentially more problems with mental health disorders for women if they serve in front-line positions.

    Final thought, as described very well in What It's Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes, and from my personal experience: Nobody hates and loves combat more than someone who has actually been there. You have to have been there to even begin to understand.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • CincyJim

      Understand what? The utter stupidity of killing/being killed for a piece of land that we held for hours/days only to move on???

      God invented the A-bomb for that kinda crap.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
      • AK

        The understanding part is the contrast and feeling that in combat you have to unleash a part of you that is unnatural, yet natural at the same time. Violence in movies and on video games teaches a detachment from the reality that direct combat is a kill or be killed situation. Military training doctrine does not mention the word kill when referring to proficiency in weapons systems. It talks about destroying targets. The most basic form of weaponry in the military is the infantryman with a rifle and with that rifle you are expected to KILL other human beings. It is an incredible amount of power and responsibility. Surviving a kill or be killed situation is euphoric and terrible. If you have not been in one, you wouldn't understand. Just don't judge those who have been by making ignorant A-bomb references.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Dave

      Women are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD than men (10% for women and 4% for men). There are a few reasons women might get PTSD more than men:

      Women are more likely to experience sexual assault.
      Sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than many other events.
      Women may be more likely to blame themselves for trauma experiences than men.

      Maybe you would be a bit out there if you were sexually assaulted as well..

      And you forgot to add that while women attempt suicide 2X as much, white males are the largest single group who commit suicide

      February 9, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
      • AK

        You are correct, I didn't want to get too long-winded. White males are more successful at killing themselves and males tend to kill themselves in a more violent manner. Also, the PTSD points you made are valid ones. My thinking on that one is that women tend to blame themselves more and isolate. In a primarily male environment that problem would be amplified. My final thought on this is the opposite of what most people have been posting regarding the protection instinct. Yes, males have the instinct to protect. Females tend to have a more nurturing instinct. I witnessed firsthand a difference in the way that losing a Soldier affected men versus women. It is hard for everyone, but it seemed to affect the women more accutely.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • VT

      Some of what you listed are general assumptions that men have of all women, it is very individual. Not all men are hyper-agressive, tall, and strong. Not all women are short, weak, emotional basket cases. Not even a majority would hold true.

      While most women may not have the same physical strength as their male counterparts, many have proven to have far more physical endurance. I feel as though if a woman can get through the same training as a man, then she should have the same choice to serve. Imagine the despair if a big, tough, male soldier had to be rescued by a tiny, weak, little helpless lady.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
      • america

        no promises in combat. heh
        The last man standing could be a woman...

        February 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  96. Tom

    Predictably, this page is filled with utterly feminized, militant, leftist, anti-military, Obama cultists who don't know a d@mn thing about the United States military or warfare. When can we expect all of the leftist/feminist political activists/lobbyists in the Washington/New York/American press corps to demand that women in the Army meet the same physical fitness standards as men? Waiting ....

    February 9, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • WhoAreYou

      Shut your pie hole. Male here. Male Marine.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
    • MIke

      I've been reading a lot by a guy (Robert Anton Wilson) who makes a major point about people filtering out what doesn't agree with their belief systems. No, not just leftists. What I've read so far is from a bunch of people who've been in combat. Somehow, you missed that. You are seeing what you want to see. Everybody does it. You're simply more obvious than most of us.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
  97. TexDoc

    Why not female snipers. Many studies indicate they might be better at the job than men. Aren't we past gender bias in performace?

    February 9, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
    • Jon Michael

      USMC Force Recon (units to which snipers belong) for women? LMAO. It is not a question of being able to accurately fire a rifle and hit your target. It is a question of doing it after having humped 100 miles in the worst possible conditions to actually get to the place where you will be pulling that trigger. Force recon is 100 times more intenst than just an average Marine combat unit. Just an FYI.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
      • WhoAreYou

        100 miles, lol! REALLY Marine? Did you do it bare footed too? Give me a break. Women have served in Israel for decades and they are just as able. No maybe not the over weight American Twinkie guzzeling Moms, however you should not second guess a woman's ability. You are a naive grunt. I am a man married to an extremely able woman, who i know could kick your tail, Marine.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:27 am |
      • Jon Michael

        No, I am just an 0311 and was not in Force Recon. The most I have had to hump was 60 miles; and I did have boots. Also, why would you make assertions regarding my intelligence when you do not know me? I hold a Masters Degree, and scored a 94 on the ASVAB. I could have chosen pretty much any MOS I wanted – I CHOSE infantry. Additionally, it is not a question if you wife could "beat me up" – I assure you she could, as I do not hit women ;-) However, it is a question as to wheter or not, loaded with 75lbs of gear, and 20lbs of weapon and ammo (I carried an M249), if she could keep up with me in humping that 60 miles in 36 hours. I submit that she probably couldn't.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:41 am |
      • WhoAreYou

        I made my assertion based on your comment. I am further resolved, after reading your grossly misspelled and boastfully narcissistic reply. I find those of higher intelligence do not need to boast there pedigree's, and they certainly do NOT waste their talents requesting to be a grunt. Hey, but you go boy. I also would like to say that based on your reply, you also reveal from your first post that you like to greatly embellish. In a court of law, we call that lying and jurors are instructed to not believe anything you would say after. I think that about summarizes my final stab at you, sir.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  98. Jim Bob

    Lets be serious, even if a woman is qualified physically, what about the emotional and anatomical differences? Pregnancy, Menstration, general over-emotion.....I know that may seem like generalizing a sex, but women are just dfferent and thats a scientific fact. Women love to gossip and cause drama in the workplace. Ask any teacher.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
    • YeaiSaidIt

      IM SO TIRED OF PEOPLE DOGGING ON WOMEN! The real concern here in my opinion is... Who the hell is gunna make me breakfast. We need cooks just as much as anything now git back in the kitchen and make me some waffles!

      February 9, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • WhoAreYou

      What an idiot!

      February 9, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • MIke

      Do you read much?

      What we really need is more information about Israeli women in combat.

      Dogging women??? Hmm. seems to me that they've been doing that to men for a very long time.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • Tyme5

        Sounds like you don't know a whole lot about Israeli women in combat either. It was found in the Israeli army that women in combat can actually lead to more male deaths because male medics refuse to stop working on women casualties even after they are long past the point of being saved, and running out of time to save men who's wounds were treatable. That probably isn't a cultural thing. Its likely that would occur in any military force employing women on the front lines.

        Add that to horrible chance of a woman being captured by the enemy and the propaganda that would stem from that and it just isn't worth having them on the front lines. If women want to serve, let them, but they need to understand they weren't built for combat and there are to many practical reasons outside of that, even, to put them any closer.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Jen B

      I work in a library where the staff is 95 % female, and we have a blast. Everyone's nice to each other, and half of us go out for late night happy hours every two weeks.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • USMC1987

      I used to think the same way, but I don't anymore. I have seen more backstabbing, gossiping, immature men in industry these past 20 years, than I ever though could exist. It's about the training. You can't compare civilians to military people. If a woman has the physical capability to carry her gear, hump 10 miles and hit her targets, then she should be able to serve on the line. The training they receive makes them Soldiers, Marines, Seaman, Airman, not the gender. Males going into the service today are as whiny as any 5 year old girl out there. It is up to the D.I. to break em and build em, male or female.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
      • WhoAreYou

        Yes Sir! The TRUTH has been spoken. Dismissed!

        February 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Thirsty

      And this is why armies world wide use lesbians.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:09 am | Reply
  99. gwwashdc

    There's all this talk in regards to the fact that a woman would be unable to cope with the rigors or combat. I say this; when the military is willing to set equal training standards for both men and women, then that is the day that a woman can serve on the front lines.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Common Sense

      That's what I'm saying. Agreed.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
    • WhoAreYou

      And just who are you? I served. Did you? Who cares what you think.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
      • YeaiSaidIt

        I AM MOTHA $*%!ing Pedro.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Tyme5

      Just because there is an equal standard in training for men and women, does not mean that standard translates into the actual war zone. It is impossible to train anyone at the actual standards of combat for the simple reason that people will be killed in training. Its hard for me to believe that women are as equally suited to go through combat as men for that reason.

      And besides, why fix something when it isn't broke? What would be the advantage of having a woman on the front lines? There isn't any.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  100. Common Sense

    I think this is really simple. If everyone has the same physical and mental requirements, whoever makes it through the training gets in. Pretty simple. Not that there are many, but if a woman meeting the SAME requirements as a man she's in. Comman Sense.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Tr1Xen

      Agreed!

      February 9, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • gwwashdc

      Absolutely

      February 9, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • terry

      AMEN !!

      February 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
      • JKlapper

        I believe he said YES... And as a female VETERAN I agree with his points. Way to many women joined up to get that" MRS degree" without going to college to "catch one". Those type of females annoyed me to no end, but while I couldn't meet the male standard myself for some things, I also happen to be a gay female veteran, and my Ex-WIFE was a "Westie" who most certainly COULD, but because of the combat exclusion policy was extremely limited in her military career path.

        February 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Sheigh

      And sorting through and washing out thousands of candidates would be a huge waste of government money. Doesn't the Pentagon already waste enough with its $500 hammers? Do we really need a giant wasteful program just to reinforce what everyone already knows?

      February 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
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