January 23rd, 2013
03:21 PM ET

Military to open combat jobs to women

By Chris Lawrence, with reporting from Barbara Starr

[Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET] The U.S. military is ending its policy of excluding women from combat and will open combat jobs and direct combat units to female troops, multiple officials told CNN on Wednesday.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will make the announcement Thursday and notify Congress of the planned change in policy, the officials said.

"We will eliminate the policy of 'no women in units that are tasked with direct combat,'" a senior defense official said.

The officials cautioned, however, that "not every position will open all at once on Thursday." Once the policy is changed, the Department of Defense will enter what is being called an "assessment phase," in which each branch of service will examine all its jobs and units not currently integrated and then produce a timetable for integrating them.

Go to CNN's iReport to share your thoughts on women in combat

The Army and Marine Corps, especially, will be examining physical standards and gender-neutral accommodations within combat units. Every 90 days, the service chiefs will have to report on their progress.

The move will be one of the last significant policy decisions made by Panetta, who is expected to leave in mid-February. It is not clear where former Sen. Chuck Hagel, the nominated replacement, stands, but officials say he has been apprised of Panetta's coming announcement.

"It will take a while to work out the mechanics in some cases. We expect some jobs to open quickly, by the end of this year. Others, like special operations forces and infantry, may take longer," a senior defense official explained. Panetta is setting the goal of January 2016 for all assessments to be complete and women to be integrated as much as possible.

The Pentagon has left itself some wiggle room, however, which may ultimately lead to some jobs being designated as closed to women. A senior defense official said if, after the assessment, a branch finds that "a specific job or unit should not be open, they can go back to the secretary and ask for an exemption to the policy, to designate the job or unit as closed."

The official said the goal remains to open as many jobs as possible. "We should open all specialties to the maximum extent possible to women. We know they can do it."

CNN readers skirmish over women in battle

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who spent six years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, said he supports lifting the ban on women serving in combat, pointing out women are already serving in harm's way. But he said the move should not fundamentally change the military.

"As this new rule is implemented, it is critical that we maintain the same high standards that have made the American military the most feared and admired fighting force in the world - particularly the rigorous physical standards for our elite special forces units," McCain said in a statement.

By the numbers: Women in the U.S. military

Thousands of women in the military have already found themselves in combat situations, said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington. Recent wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan have lacked a real front line, and women serving there have come under fire and had to fight back alongside male counterparts, she said.

Murray, who leads the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and is a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, called Panetta's decision a "historic step for equality" that recognizes the role women play in the military.

The Pentagon must notify Congress of each job or unit as it is sent up to the secretary to be opened to women. Then the Defense Department must wait 30 days while Congress is in session before implementing the change.

It is a marked difference from the way the military ended the exclusion of gays serving openly, or the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. In that case, there were no stipulations attached to openly gay service members. There was no staggered approach that integrated openly gay troops into units. It was instead done all at once, across the board.

A senior defense official explained the Pentagon's reasoning behind the different approach: "You're talking about personal choice of behavior versus physical capability. And they were already in the units. If you take a unit that's never had women before, that's quite a culture change."

Another senior defense official said the goal is "to provide a level, gender-neutral playing field."

The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense, charging that combat exclusion is unfair and outdated, harms America's safety and prevents women from receiving training and recognition for their work. The plaintiffs, who include women awarded Purple Hearts, say the exclusion places them at a disadvantage for promotion.

Former troops say time has come for women in combat units

The ACLU said it is thrilled about Panetta's planned announcement.

"But we welcome this statement with cautious optimism, as we hope that it will be implemented fairly and quickly so that servicewomen can receive the same recognition for their service as their male counterparts," Ariela Migdal, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Women's Rights Project, said in the statement.

Earlier this month, the Army opened the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment to women, and it has begun recruiting female pilots and crew chiefs. The Navy has put its first female officers on submarines in the past year, and certain female ground troops have been attached to combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 800 women were wounded in those wars, and at least 130 have died.

soundoff (3,551 Responses)
  1. Kempf

    The Soviet Union had woman soldiers too! Obama is pushing America into the black hole of Communism under the false pretense of equality. How soon before everyone in the USA has ration cards so everyone eats equally its only fair.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  2. Bang bang

    I think if you are on here and never experienced the stress and intensity of combat then you should say nothing. I have 3 combat deployments and feel if you have never experienced war and stress of it not just mental but physical brutality involved then you shouldn't be speaking about what anyone can or can not do.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • ripdoc

      Amen!

      January 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  3. john

    a female with lower standards is taking a slot from a male that has higher standards! SHOULDNT THE BETTER SOLDIER GET THE JOB!

    January 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  4. Poltergeist

    Bah putting women in a room full of men in high testosterone jobs never caused any problems!

    January 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • erexx

      Yep, it all started with letting them Vote.
      Now we are letting them finally shoot back.
      What is the world coming too?

      January 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Reply
    • Bang bang

      I sadly have to agree with that look at police departments even though very different in many ways

      January 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
      • Justmyopinion

        Interestingly enough, women have actually been shown to be better police officers because they can remain calm and are not as susceptible to the agitation and aggression of testosterone due to a different set of (female) hormones.

        January 24, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
      • Bang bang

        Yes but the agitation and aggression from testosterone is what is needed to be effective when you are needed to push during a fight.

        January 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • Ann

        The best law enforcement officers (20 years for me so far) use their brains and communication skills, not their brawn. It's not like on TV, folks.

        January 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
      • Bang bang

        Neither is war and the brains plays a big role but the brawns is what backs that and creates an effective force to couple with brains

        January 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  5. john

    united states a superpower??? doesnt look like it now that we are lowering standards in all our combat units so women can join. our leadership is terrible

    January 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  6. Anthony

    If we rely on women for combat positions is it wrong to require they be on birth control or what not? Both times i was deployed there was a huge spike in the number of pregnancy's on base, largely believed to avoid being deployed. If this happens in a combat unit it could cause huge problems. Men don't get to stay home because they are having kids.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  7. AF White

    WAR ON WOMEN !!!!!!

    January 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  8. Poltergeist

    Everyone has the right to PTSD. Draft em, trench em.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  9. Jargon

    I also wonder about the following scenario. Imagine you have 100 people available for your army. 70 are men and 30 are women. You have 70 combat jobs, and 30 non-combat jobs. 10 of the 30 women volunteer for combat jobs and 50 of the men. You need 10 more combat personnel. How does the military handle this? Are men allowed to opt out of combat jobs? Will physically able women be allowed to opt out of combat?

    January 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • Poltergeist

      Hire more women. Becuae casaulities wouldn't be equally distributed.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  10. john

    great! now we will have infantry soldiers that eonly have to 17 pushups and much higher run times. you dont have to have upper body strength or speed in combat!!!!! oh wait, you do.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  11. what?

    Hey why stop here? How about the crippled – if they want to serve on the front lines? We can't discrimate against them, can we? Also I turned 50, and I think there should be no age- restrictions against the elderly- I want to join the 82 airborne- why should an 19 year old get to do it and not me? it's age discrimination- I am going to sue. Which ever plotician doesn't go along with this- the elderly vote will turn against you. How about epileptics? they should be short range missle operators, if they want – it's equal rights.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Reply
    • apotas

      your post is too idiotic to respond to

      January 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Reply
      • Grrrrreat

        Stop making an ass of yourself.......you comments are absurd.

        January 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Stef

      This is a terrible idea not to mention dangerous and it WILL compromise the safety of our male troops. They are stronger, PERIOD. Who cares if the women want to do it? I am woman, and if i have to defend myself, and if I can , I will. But to put others in danger because of women who think they can handle it? crazy...

      January 24, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Reply
      • Whatever

        Why is it that women whom obviously have NO military experience have to banter on about what they think women can and cant do. Put your foot were your mouth is and keep your opinion to yourself. Not every women wants to sit back and watch, she wants an active role and if she is capable let her do it. Continue to be content with your life and let the big girls do their job.

        January 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Bang bang

      Yeah that's a pretty ignorant comment just so your tracking my platoon sergeant is missing his left leg from just below the knee and yet here we are on a deployment. There epileptics in the military they just can't be on any line units and as for age well you should have manned up and joined earlier

      January 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  12. Lynndel Humphreys

    Stupid idea

    January 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  13. CJRP

    This is just another IMPEACHABLE OFFENCE by this man. How dare he risk the lives of those whom he is sworn to protect–our soldiers in uniform–based on the bizare idea that there is no human nature and no simple, irreducible facts of life. To deliberately harm the military in this way is a violation of his oath of official–and completely impeachable. However, this to will pass. When a sensible man takes office in 2016 and appoints sensible men to the joint chiefs of staff, this bizarre experiment will end. For what one secretary of defense can issue by ukase, another can upend just as easily. This weird social engineering will prove a flash in the pan–the victim of the cold facts of the world we live in, where women have no place in combat.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • apotas

      hey, you utter ignoramus,
      women have been serving in the armed forces for a long time now (GASP).
      take your conspiracy theories and blind hatred elsewhere

      January 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • rc0101

      Are you seriously believing that adding women to combat roles would somehow "harm" the military or, as you put it, the soldiers he's supposed to be protecting??? You realize that these soldiers you're so afraid of being harmed already have women fighting on the front lines and being killed along with male soldiers, right? Or are you suggesting women soldiers who have died fighting side by side with men are just the disposable, pretty parts of the military? I'm completely amazed how ignorant you are about who's actually fighting and dying for your freedom to spew your Victorian era mentality.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • LeftHandedThinker

      As a former combat arms soldier, and the father of a newly enlisted soldier I can only say that if a given female can meet the physical standards let them try. Some women are clearly capable. They are however going to experience huge problems trying to integrate into a culture that is unlike anything they have ever known. There is no such thing as chivalry in an infantry company. They WILL have to carry that 70 lb pack. They WILL have to suck it up and drive on. No one is going to carry it for them. No one is going to sympathize about the timing of thier menstrual cycles. No one is going to designate a women's only bush or log for latrine purposes.

      The only true way to evaluate thier performance is to wait until the bullets start flying. At the beginning of the OIF I, Pvt Jessica Lynch's convoy was ambushed by insurgents. By her own account her rifle had choosen that exact instant to 'jam', and she courageously curled up into a ball on the floor of her truch and played dead until she was captured minutes later. At a time when Saddam had been flushed out into the open and was vulnerable, Special Ops personell had to drop everything and mount a rescue operation to save brave Pvt Lynch, who was awarded a Silver Star medal for getting herself captured.

      That my friends is the future of women in combat roles.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Reply
      • Bang bang

        Thank you someone who can agree that they will be forced into a world that is on a level like no one who hasn't been there will ever know we are not nice we not gentlemen although professional we have our own culture and is not pleasant in any way

        January 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • IraqiVet

        Ok, I was in the Army for three tours in Iraq in the Third Infantry Division as an infantry officer. One of the primary reasons that Jessica Lynch was captured at all was because her CO was stupid and couldn't navigate. The second reason is that she was a support soldier and the U.S. was still using Cold War training for support, which meant little to no combat training. Now all support soldiers receive more combat training, as there are no front lines. If we make the standards equal across the board, whoever passes should be given a chance. 20 years from now people will be accustomed to the changes. Time changes things. Women can be given shots to stop menstruation, and some women can do what men can do. If they can't, then they won't qualify. My belief is that all soldiers need to get more combat training as it is, including support MOSs. Training needs to change, including PT. Train women to be stronger and fitter. Make them do pull ups. At the very least, the military will be stronger for it, and women that can hack it in combat MOSs will be able to serve in that capacity. As for gays, the Spartans themselves had gay soldiers, and they fought longer and harder in hand-to-hand combat than most men I know could. However, we shouldn't coddle women in the service, either. No standards should be lowered for women. My last point is that I've seen some horrible weak and fat men in the service and some incredibly fit and mentally strong women who I respected much more. Female medical issues can be overcome with shots, implants, etc. Anyway, I've typed enough.

        February 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • Whatever

      Many men have brought great hard to us, your comment is ridiculous.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • Whatever

        That would be harm...not hard

        January 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  14. Michael Silver

    What happens when they get their Periods!!!

    January 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • ObservantHistorian

      Hopefully they stomp people like you in the 'nads and prevent your genes from passing on into society.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  15. crystal

    This is such a dumb, political move that will have almost no impact. 99% of military women don't want combat arms jobs to begin with. And of the 1% that do, only a very small percentage could hack it physically. This is a joke.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    • Gale

      A bigger joke is men using female names to try to pretend that their bitter, misogynist rant is actually coming from a woman.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Reply
      • truthbetold

        Gale, the more you spout off and claim people are lying and must be men/man bash...etc, the more you prove your comments are not relative to the adults here. Thank you for making your post void and nothing more than ones and zeros in cyberspace. PLEASE keep talking its great!!

        January 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      Yeah stop pretending, we all know women in the military have been craving blood since day one.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • ObservantHistorian

      And you know these statistics...how?

      January 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Reply
      • Poltergeist

        What woman wouldn't rather be in a foxhole with the ground exploding around them? It's just obvious!

        January 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  16. nereyda

    I believe we all have a duty to our country and we should all register. My fear regarding women in the fronts is not being killed but being captured. There are terrible stories about POW being treated and even though we would all like to believe that our enemies are going to be considerate I don't expect it. As a woman that is the wife of a VET dealing with PTS . I could only imagine an added horror Rape. I love my daughters and believe they should serve if needed but would rather not put them in that type of harms way. Call me old fashion

    January 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • Gale

      Male POWs get raped all the time. Why is that so much better to you? Why are you so obsessed with rape?

      January 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Reply
      • Ann

        Agreed, Gale. Rape is a bad thing, but it's survivable. I can attest to that. I trust our young women to make their own choices about what kinds of risks they're willing to take. Men should consider those risks as well.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Whatever

      It is the woman's choice, she is aware of what can happen. Rape is not only limited to women.. Men can be raped too. What your not understanding, is most men aren't going to tell when it happens to them.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • IraqiVet

      On my last deployment to Iraq, a male medic drugged his roommate and raped him in his sleep. He wasn't discovered till the very end of the deployment when the victim went to the PA because he was bleeding anally. So...anyone can be raped, and it is just as traumatic for a man. Anyone who joins the military is taking the same risks.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  17. john

    they should have asked infantry units about this. guaranteed that all of them would agree that its not a place for a female. unless they have the same exact standards

    January 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  18. Slammy

    I wonder if they are going to modify the POW training classes to take into account what might happen to a woman being held captive by those who do not care about the Geneva convictions.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  19. ripdoc

    There seem to be a lot of people in here commenting who have never served, but clearly have opinions of how the military does and should work. Is everyone here aware of the fact that every branch holds seperate physical fitness standards for males and females? In the Army, a male age 27-31 must complete a minimum of 39 push-ups in 2 minutes to pass and can max the test with 77 push-ups. A female of the same age group must complete a minimum of 17 push-ups to pass and can max with the test with 50 push-ups. The 2-mile run holds a passing time of 17:00 minutes for males and 20:30 for females of the same age group. Why do these different standards exist?

    January 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • Grrrrreat

      They should no exist! If a women wants it than allow them under the se standards as men. When a man can't do the standard them don't allow a waiver on his limitations!!!!

      January 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • ripdoc

        I agree that if this is the road that is being chosen, then they're should be no difference in physical fitness standards between genders! But here is the tricky part...do you lower the standard? Because if the standards are "Too Hard" and yet females are, by policy, allowed into the combat arms career fields (MOS) then you will certainly have numerous, valid, equal opportunity complaints. If two men try out for special forces and one makes it and the other does not, well it is assumed the playing field is equal and one was more prepared or equipped for that life; however when gender is introduced into the equation...much tougher to determine what the level playing field is.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • RR

        If a women can meet the standards that a man must meet to be in combat then she has proven she can stand by you and carry you in your time of need. It must be the same across the board, if she can't do it then she's not qualified to be on the front.

        January 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Gale

      More importantly, why do those small differences in standards matter so much to you?

      January 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Reply
      • ripdoc

        Small differences? A 50% difference is hardly small. But if you must know, personally, it matters very much to me to know that the soldier next to me can carry me when I'm wounded.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • Poltergeist

        Because if you're weaker than your squad mates you might get them or yourself killed.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • Bang bang

        More importantly is have you ever experience combat have seen it done it? If you have then you would know even males that meet the requirements equal to everyone get removed for. If they can not meet it to the same level with that then how can I know they will meet it during fighting.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • RR

        Again, if she meets the same standard as a man, then she is capable of supporting you in combat.

        January 24, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  20. Jargon

    Does this mean that women age 18-35 are now eligible for the draft and could be sent into infantry positions against their will the same as men were in the Vietnam war?

    January 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • apotas

      We should be. I'm all for signing up for selective service. Not so interested in the military, but we all have an equal duty to serve our country.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Reply
      • LD

        Since when do we have to go to war to provide a service for our country? The last thing I want is my wife, the mother raising our kids to go to war. Send me any day, but not my wife. Her taking care of the home and family (the next generation) while I'm at war is a great service to this country.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
      • apotas

        I absolutely understand what you're saying.
        I just think that if women are in combat positions, we should be forced to sign up for the selective service too.
        But maybe I just say that because I know that there would never come a time when I would have to worry about actually being drafted.

        January 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  21. john

    wait till the 15 mile road march at the end of basic/infantry school after the last field training exercise. you will have 99% of the females falling out and on the bus. ITS THE SAD TRUTH!!

    January 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • Ann

      Then I hope you'll be proud to welcome the other 1% to the team.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • RR

      Ha! Considering that most of the military is men, that's a pretty good percentage!! Just think how many men are failing right now!!

      January 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • Jamie

      15 miles? Thats all? Meh, just more baseless crap if you ask me.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  22. rex

    Since the Sec. of Def. has done this for women then Congress needs to update the Draft requirements for all Females between 18-25 years of age to register for the Draft!

    January 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • IraqiVet

      It's 18-35 idiot. You can be drafted up till age 35. I don't think the draft is a good idea anyway, but if we're going to open up combat positions to women, then they should probably be part of selective service. If it comes to a draft again, we'll probably need every able-bodied person in the country anyway.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Reply
      • jeff

        no need to be rude jerk

        February 13, 2013 at 1:42 am |
  23. john

    women want equal rights, but they dont want to do equal physical training or the same standards of a man

    January 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Reply
    • rc0101

      Dude...you're an idiot. I'm an ex-military female and the standards weren't set up by us women, as if we're all in a conspiracy together. The separate standards for women and men were set up *gasp* by a man who thought we couldn't hack it. Considering some men couldn't even hack their own standards, I wouldn't point fingers at women.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
      • Jamie

        Exactly right? Men are so blind to the fact that their problems come from their own gender.

        January 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  24. john

    if they make women do the true standards of an infantryman, its going to be funny seeing all the females fail or quit.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • Pablo

      Agreed. We started 394 soliders in my Ranger School class. We graduated 99 and 50 of those were recycles. Only 49 of us went straight through. I went into that course at 185lbs and came out at 155lbs.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • RR

      Considering that the ratio of men going through compared to women, I'd say that's a pretty high failure rate for men. Seems to me that men are trying to set women up for failure. Shut up and let them prove it. If they can hack it then commend them on a job well done and stand alongside them in combat.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  25. jim

    cant wait to see even more women in sick call to get out of PT because its too tough!!!!! that the truth

    January 24, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Reply
    • RR

      ...tell that to all the fat male soldiers too. Wouldn't want them to feel left out. Really John!? Your an idiot! everyone of your comments also apply to men. Seems that if the women in military are only 15%, then I say again if only 1 % can meet the standard than that's enough for me.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  26. Charles Perry

    I think women in combat could be more effective than men. Women are mean folks–just ask any man who has had to deal with a woman in a divorce. I would put my ex up against any insurgent on the battlefield. She's mean as a snake–and she takes no prisoners.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • dirtybird

      Put women in the boxing rink with male boxers, i think we know what would happen. Put women in the NFL, wow that would go well. Why the hell do people not see that combat is worse than any sport. It is more physically demanding than any sport ever will be. Why in gods name, can people not see that this is an obvious bad idea.

      We are not all equal! Sorry, we are not. We are different based on how we are born. Men cant have babies. Women are physically not capable of doing the same amount of physical work men can. These are obvious things. Yes there are tough women who could. That is impressive, the average cannot. The military works off of the average.

      The average male joining has not trained his entire life to do this job, he just can after a few months training he is good to go. Sorry, never in any reality will the average female be capable of performing in a direct combat mos the same as an average male.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Reply
      • apotas

        so then the average woman wouldn't be signing up. only the women that can hack it-physically and mentally. equal playing field. just don't discount them because they lack a penis.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
      • LD

        Agreed. My biggest concern is the draft. Now my wife and daughters have to go to war? Total crap. Let the 1% of women who want to go to war go to war, but don't force the other 99% to go to.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  27. bankrupt1

    going backwards. we need more men out, not more women in. don't follow patriarchy to your graves. get out!

    watch The Invisible War. Men have the free for all. And nobody will stop them.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  28. Nick

    Hard to believe that John McCain thinks its OK to expose a woman to the risk of getting the same treatment he got as a POW.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • Gale

      Yah. McCain was raped, beaten and tortured. It'd be so much worse if that had happened to a woman. *sarcasm*

      January 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Reply
      • what?

        McCain is a politician, and is a perfect example of what this whole issue is about – votes from 50% of the population. The US military is not a social playground, for experiemts on equality- it's not a place for career opporunity equal rights. This all about pleasing woman for votes- nothing else.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • truthbetold

        Gale, do you think everything across the board in society should be equal no matter the gender,race, creed, color etc? Do you completely agree with me that same rules for everyone should be applied?

        January 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • Michael

        It is not the fact that the treatment would be physically worse for a man , but whether you will admit it or not, in all societies it is the role of the man to protect women. That doesn't make men any more or women any less. It is simply a role. In combat men will feel that inherant need to protect women. I can't make a definative statement about how that would affect combat. Israely women are allowed in combat. I don't know if they have been involved on a large scale. It would be nteresting to see how it affects combat.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
      • Ann

        Michael, it is the role of a soldier in combat to protect the other members of his or her team. Period.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Bill

      When the standards are for soldiers, sailors, airmen and, marines then this is fine; however, there will be standards for Male soldiers and DIFFERENT standards for Female soldiers – equality – NO.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  29. Bang bang

    Look as an infantryman if women want to join combat arms hey by all means go for it. However you need to meet every standard to the T in other words you will be held physically to the male pt standard. You be treated the same as all the male infantryman me i hold no bias so if you were in my squad then you would be held to my standard and the moment you couldn't meet that whether be "corrective pt" to use the now politically correct term, hump the same weight and share the loads evenly without complaint, be involved in whatever training we do in whatever conditions it be in for however long, and more importantly deal with way we speak and interact with one another without be fully offended then you would be moved in heart beat or chart papers started for failure to adapt. And one final note on that is it will be regardless of how you feel about it. I am good to my soldiers but distribute very tough love. So if you think you can hack it then by all means ladies I encourage you to try.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • CJ Topspin

      Agreed. This is not co-ed sports we are talking about here. Losing in this arena means death. So if women are equal to the task I am all for it. However if I get clipped and need an evac you had BETTER be able to pull my 220 lb a$$ to safety.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  30. femaleVeT

    Each service is different in their ways. All female soldiers know the possibility of what will happen especially if they opt for a "combat-related" MOS. Women who want to do these jobs, good luck and expect some heat cause you will have to prove your worth, that's just how it works. Also, to say that it will increase the possibility of rape even if they are a P.O.G....it already happens, rather overseas or stationed on home turf. Coming from a female, those who want to be out there taking the physical toll to their bodies , be my guest. BUT they should go through the same schools as the males to see if they can even handle it. I'm all for this change but i'm not for it when it comes to jeopardizing the safety of the team.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  31. what?

    What in the hell are we trying to accomplish here? In a country with an endless supply of able bodied men, we need to put woman in the militiary. What an absolute disgrace! Im so sick of it. It doesn't matter if spoiled brat females, want act out they're childhood sibling rivalry – mental disorders against men, we have to worried about our country, our credibility our fighting effectiveness. What do our enemies think of this? How is this helping the USA?, besides internal political game playing- for votes? What a disgrace.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Gale

      Get help.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
      • truthbetold

        Gale...Get help? Could you explain a little more?

        January 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • RR

      Seems like the men in our government already show us they are spoiled brats! You don't need a women to show you. Wake up, stop putting the blame on women.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  32. Sadly

    It may take seeing the more frequent pictures and names of women listed as casualties to cause the public cry of outrage against the wars seem to be getting involved in.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Reply
    • Ann

      What's truly sad is that the lives of our male troops aren't considered just as valuable.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
    • RR

      Your forgetting that if a women chooses to be in combat, it is not the peoples decision it's her decision.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  33. Antronman

    See, they might get jobs in combat and all that...but what about the heavy loading, hmm? It's not even the rucksacks and their assault weapons...it's the other heavy loads. Carrying around mortar tubes and M-60s ain't exactly a trip to the hair salon. Guys are guys and gals are gals. The way we are made, males and females CANNOT BE EQUAL. FORGET IT. Nobody gives a darn about the mental preparation, given time anybody can pass that. But the way we were created, guys are stronger, more enduring, and more gritty. Social equality can never occur because of this too. The earlier civilizations were all controlled by men, because they were stronger and faster. This stuff draws back to ancient times. War isn't about who knows how to kill better, but who CAN kill better. And that person is the faster, stronger, and less emotional being.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • Michelle

      I am a woman, n I agree with you 100%! The women out there are not looking at this from a common sense level! Women! Forget it! We are not made physically to carry all that heavy stuff like a man can!!! Yeah we can tolerate childbirth! But c'mon, that too we laying on our backs for! N don't forget, pain in childbirth , we can't even walk , I don't call that high tolerance. Woman in combat is a BS idea! Leave the combat jobs for the men!

      January 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Reply
      • Gale

        No one believes for a minute that you're a woman. You're some fat, bald Archie Bunker type ranting away from his living room desperately trying to feel important.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • Mia

        LOL are you stupid? Do you really have ovaries or do you just pretend? Clearly you are not a woman since NOT all women lie on their backs to give birth. If you knew anything about womanhood you would know that it's actually better to stand up during birth to allow gravity to help. Laying down came from male-dominated medicine who encouraged– you know what, just Google it.

        Women in combat can be done. Women are smaller, lighter, faster, more nimble than men. We just have to rethink combat. Sure a man could probably lift 150 lbs more easily than a woman–but why should she have to do that? Men and women ARE different, it's not about putting them on equal playing fields. To do that is just to try to prove that men are better than women at physical brute strength. We make up for that in other ways.

        Why are most men so afraid of that?

        January 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Gale

      Yet our commander in chief is a slender, thoughtful, intelligent person with no military training. Funny that. Keep telling yourself how special you are though despite having no accomplishments to speak of. You're male and that makes you special.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
      • CJ Topspin

        Gale...I believe in equality...I really, really do. But the physical reality of it – the SCIENCE – is not on a woman's side on this issue. Now there are some strong women out there, don't get me wrong, and THEY might pass the current PT standards in the military...but on the whole women are not as physically abled as men. I am all for the military allowing women on the front lines. But the military simply can't lower the PT standards to get them to pass. That is not equal treatment – that is preferential treatment – an an insult to equality (not to mention bad for the military).

        January 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • Aaron

        I am guessing you are one ugly women based on your man hating.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
      • GeorgeWBush

        No crying in the battlefield is allowed because you could reveal your platoons position and could cause everyone their lives.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • Aaron

        Gale, I agree with CJ. Instead of labeling people who don't agree with this as women badgers, look at reality. Yes there are whomever women out there in the general population that are as physically fit as men. But once trained for war, few women will be able to keep up physically.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • Michelle

        Lmao! Actually I am a woman! And you just validated my point, there You go with all the emotions! You would be the first one to get raped and killed! Case closed

        January 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • ObservantHistorian

      In the so-called "conservative" mind, gay men are also not qualified to be in the military. Not that long ago, so-called "conservatives" thought that African-Americans needed to be segregated primarily into service units. Before that, of course, black Americans were not even considered by so-called "conservatives" to be able to be good soldiers. (When a proposal was made near the end of the Civil War to arm slaves to fight for the Confederacy, one Southern leader who opposed the idea said that if slaves could make good soldiers, then the entire theory of slavery was wrong. Duh....) Pick any area of American life where the promise of greater liberty and opportunity can be extended to those who've been denied it, and you'll find a so-called "conservative" leading the opposition, without fail. They can shoot their mouths off all they want – with the plethora of chickenhawks leading them these day, that's the main weapon most of them are familiar with, anyway.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Reply
      • CJ Topspin

        I think people are upset with the idea of lowering the PT standards to allow women in...in the above cases (gays, people of color, etc.) the standards remained the same.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
      • Gunny

        Good point!!! Lets put Conservatives on point. For every female that wants the job, put a conservative in her place. I think that will see things differently then.

        January 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • KMarine

      The lines re: front lines are indeed blurred. During Marine Corps officer school we had 4 platoons of men and 1 female. On force marches they started before us and always finished last. It wasn't for lack of effort, skill or tactics. They just weren't able to carry the weight required like the guy were. Many can run faster in shorts & t shirt thant their male counterparts but with a combat load it is a different situation.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  34. Ann

    Oh, and I had to laugh at some of the responses from men who think women can't function on a lack of sleep. They wouldn't last a weekend with a sick infant!!

    January 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  35. Squire

    Good- now for true equality if there is a draft I'd like to see women eligible as well.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Reply
    • Ann

      Of course. Is anyone arguing against that?

      January 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Reply
      • Gale

        Only the woman haters on here.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Ann

        Yeah, the rest of us are ready to share our responsibilities with the guys.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  36. Aaron

    I really don't see a large number of women that will be able to meet the physical requirements for combat, so I don't think this is going to be a huge issue. And good luck and stay safe to the ones that do.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  37. Ann

    I'm 50, and have always believed that gender should be irrelevant to opportunity. That was a new idea when I was a kid – I looked for my first summer jobs in classifieds that listed "Help Wanted – Male" and "Help Wanted – Female" in separate columns (bet you can guess which jobs paid better).

    I always thought women should register for selective service just as men did.

    As for this new ruling, it'll be just fine. Don't worry about menstruation or pregnancy. That's an excuse. Keep the performance requirements the same. Most of the candidates who score best on the physical tests will be men, which is fine. However, if there are a few women who can do better than some of the men, then give them the spot on the team and you'll have the best candidates. That's better for everyone.

    Oh, and although I don't really want to have to go to the bathroom in front of anyone, male or female - if I'm being shot at, I won't care. Neither will our female soldiers. Grow up.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Reply
    • Michelle

      With all do respect, hope you have a high tolerance for rape! Cause as a woman, oh it will happen in combat and you better have a high mental tolerance to pull up your panty and keep it moving to protect your country in combat. don't think you women out there are factoring in the true dark side of women in combat. I feel so sorry for the first set of women that have to endure the dark sides of women in combat. Not being mean just keeping it real!

      January 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Reply
      • Ann

        I'm very well aware of the possibility of rape, thank you very much, having already been through it myself.

        I'm sure all the young women applying for these jobs will take that risk into consideration, as well as the risk of being injured, killed, disfigured, etc. – in other words, the same risks as the male candidates have to think about.

        Rape is bad. We know this. It also happens to men, by the way. It's bad for them, too.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
      • mamanas

        Heck- from what I hear woman are getting raped by the fellow servicemen. Which is worse rape by the enemy or by someone who is suppose to be on your side.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • Whatever

        RAPE CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE AT ANYTIME TO ANY GENDER, OR ANY PERSON.......STOP USING THAT AS A REASON.

        January 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  38. spaceEatingmonkey

    $luts gettin guns

    January 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  39. spaceEatingmonkey

    women need to be in kitchens

    January 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • mamanas

      Serving up a pot of hot grease to toss at you.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Reply
      • Gale

        Where do I sign up for that?

        January 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • RR

      Your obviously a stupid man stuck in the days of cavemen.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  40. US Army SAPPER

    I am speaking as a combat Engineer that served in a combat environment in the 1980's in Central America. Here is a short story: In my combat heavy engineer unit, women were allowed to served in the unit. We had two women in the unit, one was my squad leader in a line platoon. There other was a mechanic. When we were preparing for deployment we were informed that the two female solidiers would not be deploying with us. We later learned that they were given the option of staying back from the deploy for no other reason than it would be dangerous and that they were females. The deployment was the most difficult four months of my life, physically speaking. We worked 17 hours days and got, one day during the entire four months. As long as women are held to the same standard, then I am all for this. But I know they will bend the rules for female solidiers. It is natural for when talking about most species, that will males to "try" and keep females safe. Lastly, combat units are very wild and hard charging. I spent my four years, working HARD, drinking and fighting! Good luck Ladies.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • acprp

      Any male who can't act professionally around women should be dishonorably discharged from the military. Also, I really don't buy that men are such noble creatures that they can't help but try to keep a woman safe. Do you know how many women are killed by their husbands or boyfriends every year? That flies in the face of what you just said.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Reply
      • bob

        and how many women aren't killed by their husbands and boyfriends every year? ever lived with a nagging wife? no? take it from me... takes a lot not to snap on your wife... haha

        in all seriousness though... there is something built within men to want to protect and go the distance for women. it has definitely been decreasing over the years as we have seen with the loss of chivalry. chivalry wasnt a social construct, it was just a learned method to the madness of natural male psychology

        January 24, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Pablo

        Do you have any idea the kinds of men in these combat units? First of all they aren't 40something corporate execs who think about what it means to act in a professional manner... They are 95% 18-26 year olds. They are hard charging killers who love what they do and are damn good at what they do...and yet most are still kids, rough around the edges. There's no one else I want covering my butt when I go downrange. There's not a lot of patience for political correctness when the shooting starts... We used to have a saying in our unit "I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6. So please get some experience on the topic before you go running your mouth...

        January 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
      • Poltergeist

        We want them for their ability to kill people, not their etiquette.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • Bang bang

        Yeah believe me when the hammer is dropped there is no bars on what is said and don't even go into the humor we have that alone would offend most people. And there is no such thing as professionalism when you just been blown up or rounds are bouncing around over, near, or any where in the vicinity of you.

        January 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
      • US Army Sapper

        There is no way you have ever served in a combat unit! I am in my mid 40's now and I agree that is not the way things should be, but you are talking about 17 – 25 year olds that are 99% non-college grads. Just think of it like the high school football jocks with M-16's, M-4"S now. When we had a disagreement, the unit had a pair of gloves and that is how we settled it. You females really have no idea how these units operate. I am not saying that it is right, but it is the way it is!

        January 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • ObservantHistorian

      Let's see, combat in Central America in the 80's.....ah yes, more illegal Republican wars.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  41. Bcka79

    It's disturbing where this conversation is going.... Posts focusing on menstruation & the apparent likelihood of women getting raped in the armed forces. It makes me wonder what mindsets men are being taught both in the military & in society.

    Perhaps instead of teaching women to fear rape, teach men not to rape? Of course, if we use the men on this forum as examples, we're screwed (figuratively & literally).

    January 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Reply
    • acprp

      I have a brother who just left the military and he is one screwed up nut. He hates gays, thinks women are required to obey him, he wants minorities to leave this country. He cheats and steals and then brags about it. God knows what he did while deployed. He's planning to run for office too, though given that he makes several Todd Akin type statements a day I doubt he'll get very far in politics.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Reply
      • ObservantHistorian

        Assuming he's running as a "conservative," he sounds like their ideal candidate!

        January 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
      • Bang bang

        So your brother is a congressman then?

        January 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • bob

      its not about rape from your unit members. gosh you are short-sighted. if a military man is captured by your enemies (whether in a national war or against terrorists rebels such as those in Mali) you are likely captured and tortured and killed. if you are a women... you are probably killed, but only after repeated torture and uncountable times of being raped.

      they do it to women on the street... of course they would do it captured women soldiers. anyone remember what russian soldiers did when they invaded georgia just a few years back? silly short-sighted people.

      we aren't saying dont let women into the military or combat troops... just give them a single bullet to save themselves from hell on earth... or just make them aware of just how hellish it will be

      January 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply
      • Ann

        Bob, the young women who want to apply for these jobs ALREADY KNOW THIS. They are not stupid. It is for them to decide if they want to take the risk.

        Once again, women are being told that they can't make their own choices about their own bodies, because men know better – it's getting old.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • Bcka79

        That's a good point as well.... It's terrifying to think of the tactics the enemy can/do use against our soldiers. I'm not well-versed in military culture or the various societal norms of whom we're fighting, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that such treatment of women (their own female citizens, as well as U.S. hostages) would also happen to male hostages as well.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      Where there is war their is rape, it's always been that way. People killing each other aren't in a progressive mindset. If you feel you need to reeducate the entire male population o feel safe somewhere, you probably shouldn't be there.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Reply
      • Bcka79

        I'm not there - though I do respect & support those who volunteer for the services (in most cases). My concern for those who serve & protect our country is my point here.

        I am just a female civilian, an over-educated one at that. (sigh)

        January 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
      • RR

        Again people are assuming only women can be raped! Hello, so can a man! It can happen anywhere at anytime to anyone.....it does not require a war.

        January 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  42. Antronman

    Hah..hah! There ARE standards...just they're lowered for women. Do some research before complaining. There have been several studies conducted on this, and earlier in the comments a person even describes the whole thing. Face it, casualties will more than triple should there be a women's infantry. Also, I can't imagine a pair of 20 year old women hauling a rotary cannon and the ammunition for it through the desert. It just won't happen. Future military dialogue, "Ohhhh john? Yes??? Could you carry my rucksack, body armor, AR-15 and my helmet for me? I'm a little tired. Sure." later in the day...John is walking really, really darn slowly and gets shot down.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • acprp

      The problem with your comment is that you've pulled everything out of your a$$.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • RR

      Sound like someone wants women to be dependent on them. Gotta stroke the ego.

      January 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  43. Maggi Harris

    My opinion – women do NOT belong on front lines in combat positions, just as women should not be regular police officers. First of all – you have inequality of upper body strength and overall endurance – in addition to "human nature". It is basic human nature for the male of our species to "protect and defend" the female of our species. If a man's fellow troop or partner is a woman – when push comes to shove his instinct will be to protect and defend her. . .rather than maintain the task at hand. Human nature is a very hard instinct to override. An entire situation or mission could be put awry or fail entirely if this were to happen. Lives could be lost. NOT a good idea. . .never has been. . .never will be. Women are women and men are men. One is not "better" than the other. . .we just excel differently in various areas. We should stick to what we do best.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Reply
    • acprp

      No one cares about your opinion though that's why you weren't elected to make this decision.

      If you care about physical strength then set standards for that and forget about gender. If a woman can do the job you shouldn't concern yourself with the fact that she has lady parts.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Poltergeist

      Put them in the draft and in the trenches. We don't have equality until women are getting Dear Jane letters too.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • ObservantHistorian

      "just as women should not be regular police officers"....and yet have been successfully for years, despite your fascinating insights.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • Jamie

      Where do people get off thinking that all you need is brawn and nothing else? A male and female police partnership is the best you could ask for as a civilian! Women bring a certain balance to an otherwise all male dominated occupation especially one that has immense power over the populace is not something to be beckond for. Women are better listeners and are more compassionate, they help keep men in line, we should expect to see LESS rape and violence even towards civilians in combat zones.

      Men are no longer allowed to beat, stabb each other or kill each other in horrific manors as a way of disiplin and settling disputes in the military. Really though, look into what they did in the navy back in the old days of large wooden merchant vessels, they used to tie rope around your wrists and ankles and drag you under the ship shredding your body on the barnacles, then when they are about to pull you out of the water, incase you survived by some unfortunate miracle, they would then fire a canon to shock him into taking water into his lungs. Thats not even the worst of it. Americans are such ingrates.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  44. G.I. Flo

    Hey you male chauvinist PIGS. Women deserve to get their faces blown off just like everyone else, they have earned that right. You go girls!!!

    January 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • Bang bang

      Yeah hey go for it while you are at it you can carry your buddy or soldier the 4 some odd km the medivac site or ccp while he screaming or go ahead maybe it is your turn to become a double amputee or see it happen to someone else I am tired or burying young men and boys it is your turn to feel the same go ahead and experience combat from this side of the fence.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  45. acprp

    As a black man Obama has dealt with ignorance and prejudice his entire life. It is no coincidence that he is the first president to sympathize with the plight of women in the military who are kept out of many roles due to ignorance and prejudice. Did you know that until very recently women were kept off of submarines supposedly because they wanted all the bathrooms reserved for the men? What a ridiculous reason to limit a woman's career. On the same note, it is ridiculous to keep every woman out of combat just because she is a woman. If you think a soldier needs a certain amount of physical strength to do a combat job then make that a requirement and exclude any man or woman who doesn't meet the standards. But you have no right to exclude someone who's qualified just because she's female.

    Thank you Obama for what you've done for women and thank God we finally have a president who knows what it's like to be discriminated against.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • Aaron

      Playing the pity card much? Too bad you don't see yourself as an equal.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • Poltergeist

      I agree, if men have to go get shot. So should women if they want to be treated equal.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Reply
    • acprp

      @ Aaron

      You have a problem with reading comprehension. Also, that's the problem with conservative white males. You have no appreciation for the harm caused by discrimination. Oh, but you sure do complain about affirmative action and the plight of men in family court. You only care about something when it has a detrimental effect on you.

      That is why Obama was elected to lead and you're a nobody whining on a message board.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Reply
      • Aaron

        No, I actually believe someone should stand on their own two feet and prove themselves. The problem with this country is we have people like you who are lazy and want a hand out. Now shut your whining mouth and do something on your own without complaining.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
      • Gale

        @ Aaron

        She's a lawyer. She works harder and makes a lot more money then you do. You shouldn't assume that someone wants a "handout" just because they aren't a white man.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  46. christophermcne

    I'm glad that women who choose to do so will be given the opportunity to fight for their country without restrictions. I just hope the military doesn't do the same thing with their physical fitness requirements that our education system has done in terms of reaching compromises between people who do well and people who struggle. It seems like we too often play to the lowest common denominator in this country. We've dumbed down our education system so that slower people don't feel left out, and as a result have not effectively promoted the smarter / quicker students. I hope they don't lower overall physical fitness standards in the military to make things 'fair'...

    January 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • acprp

      As someone with a high IQ I know what you mean about education. I was in a state without a gifted and talented mandate and I basically wasted k-12 attending a failing public school. I kicked butt in college and professional school but I resented having to play catch up because I was competing with the private school crowd after receiving a crummy public education.

      I think though what the military will do is set physical standards commensurate with what is needed for the job and apply them universally. I am happy that we are yet another step closer to having an actual meritocracy.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Reply
      • Bang bang

        Yeah you clearly have never been in the military then.

        January 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  47. Former101

    As a former soldier in the early 1980's, I would like to add my oberservations about this topic. My MOS was not frontline combat, it was O5C – Radio Teletype Operator. The Army said that this MOS was OK for females, so they allowed them to get the training. However, in practice, we O5C's were required to lift heavy generators, move those generators, and pull-start those generators. While the females were very good at operating the signal equipment, they could not handle the other pieces of equipment that were necessary to keep that signal equipment operating. I remember on several occasions being awakend after a 24-hour shift by one of the female soldiers and asked to come pull-start the generator during switchover.
    So while I am sure females could carry and fire rifles, I question if they can carry the necessary amounts of equipment (equally sharing in the load with the men) or if they can throw hand granades as far as the men?
    My hope is that the women as tested very carefully before they are allowed into a combat MOS.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Michelle

      you validated my point! I agree with you! I am a woman and I don't think woman have the physically strength to be in combat!

      January 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  48. nathaniel

    This whole thing is BS. Men in Combat arms MOS"S won't have a problem with it because they will be told they don't have a problem with it. Rather we do or don't. Complete BS. IF i had to rely on a woman pulling me out of danger when i got my legs blown off i would have most likely died in that hole. Thank God for my brothers.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • Michelle

      I a woman and I sure as heck wouldn't want a woman trying to rescue me. Men are physically stronger. I agree with you!!!

      January 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  49. wisconsin101

    Women all across American are jumping up and down with joy today now knowing that they will soon to be included in the draft process. A process that 90% males hate. How many women are going to be excited to leave their children behind while mommy goes to dodge bullets like daddy does. Remember the military is cold on assignment issues, they do not care how it affects you. I think this is good news today for it brings us closer to true equal rights but I hope the excitement comes with a dose of reality for many.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  50. Jorge Sedano

    North Korea her we come..Obambas War..

    January 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  51. rhino

    sure we can have our women fight but why? do we need to? i cannot think of one example of a great country sending its women in to battle. shouldnt we want to keep them away from harm? it's not that they cant do it, its that we shouldnt need them to.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  52. USMCVet

    I served in the USMC active duty from 2002-2006 in the infantry as a 0331 Machine Gunner. I completed three combat deployments to Iraq and was part of "The Battle for Fallujah" in November of 2004, which is considered one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war on terror. There’s been the argument that women have already been serving in a combat role in Iraq and Afghanistan and have proven themselves in this role over the last 10 plus years. So why can’t they serve in the infantry? Well, Iraq and Afghanistan besides the initial invasions was a counter insurgency operation that didn't typically involve direct assaults on enemy targets or positions. Marine and Army infantry units are the backbone of the US Military along with the Special Forces units that support them, Marine Recon, Army Rangers, Army Delta Force and Navy Seals. These units are essential to national security. Implementing women into these units could produce catastrophic consequences and totally change the dynamic of these units. Implementing women into these units would reduce combat readiness and combat effectiveness for a variety of reasons. The mission of a Marine Corps rifle squad is “to locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver and or repel the enemy assault by fire and close combat.” Infantry units are not made for occupational wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan but to assault enemy position’s and take them out. So comparing the good job women have done in Iraq and Afghanistan is totally different than the true reason infantry units exist. The prime example of what infantry units are all about is WWII, when Marine and Army infantry units performed their primary functions, which is assaulting fortified enemy positions and taking them out. Women would not be able to perform the same functions as their male counterparts and would risk mission accomplishment by being included in these units and would become liabilities. Standardized fitness tests don’t mean anything in Combat. In Combat it’s your ability to produce consistently over a period of months with little food or sleep, not just in a standardized fitness test that lasts maybe an hour. Women’s bodies are different and break down at a much faster rate than that of a man. Women do not belong in an infantry unit. Specific military units have until January 2016 to make a case for positions they believe should remain closed to women. I fully expect Marine infantry unit commanders to reject any women being allowed into Marine infantry units and the Pentagon to accept their position on this issue. I hope Army infantry units will do the same.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • KennyP

      Thank you for the value of your information, and for your service!

      January 24, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • Gunny

      I agree and you make a good point. I have also served (1977-1998). I am sure that some MOS's are currently not suitable for our women Marines, but I also remember (in 1979) when they started making it mandatory for all women Marines to qualify at the rifle range with the M16. They also made changes for women Marines to go on hikes with us and learn more combat training. Many women Marines hated it, but they adjusted. There motto use to be "free a man to fight". That motto went away in the late 70's. I will never forget (on a mission with Gen Colon Powell) when a woman Marine (security assignment) stopped an ambush/kidnapping attempt by providing security as we dashed around the burning vehicle blocking the road. Some women have done well and some will do well. Some fields will open but I am sure that all of them will not.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  53. Sy2502

    Dear insecure and infantile men whining about women in combat, you those like you before you have tried to stop women from leaving the house alone, own property, vote, run for office, work, get higher education, to name a few. Do you really not feel even a little bit pathetic by now?

    January 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • lolerblades

      Considering the fact that women are very emotional during combat. (This is due to your women features). This also includes your time of month that can effect their performance. Of course they can do what men can do, but can you really argue that if you are "PMSING" your not going to go in a rampage?

      January 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • mamanas

        Pull the clots from your teeth and go somewhere....Worse than a bad case of yeast infection.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Mark

      Looks like we have the first highly motivated volunteer

      January 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Reply
      • Michelle

        I am a woman and I agree with the men! I grew up on a military base, 16 years of seeing my dad training women and men, and the women were always physically weaker. Certain jobs are for men only. Even the most butch woman cannot compare to a MAN! Get over it women, combat isn't for us!

        January 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  54. Sy2502

    Dear insecure and infantile men whining about women in combat, you those like you before you have tried to stop women from leaving the house alone, own property, vote, run for office, work, get higher education, and control their reproduction to name a few. Do you really not feel even a little bit pathetic by now?

    January 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • E. Steven Berkimer

      I assume you are going to be the first to sign up and request immediate assignment to an active combat zone? Or are you going to continue to try to shame men who have been there, or are already there?

      January 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • Poltergeist

      Control their reproduction? Looking at all the single parent homes you wouldn't know.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  55. Bob

    There is only on question here: Does this change enhance military effectiveness? There is no other relevant issue or question. "Equality of opportunity" is not relevant to questions of the military's role. And the answer is clear that it does not. Even if it does not decrease effectiveness, it certainly doesn't help it and therefore it's not worth the risk.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  56. Austim

    I cool with womerns dying to protect what this country is becoming, since they voted for Obama and the lib cabal, let them defend it.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  57. Jai

    As a female in the Military I can honestly say this is something we have been waiting for. I agree that we cannot claim "equality" until we are included in the Selective Service act. I do however believe that If standard's for physical and mental readiness are not lowered than there is nothing anyone can say. If I can run as fast, shoot as accurate, lift as much as the guy standing next to me then whats the problem? I see a comment above that mentions relationship's forming. Are you kidding me? That is already happening all the time, every where and think about it, putting women into the situation isnt going to stop two men from having their own relationship and becoming just as distracted. I'm not saying every woman could do it. I'm certainly not saying I myself could do it, but if there are woman who can meet every requirement and match every standard that a man has to match then who are you to say its not right.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Gunny

      I fully agree and yes, they should be included in the selective service act. If America is under attack, we need their help also. Way to to Jai. I thank you for your service to your country.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
      • MattM

        I don't think women should be part of the selective service act. The vast majority of women are not physically capable of achieving the physical standards necessary. If a women is strong enough and fast enough, and can meet the current standards, then sure she should be able to serve in combat. However, to require all women to be part of the selective service act is not smart. The fact is that most women aren't capable physically to serve in the military. Again, I must reiterate that if a women is capable, she should be allowed to fight.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • some guy

      The problem is 1) Pregnancy. 2) Women have testified that they experienced severe hormonal problems where in they were not producing enough female hormones, drastically lost body mass and weight, experienced muscle dystrophy, spinal damage and severe near fatal levels of exhaustion during there attachment to Infantry units. Despite being scoring very high on the PFT scores. U can be a gym rat or a health freak and still not be "conditioned" for labor intensive military roles. Its nature. The idea is not to just endure such extremely difficult situations but to thrive and fight. Which in case of long term deployment has shown that the female body is unable to do. Just like a Man cant have a baby or nurse a child even if he wants too. He cant have 180+ plus degrees of horizontal vision like a woman does. Its just nature.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • Jon

      As a female in the military, you already know the standards are lowered for women. I can appreciate your comment on "if I can run as fast, shoot as accurate, lift as much as the guy...", but the reality is 80% of females wouldn't even graduate BMT if they were held to the same standards as the rest of us.
      Maybe the DoD will surprise me, but until they mandate equal standards for both males and females, women have no argument that they should have equal opportunities.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • Pablo

      As a former company commander, I can tell you that this would have been one of my biggest headaches. While I agree that those infantrymen are professionals they are also 95% 18-25 year olds. Do I need to extrapolate how it works with males and females in the real world for everyone? While I know there are plenty of women out there that can do the job, is the distraction of 4-7 of them in company worth it? Just because you can doesn't mean you should... The US military has one main purpose in the world. When diplomacy fails, we protect American interest with overwhelming violence of action to 'pursuade' our enemies to see it our way. ANYthing that assists with this is good; anything that detracts from this is bad. I really do hope this ends up being a good thing and not just a feel good thing.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • what?

      The US Military is not a social play ground, for woman – or anyone else to fulfill they're equality issues.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  58. Mark

    How to stop a woman in combat, make her scale a wall

    January 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • Gunny

      All of my women Marines scaled that wall and got over. Every Marine must scale the wall. All of them!!!

      January 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Reply
      • Mark

        With full battle rattle?

        January 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • 0313forlife

        Poge

        January 24, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Gunny

      Yes! Just like the men. Maybe you never met real female warriors.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Reply
      • Mark

        No, but i've met lots of pretend ones.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Gunny

        Then you are making your decision based on fakes. Figures.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Jon

        I went through BMT with plenty of female warriors, and I watched the vast majority of them fall into the water on the obstacle course. I'm all for equality, but until the standards are equal, the women won't be.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • Gunny

        I agree with you. note that I saw some men fall also. It was kinda funny, but I always gave them a chance to redeem themselves the next time. I had men and women helping each other through until they all could get through on there own. It strengthened the unity of the platoon. I miss those days.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • JohnC

      you obviously haven't met a lot of women athletes. Sure very many women (and men for that matter) can't cut it, but a few can very definitely better many men. And the ones that sign up for this will often be extra motivated as well as capable. It's easy to think of these women in combat as your sisters or girlfriends but these particular women are a cut above that average - there's a wide range of people in this world.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  59. Dodgers4Life

    As much as I like to see women equality in professions, I don't agree with it being in the military. We allow changes not for the benefit of our national defense but to become more politically correct. When it comes to putting lives at risk we deserve the best of the best out in the front lines. Not just someone who needs to be attached to a unit just so they can get that ribbon, become promoted ,and move on in their career. For anyone to believe this will generate equality, please inform me when women in the military meet for the same PT standards and commit to selective service as required by men. Then we can talk about equality in the military.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  60. Michelle

    Women should not be in combat!!!!! We are more at risk if getting raped. I think this is a stupid idea! I know a lot of women gonna be upset with my comment. However, America be prepared to hear about American women soldiers getting captured in combat and getting brutally raped .

    January 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Gunny

      That has already been happening and still happens. Women are already in harms way without being in the combat fields. Also, we are one of the last big countries that do not allow women to fight on the front lines. All of our adversaries have women (with guns) shooting at our men.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Alyssa

      You think that every woman going into combat isn't already aware of her increased chances for rape? If they're willing to take the risk with their own bodies, then whothe hell are you try and stop them?

      January 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • ghostriter

      don't they already have that problem dealing with fellow male soldiers?

      January 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Reply
      • femaleVeT

        Each service is different in their ways. All female soldiers know the possibility of what will happen especially if they opt for a "combat-related" MOS. Women who want to do these jobs, good luck and expect some heat cause you will have to prove your worth, that's just how it works. Also, to say that it will increase the possibility of rape....it already happens. Coming from a female, those who want to be out there taking the physical toll to their bodies should go through the same schools as the males to see if they can even handle it. I'm all for this change but i'm not for it when it comes to jeopardizing the safety of the team.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  61. Nicholas Smith

    And the Lieutenant said, "Get in you foxholes troops!"

    January 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  62. mamanas

    We have 5 daughter's and I say good for the woman who wants to go to combat. I can't evn imagine any of our girls 3 adults and two preschooler serving. While we have did everything possible to encourage to try anything that a male would do...combat? There would have to be a Lee's Nail Shop at ever corner, Bath & Beyond and a MAC store. They would have a hard time making any impulsive decisions because everything would have to a group discussion and decision. Go for girls, mine will be cheering you on from home.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  63. Jim

    No liberal gets to whine now when there's a need for infantryman on the front lines of a new war, urgent enough to draft your 18 year old daughters.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • Gunny

      Nobody said anything about a draft.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Reply
      • KennyP

        ANY body responsible will be considering it, if they're intellectually honest, which I think you're not being.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • wisconsin101

        Women where always excluded from the draft. Not anymore. I have really wonder how many or percentage of women are going to be thrilled by this news. Yes they now can earn combat pay if they so choose to but I don't think that is what many women who enlisted thought or wanted to do – combat. I could be wrong

        January 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • A Nurse

      Well, first off there is no draft however, as a liberal, I believe that they should sign up for selective service just as our male counterparts do.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Reply
      • Alyssa

        I agree. I don't understand why we don't.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • Gunny

        I agree also. Also nobody under the age of 50 has been drafted. There has not been a draft in a very long time. Some people are paranoid and love to incite fear.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Jim

      Well.....you can't just pick the parts you like and keep the rest the same
      You're changing the staus of women to "no different than men".....In for a penny in for a pound, I'm afraid.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  64. Antronman

    They'l probably open up a new training joint for men to teach them what it's like to carry a rucksack...by carrying the rucksacks of the female infantry. There may be some women emotionally prepared, but how a couple of them are going to carry a rotary cannon and the several belts of .50 ammunition to an MH-60, I don't know. I don't know how they're going to be able to run into the constant fire in some urban area, drop down an M-60 and fire a pelt of ammuntion, then get the heck outta there. I don't know how they're going to be able to run around in an escalating combat situation wearing a hundred or so pounds of gear. If all of them manage to make it but one in combat, then it'll be pretty bad, because that one weak link can blow it all. The same does go for men, but if a woman is lagging behind everybody else, and either gives away the position of a planned ambush by doing so, or exposes the team to the opposition then it will most likely be that person's fault. If a fellow female soldier fails to get to somebody in the unit who needs cover in time, and that person dies it'll be the soldier's fault. All these demands of equality...heh. Guys are guys and gals are gals. There can never be equality, for a very simple reason: the way we are made. If guys and gals should be equal, why do we look, act, react, and think totally differently? Why are our minds stimulated in different ways? For the very same reason that the passing standards on military assessments are lowered for women, they should not be able to enlist: biological strength. If women were equal, there would no need to lower the standard for them...but they're not equal. War has been the business of man for millenia, why should you fix something that isn't broken?

    January 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • Gunny

      I have known men that could not do many of the tasks that you listed. By the way, Your argument has been voiced before. There was a time when all your reasons were applied towards the integration of African Americans into the military. This is the same. If they want to serve in the combat positions, let them serve. If they can pull the trigger and kill the enemy, I'll take em.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Reply
      • Sera

        First I want to ask if you are really a GUNNY or just pretending to be one!? Second, if you actually experience combat then you and I know that women will only slow the MARINES down and danger them in every possible way because every MARINE is going to want to protect that female. I support them all the way but saying to give them a try with the units and or especially with grunts will only affect the mission. If your want females in your hummer then let it be but don't put them with the grunts! Thirdly, I have a feeling that you have not experienced the unknown and if its chaotic with men during combat imagine how it will become with women added in the chaos!

        January 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Gunny

        Although it doesn't really matter, but I will entertain you. I served from September 1977 to 1998. Some men and women have served miserably in my tenure, but they served and I commend them. Also some men and women have served honorably and I commend them. I do not have to prove to anybody my service to my country and I will always speak up for the men and women that have served and (some) died for this great country. You may not agree with my opinion but it still stands. Now you go along and continue disrespecting people just because they do not agree with you. You have that right. I served 20 years to protect people like you. And we're walking!!!

        January 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Troll

        You're probably just tired of banging all the boys, eh Gunny? Bring in some talent baby!

        January 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • NAM VET

      WHY FIX ANYTHING THAT IS NOT BROKEN-I HAVE YET TO SEE OR READ ANY WOMEN AS HAVING THE POST
      SYNDROME, AS MEN HAVE. WE ONCE CALLED IT SHELL SHOCK BY THE WAY. WOMEN HAVE SOMETHING THAT
      TRANSENDS THOSE DISORDERS. I MAY BE WRONG BUT WOMEN TAKE PAIN BETTER THAN MOST MEN. -JUST
      SAYING.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Reply
      • Troll

        I TYPE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I'M SERIOUS ABOUT MY POST. THIS IS A SERIOUS POST.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  65. Cinman

    Only real caution; if you get in a major conflict with high casualties including women, you threaten your society's future by creating a much lower birth rate. It took France over a decade to replace the lost 'man power' from WWI. Imagine if half their casualties were women.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Alyssa

      I don't know if you know this, but women can get pregnant and repopulate the world unless there are men around.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
      • An American

        At Alyssa, you only need one man to get many women pregnant. A woman can have one child, but that takes more than 9 months and then a couple more so they can get pregnant again. Your argument is not valid.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Justmyopinion

        @An American, while technically, yes it would only take 1 man to get many women pregnant, think about then mating with half siblings. Unfortunately, we need the diversity of many women and many men in a population to ensure no inbreeding and healthy generations in the future. It's a simple concept of genetics... Just saying...

        January 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  66. armygunnut

    Not sure how I feel about going into battle with someone during "that time of the month"

    January 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • mamanas

      You'll be fine.....just carry extra wet wipes and OB (Ultra)

      January 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  67. mnixon329

    If combat roles are open to women (eventually) then the Selective Service requirement for men needs to be revised to make it mandatory for women to register OR needs to be removed all-together then.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  68. Too Bad

    While I will admit that select women may be able to meet the same standards as standard military men, the standard woman can't. I know gender equalists hate to (and refuse to) hear it, but there really are innate differences in the capabilities of men and women. If a woman can perform at the high level required, same level as a man doing the job, by all means let them serve as they will. But no separate bars, you either clear the same bar as your male counterparts or you don't serve in the same position.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  69. Stiener

    "In 2010, a group of U.S. Army physicians studied one brigade combat team deployed to Iraq in 2007."

    "Their study, published in the journal Military Medicine, examined the number of soldiers who sustained a disease or noncombat injury. Of 4,122 soldiers (325 women in support roles), 1,324 had a disease or injury that forced them to miss time or be evacuated."

    “Females, compared with males, had a significantly increased incident-rate ratio for becoming a [disease or noncombat] casualty,” the doctors found.

    Of 47 female soldiers evacuated from the brigade, 35 — or 74 percent — were for “pregnancy-related issues.” Women had more than triple the evacuation rate of men.

    “I infer from this that women are twice as likely to suffer non-battle injuries in current specialties,” William Gregor, a professor of social sciences at the Army’s Command and Staff College, told The Times. “They will probably have a greater injury rate in heavy physical occupational specialties and the combat arms. The British experience with gender-free or neutral training standards suggests the injury rate will dramatically increase.”

    January 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  70. Sean

    None of you at CNN know what it's like staring down the barrel of a gun or seeing bullets and bombs explode around you, therefore, you have no place to make an argument in favor of lifting the ban because your thoughts and words hold no merit! Do not tell the military how to conduct business as we do not tell you how to "report" the news or to stop supporting over Obama!

    You Ignorant Liberals

    January 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  71. Davy

    Just don't lower standards.. No double standard for females...There is a reason why there are no females in college or pros in Football/Baseball/hockey/basketball..

    If they want to have female infantry units with female standards... just don't f-up the male ones...As many of us on this board will attest, we have seen females in combat over the past 10 years but not in combat arms units..If they can handle the same standards as men then let them...but the numbers will be so few (if any) that it will be a logistical mess.. This is not about fairness...but about standards for a very tough job that most men could not handle.. They will probably have to lower the standards like they did in Sapper school (females have different pt requirements) to allow them to serve... In the end someone will have to pick up their slack on that foot patrol in the mountains of Afghanistan and carry their mortar rounds/ or extra ammo

    January 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • ...what

      First of all, there are more women in college in the US than men right now. Just to get that out of the way. Also, combat is different now than in the past. Maybe the average woman can't sword fight as well as a man, but shooting a gun not about strength or agility. If woman, or anyone, is willing to sacrifice her life to serve her country, who do you think you are to criticize that?

      January 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Reply
      • Readingcomprehensionescapesyou

        Maybe you should read that comment again. The poster said NOTHING about there being no women in college, so your statistic of there being more women enrolled in college than there are men enrolled is idiotic at best. The commenter stated that there were NO FEMALES IN COLLEGE OR PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • you're very ignorant

        First, his statement is implying that there are no women in major college sports and pro sports. Yes they do have crappy women's leagues, but none of those women would make it in any male league.

        Secondly, if you honestly think war these days is all about just pulling a trigger, you're just proving your ignorance. Women, in general, are not as physically gifted as men. There is such a large physical aspect to how war is these days which unless you have been in the military, you will never understand. I know for a fact that if the standards are not lowered for some of the most elite combat arms positions in the military, no women will make it through the qualification courses. So honestly, this news does not bother me.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • wisconsin101

        First off davy said college and pro "sports" not college education. Second he did not say shooting or carrying a rifle, he said carrying all the gear. Maybe you do not know but those backpacks are 70lbs and you need to carry them for miles in all types of terrain. If women are eager to join combat then few are saying no but are saying that if the #'s are so low, it will be a logistical nightmare having two bathrooms, showers, bunks, etc, etc. in the "combat" zones. What are the unintended consequences of this ruling, I have to wonder how many Hookups & resulting pregnancies are going to occur from the heat of the moment from two incompatible people that would have never gotten together otherwise.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  72. Angela Long

    Well .... I'm disappointed in the men on here. These are them same men that represent our country ... attacking women from their own country. How is it we can expect them to protect others, and lift them up- to fight for equality, to fight for democracy, freedom and etc ... when they regard their own women as feeble, lazy and as uneducated or having to lower academic standards... I can't imagine these men being much good – possibly violent, chauvinistic and raping perhaps of females in war zones ... Seeing how they think so little of American women, I can imagine what they think of non American women and the way they value them.

    If this is what the military is calling men ... then I'm ashamed.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • Davy

      this is not about equality...the military is not about equality, it is about fighting and winning Americas wars

      January 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Reply
      • KennyP

        kinda gets lost in the argument, doesn't it!? THAT is what makes this whole liberal social experiment a disgrace.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • 0313forlife

      The only woman I think is lazy is you because I haven't see anything from the military men say anything other than the truth. If you see us as rapists and woman haters, then you are sorely wrong and need to re-examine your views before you rant off your man hating mouth again.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  73. liamnc

    This is just another example of how they have been sissifying the military for the past several years. I have no doubt that women can fight just as effectively as men (historically they actually make the best snipers), but relationships will develop, they will create major distractions and greatly diminish our military's overall combat effectiveness. This will prove to be a force reducer, not a force multiplier.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:58 am | Reply
  74. Joan Gray

    OK – May we now we assume that women will be required to register for the draft under Proclamation 4771, Registration under the Military Selective Service Act signed into law by President Jimmy Carter? Or will we continue to "demand" equal rights, equal pay, et al, but not expect to have the equally weighty responsibilities associated with these "equal rights?" When I see Congress include women under the Selective Service Act, then I will believe we are "equally responsible" under the law. Until then, women are just "pretending" they are "equal." Taking what they want, when they want it, without assuming as a group the obligations and responsibilities that come with it.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • Citizen Twain

      There is no equality in this world. Let's all stop pretending.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:59 am | Reply
  75. Sean

    CNN is a joke. Your blind/IGNORANT support of our president and his administration is sickening! You people are fools!

    January 24, 2013 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • al

      So Panetta makes a decision and you blame it on CNN? Are you out of touch, ignorant, or just mistaken?

      January 24, 2013 at 11:54 am | Reply
      • Sean

        Image a comment about CNN, not Panetta...re-read and from now on screen your questions from someone intelligent. Thank you

        January 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Gunny

      As you continue to read CNN and even comment on it. If you don't like CNN, get off of it.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  76. JV

    Geez. The rag heads are standing at attention with joy. Just another example of this PC bs getting out of hand.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:40 am | Reply
  77. Adrian Rios

    Hey woman know what there getting themselfs into..They are adults and they know what war brings...Let them join if woman want to fight for our county so be it..I think it is an honorable thing for woman to want to fight for our freedom..May GOD bless them.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Gunny

      I have served beside women marines for 20 years and I am glad that they are getting their props as equal warriors. Some women will be a major asset in combat fields and some women choose not to be in those fields. The rule has applied for men forever. Some men aspire to be in a combat field and some men choose other fields. The bottom line is when the dodo hits the fan, we are all warriors and I want every human that can pull the trigger fighting with me. Semper Fi!!!

      January 24, 2013 at 11:49 am | Reply
      • J Taylor

        HOOOAH Gunny! I've personally known quite a few female warriors, LOL... one so dangerous as my ex-girlfriend who served in Iraq in the Army MP... and i too agree if a living breathing human being gender unimportant, is in the same sector and can pull the trigger, i'd rather that human male or female be beside me aiming down range. Hoooah!

        JT

        January 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • Gunny

        Added note. My first wife was a Marine. She served in the Gulf War. She died as a result of the Gulf War. She died with honor.

        January 24, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • A Major

        You are a liar and a retard!

        January 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • Citizen Twain

        That was mature. This is a deflection to the deeper problems facing our country. The government throws out these tid bits for us to chew on so they are not held responsible for fixing our economic woes. Until we fix our economics, we can't afford anymore wars or anything else for that matter. Don't be diverted by this announcement, it is meaningless.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  78. Sean

    The people who did this and support it do not realize the danger they put us in. Women may have found themselves in combat situations but that doesn't mean they did well. In 100% of cases I've personally heard about women in SLIGHTLY combat related incidents they have performed sub-standardly/failed to be effective or simply hid from the danger! They create a bigger risk to their male counterparts. Nobody realizes the romantic notion of "equality" does not outweigh the cost of the lives of the women who can NOT do the job but also the cost of the lives of the men endangered by their mere presence. I've been deployed around a few women so I know first-hand that they are unqualified. I am ashamed of this decision and hope it will be reversed before we find out AGAIN that this is a wrong and DANGEROUS course of action! I, nor ANY, of the men I have and do serve with agree with this! God created us differently to function differently and to COMPLEMENT each other!

    Concerned,Disgusted,FED UP!

    January 24, 2013 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Grrrrreat

      Do not assume women can't stand and fight! If the will is there she is fully capable if standing up and fighting for her country. Many men have stood up and failed! Not every man in the military can say they can perform the job 100% nor can they say the dont run and hide when there is a job to do. Men have to stop thinking that all women are week. If they prove otherwise and rise to the occasion then what's the problem? Closed minded assumptions!!

      January 24, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • Really?

      My wife is a combat casualty trained corpsmen, who's consistently been in hot zones through out her 12 years of meritorious service...if you served with her perhaps you wouldn't be suffering from that TBI that's left you debilitated and blithering...STFU!!!!

      January 24, 2013 at 11:54 am | Reply
      • John

        I have also seen a navy corpsman in country, there's no question that they could possibly do the job but when they are being passed around the platoon, the problems started when guys started to get jealous and fight over her.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Not impressed

      Sean, I'm calling you out. If you really served, which I doubt, you certainly did not work closely with 'hundreds' of women, all found lacking to your critical standards. You and others have areas to debate, but spreading BS in a poor attempt to back your lies is insulting to those who are serving honorably, and in some cases heroically, in current combat environments. Over 400 women who served for you and the rest of our country will never return home. Some of the better paid jobs come from the mlitary, and women will compete for them. What, did some girl in uniform turn your vast charms down?

      January 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • Gunny

      Say that to the brother that is alive and back home knowing that when their location or convoy was overrun, there were military women also lock and loaded, taking out the enemy.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  79. Pablo

    I served 6 years as a Ranger and I'll say this much... I have a met a few female soldiers who most likely could have done the job and I believe that there are some who could contribute and possibly excel. I've met many, many more men who could not and ended up in different units or out of the Army. I’m not going to restate the issues below about the rigors of combat, etc. My issue is when lives are on the line who wants to be the guinea pig in that social experiment? Change, especially for the military is hard. I appreciate the fact that the military is taking this slow and will do their best to minimize the impact on these combat units. The price for assimilation of women in combat roles will (at least initially) cost lives as the military adapts to this ‘new’ model. I just hope in the end it’s worth it.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • johnk

      EXCELLENT comments, to bad our govt doesn't listen to a clear headed persons as yourself. I wish people like you ran the show and called the shots, we as a nation would be a hell of a lot better off!!!!

      January 24, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • Will S

      They might lower the standards and physical requirements, but that won't make the rucks any lighter or the miles any less.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:49 am | Reply
  80. aurelius

    It's about time that role is recognized. They have been doing just that for millenniums in their relationship with men. And for good reasons!

    January 24, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  81. Doc_In_NH

    Are Women capable of being in combat? Absolutely. Can women perform as well as men in combat? Absolutely. Do women realize some of the inhumane things that have been done to our war fighters by people that have no regard for human life? What do you think will happen to women when caputred by these same sadistic maniacs?

    January 24, 2013 at 11:28 am | Reply
    • OO7°``

      It sounds cold to say, but if they want the duty then they know the risks and will be trained and prepared for whatever is thrown their way.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:32 am | Reply
  82. Grunt.0369

    I served for 10 years in the Marine Corps special operations and infantry I served in 4 different combat zones and received two Combat Action Ribbons and for the last 3 years i have been adjudicating claims for veterans in the VA, the noble notion that men and women are physically capable of doing the same jobs is absolutely absurd. I see the claims submitted by both males and females every day, their bodies physically do not handle the rigors of combat as well as men. If you want to see what the outcome will be by allowing females into more physically demanding roles and the cost to our government just do a study based on the information already available in the VA system, the cost to the American people will be tremendous. All of this to appease a few. It is time that we recognize what everyone already knows, men and women are NOT physically the same. We are talking about the security of our NATION, not some corporate job. All Americans need to write their Congressman and let them know that we need a common sense approach when it comes to National Security not a social experiment.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:28 am | Reply
    • IndFL

      I served in the Army (MP's) everytime we went to the field the girls would claim it's that time of the month and needed to go back to the barracks and did.....can we put wars on hold to accomodate for this?? I think not.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:32 am | Reply
      • abnguy

        There has to be one standard that is to be met. If the job requires you to be in the field then you accomodate the job not having the job accomodate you. That will put more service members in danger.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Log

      Excellent post.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  83. Stiener

    Women think because they served in combat support units in Iraq and Afghanistan that they have seen real war and that combat units should now be open to them. Wait until we face a disciplined enemy who has a numerical advantage and technological parity. Google "Chosin Reservoir", "Kasserine Pass", or "Ong Thanh".

    Better yet, look up "Cherkassy Pocket" to get the German perspective. Imagine no Apaches or A-10s on call, no drones or intel, no medevac, no supplies, no reinforcements, brutal weather, and a numerically superior enemy that wants to annihilate you. A far cry from driving around in a MRAP until you hit an IED or a sniper fires at you, after which you fire 10,000 rounds at the ridgeline and call in an A-10 and Apache strike.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • CosmicC

      So, basically what you're saying is that we should imagine a world of 40 or 50 years ago that no longer exists?

      January 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  84. John

    As long as they have the same physical requirements, I am all for it.
    As former active duty Navy I know the physical standards they had for females was a joke.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:24 am | Reply
  85. Jimmy P.

    What a POLITICAL bunch of BULL. Women have been in ALL major military actions for over 20 years. Remember the GULF WAR, Major Rhonda Cornum? 229th Attack Helicopter Regiment, then-Major Cornum was aboard a Black Hawk helicopter on a search and rescue mission, looking for a downed F-16 pilot, during the Gulf War.[4] When the helicopter was shot down on February 27, 1991, she suffered two broken arms, a broken finger, a gunshot wound in the back, and other injuries. Then taken Prisoner. Wow that sounds like COMBAT to me.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • MadDog

      Actually, even the episode you state, the female pilot was not in a pure COMBAT role; you said yourself that she was in a Blackhawk on a SAR mission, not an attack mission. The change would put a female in the cokpit of an A-10, F-16, F-15, etc. in the attack squadrons. There's a huge difference between getting shot at whilst on a SAR mission from going downtown regularly. I'm all for this; as long as the women can meet the physical requirements, they should serve in any MOS.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:54 am | Reply
  86. Rosslaw

    i'm for getting more republican politicians into combat-afghan-pakistan border region my first choice, but only so long as they don't prove a drag or a danger to the female troops.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:16 am | Reply
  87. Libdumb

    Can't wait to get the NOW members in a combat role. They will soon learn what the War on Women is all about.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
  88. Libdumb

    Can't wait to get the Witch on Wheels in a combat role. She learned from her role model Hilter to disarm the people so she can impose her dictates.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • RobertUSMC

      That's the most uneducated statement I have ever heard, where do you people come from?

      January 24, 2013 at 11:19 am | Reply
  89. ncmom

    If this is what a woman wants to do she should have the opportunity to do so. However, she should have to meet the same exact qualifications as a man. She should also be as strong as the weakest man.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • readytogo

      I agree..unless a women is able to meet the same qualifications..exactly the same not modified.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  90. Francisco d'Anconia

    I have no problem with this whatsoever, PROVIDED current standards are maintained. No exceptions.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • Jon

      Current standards are already lower for women to even join the military. If you don't dumb it down for females, their won't be any.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:23 am | Reply
      • Donna Moran

        You are a insult to the human race!

        January 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  91. Joe

    So, now it's possible that a future navy seal team could be all-female? If that is a serious notion, how 'bout this: women linemen in the NFL! And should women be drafted too? Maybe, but it will still be a while before they are drafted in the first round....

    January 24, 2013 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • Francisco d'Anconia

      If they do the job, why would you care?

      January 24, 2013 at 11:12 am | Reply
      • Jon

        Because they're a liability. The women in my unit technically "do their job", but only the easy parts. They're conveniently MIA when it's time to load the equipment.

        January 24, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Bibi The Puppet Master

      Boy . . . .we have done a great job of transforming American society. It used be only the man worked to support his family in the USA, but then we decided to get the mother/wife into the workforce . . . .which led to a whole generation of children with no control . . .who were taught no traditional values. Then we subverted the school system with crappy curriculum and studies . . . then we introduced AIDS, Vietnam, Korea . . . .LOL . . .gayism . . . . in the military, now we're going to put women in combat positions. . . . . boy . . .we're good.

      All we do is laugh at you stupid AMericans while we accept your money and drink wine while lounging without any worries.

      We are your masters and we're loving it!

      ding . .ding . . .ding . . . .we win! you lose!

      January 24, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
    • OO7°``

      I was thinking about women in special op units as active operators and not just support. As long as pass the brutal training and do not jeopardize a mission I cannot think of a reason why they cannot become members.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
  92. Caitlyn

    As a woman, I say we only go into combat one week a month. Any of you out there know that we are ruthless monsters that special week.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • SGT Wilson

      I don't need to be on that week to perform my job.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:42 am | Reply
  93. Johnny

    This is just because a bunch of female officers complained that they won't be able to get stars as opposed to their male counterparts.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • Jessica Lynch

      You hit the nail on the head!
      I'm not in favor of the idea. But if it has to happen, the units need to be segregated by gender.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:11 am | Reply
      • DrTom

        Just like they did with Blacks.

        January 24, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • jrh0

      Absolutely correct.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:11 am | Reply
      • jrh0

        I meant, absolutely correct that it was pushed because of female officers complaining that they were excluded from infantry jobs which have the highest promotion potential. I was not agreeing with that comment about segregating units.

        January 24, 2013 at 11:13 am |
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