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 (3,552 Responses)
  1. Kyle V

    Combat arms jobs are to be exclusive. To spite the amount of worthless excuses for Soldiers and Service Members that were let in under the troop surge, combat arms jobs need to remain exclusive. The physical fitness standards are already way to low. I in no way shape form or fashion support allowing anyone into combat arms on the PT scale that has been adjusted for females.

    December 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • Robison

      Did you even read or listen to the news? STANDARDS WILL NOT BE LOWERED TO ACCOMODATE WOMEN. Women who are able to pass neutrality physical fitness standards will be able to apply to the restricted combat units. Training plans will not accommodate women, but will challenge them just as they do all men to reach as high a fitness level as their peers. Trust me, it doesn't take an Olympic lifter to aim and pull a trigger.

      February 7, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Reply
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  3. Trixie

    I'm only a 13 year old girl, and I've already decided I am going to join the army. I'm thrilled that women are now aloud to fight in combat. That's all I've every really wanted to do. Serve my country. Like someone else was saying, I would hate to sit behind a desk all day. I want to face war head on and know upfront that I am serving my country.

    September 16, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  4. Mary davis

    It's about time that they started to allow women into combat units. I mean I am a female prior military and one of the biggest reasons that I got out of the military was because I wasn't a loud to do anything the men do such as 11B. I mean the whole reason I joined was to defend my country and ended up behind a desk and being made to feel like I was doing something. When I joined I knew exactly what I was joining and why I was joining and neither of these including sitting behind a desk. I join to protect my country not to defend a pen on my desk. I had so many hopes and aspirations while in the military and the biggest thing that I wanted to do of all was be a sniper. I got tired of being told you can't be a sniper you are a female or you can't be in special forces because you are a female. Straight out of my drill sgt's mouth was these words that I will never forget, he said "I would rather have a female battle buddy in combat over a man any day." When he was asked why, this was his response, " A female will protect you and shoot someone quicker than a man will." I believe there is a lot of truth to this. The reason I believe this is because many women have children at home that they must come back to and like they say it is a very dangerous spot to stand between a mother and her children.

    July 24, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
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  8. Spartacus

    We males are just beasts, our manly flesh has the duty to love the toils and pains of the military life. We can be forced to be examined like animals, regardless to our modesty, completely naked; we can be forced to cut our hairs like prisoners, deprived of our civil rights for our Country's sake, because we males can be used as cannon fodder, but not the women! Having millions of males tortured and killed is better than having even just one woman in a dangerous situation! I respect the equality gender only to the advantage of women, rather I prefer more rights for them and more duties for us, because women are far superior than us males! I hope than the draft will remain just for males, because a woman cannot be forced to anything, much less to the war's dangers. A male.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Reply
    • Leon

      U'r right bro!

      April 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Reply
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  10. Tanaya Comer

    About time. I just wish they had said that a year or two ago when I went to pick my job for the Army.

    March 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Reply
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  12. Ebony mclaury

    I agree, I think women should be able to fight. " WOMEN CAN DO WHAT MEN DO." Women should have the same rights as a man. Just because we are women it doesn't mean that we can't fight for what we think is right. It not a bad idea to lift the combat. Because I look at it as the women wanting to help the man out in what they do. People always look at the negative in life. Why not look at the positive in life. The women fight is showing how much they believe in them to do a mans job to me that says a lot. It also tells me that they don't care what they have to do to fight for what they believing. There is so many of us that are so glad that there is some women out who don't care about it and want to fight. I supports them 100% that they want to do this. I really don't care about the combat and I feel like the military don't either because they love there job. I also want to point out the if we do take them out what are we going to do when there is no more man out there that want to join the military? What are we really going to do? It give us some thing to think about. "WOMEN IN THE MILITARY I AM WITH YOU 100% GOOD LUCK!"

    March 7, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • Myles wright

      What I'm trying to do is at least make a ripple in the women's right community. I really believe that I can make a change and my voice can be heard I want to take a stand for all the women who love what they do and love what others do for them.

      March 7, 2013 at 10:54 am | Reply
  13. Leah B.

    This topic has many different views, some more opinionated and passionate than others. Many concerns circle around this topic such as, women not being efficient or not being able to be equal to men fighting along side them. Women are just the same as men, they are just built different. If a women is physically efficient enough to fight in the front lines there shouldn't be a problem. I feel that it is good to have women fighting alongside men, it expresses and shows that they love their country as much as anybody else and they would risk their lives to show this. It would show other countries that America is one and they fight as one.

    March 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  14. Devin C-Z

    Citizens need to stop underestimating women! They may be emotional at times, but that doesn't mean they can't battle in combat. There has been a lot of heroism throughout history coming from women. People think that men are automatically cut out for being in the army or in combat. Why cat women be?? They can do anything they want to if they are determined and put their minds to it! Also, people think that women aren't physically prepared for the actions they do. Some women are so determined that they are. They deserve to battle in combat if they choose to!

    March 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • Myles wright

      Thank you so much that's all I want to get out. My aunt is amazing and she takes her job very very serious she is very great full of her chance to be in active duty and serve our country she loves what she does and I want to stand up for what she and I... And my whole family believes

      March 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  15. Myles wright

    I think that this is a huge step in women's right to fight in the frontlines of combat. I am pro for this because I have seen some of my female family members do great things in the military. My aunt has been in the military for over 3 years now and she is a sergeant. Women should have equal rights that men do. We have treated them equal in sports and other things like that, why can't we be equals in the frontlines of combat. If men want to take on the responsibility of having a man-made job than that's what they decide. I honestly believe that women should have 100% freedom in the military to have whatever job they wish. I believe that this is the beginning of a new era of women in combat.

    March 6, 2013 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • Josh Riddenour

      Men and women aren't treated the same in sports, why do you thinm they aren't allowed to compete against women in basketball etc? Or in many Olympic sports? Know this, your beliefs will get people killed

      August 11, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Reply
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    January 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Reply
    • Howard

      Having served in the Army in a combat MOS, I feel this is a disgrace. First point is, will physical standards for qualifications have to be lowered to accomadate women? Such as PT tests, weight carried on forced road marches? Also, it's not about womens rights, its about what is best for the team, squad, platoon, company? Where will women sleep while in the field? Does this mean that the barracks will now include the sharing of rooms by males and females?Where will women sleep during field combat duty? To an even greater point, do you want your daughters drafted into combat? I have two daughters and I will never allow them to be drafted. Combat is bad enough for men to handle from not only a physical perspective but from the mental stress. Combat is more than just pulling the trigger of a weapon.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:52 am | Reply
      • Chicadow

        I'm curious where you find disgrace. Are you afraid that finding a woman capable of doing the job as well as you did would make your service less valuable? If you climb Mt. Everest, you did it. If a woman then does it- you still did it. If you feel that your climb is now a lesser accomplishment – that's your problem. I was in the Army for seven years and I saw many men not capable of doing the job- they quickly became civilians (probably not capable of doing their civilian jobs either). But the performance of other soldiers had nothing to do with my busting my butt every day.

        In regard to physical requirements, where women will eat, sleep, etc, I agree that if any accomodations must be made that would reduce the efficacy of the country's defense there is a problem. But I can assure you that military leadership will ultimately be held responsible for the success of their missions and because of that fact, they will make it work. Training and performance should be judged based on the requirements of the job. If you feel disgraced because the military can still complete its missions with men and women on the job, you missed the point of the mission in the first place. Nobody ever said "Take the hill, with a smile on your face!" The mission- just take the hill.

        January 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  19. American Citizen

    We must rally all expendable forces to the defense of our glorious nation. Equality is the name of the game these days, so prepare for an equal chance at being shot at and destroyed.

    January 27, 2013 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • STTAB

      Old hat. In the 90's the US military did a study on putting women in combat roles. The bottom line is physiologically they can not do it. This study proved (surprise) the genders are different. Repeated, sustained combat operations, in the infantry setting, are disastrous for the female body.

      The commoner views combat through the lens of Iraq and Afghanistan as viewed on the boob tube. They forget about the sustained operations required during the initial invasions. Even then the quickness of victory ensured everyone would forget. Just because you "patrol" out of a FOB, get in a few TICs or set off a few IEDs does this prove you can do the job of an infantryman? Your eating Burger King when you get back for sakes. Real infantry combat is harsh, animalistic, and designed to be unfair. Speak up if your a woman that's been in hand to hand combat. Any cases i've heard of, they got their butt saved by a man.

      Most people forget how we prepped for war pre 9/11. Just the training alone would break the average man, permenantly for life. Why do you think the retirement was set at 20 years. Because after 20 years of working as an infantryman most men are physically broke, and they deserve a benny or two. I remember training for the "north Korean menace" in the '90s. Thirty days in the field, living out of a ruck. A female wouldn't make it on a supply run (carrying two 5 gal water jugs for 6 K) much less be able to hump a .50 cal receiver to the support by fire position. And yes, I've seen all this attempted over the years. Always, always, the load gets passed off to a man. But hey, we let them carry it for a bit and made them feel good about themselves.

      The proof is in the pudding. The Canadian military spent 250 million recruiting and training females for the infantry. About 250 made the initial cut, only one made it through training meeting the standards. She quit after a year on the job because her body could not take the rigors of sustained combat training, much less operations.

      The Israeli military is constantly used as an example of women in combat roles. They pulled females from infantry units after the 1948 war. Their presence on the battlefield was a constant distraction to men. The combat exclusion clause states specifically, "they jepodize the survival of the entire unit". Israeli historian Martin Van Creveld has written extensively about the failure of the IDF to successfully integrate and use women in combat. Today, the closest they get to combat is teaching marksmanship to men.

      The German KSK for the last 10 years has put up the challenge to any woman that can complete their selection and assessment. To this day not one female has passed.

      Currently, the US Marines put out the call for female officers to attend Infantry officer basic. Not a one passed. These were the best the Marine corps could muster. I' ve seen this notion since the '90s. For years the modern female has been told she is a unique snowflake, and can do anything she puts her mind to. If women where ment to be in physical combat, we would of integrated them in the stone ages. The only problem is the US military will bend in order to accommodate.

      History proves itself. Airborne school used to be the Ranger school of its day. After women where allowed to begin attendance, standards were dropped to accommodate. Airborne school is nothing more than a booze fest for most guys nowadays.

      After women where forced upon West Point they had to drop the requirement for all cadets to carry a fully laden soldier, a specific distance. The standard could not be passed by females and was dropped to accommodate.

      I'm still looking for this unicorn (a woman that can take the rigors of sustained combat).

      January 27, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
      • Chicadow

        Not meant in sarcasm- seriously, where can I find the study? I agree wholeheartedly, jobs have certain physical requirements that can't and shouldn't be changed. But if someone can do the job, I don't care if they have to check 'neither' in the M/F block on their paperwork. Let them do it. I know a woman who graduated with the first class at West Point that let women in. I'm proud of your service, but I'll make a bet- she could snap you like a twig.

        January 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • STTAB

        CHICADOW. Ask your lady freind who graduated West Point if she completed every obstacle in order to graduate like the men had to. Or if she completed the buddy carry in order to graduate like all men have to. She'll know what I'm talking about. What study would you like me to reference? Your female buddy that can snap men like twigs, has she ever killed a man with her bare hands. I know men who have. And they had a tough time of it. I've never met a female that could.

        January 29, 2013 at 6:43 am |
      • Morgan

        I am a woman and I have been training to go into the military and fulfill my dreams to become a soldier. I do not expect nor want standards to be lowered for me; I do not want to be a soldier just to say that women are better than men rather I want to be a soldier to serve my country to the fullest extent.
        Oh and just for the record I am a third degree black belt in tae kwon do and I have te skills and the knowledge to kill someone with my bare hands.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  20. liamnc

    Women are emotional creatures. Its hard for most of them to imagine that there might be a logical reason most men (especially male soldiers) are opposed to this.

    Letting women fight along side men on the front lines is going to be a train wreck.

    January 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • MoGold

      Really? Because its been such a "problem" for the Israelis?? Your argument doesn't hold water.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Reply
      • liamnc

        That's a good point. Its just my opinion biased on my experiences. I could be wrong however, only time will tell.

        January 26, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
      • pep

        Water, eh? That's when the worries really begin; when her "water breaks". You see, MoGold, women have menstral cycles that usually cause discomfort to the extent that some women cannot perform daily tasks. Having women at the front, suffering from these maladies (including getting pregnant), will be of little help to other GI's in life and death situations!

        January 27, 2013 at 10:20 am |
      • Don

        pep, you do realize that there are hormonal injections and IUDs that not only serve as birth control methods but can also stop women from having a period altogether, right? Things like Depo-Provera shots and progestogen IUDs have failure rates of 0.2% and less. Please tell me you knew that already.

        January 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Morgan

      I am a woman and have wanted to be a soldier since I was little, and I have been training to be a soldier as well. I do not nor ever have nor ever will allow emptions “control” me.
      If I have to kill someone to save the life of a fellow soldier, civilian, or my self I would not hesitate not even for a second, I will take that shot no doubt.

      February 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Reply
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    January 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  22. Jim

    I would not want women in combat or in any area where women can be harmed or killed. Like it or not, males are more expendable then are women and in reality, I even think women and not us males are by far the superior gender. If I was in a demo derby, I would not use my best car in the race, I would use a well used car. This is not because women can not handle the job, in fact I think women would do better then most males as women are showing they can do anything males can do. Now that women are getting equal chances, women are leaving us males far in the dust.

    January 26, 2013 at 5:24 am | Reply
    • GeorgeWBush

      But they are very emotional and would cry a lot. Imagine in a middle of a fire fight and a brave soldier is pinned down by enemy fire. He ask for cover fire but Private Cindy Smith is crying because she just received a text from her boyfriend informing her that he's found a new flame.

      Private First Class McDonald: " I'm hit! I need cover fireeee!!!"
      Private Smith: " Booo Hooo Boo Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo"
      McDonald: " SMITH SHOOT THE DAMN FREAKIN' ENEMY "
      Smith: " BOOOOO HOOOOO HOOOO HOOOO HOOOOOO BOOOOOO HOOOOOO ... MY LIFE IS RUINED BOOO HOOO HOOO HOOO"

      Private First Class McDonald gives his life for his country and Private Smith goes home to LA and finds a new love and they lived happily ever after.

      January 31, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply
      • Jamie

        You are obviously on the lower end of the intelligence spectrum.

        February 1, 2013 at 12:52 am |
      • Morgan

        Your statement is not valid "GeorgeWBush,"
        I am a woman and have wanted to be a soldier since I was little, and I have been training to be a soldier as well. I don't nor ever have not ever will allow emptions "control" me.
        And if you think for a second that a soldier who has gone through the training who has served along side fellow soldiers that they would leave a soldier behind then you know nothing about the military.

        I will not leave a fellow soldier behind, and I will not hesitate to take a shot.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  23. Sandra

    Women have already been in combat situations, but the terminology of saying they are only 'attached' to a company/unit/battalion, rather than being a member of it. It's just overdue recognition of that fact.

    January 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
    • apotas

      Thank you for stating what most of these commenters don't seem to know.

      January 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
      • US Army Sapper

        What Combat unit did you two ladies serve in? I served in the C. Company, Camp Castle Korea, 2nd Engineeers, 2nd ID US Army and also in the 43rd Combat Heavy Engineers, B. Company (Central American JTF – Bravo ; Summer 1989). Just wondering when you both saw combat duty in Army or Marine, Engineer, Infantry, Armor or Artillery unit. Support is MUCH different than being in line platoon in one of the four combat MOS's.

        January 26, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Séamus Ó Dubsláine

      ...the new canon fodder !

      January 26, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  24. liamnc

    Wait! Let them in! Think of all the money our boys in the unit would save not having to go to brothels!

    January 25, 2013 at 9:55 am | Reply
  25. John

    I wish they would stop comparing combat pilots to combat troops. Figuratively they have blood on their hands. Combat troops have the blood of their enemy, or worse fellow troops, or even worse innocent civilians. Not quite the same.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:51 am | Reply
  26. liamnc

    The answer to this is to keep the physical requirements the same across the board for both men and women, if you pass, you qualify, if you don't, tough cookies.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:42 am | Reply
  27. US Citizen

    Males are required by law to register for Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Failure to do so prevents eligibility for Pell grants and subjects the individual to fines and even prison. Females don't have to register but want full consideration for participation in Defense activities, positions including combat, promotion, etc. Am I the only one who see's clear disparaging treatment towards males?

    January 25, 2013 at 9:33 am | Reply
    • Jamie

      It figures that most men would have a hard time seeing that this benefits them as well. After all, most grievancess men have towards women is really baseless crap that actually derives from male on male discrimmination.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Reply
      • tyciol

        Why are you labelling this a grievance against women, and not a grievance against the government?

        January 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
      • liamnc

        It seems almost impossible for most women to believe there is a legitimate, logical reason a lot of men (especially soldiers/former soldiers) are opposed to this. All they see is men discriminating against women. Its all emotion, and no logic.

        January 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
      • tyciol

        This is a grievance against government. Calling it a grievance against women creates a perception of misogyny where there is none.

        January 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • apotas

        @llmanc: "Women are emotional creatures. Its hard for most of them to imagine that there might be a logical reason most men (especially male soldiers) are opposed to this."

        And you seriously think that your remarks don't illustrate a grievance toward women?

        January 26, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  28. John

    “ALL men are cut out for an infantry type role” No they are not. As a former Marine I will tell you not many men or women are ready for what it means to be in a combat unit. Yes there are a lot of physical demands put on your body ( The weight of the gear, peace of the mission, and the constant demand of pushing through pain) that even some men are not able to endure. PSD is a real. Combat troops train every day to inflect death when ever called upon. Combat troops are not mindless killing machines. After that fact, it sets in what you just have done. You can justify it however you can but men come back from combat very different and some men so different they are never the same. I have two daughters; I may not be able to stop them but I will try so that they don’t have to face the mental agony that fellows combat troops. It’s something that we have to deal with for the rest of our lives. That’s how I justify it all.

    With that said females in this country out number male 50.9% to 49.2%. A day may come when this is a pointless debate. When females out number male so greatly they will have to take a greater role in combat. Until then, leave it to us. Don’t be in a hurry to face this burden.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:24 am | Reply
    • WDL

      I hear your point.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • Jamie

      Women already see and experience combat, we just dont get credit for it because we're not in combat "trades"

      January 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  29. Mercedes

    Will all women have to be eligable if there is a mandatory draft?

    January 25, 2013 at 9:10 am | Reply
    • Pllllt

      Just because a man participates in the selective service, does not mean he will have the ability to do the job, you still have to be able to o the job.

      January 25, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  30. JD

    So after watching this segment, I realized the political agenda – and that political agenda is not for the safety of my brothers and sisters in arms. This agenda is for votes, and political appeasement instead of the realistics of war.

    You have to look at where we are fighting a war right now for example, their beliefs, and customs, and the disregard that they have towards females. A female infantry soldier would have less chances of survival if captured because of the lack of respect that the enemy has for females, than would be for a male in the same situation. The fact that the pentagon decided to make this change now shows no respect for the cultural beliefs of the countries we are in, and just adds fuel on the fire in a land where the normal civilian already distrusts us and our intentions.

    Isreal also tried females on the front lines if you remember, and had to discontinue their effort as it was leading to greater casulties of their male counterparts that would stop fighting to tend to their females.

    In the end, the fighting on the front lines should never be a political agenda, but the agenda to put forth the best fighting force, that has the greatest chance of then coming home to their families. The agenda should not be about femenist ideals that in the end is going to lead to more soldiers in harms way that will not make it back to see their loved ones.

    January 25, 2013 at 8:56 am | Reply
  31. Tracy Yager

    Here is just one thing that needs to be considered about women in combat. Are these women going to be prepared to answer the question of whether they are pro-life or pro-choice. Reason being is because if a woman is pro-life, she must consider the fact that she may be captured as a prisoner of war. Her captors may torture and rape her which may result in a pregnancy. Is she going to be willing to have an abortion being that she's pro-life or will she opt to not have a baby from the people who captured her. There is nothing that a male prisoner will go through that could result in becoming pregnant so whether he is gay or not, this is not something a man will ever have to be concerned with. So I personally believe it is ok for women to participate in combat, but she must be willing to accept the consequences should something like this ever happen to her.

    January 25, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
    • Grrrrreat

      She would have to make that choice no matter where she was, it can happen anywhere. You don't need a war for that.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:57 am | Reply
    • DrTom

      Every women who is Pro-life (or not) should think about what she would do if she became pregnant as a result of rape.
      She doesn't need to be captured by the enemy for,this,to happen.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:59 am | Reply
  32. chris

    "Boogie on Reggae Women what is wrong with me", life liberty and justice for all. The conservative party is out of touch with modern America, its like changing the n word in mark twain books.

    January 25, 2013 at 8:44 am | Reply
  33. 11b

    This is nice and all but they have already changed standards for women in military period. Why do they have to do less pushups and situps than men on a pt test? It shouldnt matter what gender you are a standard is a standard which is exactly why i dont want them in my unit because the second they get handed a 30 pound m240b along with 600 rounds of a combat load and a 90 pound ruck sack they WILL fail. Theres some women that might be able to do it but im not going to risk the lives of the men in my squad over some idealistic dream and a female grunt that has a 1 in 500 shot of being hard enough to be in the infantry.

    January 25, 2013 at 7:54 am | Reply
    • John Palagyi

      Just watched Soledad O'Brien's discussion with panel and guests on women combat and she was incredibly rude and arrogant with the guest professor of law. Repeatedly cut him off and did not allow him to finish thought. As a vieweer, I want all sides of an issue to be discussed not just the way Soledad wants the discussion to head.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:23 am | Reply
  34. Paul

    I saw this news story on Tuesday and knew that, for some, it would be the end of the freaking world. I don't care one way or another whether women want to live in trenches, but I sympathize with them having to overcome a complete mindset that is dead set against them. Good luck, girls.

    January 25, 2013 at 7:10 am | Reply
  35. sastesni@comcast.net

    Women are already in combat as pilots of the most advance combat fighters ever produced. These same questions were asked when it was annouced women would fly combat aircraft. History has shown the questions were not needed. Women have clearly showned their capability as combat pilots, so why all the doubt with the current decisions to increase the women's combat strenghts and responsibilies? I think a few years, womens role in the total combat senerio will seem the norm.

    January 25, 2013 at 12:38 am | Reply
    • Jim

      Simple answer?
      Physical strength.
      Namely upper body strength.

      Man OR woman, you should not be allowed near the front lines if you can't carry or at least drag a 200lb man off the battlefield.
      Otherwise....what good are you?

      January 25, 2013 at 8:25 am | Reply
  36. Nicholas

    I think that the women a allowed to be able to fight in the u.s. military and have rights of freedom.

    January 25, 2013 at 12:17 am | Reply
  37. US Army Sapper

    I love how all these so called experts posting comments here have never served in a Army or Marine Infantry, Armor, Artillery or Engineer unit. They are quick to state that their brother or father or someone they know served.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Reply
    • TexasMarine

      I concur. There is no other profession that so many people that have no knowledge or expertise in, and yet feel they have insight on this matter.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:11 am | Reply
  38. Chris

    This is a terrible idea. Politics and war have an absolutely dysfunctional relationship and yet we continue to let them play together. I remember being in basic training and having to carry the rucksacks and weapons of women who couldn't carry it during ruck marches. And the don't let me even start with the one that had to have the drill sergeant cover her eye with a sheet of paper because she couldn't understand the concept of closing one eye while firing a weapon. Yet we want them to be in the infantry? The military, in general, will do what it takes to keep you in as it has already invested money the second they put you on the bus/plane.

    Let's see how many people feel the same way when they behead a female soldier like they did Daniel Pearl.

    There is no equality in war. There are winners and losers. Sometimes you can't distinguish the two.

    January 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  39. Jamie

    Alot of men here are getting a little too emotional for my taste, and its affecting your judgment. How about you get the sand out of your shaft's before you post such drivel. It doesnt make sence why you come here to patronize all American women for not taking their share of bullets in war, and not losing their share of limbs and YEAH they're finally gonna get their heads blown off!!! - Maybe read the article to realize that women are putting themselves out there to take their equal share of the burden, might save you, your son or grandson from a draft some day. Remember corporal Upham in "Saving Private Ryan" yeah, ALL men are cut out for an infantry type role lol.

    January 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Reply
    • Grrrrreat

      Well said! It's more about ego!

      January 25, 2013 at 9:00 am | Reply
    • John

      “ALL men are cut out for an infantry type role” No they are not. As a former Marine I will tell you not many men or women are ready for what it means to be in a combat unit. Yes there are a lot of physical demands put on your body ( The weight of the gear, peace of the mission, and the constant demand of pushing through pain) that even some men are not able to endure. PSD is a real. Combat troops train every day to inflect death when ever called upon. Combat troops are not mindless killing machines. After that fact, it sets in what you just have done. You can justify it however you can but men come back from combat very different and some men so different they are never the same. I have two daughters; I may not be able to stop them but I will try so that they don’t have to face the mental agony that fellows combat troops. It’s something that we have to deal with for the rest of our lives. That’s how I justify it all.

      With that said females in this country out number male 50.9% to 49.2%. A day may come when this is a pointless debate. When females out number male so greatly they will have to take a greater role in combat. Until then, leave it to us. Don’t be in a hurry to face this burden.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:10 am | Reply
      • Grrrrreat

        I think she met that sarcastically. As far as step back and wait, why wait until its a must? Shouldn't' women be getting training to be ready for that task now? that's the problem with us now, we wait to the last minute to resolve the problem and then were left scrambling to get it fixed by the deadline, while running the risk of a complete meltdown. It seems to me being prepared is the better option.

        January 25, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • RED

      Timothy E. Upham was cartographer and translator not a "grunt" that being said he didn't serve in an Infantry role "Combat". Nothing else follows.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Reply
    • Marine & Marine Dad

      Remember corporal Upham in "Saving Private Ryan" yeah, ALL men are cut out for an infantry type role lol.

      Yeah, s*** bags like that are a result of the draft. The draft is a result of desperation, the fear of not having enough expendable lives to carry out war. G.I. Jane was a movie too! The chance of a female making it through SEAL training is so absolutely remote, it would be a waste of money and time looking for those that were actually able.

      Give them what they ask for. Let's see how many could actually make it through SOI. If possible (which I doubt if requirements are kept the same), after they complete SOI, keep them segregated until there are enough of them to create their own Company (this alone would take several years). At that time, put them in a combat situation on the front line on their own, separate from their male warriors. Then let them prove their worth. If you want to compare apples to apples, this would be the only way. Without sacrificing men in the process because they would act differently if there were to be women on the front line with them.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  40. Kevin

    Nice to see women FINALLY have true, equal rights...meaning they can finally have THEIR heads blown off, too. LOVE IT

    January 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  41. politicaldanny

    Read my opinion here, http://politicaldanny.wordpress.com/

    January 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  42. BLOGGAH

    I'M ALL FOR EQUALITY, AS SUCH, A 300 POUND WOMAN SHOULD BE ABLE TO PLAY CENTER FOR THE NY GIANTS WHY NOT, COME ON GUYS, WE HAVE TO OVERCOME OUR DIFFERENCES THE NFL LIKE THE MILITARY SHOULD BE CO-ED, WHILE WE'RE AT IT WHY NOT BASEBALL AND BASKETBALL, WOMEN SHOULD HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITY AS MEN. EITHER THAT, OR SET UP "MEN'S UNITS AND WOMEN'S UNITS" LIKE WE DO IN SPORTS, THE MEN'S SOCCER TEAM AND THE WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM. IT'S NOT DIFFERENT.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Reply
    • Jamie

      Wow, off topic much? Who asked to be a line backer for an NFL team?? Not the same thing at all dude, not. at. all.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  43. RamblingMarc

    To determine how the women will perform in combat, let us first integrate them in such men's games as football, basketball ,soccer, and allow them to compete in the track and field events in the Olympics. That will give us idea about how they will perform in battle field along side their men, and against combatant army.

    January 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Reply
    • Alan

      Modern combat doesn't often resemble a contact sport, though your point is taken. If ever there was a time when male and female fighters were equalized, it's on today's 'battlefields'.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • Gadflie

      Right, and while we're at it, let's test the men in the same way. Let's take a typical all-male infantry platoon and have them compete in an expanded finals of the Olympic 100 meter sprint. Do you think that any of them will be within 10 m of the leaders at the end? Would you?

      January 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  44. spent

    Served in Vietnam and would not want to have a 110 lbs woman pull me out of harms way when I was weighing 228 lbs. I do not envy males that are going to depend on a woman to save a male of whom out weighs them 50 to 75%.

    January 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Reply
    • Grrrrreat

      First, thank you for your service. To reply to your comment, as I've stated before, women will need to be able to MEET the same standards as a man. If she doesn't make the cut them she won't be there. Your argument does not hold true for every man either. There are size and weight differences in men too, and not even man can physically pull out his fellow soldier if there's a difference in weight and size.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:09 am | Reply
  45. Theroadhouse

    This is the biggest joke ever. Women have no place in the infantry. Women in the military is already a big enough joke. Just go ask anyone what a wook is! I for one will never take orders from a women nor show them any type of a respect. I've dealt with women in combat before and the only thing they did when we got into a fire fight was get in a ball and cry. We even had 1 group of female shoot at us coming back from a patrol. And i guarantee all there gonna become is the number 1 barracks rat and get passed around more then a dirty mag on deployment....

    January 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • Grrrrreat

      You are pitiful! Grow up and get your head out of your ass, stop making excuses for why women shouldn't be in the military, many male soldiers can be described in the same manner you just stated above. Trust me I know a lot of guys that would fall under the definition of a "wook"!

      January 25, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
  46. speake

    OK Ladies...gear-up & fall-in...Death is an inglorious disrespecter of all persons. So, embrace the Banshee's cacophony and take your place alongside history's forgotten fallen. Brotherhood welcomes all who dare. Take care and work hard not to disappoint, since equality is a feeling defined and enjoyed only by the living. Memorials and fine bronze statues may be replicated with heroic, look-a-like abandon, but they feel nothing and suffer nothing except the changing elements.

    January 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  47. violet

    I think letting women join in in combat is fair. Women can be just as strong as men. Women may seem like delicate little flowers but women are not delicate little flowers. Women are strong, confident, and smart. And it's not fair if men are only aloud in the marines or army because women are no different.

    January 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  48. Jargon

    I understand why its unfair that women haven't been officially given combat jobs. However I dont think this is about fairness as much as it is about trying to have equal benefits. But if we truly follow this through to its logical conclusion you have to talk about what happens if there is a draft. I can just see it now. We'll have to have a rule where both parents couldnt be drafted into service at the same time. Then there will be a scenario where the mother gets drafted. But wait she's pregnant. Should that matter? Well technically no, because the Supreme Court says in the first trimester the unborn child doesnt matter so if she wants to go she can otherwise it violates her 14th amndmt rights. So off she goes to war. Meanwhile her husband stays home with the kids even though he's 6'2", 200lbs and runs a 4.40 fourty and is a whiz with a rifle. Then the next month his draft number comes up and he stays home because you cant draft both parents. What the hell are we doing?

    January 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  49. etownwyo

    If they want to go and fight like a man they should die like a man. You have all these women that are she men wanting to marry women. Let them have at it.

    January 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  50. nanna

    what if the government just gives the wemen a whole bunch of steroids while they are on their periods?LOL. Come on, Women need to be at home with the children. Look at what has happen to the state of the family and family traditions since "the woman " has left the home to pursue a career? The family structure FELL APART BECAUSE THE WOMEN WAS NOT THEIR TO KEEP IT TOGETHER.What if a female pow gets caught, raped, and gets pregnant by her enemy????. Women are not stronger then men and they NEVER WILL BE!
    Their are just some things men can do that women cannot,this also applies to combat. I don't ever want the government to have the excuse to draft females!!! Just because some crazy ass females who think they are men want to join in combat and be fine with it . I don't want to fight he rich man war either.

    January 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • Grrrrreat

      Do you really think, that men will always be in the position to protect this country? Women can have the same will and devotion to want to stand up and protect her country. She too can have a strong sense of duty and commitment. We forget that these are women who WANT to be a soldier. It is a choice they are making. If they can do it and want to do, who are you to tell her no?

      January 25, 2013 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Morgan

      I have wanted to be a soldier since I was 3, and I have been training to do so. I do not want to have standards lowered for me because I am female. When I am a soldier I will be because I made it through every training program and have passed all the tests and requirements.
      And how dare you say women should be confined to domestic life, this is the 21st century not the 19th.
      I will be a soldier, I will serve my courty, I will fight for what I believe in, and I will not hesitate to take a shot to save lives!

      February 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  51. must

    We must let them do it if they want- or else they'll throw a hissy fit- that what the politicians care about. Besides that look how cute, and how good they feel about themselves in the uniform, that's the real reason we need to do this. So they can feel good about themselves.

    January 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • womensrugbyforall

      Like Gay marriage, you don't have to accept it, you only have to respect it. Women need to be given equal rights as men, but not just in some cases. Equality needs to be across the board and cannot exclude sensitive things like marriage and military status. This is a huge step forward to empowering women. I am so proud that I can live in a country where people are tolerable of equality if not an advocate.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Reply
    • Grrrrreat

      That must be your ego talking!

      January 25, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply
  52. Sgt (ret) Rick

    So are we going to act like 11B are not seperated at all times from other MOSs. Even going home I had to be segragated from all other MOS tents while flying out of Bagdad. When I questioned it it was stated that we insulted and harassed the female soldiers??? I dont know what else to say about that. Also the not showering for a week is par for the job.. Women need to clean more often, to compare a CA or Transpo position to infantry is people that dont know what they are talking about wanting equality. I dont think women are to weak, just that the medical, social, and harrasment issues are HUGE. this is just to feel good and people please understand, HAZING is there.. it is needed to keep unit disipline and unity. THis will end with females added. I have served on both sides of this line, there is a clear diffrence, they can be in the other 200 jobs the army has, grunt JUST DOESNT WORK

    January 24, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • Sapper

      I agree, Infantry, Engineers and tankers MOS's are no place for females.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Reply
      • Jamie

        Combat engineer is not a trade many men are cut out for, and will likely remain one of the few trades that is hard pressed to find the rare woman capable of handling those kind of demands. JTF2 in Canada is open to women and there has only ever been one female assaulter. Which is cool with me.

        January 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Grrrrreat

      SGT Rick, if a women can prove she is capable than it is her choice to be placed in those situation. You are placing those limitations on women, buy telling them they can't do it. If she's proved herself by meeting the same standards as a man, then she has the right to be in any one of those MOS's. the same goes for any man capable of doing the job. I have personally witness men in key jobs that could not hold true to the tasks and requirements of them and they are still placing others in harm. When do we consider that no limitations are allowed in those positions? For man or women.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:52 am | Reply
      • Howard

        You can say that if a women can prove that she can do the same as a man she should be allowed. Well, I will almost bet you they will lower physical standards to increase the amount of women in these roles. And that will be damaging to our militarys readiness. That will bring the entire military down. For a political show, they will lower standards and say," see, they can do it". I believe women do have a role in the military. But in the infantry?When I went through basic and AIT we lost more than 1/3 of our company because they could not handle the physical and mental pressure. These were all men, and many quit and were crying for momma. Some were injured and had to be discharged on medical. Now, you see Panetta already talking about our Special Forces? Elite groups? PUH-LEASE! very few men get through the first night. But to make a point, they'll lower the standards and make it easier to accomadate women and you'll see press clips and propaganda showing some women having made it through.

        January 28, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  53. nomad2003

    just do not lower the physical requirements. The weight of gear to be carried get very heavy after 10 hours of hauling it around. Yes there are some females that could pass. But in general, more women will fail then men.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  54. Bang bang

    Yeah off topic but did you know that a large gathering of baboons is called a congress ironic isn't it?

    January 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • pradakidd

      omg what is this country coming 2 i'm honestly glad i am no longer apart of the u.s military 1st the gays , men who pose as women and now women come on i don't want my wife fighting in a combat zone, this is truly abominable to the armed forces please prepare for a massive failure. I mean come on GAYS & WOMEN IN COMBAT ZONES " IT DOES NOT TAKE A HISTORY CLASS TO FIGURE OUT WE ARE SETTING OURSELVES UP FOR FAILURE BY ACCEPTING THESE PEOPLE OVER ABLE BODY WELL QUALIFIED MEN WHO DESERVE THE RIGHT OF OPTION TO BE IN THE ARMED FORCES SOME OVERSEEING THIS BILL SHOULD NOT PASS THIS OR WE ARE ALL GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET"

      January 24, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • cagetch

        There have been females and gays in a combat zone for the last ten years! – Female, Officer, 2x Combat Vet!

        January 25, 2013 at 7:37 am |
      • Grrrrreat

        What misguided beliefs you have. Where have you been the last 10 years in the womb?

        January 25, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  55. masherwould

    I don't think the women should NEED to be able to do all the same physical activities as men. Men and women are fundamentally different, and we shouldn't try to change that.

    Rather change the criterion to select the most capable and fit women. Then put them in roles that are perfectly suited for their strengths. They could be required to be more agile and flexible, rather than buff and burly...but still capable of excelling in the horrors of combat.

    In special forces this would be very helpful. Think how much more covert a woman running around in a Burka would be. Think of all the weapons and stuff she could pack under one of those!

    January 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Bang bang

      Those physical activities and criterias were placed there for combat though and they have done that with woman in support roles like this one for all you ladies is the apache helo we use for air support is a female and has helped us out of some not so great situations is that not equal and company related enough for you all.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • dztz111

      What u all dont undestand is that we will have a generation of broken women due to the work and stresses an infantry man goes through. I did 5years in the Marine Corp as a radio operator . I was in very good physical shape and conditioning. I got out with shot out knees and a bad back. And i wasnt even a grunt. There is no doubt woman can fight when need be, but to be an everyday grunt is gonna leave a lot of broken women.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Reply
      • Grrrrreat

        So be it, it's her choice. There will always be broken women no matter what they do!

        January 25, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  56. RR

    @john, Funny when I was in there were a lot of men doing the same thing. If they could claim there were pregnant they would have.

    January 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  57. rc0101

    It's actually been scientifically proven in Air Force combat pilot testing in the G force simulator that women do much better than men because of their smaller frame and don't black out as much as men. Plus they're more nimble so they'd be great for Navy seals stuff. Throw a sniper rifle with a silence on them and send them shimmying up the closest tree is what I'm thinking.

    January 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Reply
    • aberkromby

      Do you even have any idea what SEALs do? A 110 pound "nimble" woman will not be able to haul 40-100lbs of gear up a mountain, under fire, for a sustained length of time. Let alone do all of the above while also carrying a 230lb wounded male teammate (plus his 50-100lbs of gear) back down the same mountain. That goes without mentioning what might happen to any female combat soldier who were captured by the enemy.

      Women do have a place in the military. They've been flying attack helicopters for years. But putting them on the front lines and in special warfare roles for the sake of equality, that's just stupid and irresponsible.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
      • rlc

        I love how you rationalize inequality by using stereotypical blinders on. You assume all women weigh 110 pounds to be nimble. The Army medical chart for a woman 5'4 states you can be as heavy as 140. So let's assume the average is 125 since the average clothing size for a woman is a 14-16. Sorry to burst your bikini-clad, sportscar model forced-fed into our advertising for the past century bubble. Besides, do you honestly think a 110lb nimble man would be able to lug your 220lb fat a$$ plus all your stuff up or down a mountain? Oh wait, he'd be a man, and by default of having man genes, he can lift things that heavy.

        January 25, 2013 at 1:38 am |
      • Edward

        I doubt that a small man could carry someone that big either . I wouldput up my 5ft 8 187 lbs sister against you anyday bro she would kick your azz and she isnt fat either she is all muscle and she is also 50 therefore your logica is illogicalI d ont tthink gender should play any role in anything but physical andmental abilities should further more if your that large unless the guy is linebacker your not gonna get carried dragged or otherwise lol

        January 25, 2013 at 6:21 am |
      • Grrrrreat

        Good grief, you are assuming a women is 110 lbs. get real, if a women can prove that she is capable of doing the task by passing the same standard as her male comrades, then she is more than capable. Think outside of the box!

        January 25, 2013 at 10:04 am |
  58. Bang bang

    They did a while ago the SEER course has a female only SEER school they implemented after the whole Jessica what's her face in the Iraq invasion

    January 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  59. apotas

    so most women can't hack physical requirements for training.
    are you all blind, or do you not realize that most american men can't either?
    dear god, we're a nation of overfed, diabetic blimps clutching cheddar bacon cheeseburgers like security blankets.
    the fact is that some women CAN hack it physically. maybe less than men. but don't disqualify them on the sole basis of them lacking a certain physical organ.
    women serving equally in combat should mean that we sign up for the selective service and adhere to the same guidelines and tests.
    any other argument against women serving in combat, i.e. menstruation, the servicemen won't be able to handle their hormones, women are hysterical, is completely irrelevant and asinine and will not be addressed.

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

      Actually it isn't completely irrelevant but that is why there will be some jobs Women will still be excluded from. Go be a scout behind enemy lines while you are having your period and see how fast their dogs might sniff you out. Whether it can be helped or not, this happening could very well get you and whoever you are with killed.

      I do however agree to making the physical standards for all women in all branches of the military equal to those of men.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Reply
      • apotas

        Ok that is a good (albeit weirdly specific) point. Mine was directed more toward the "We'll have to airlift tampons" or "They'll get pregnant to get out of combat duty!"

        January 24, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • Grrrrreat

        You obviously haven't heard that periods can be stopped by a simple birth control shot or pill.

        January 25, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Rogue

      Women already get pregnant to get out of deployments, sorry but seen it. Also, how can they be effective leaders if/when they get pregnant and can't lead their Soldiers. The Infantry isn't a desk job.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Reply
      • Michelle

        This is true women do get pregnant to get out. There needs to be strict rules made about this. Maybe even punishments. I know that seems extreme but we can't have that happening.

        January 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Dub

      Of course you're a vegetarian! There is no way you could hack it for a day in infantry training. why dont you find something else to do...........you're a talker. blah blah blah

      January 24, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Reply
    • Dub

      You hate all men, and if you're dating one, he's probably an unhappy individual. keep on hating. you can sure type well though. keep your a$$ where it belongs, behind a computer.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Reply
      • apotas

        This was such a weird comment.

        January 25, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  60. Anthony

    The sad truth to the matter is women don't want to do this to fight, they only want to do it to say they can do what the men are 'allowed' to do. For one I am fine with it as long as it is equal across the board. Women pt standards the same as mens (EVERYWHERE, not just combat arms. It is the same for men in any MoS), you can't simply say it should be this for some and that for others. Equal treatment in basic training/AIT... which i guarantee won't happen. Draft for everyone, all women just like all men. If purposefully injuring yourself to get out of deployment is a chargeable offence, so should be getting pregnant.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • Luana

      Agreed certain standards, rules, regulations, etc need to be put down. I am all for this as I mentioned before, however this needs to be acted out with care.

      Men are stronger then women. It is just fact there is nothing we women can do about it. However there are exceptions. and the exceptions are the women who should be allowed to be in combat. Period. We can not make exceptions just to be equal it would be unfair.

      However the people making the stupid sandwich, period, and girly girl comments your making your self look stupid. Use actually real mature reasons.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • Bang bang

      It is unplanned pregnancy is grounds for chapter if seen fit by the unit cmmander

      January 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Morgan

      I am a woman and have been wanting to go into the military since I was 3. I don't want to go into the military and fight just to say I am better then men I want to go into the military because I want to serve my country to the fullest extent. In addition, I don't want stands to be lowered not epect them to be lowered for me or any other women for that matter, that standards are that the standards. I will serve my country, I will work everyday until I can, I will fight, and I will succeed. Semper Fidelis!

      February 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  61. Luana

    No No No. Women in combat roles? Hell yeah. However standards NEED to be risen.

    This is coming from a women who plans to join the military. This is combat. this is people shooting at you. This is the possibility of POW. I truly believe that some women can handle combat roles just as good as men, but not all can.

    If women want to be in combat roles they need to meet the same standards as men. This is not a game we can not lower our standards just to let us in. I am sorry fellow ladies, but it is the truth. I want us to be equal to men. And to do that we need to meet their physical standards as well.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • theyear1986

      Agreed.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • SB1790

      Gays in the military and women in combat? Well I must say that I would probably feel quite safe behind a very butch lesbian with an AKA.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • Sheilagh

      Hear! Hear! If a woman wants to be eligible for a combat position, she should be able to pass the same tests men do. Israeli women have been doing REQUIRED service (including combat) for years.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  62. theyear1986

    This comment thread sickens me. I'm a strong female, but would never want to serve. But women who want to serve their country who can perform the necessary tasks – carry the equipment, pull their comrade out of danger, mentally prepare themselves to kill the enemy – should be able to. These comments I'm reading are disgusting. "she'll have her period", "want her lipstick", "go makE me a sandwich instead".. The women who want to serve aren't Barbie dolls. Have you fools met a strong, determined woman? Apparently not- they are probably too smart to talk to you.

    And for people saying this will distract men, that says more about the idiotic men then the women.
    The only incapable women in this conversation are the ones dating some of these people commenting. They must be desperate and weak females!!!!

    January 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • truthbetold

      To theyear1986. Did you already know that physical standards for females in non-combat roles in the military are already lowered and have been since the beginning? Marine Corps for example. Men must complete 20 dead hand no swing pull ups for achieve a perfect score. At the present time woman are not required to do pull-ups at all. I hear the screams of equality, but never heard any female military or civilian scream they wanted to do 20 pull-ups. Where are all the cries of inhumanity, discrimination, fair play etc. on these issues of lowered standards we have right now? Equality is fine when is appeases the minority but not when it is the standard for the majority. Careful, I already see the double standard in action even before the new law takes effect.

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

        I am sure the enemy will be impressed when you are doing pull ups for them. Hey, hold on, don't shoot, I can do 20 pull ups. Watch!

        January 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • 1775

        To thruthbetold: Just so you know the Marine Corps is making females do pull ups starting next year and this year it is optional. Oh and another thing females have been asking for this change for awhile... policy takes time to change . Also by the way female here and Marine and I can do 11 pull ups and a lot of other females can do just as many or more so, they can prove to the men they can do it.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • truthbetold

      Citizen Twain. You do understand the basic concepts of war fighting dont you, its does get physical you know? Do you really believe its all XBOX ? It does require upper body strength . Last time I put on my pack and pulled myself up into the back of a 7 ton five feet off the ground those pullups sure paid off, not to mention we were in a real hurry. Also upper body strength will help you pull your head out of your buttock, you should try it.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Reply
      • Citizen Twain

        By your rude comments I can tell you are a true gentleman, well, I declare.

        January 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • truthbetold

      I have never been accused of being a gentleman on the battle field on 5 differnt tours.. YOUR WELCOME, now wrap up in that warm blanket and sneer at the world..

      January 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
      • theyear1986

        A true hero asks for a thank you...oh wait.

        I am trying that if women pass all requirements, they should serve. If the tests are skewed, that's something that should be addressed, but that doesn't mean that a woman won't be able to pass the correct test. Believe me, I know a few women who could do 20 pull ups and kick your butt at the same time.

        January 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  63. erexx

    There are some women soldiers who are just better than the men.
    The deserve to be able to shoot back.
    There are a lot of male chauvinists with seventieth century mentalities on this board.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • Bang bang

      Ok this whole now they can shoot back argument is dumb over seas everyone carries a weapon regardless of gender and you ammo so who said they can't shoot when they need to you really should stop using that as your justification

      January 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
      • erexx

        You missed the first sentence.
        They also don't complain as much.

        May 13, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  64. Michela

    Is combat for all women? no. I can agree with this. However there are women who can get the job done and well. You can not make all women suffer just because some can't do the job. Same for men.

    I think that standards for women who want to be in combat roles should be heightened or made the same as men.

    All these negative comments really do disgust me however. We are in 2013 and yet we still have hate. With the right standards and training a women can be ready. There are of course a few rules that I think should also be enforced but I am sure that will come.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  65. jimmy

    bottom line is that women cant meet the standards of man, therefor u will have female soldiers in combat units that have lower standards than men. weaker military!!!

    January 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  66. richmeister1203

    This is not about a contest to prove that women indeed can stand shoulder to shoulder with men in battle. To kill and be killed. Women can offer a whole lot in the military but to actually serve in the front lines , seize a machine gun nest or assault a heavily fortified bunker is hopefully, not an option. It is best to leave this part to the men.
    In 1942 Bataan, women served heroically side by side with their male counterparts by nursing the badly wounded. They were less than 50, captured and interned, and after the war, was awarded medals for gallantry. Their contribution to the war effort was exemplary and they didn't have to kill.

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

      Russia used females snipers and Russian women are hot. You should reconsider.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Reply
      • richmeister1203

        Russia was invaded and similar to the Israelis, their very existence was on the line. When that happens everyone has to fight. Besides, Russia was then led by a murderous tyrant who only cared about keeping his power intact.

        January 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  67. john

    i recommend having women in their own unit that do all the check points and guard towers. they can till hold a gun and wont get other soldiers killed in real combat

    January 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • Anthony

      MP's man many check points and towers, and women are already allowed.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • erexx

      They are already serving with men.
      At least now they can shoot back.
      Never been in the service have you?
      I would take some of those women over some of the men all day long.

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

        Serving with men and serving with men in the positions they previously could not are totally different things. Many MOS's have dorm style rooms during basic and AIT so this works for them. Take Infantry for example, however. 1 big room, guys sleeping in whatever they want to, 1 bathroom, 1 shower room, Drill Sergeants who will smoke you over anything and not care if you are dressed or not... How exactly is this going to work with women besides cause many lawsuits in the future or need millions upon millions of dollars to be spent to renovate all of these currently functional barracks and dumbing down the working methods of training, which will in turn weaken all of our combat arms soldiers.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • erexx

        Been there. Same thing exists for the females. Female drills are just as nasty as the Males. Nothing weakens our fighting force more than War without end. Its already works. No need to renovate anything.

        May 13, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  68. Joseph McCarthy

    I never seen so many ignoramuses comment on any one website as I do here. Don't these people know that there is absolutely no glory in killing people? Now these broads think that there is! Killing is but one thing only, bad, bad and bad! This kind of ignorance here is truly nauseating.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Sorry Joseph, you're only wasting your time here. You simply cannot cure stupidity no matter how hard you try! It's the kind of people who keep on vomiting their ignorance here who'll eventually bring this country to it's very knees!!!

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

      How the hell do you think America got to where it is today? No one is saying they want to kill only that if it means to protect our country (which includes you) then if we have to kill to save millions of lives then a women should have the choice to be included in that protection. How bad was it when we were attacked on our own soil....rant your comment to the families of the loved ones lost during that killing. You nauseat me with your stupidity.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Reply
      • George Patton

        How do you know Grrrrrt, that 9/11 wasn't an inside job? I don't myself but I strongly suspect that it was! Never put anything past the C.I.A., never!!! Besides, 9/11 was a boon to the Bush administration as he got the so-called Patriot Act through Congress and provided the perfect pretext for the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001!

        January 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
      • Citizen Twain

        Now that is a whole other can of worms.....

        January 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • Grrrrreat

        George, ummmm were you in the pentagon? It really disgusts me when everyone makes assumptions about Bush and the reason behind the war on terror. Hello! Get real, lets place blame where it belongs. Clinton administration completely ignored the signs of the attack on America for his political party. Bush cleaned up the mess!

        January 25, 2013 at 8:25 am |
      • Morgan

        George, I have never, not once, thought that the events that took place on September 11th 2001, were planned by people in the U.S. government, and I was someone who was directly affected. I am personally appalled at that idea, but then again I have never been aconspiracy theorist.
        Nevertheless, being someone who was directly affected, I am not one to go and point fingers or blame the former presidents for the September 11th events, the President, all presidents that is, have an extremely stressful job and what happenes during their addmistration (whether they are involved or not) it is automatically "their" fault, and I believe that in certain cases, such as September 11th, that it was not a single man's fault.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
  69. john

    a female in basic training with 60 men that havent had female company in 4 months. GREAT IDEA PANNETTA!!!

    January 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • erexx

      They are already serving with men.
      At least now they can shoot back.
      Never been in the service have you?
      I would take some of those women over some of the men all day long.

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

      OMG! A female recruit in a middle of 60 lads who hasn't had a female companion since they were wisk away in boot camp. She better be smart tactically and never apply perfume or she will be like a gaselle in a middle of feeding primal frenzy.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
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