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 (3,524 Responses)
  1. Sidb1980

    Yea! It is about time! Good to hear.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply
    • john-117

      You don't see any consequences of this? What about the fact that women aren't built for war? What is a female soldier going to do when she is having cramps? Or if she is to face a much larger male combatant in close combat? I'm sure she will be able to carry a wounded comrade to safety.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Reply
      • tethys

        You really need to educate yourself on modern methods of birth control, first of all. Second, she'll either win or lose. Duh. And third, well, I hate to burst your bubble but the United States Military's number of enlisted personnel is dropping like flies. No one wants to enlist during wartime. If you want to continue to HAVE a military then you're going to have to make some adjustments because it appears not that many MEN are up for it.

        January 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • erexx

        Zero problems.
        Your way behind.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Jon

      It's about time women were held to equal standards too, so I'm sure you're in favor of eliminating the female troops that can't pass the same standards as the males. Right?

      January 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Reply
      • cagetch

        Yes, there are already schools where everyone entering has to pass at the 17-21 year old male standard. The Army has been looking at changing the PT standards based on MOS or Branch. It is balancing the needs of the Army – enough people to do the job, and putting the right people in the right jobs. As it stands now, anyone who can't hack it physically either washes out or gets moved somewhere where they won't be a liability. I discharge soldiers, both male and female, for not being able to meet the standards. The sad fact is with the obesity rising we may not have enough young men and women to maintain our currently readiness levels.

        January 25, 2013 at 8:50 am |
      • tyciol

        I see potential problems with having a draft yet having people excluded from it for reasons of lack of fitness.

        This would promote people to be fat or just fake weakness in the arms to get out of service.

        January 26, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  2. kaneda

    Taking over the world plan
    1. Banned Assault Rifles!
    2. Getting as much troops as possible!
    3. Control US!
    4. Control China!
    If Failed sign up all the kids for combat...
    5. Success!!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Lionofbabel

      Women are known to be ferocious in any fight. It will be interesting to see them out there. Let us not forget that it is the female lions who hunt. If they can contain their fear, the enemy is in for a surprise awakening. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Should be hell hath no fury like a woman.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Reply
      • Marlon 45

        Yes the Female Lioness Do all the Hunting & when they 5 of them cannot take down a Cape Buffalo, It's the Male that comes in & Finish Him off, Besides they do the hard work & then the Big Males Eat all he want & leave them the scraps, thats why they're always hungry

        January 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
      • Ken

        Women are not physically built for this work and will fail. Fact.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • KJBANN

      That is EXACTLY what is going on here!!!!!!

      January 24, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  3. Rudy1947

    Won't know unless it tried. Go for it ladies, you want it, you got it, prove it. We'll see how you do.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • laura

      Thanks. We loved your movie.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  4. Amniculi

    Oh, and I don't know why you ladies have your ejection port covers open. Fix yourselves, Marines!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Common Sense

      Those broads are already off to a lousy start.....

      January 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  5. afkbrad

    When are the Kardashians headed to Afghanistan? I'll even buy their uniforms.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Common Sense

      Barbie Pink would stand out and deflect fire away from the real soilders....

      January 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  6. mgroman

    Served as a grunt through fallujah and ramadi with the 101st 506th...not some nancy POG unit or desk jockey national guard unit. Women in combat? Fine. Keep them seperated from the males, create their own brigade/battalion whatever and keep them away from any male. All support will be female, all combat support will be female. Why? Because I will not risk my mens lives to come to your aid when you cant hack it or drag your buddies off the field. Combat gear overseas had me at 160+200= 360 pounds. My own men struggled pulling me when I got hit with an RPG. Keep them away from us, let them fight but not near my 11B brothers.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • paullubbock

      +1

      January 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • STH

      Solution: require all frontline combat troops to pass the same physical fitness tests, no matter their gender. Fewer women will likely make the cut, but those that do will be just as strong as the men who make the cut.

      The IDF would also like to have a word with you about how mixed-gender combat units aren't feasible.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • Mark Packer

      If women can meet the physical demands, why not?

      January 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
      • alexusf

        Mark, they ARENT required to meet the same standards physically. Shouldn't they be?

        January 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • GeorgeW

      +1

      January 24, 2013 at 2:08 am | Reply
  7. semper fi

    I am 6' 200lbs with out gear...... if You can carry me out of harms way....I don't care who you are, what you are or what you believe.....just get me the F out of harms way and watch my back as I will do the same for you.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Sammy Z

      I'm male, 5'6" 165lbs, I couldn't even carry you in full battle rattle. And because I'm not an idiot, that is why I would never try to pull your *** out of the s*** without my (policy required minimum of 18 combat troops for all foot patrols) helping.

      Your argument is invalid

      January 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  8. Amber

    As a strong female active in sports and supporter of equality, I actually disagree with this.Live combat is meant for the strongest and most killing machine-types among humans, and that would be men. Women are not meant to kill. Women should create and sustain life. Leave the dirty work to the guys. ON THE OTHER HAND, if a person who happens to be female really wants to help fight, and can aim and pull a trigger, then why not?

    January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Wow

      leave the dirty work to men? that's nice of you. ever thought that this is how inequality began in the first place?

      January 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • Rubout

      Take the cannoli’s leave the gun.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Reply
    • Capster7899

      So women should be equal to men only when they want to be? Take 50% of only the jobs you want and never be expected to do any of the jobs you dont want to do.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Reply
    • hickiwawa

      Why not? Because you cannot "allow" women to join if they "want" to, but not then require all 18-25 year old women to register for selective service. That's equality. I don't know if we are ready to accept this as a nation – but you can't pick and choose here.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  9. Amniculi

    While we're at it, let's let women play in the NFL too. Let's see some male/female boxing matches or MMA. I'm sure this is all going to come out peachy-keen.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Yeah why not

      Sure, woman have been against men ever since I can remember. Why not let them fight each other? I'm all for it.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
      • tyuow

        Hel yeah id pay to see mike tyson against a woman of equal weight. Or even a women in the NFL doing a 2yd slant with Ray Lewis waiting midfield. Id love to see it the youtube highlight videos would be so epic even if it was just allowed in college id love it.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Letinoname

      Women ARE in MMA, stupid.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:01 am | Reply
  10. James

    Always wanted a female in a foxhole with me to cornhole !

    January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • BKLNUSMC

      I've always fantasized about snuggling up with a woman on a cold night in a fighting position. These young whipper-snappers are now able to do it. Lucky punks!

      January 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  11. pingpaul

    Kinder, kirche, kriegen as the Germans might say.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  12. hoapres

    Call me old-fashioned but women should not be in the military in the first place.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  13. SAYwHat

    All bad, been in the military for 5 years and can easily say I have never met a woman that could meet the exact standards that the men have to meet. We should not reduce these standards or qualifications but keep them in place. If a female can meet ALL of the quals then fine but I know nearly all wont be able to. As far as giving women a chance, they have been giving plenty and the jobs that are available to them in the military as of now are befitting to their qualifications.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Angel

      the only people I think would think this is a good idea are people that have never been in the military and would never go. This is dramatically horrific. I hate to think of guys in combat with women with them.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  14. afkbrad

    Our enemies live a 12th century lifestyle. They're not going to treat women with respect or dignity. They will gang rape any woman they capture alive. That's why I'm all for America's princesses getting dirty. Women need to die for their country by the millions just like men. Plus, it'll give men in the peak of their physical prime something to do when they're not fighting the enemy.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  15. palintwit

    Draft Sarah Palin. She can be in charge of the buttplug brigade. Every tea party patriot will want to join her unit.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  16. Marine Security Guard

    Ahhh....Leon, ever the good soldier. Hillary is getting slapped around in the Senate today and Leon jangles his keys and says "Look, something SHINEY!!!"

    January 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  17. sallymae

    I hate to tell you guys- but as a WOMAN VETERAN. We serve and do the same jobs as MEN and get the same pay OR HIGHER than men. Women out-rank men and there are more women officers than men.

    If you're too insecure to handle that- then prove it- put on a pair of combat boots and grow a some balls !

    I can bet the trolls sitting at home with beer- bellies and no job are the ones disrespecting the women who will be saving your butts ! Enlist- serve our country and then come talk to me !

    BTW- I can kick you ass any day of the week on twice on sunday.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • commonsense123

      can you kick 12 muslim terrorist who capture you and use you for their infidel dog plaything? what i didn't hear you?......

      January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply
      • Cindy

        commonsense – are you saying that YOU can beat up 12 men?

        January 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • STH

        Please, commonsense, elaborate on the time you single-handedly beat up 12 men who captured you, you burly manly man you.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Cindy

      Sallymae – As another female veteran, CHEERS. Best post I've seen on this thread yet. And thank you for your service.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Reply
    • SAYwHat

      Have fun with the hand to hand combat with the male enemies. And for my years in the military i have yet to actually see a woman be a guy up. Stop the bull please.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • Greg0311

      Sorry sweetheart, women account for a little less than 20% of all personnel in the entirety of the US Military.
      It, quite frankly, isn't possible that women outnumber men in the Officer Corps of any branch let alone in aggregate.

      Try again sweety.
      You can be anything you want to when you grow up, mommy said so.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Reply
      • laura

        Greg, Women are the greater number of college graduates than males and make higher grades than males. Have fun on the battlefield while we run the nation and the world. Remember, you made the rules. Males are born with greater strength, so you should fight the fights. Women are born with greater intellect, so women should do everything else.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • is this news

        I second that

        January 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • TJ

        Laura,

        Do you have any idea how condescending your post is? And do you have ANY idea how stats can be twisted and tilted? I do, and have many years of professional research in the area of statistical analysis (and several other top issues). Those stats you quote are tilted, and geared towards the feminist movement. The fact is women are of equal intelligence as men are, though it is a proven fact that GENERALLY women think contextually, and most men think judicially. And it is those thought processes that are used best in combat; thinking contextually can get one killed rather quickly.

        Also, it is a KNOWN FACT that pound-for-pound, men have greater upper body strength than women do. Something else to consider.

        January 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • fidgetwidget

      You took the words right out of my mouth! Thank you. And a message to those who think a woman can't pull a body weighing close to 300 pounds (body weight and equipment)...Um, yeah. Female EMTs/paramedics and nurses do it every single day.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Reply
      • SAYwHat

        Not in the same way infantry or other spec ops do. Remember there are female nurses and emts in the military they just arent in combat. There are even military police women but same for them, no combat roles. The majority just cant cut it.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Dusty2701

      Spoken like a true dike!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • is this news

      lmfao wow..just wow

      January 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • jim

      i served in the 75th ranger regiment 1st ranger battalion. u could not hang with me or anyone in my unit. women dont belong in combat units and are giver lower standards and special treatment. lets here what u have to say now

      January 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • Capster7899

      So have women died in war at the same rate as men? And if women are so equal as you say they are, should we demand that they do, or do they get the choice to or not?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • taurran

      You don't do the job of an infantryman. You don't carry combat loads or crew serves. The "kick your ass" comment just proves how delusional you are, and how much of a napoleon complex you have.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:05 am | Reply
  18. Alex

    This is completely fine and a good idea. Just make sure female and male soldiers go through the same training.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • laura

      As I understand it, males already have exceptions to their requirements based on age. If there are standards, then yes, let everyone meet them or be denied employment. Why is it suddenly a problem to alter the standards when women are seeking jobs? Because you are small in stature, most likely.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  19. Tom

    Love to see a Muslim terrorist loser being shot by a woman. OMG, what a nightmare for Muslims. Muslims can't oppress women when they are shooting at them.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • TJ

      You mean you'd like to see a Muslim being kiIled by a Jewish female soldier who is gay, and chomping a McRib sandwich as she bayonets him, just before she pulls out pages of a Q'aran because she ran out of sanitary pads, correct?

      January 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Reply
      • heh

        lmao

        January 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  20. Roger Browning

    Well, this just may be the ticket we have been waiting for to make this country truly sick of war. ie when girls and women start coming home in boxes and bags on the same scale as boys and men. If enough stomachs turn, maybe we'll find another way. Trouble is, our AQ, taliban and islamic jihadist enemies see things quite differently. As we all know, they view girls and women somewhere below stray dogs and just a smidge above rats, and will willfully chop female heads if the size of their pen*s is ever in question. But maybe that's just what we need to throw at these bast*rds!... Beautiful women warriors armed to the teeth, adorned with an American flag on their sleeve and a deadly aim on their trigger. Have a nice day, Allah.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  21. Umm...

    Congratulations ladies.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • commonsense123

      yep, another great decision by the amateur in chief. Congrats now your daughters are eligible to be drafted into combat positions if called up. Now they have equal opportunity .....to be tortured , raped and maimed. yep, great one obama.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • RyanWI

        Women can't be drafted. Nice try.

        January 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  22. Bill C

    Good. This way if we lose a war we can say "so what?" "You beat a bunch of girls."

    January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  23. TJ

    Wow... go to war, get some in the trench. Sounds good to me, Where do I enlist. I mean, I can just see it now... some big ole bIack guy pumpin' away on his knees while takin' aim at a talibani. What a sight to behold.

    More idiocy from the liberal left. Pretty soon we won't have a military. We'll have a social club in its place.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Patrick in Wisconsin

      You lost me at black man. Where do you live? Southern Mississippi?

      January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
      • TJ

        Pat, the reference to a black man I use is because so many are predjudiced, and referring to a black man draws on that... sad, but a fact of life. Blacks have to live with that stereotype at every corner...even though it is factually and statistically unearned.

        January 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Umm...

      I know dozens of women I'd rather fight with than someone like you pansy.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
      • TJ

        Then please, go play with your girlfriends asshoIe.

        January 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  24. Margarita

    I just got out a year and a half ago.. I did the same training all that would have changed would be my mos.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Enough!

      Margarita,

      As a former Drill Sergeant I could tell you that the only reason you think you went through the same training as everyone else is because the training that goes on in training units with females is way less rigorous. Besides, if you think that an infantry guy in a infantry unit carries the same weight or walk the same distances than you did in Basic training then you really have no idea what you are talking about.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply
      • Sazqwatch

        Right on!

        January 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Sazqwatch

      Really? The same? You had to do the same number of Push ups, sit ups, and the 2 mile run as the males? You had to hump a 100 lb rucksack for 15 miles without assistance? You never had a male help you when you couldn't lift something? You never were in the back of a road march with a NCO screaming in your ear to pick up the pace because your dragging everyone else down? Did you go to the field and get extra showers and extra time in the rear because you needed to personal hygiene time? If none of these things happened to you then, you are a rare one indeed. I appreciate and applaud your service, but I call BS that you did as much as the boys no matter what your MOS was.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  25. Infantry12

    This is ridiculous. Females in active military service have not subjected themselves to the same standards as their male counterparts. The combat exclusion reflects those females' notion of being special or not the same. The ACLU is not suing to promote equal treatment, but rather to assert that some pigs are more equal than others. Some females have been awarded Purple Hearts and combat awards, true. Now let's examine how those awards are awarded: By being wounded in action or by being engaged by the enemy. That means that if some American contingent is attacked by a mortar, all the service members within a X meters radius will receive the combat award. If there happens to be a female running to a bunker and happens to trip and brake an ankle, then that female is awarded a Purple Heart. Females do not actively seek out, find, engage, and destroy the enemy by means of fire and maneuver. Females are promoted based on shown professional potential, just like everyone else. They think that just because they get a Purple Heart they should get special treatment? Forget it. Why isn't CNN running the story of how the only female who volunteered to go to Infantry school flunked out? Women have every right to do whatever they want, but they shouldn't expect special treatments or accommodations for being females. Let's hope that in this case, equal actually turns out to be equal, not more equal than men.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Patrick in Wisconsin

      This specifically ends the "special treatment" women have had against going to combat. Again, why are you complaining?

      January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Al

      It's because ideological people like to ignore reality and think that if they market their ideas enough, reality will change. They don't know how the world really works.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • Al

        That said, as long as the same standards are applied to women, and it's proven that good order and discipline, combat readiness, etc etc won't be effected by this decision, then there shouldn't be an issue.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • ITSig

      I agree that there should be a single physical standard for anyone wanting to be placed into a combat role where direct physical contact is likely. Currently there is a male physical fitness test and a female fitness test which does not create an issue when the combat roles are segregated but will need to be taken into consideration when the combat roles come open. Although I think that many females may not be able to handle the physical challenges of Infantry jobs I think that some males currently in the military would also not be able to meet that standard and shoudl also be excluded from those jobs. There are also some women who will be able to meet the requirements. I spent 12 years in the Army, am a combat veteran (Signal Officer in a Tactical ATC unit), qualified as a Jumpmaster at the 82nd Jumpmaster course with a first time go (50% normal graduation rate of starting class), and maxed the physical fitness test every time I took it, twice on the male scale. By not being allowed into direct combat jobs female military personnel are offered significantly less promotion potential than male soldiers. Female soldiers, just like male soldiers, should be allowed the opportunity if they are capable. During past recent military conflicts females have been in direct engagement with enemy soldiers but it is kept quiet when it happens as it is against "policy". It would be curious to see the award write-up for one of the female soldiers who successfully engaged an enemy soldier.......I'm guessing the direct combat activity was never mentioned.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
      • Moggie

        Glad you mentioned that bit about women having engaged the enemy in combat during recent conflicts. I have also heard about that (and heard that their participation was necessary for a number of reasons). My guess is that this is a huge reason why Panetta is making this move. It is unfortunate that the involvement of women in combat (however informal or off-the-record) hasn't been officially recognized–not only is it unfair, but it prevents a meaningful evaluation of whether women really can perform this work. We're left with "no because they're smaller" or "no they can't do as many pushups" or "no they menstruate," with no actual evidence that women cannot serve in combat for these reasons. If, as a factual matter, women are already doing the work, the arguments about upper body strength or temperament aren't just speculative but irrelevant. If the military is employing its servicewomen in this capacity, then they should be getting the commensurate pay, recognition and opportunities. If they didn't meet the physical standards met by their male counterparts, that calls into question whether those assessments are really testing the relevant capabilities. I suspect that part of the ensuing inquiry will be a determination of which physical assessments relate to bona fide occupational requirements (the job requires performance of this physical task), and which test for physical fitness (the job requires this level of physical conditioning, endurance and resilience). Most physical fitness tests adjust the requirements for both age and gender because they are based on percentiles–they are a test of how someone compares to other people within her cohort. The top 2.5% of women aged 18-30 will have a lower average raw score than the top 2.5% of men aged 18-30, but it's still sufficient to place those women among the most physically fit people in the nation, male or female. If, for example, it's determined that the physical requirements of a particular position can be performed by men scoring above the 80th percentile on a physical fitness test (the fittest 20%, or statistically, 1 in 5 men), and women scoring above the 92nd percentile (the fittest 8%, or statistically, 1 in 13 women), or that another position requires a particularly arduous task that can only be performed those scoring in the 99th percentile on this test (the fittest 1% of all theoretical test-takers), that seems like much more useful information than whether women who want combat positions can do as many pushups as the men who currently hold them.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  26. Janice

    Fine, but thy should then also be forced to sign up for selective service.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • TJ

      You are absolutely right. If women want "equal", then let's give 'em equal and get them to start carrying their draft cards. No more escaping that.

      It'll be a military Patton, Washinton, Eisenhower, and many others would be "proud" and "secure" to have. NOT.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • laura

      Yes Janice. And your son and the rest of the male population should have to earn their livelihoods here the same way women do. If women are earning more of the degrees and better grades getting those degrees, they should be your son's bosses. After all, they will be here getting job experience while he is off in combat. Sounds good to me.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Reply
      • Joste33

        Since when does having a college degree make you fit to lead? I am a college graduate and a Marine Corps Officer. I know alot of college graduates who arent fit to lead a kindergarten class and alot of "non Educated" enlisted personnel who are better leaders than alot of Generals out there. America was built on the backs and MINDS of people who never went to college. A college degree looks great on paper but it does'nt make you any more qualified to lead or run business than someone who has been there doing it for 20 years or even 5 for that matter.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  27. Sylar75

    Personally I like the idea of women killng Muslim terrorists. What a total slap in their faces to be killed by someone they believe is so beneath the men. I agree it might be a distraction but I doubt the kind of woman who wants to be a Marine rifle.....um person would be someone very attractive to begin with. This isn't G.I. Jane we are talking about.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  28. Beth

    I don't think it's a good idea. I personally don't think women who have children have any business being deployed for months on end away from the children. And how about some practical considerations – biology is biology – women in the midst of battle will not be able to drop everything an run for the facilities because their feminine protection has failed. A fact of life people, women and periods are not going to work well in the battle arena. All of this equality has completely ignore the inherent natures of men and women. It's just stupid.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • Cindy

      First of all, what about women who don't want children? Tie those tubes baby! Secondly, if you haven't showered for a month, you don't really care if your pad has failed.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
      • 13directors

        Requiring women to forsake motherhood is beyond comprehension.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Kristina

      Beth, perhaps you should leave the choice up to women who are apparently more adept at handling their "biology" and their periods than you are. I have been through multiple deployments and not had any issue with either.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
      • TJ

        Krissy, you haven't been in combat. In fact, I highly doubt you've seen any kind of REAL violence in your life, or have been the target of assorted forms of violence (trust me, ANY determined man can and will have his way with you).

        Your femininity is where your speaking from, not good sense (It ain't common, or everyone would have it). Oh, and please don't tell me about the Israeli military; They are a small outfit compared to our ops.... extremely small, and for that reason, less is at risk – considerably less.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
      • Kristina

        TJ, you haven't been to spelling and grammar class in a while apparently. Please go enroll before we can converse further, sweetcheeks.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • TJ

        Lil Krissy,

        Apparently all these chemo drugs I'm on have me to the point I really don't care if I make some typos or not. And also apparently you are so anaI-retentive as to need to point that out, rather than reply to what I stated, which speaks volumes more about you, than it does me.

        I guess I should also say I write legal contracts, some up to 30-pages long, for our clients, and which are reviewed by teams of lawyers. I'm "word perfect" when I HAVE to be dear child. You ain't payin' me, so quit your complaining.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
      • Kristina

        TJ, I'm a lawyer, and I must say, if you write things that have to be reviewed by "teams of lawyers" you perhaps live in a different world than earth. Contracts, even large scale, may get reviewed by a few lawyers...not "teams." :) Nonetheless, all the best with your chemo and treatments.

        January 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • Common Sense

        Multiple deployments as what, the assistant cook?

        January 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
      • TJ

        Krissy, you're no lawyer, or you'd know better. Okay, maybe you are a lawyer, but certainly not a knowledgeable one. Our primary clients are large hospitals and large corporations, all of which have banks of attorney for various matters. Our contracts are essentially EULAs, specific to each organization we contract with, and meeting pre-agreed-upon criteria. My contracts are reviewed by my (corp) atty, rarely with any changes, if any at all. From there our contract is submitted to our client, and their banks of attorney. How many actually read our contracts is unknown (and unimportant) to me. Usually the only thing I hear back is that my contracts are "too tightly written, with no wiggle-room". So be it, they can either sign, or not. They always do.

        Maybe... just maybe, you should stop trying to have a contest with me. My points have all been valid about the issue being talked about. Yet you seem intent on competing with me on some sort of personal level... or simply wish to attack for some nefarious reason. Duly noted..

        January 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Sylar75

      Now my question is will they be able to hump up a mountain with 100 lbs on their backs? No offense to women but you ARE different. Women have an advantage in fighter planes with G force (due to their smaller build they can withstand more G's usually) but they have a biological disadvantage when it comes to strength. Its just evolution.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
      • guppy

        how many men do you know that can hump 100 lbs pack on their back?

        January 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • TJ

        @ Guppy: Most men can hoist a pack that size. I did, for many years, and on a regular basis. Most women will not be able to hoist, much less walk miles and miles, with that kind of weight. And if in combat, the results will be tragic.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • guppy

      Hate to break it to ya, but woman have been for quite some time deployed for up to a year away from their children as well as many men. One gender isnt more important than the other and its about time we grow up. WE already have women in forward area in support roles, they are already exposed to capture and assault. This changes nothing in that regard.
      Now other countries that's the real issue!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • TJ

        After reading your posts, I can see you're the kind of person who puts a bunch of tight-fitting washers on where a threaded nut should be.

        And I can also see you too have never seen the face of violence. It's something NO person should ever have to bear. Women in our society are our foundation – our sanity, and as a man, I appreciate that my wife knows NOTHING about what I've seen and experienced – and I've never been in the military, but have seen violence (according to my vet friends) worse than what is seen in combat. I won't go into detail. As I said, I'm happy my wife doesn't know and hasn't experienced what I have. Do I feel understood? Well enough to know she's where I draw my peace from, my calmness. And an occasional smack in the back of my head. :-)

        January 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
      • Kristina

        TJ, after reading your posts, I can see your're the kind of person I generally refer to as a "closet $ e x i s t." You are one of the guys who is threatened by women and thus likes to preserve the male status quo by trying to deny them opportunities in the name of "protecting them." Women do not need to be protected or shielded by the likes of you. We are intelligent, capable, independent, functioning adults, and we will decide on our own what we can and can't/will and won't do. We don't need your input on this anymore than you need our input on what you can and cant/will and won't do. I doubt this thought ever occurred to you.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
      • TJ

        @Krissy: Sorry, I just wrote a post to you, only to have it censored... for what though, I'm not sure. I didn't write anything foul or insulting... well, except for the word "s e x i s t", And I forgot to copy it before clicking post, so I lost it. D'uh. Anyway, I am not s e x i s t in any way, and that fact that you don't know me also says you're quite the assuming person who has assumed incorrectly.

        Quite the opposite; Most things men and woman are equal on. However, there are some things both women and men do better than the other. some have to do with their biology (women, greater leg strength, men, upper body strength, pound for pound), thinking processes (known fact, women think contextually, while men think judicially, GENERALLY speaking and as a {>66%} norm), and just "generally" overall.

        I'm not going to sit here and debate you all evening. You can call me whatever you want. But I'm as far from being s e x i s t as one can be. I just deal in reality, that's all. I hope you do, or will, too. Have a nice night. :-)

        January 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Female Soldier

      I wonder how many of the commentors are female... Okay, I am not combat arms, but I was attached to a combat arms unit and trained alongside the men. I held myself to the same PT standards as the guys and could run circles around most of them. I am half the size of most of them, but I still took them on during combatives (I lost like the other smallish male Soldiers, but I tried). I went to Afghanistan and fought alongside my male counterparts. The Afghans shot at my unit, not just the male Soldiers. I dodged bullets (and rocks) like the guys. The Afghans (Taliban/bad guys) see US SOLDIER and know KILL SOLDIER! So if bad guys don't distinguish between male and female, why should we? If a Soldier can hold the standard of combat arms it should not matter the gender-we are Soldiers; one team; one uniformed front; one force defending our nation. It's all volunteer, so let the brave person choose his/her path.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Reply
      • TJ

        1) You still were not in COMBAT. You were in a support position.

        2) Size is irrelevant. Biology is not, nor mental makeup, or MPI.

        3) Audie Murphy stood only a bit more than five-feet tall, yet is this nation's second most decorated hero. But I doubt you are able to understand the mechanics behind this man. It's nothing against you personally, you're just defensive of your position AND your gender. Stop it already... you're making women everywhere appear weak. Have a nice night... I'm outta here.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • laura

      Beth, people with your opinion should stay home and out of combat. Not all women are like you, so ignorant that they can't change a tampon. I hope your kids never get hungry, they'll starve while you stare at a Happy Meal trying figure out how to open the box.
      Now, I move to eliminate men from consideration for combat roles because of their sensitive testicles. Kick 'em, they drop like Beth's IQ. It's just biology, sorry guys. No more combat. But here's your cups. And a juice box.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  29. Brian

    Please make Gloria Alred a captain and send her sorry ass into battle!!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  30. levi

    Captain to women soldier. Oh my God, you have been shot. Female soldier, No it's that time of month!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  31. Eric

    The Misogyny on here is at once appalling...and expected...

    January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Moggie

      No joke. And I'm seeing an awful lot of emotional and irrational arguments about why women shouldn't serve in combat–from men.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  32. Izoto

    Not exactly a good thing.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • rh

      Because why? Because having a v-agina makes you incapable of making decisions and saving lives, or firing a gun?

      Yes, I guess it is more difficult for me to write my name in the snow, but other than that, get over yourself. If they don't rule out men who are short and have less fitness than average, they should not rule out women.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
      • idiot

        agreed RH. some of these dudes are little weaklings

        January 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • What!?

        They DO rule out men who do not meet the standards. And the standards for women are currently MUCH lower than their male counterparts. Make the standard equal.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  33. MrZaphod

    ...and so the yellow flag of liberalism has been officially raised ;)

    January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  34. Name*iceman

    There goes the military

    January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  35. Equal4All

    Feminists want equality then why do only men have to register for the draft?

    Double standard.

    Realist are gonna laugh when all of this feminism explodes in liberal's faces, but in the meantime let's register all women for the draft when they turn 18 just like the men must do.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • danita

      Lots of these women go for men 1st of all... 2nd if we didn't have so many sorry lazy men in this country women would have to be men... I've worked a very hard job in the past most were men, but I could out do half of them.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • 13directors

      Only women birth babies. Why is that?

      January 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • Michelle

      We don't have a draft anymore.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Reply
      • Ex-Infantryman

        All men at 18 must register with the Selective Service. That is what he is talking about not the draft. Its what they draw from when they draft.

        January 23, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  36. forreal89

    Woman cannot hang I saw it personally lower PT standards and easy basic training. This is going to be a bunch of females playing with the system and failing. You know the truth women different standards or lower the standards to accommodate.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • Prior Military

      Sorry but that might be the case for some women but not all! And you would find the same lack of strength in some men! When I enlisted I out performed every task given including firing range, physical strength (and I out performed the men) and intelligence! My opinion if a women wants to apply for a certain MOS let her try. Put her to the same tests as the men and if she passes let her go. You might be surprised that some would not only meet your standards but surpass them!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  37. Spud

    This only works if the women taking these jobs can pull their own weight and meet the same physical standards as the men, if they can't, they become a liability and endanger others that have to cover for them or carry extra gear because they can't handle the weight. Anyone who is prior military knows exactly what I'm saying. During combat you can't have one standard for men and one for women, it needs to be one standard. You meet the standard or you don't do the job.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      The Marine Corps allowed any woman that volunteered to attend the Infantry Officer Course and attempt to become an Infantry officer. Two volunteered. Both washed out in less than a month (one on the first day).

      If they can physically pass the SAME STANDARD that is in place for males, they can be in combat units.

      NOT UNTIL – and NEVER with reduced standards!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
      • spike

        Rest assured, the standards will be lowered. Just as the standards were lowered for cops, firemen, and many other jobs when the "chosen ones" could not pass. PC in the military.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • laura

        Haven't standards varied based on age? So, do you guys not want anyone older than you fighting with you either?

        January 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • BKLNUSMC

      Steroids, bro. Steroids is the answer for women in combat arms, especially the infantry. If I am hit, I'd expect my buddies to carry or drag me out. I just can't figure out how a woman can drag/carry a 230 lb. guy out of the line of fire

      January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • DeepeThought

      The military has already lower its standards when they made the obstacle courses and physical requirements different for men and women. Also, combat requires all soldiers to pull their own weight. When women are mixed with men, the men start watching out for the women more often and are not as able to do their own jobs. You will start seeing men die trying to protect the women. This is not about having the best military, it id about appeasing a voting block. This administration will do anything to stay in power or elect the next lib, even though it means hurting our country by weakening the military.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  38. Vincent

    We now lets make it really fair and make women between the ages of 18 and 26 signup for selective service just like the men have had to do.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • theemptyone1

      The trick here is that they will set one or maybe a few women into otherwise all male units. As my nephew found while in the Navy as a fireman, the one woman ended up doing the paperwork while the guys did the labor. I want to see all female platoons facing the Taliban in the field, carrying those 120lb packs for days on end. Put it to the real test. Otherwise, what I see is merely endangering the lives of the men just to satisfy PC politics.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  39. Jeff

    This is fantastic, as long as they make everything else equal. They should be expected to pass ALL the same physical requirements (which they don't currently). That doesn't mean lowering the bar and creating a sub-standard military either. Not sure why women aren't required to register for selective services now...?? Equal means EQUAL. I believe in equality of opportunity. Let's strive for it. If a woman can pass all the same tests, and be held to the same standards and expectations, she should be able to fight. – Sgt., USMC, 01-05

    January 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • jck

      I completely agree with you Jeff. How many women do you know that can pick up a 180-200 lb wounded man and carry him to a Dust-Off ? How many can hump a 65 lb. Ruck plus weapon and ammo for hours in 90 degree heat ? Lowered standards will get people killed.

      U.S. Army Special Forces, 1965-1971, SSG.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • securemycloud

        There are women that can do that too...You guys are so ignorant. - Former Military 13Bravo SGT, 1st Div, Big Red One...

        January 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • STH

        Then have them pass the same tests before allowing them in the role. Problem solved. Wow, that was so quick it almost seemed like an incredibly obvious and easy solution.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • laura

        Suddenly men are worried about equality when women want not a guaranteed job but an equal chance as men at a job. Where were these men when reports about discrimination in hiring, promoting and paying women have come out? That they have no problem with. These are not men. Men lift others up, they don't hold them by the necks under their boots. Men are intelligent and enlightened, not ignorant and bigoted. Men are not threatened by women, they are encouraging of them. I'm so glad my husband is a man, and God bless every man and woman in service to our country. The rest of you are boys and need to grow up.

        January 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • securemycloud

      We have women in Law enforcement that can drag policemen out of vehicles, as well as firefighters.

      You're still stuck in the old school of military thought..what are you, 98 years old? Time to get out once in a while and embrace change, you old fart.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  40. Joann

    I agree we should register for selective service. I would right now if required to. Think of this...now, maybe, the idiots in Congress will think twice before sending US service personnel to a foreign land to fight, get injured or die. Maybe if they see their daughters coming back in body bags then peace might break out. We can fight! Don't make the mistake we cannot hold our own...now let's work on not having to. Okay haters – let's have a go!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • CommonSensed

      I hate that you think having daughters come home in body bags would change the narrative over having only sons come back in body bags. A chid is a child and the death of one of our soldiers is never good.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Michelle

      Now if we can just get men to give birth, they would truly be equal to us...amirightladies....lol

      January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
      • laura

        Michelle, I know several situations in which the men could begin by just staying around after women have babies. But they aren't even strong enough to do that, so birthing might be a leap to say the least.

        January 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  41. Orac

    About time. In addition to women being able to do the job, not being able to serve in combat has limited their ability to get promoted and advance upward in the military. It's unjust. Other nations allow women to serve fully and there's no reason we shouldn't too.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Retired Military

      Limited promotion opportunity for women in the military? Think again... Currently it is easier for women to get promoted in the military due to having their own quota and having to compete with less people.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
      • Orac

        Up to a point. No combat service means they can't be promoted to some positions. I don't understand why people are so resistant to this. This just provides them the opportunity. The soldiers themselves will either succeed or fail, and I see no reason to expect them to fail just because they are women.

        And for all of you guys making jokes about foxholes and getting some "comfort" from your female fellow soldiers, way to make men look bad. Are men so weak and lacking in discipline that they can't be trusted to serve alongside women? In that sense the burden is not solely on the female troops to perform, it's also on the men to not be animals.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • idiot

        what military are you in? its about promotion points and TIS/TIG..LOL

        January 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  42. Boffo

    The misogynistic comments on this article are shameful. Anyone opposed to this doesn't understand the world at all.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Al

      It has nothing to do with misogyny. And, if anything, you clearly have no understanding of the real world.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
      • Matthew

        No, we rather do...you just think men are macho, macho men, and women are precious snowflakes that should cower in their skirts, glad that such a strong man as yourself is around to protect them. If they can do they job, give us one real reason they can't...other than the fact that you're ashamed of your manhood.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
      • Al

        It's from personal experience in integrated units. I've met some women that would do better than me in combat. I'm thinking in terms of the integrity of a unit. For example, one thing people deal with in the field is not getting any. We're dealing with men and women in their late teens and early 20s. It's an issue in any work environment, but in an infantry unit, focusing on the mission and not being distracted by petty crap is a much bigger deal I'd imagine. There will be a lot of challenges beyond the physical abilities of women.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Jason

      Hmm. You don't need to understand the world...just combat.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • paullubbock

      If anyone here has complete disconnect with reality it is you Boffo. Unless you have been in the military or in a war, or trained to get there you have no idea why these men say what they say. They speak the truth and if you had any sense you would listen.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
      • Patrick in Wisconsin

        Im in the Air Force and I agree with her.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  43. forreal89

    I served and I did not see one woman that could carry the weight a man could. The majority of woman in the service are trying to prove something and lower the standards. Women are a joke in the military.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • BKLNUSMC

      "Women in the military are a joke". Not according to my friend who was in the Navy. His ship was dubbed "The Love Boat." lol

      January 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  44. m

    bad bad idea.... some of you up there hit the nail on the head... talk about menstrual cycles, rape, relationships affecting mental status on the war zone... rape not just by our soldiers raping them, but these female soldiers being raped when they are captured by the enemy... I don't get this at all. There is a difference between feminity and musculinity....

    January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Sylar75

      I don't know about the rape part. Would you really want to rape someone who constantly has access to fire arms? Also 5 days a month, those women will be more deadly then a Navy Seal.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Reply
      • erocks

        I won't comment on the rape part as I have no facts to back it up. But as far as menstrual cycles, I have seen almost a whole unit go down. women in close proximity tend to cycle together. And the last thing I would want is ANYONE experiencing a hormonal roller coaster wielding a gun.

        If a woman wants to be in a combat unit, they will have to find some safe way to suspend that cycle.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • amy

        There's already a known, safe way to "suspend that cycle"... birth control pills without the monthly placebos will prevent most women from having any menstrual symptoms.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  45. Adam

    So.... do women have to register for the draft at 18 now too?

    January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • JoseG

      Nope. Everyone's equal but some are more equal than others.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
      • ClaireFox

        First of all, just because you don't know women who can do X, or haven't seen women who can do Y, doesn't mean they don't exist (nor does it mean that there won't be more now).

        Just look at education before women had access. Few women were intellectuals, because fewer had access. Now, more women graduate college than men despite greater economic challenges. My point: this is a step towards equality. Legislation is passed slowly in the U.S., increasing access is the first step.

        The next steps would be equal training standards, and equal treatment (ie risk of the draft). This is one step, those are the next steps. Those steps would lead to true equality; many schools of feminism do advocate for this sort of equality (and rightfully so!).

        Also, see female soldiers and athletes are strong and do not back down due to their menstrual cycles. There is no reason female soldiers would not do the same. If we claim they would, we are, as a country, limiting our ability to increase our military strength by putting down some potential heroes before they even try. And in terms of rape–men have vulnerable parts, too. Rape in this context would either be a method of torture, or you're assuming that men are naturally rapists which is not fair to men.

        Also, read what you're going to say out loud, and imagine yourself saying it to Hillary Clinton, Nancy Wake, or your (hypothetical) daughter who wants to be in the military.

        January 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  46. Bob

    We are truly descending into barbarism. Today, it's women. Tomorrow, maybe it will be children. This gives a new meaning to the brutalization of women.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • redfootball47

      Oh, so you think women can't serve or fight in the military? Take a look at the Women's chinese military. They will literally tear you to pieces. Women have fought in battle for thousands of years. Anyone who is knowledgeable in history knows this. These comments are just an example of the ignorance and discrimination still prevalent not only in this country, but the rest of the world.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      They're already in the military so let them do their jobs.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      Dude really? Brutalization? Its VOLUNTARY. I dont agree with it for physical reasons. But if a woman can hack, she can meet the SAME standards set for the men, then more power to her and Godspeed. The only btalization I see is people telling women they cant do something, or setting them a lower standard so they will succeed (military). Please just shut it and let em try.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  47. afkbrad

    If Obama doesn't change things and force women to be drafted during times of war this means nothing. Women must sign up with the selective service and be drafted just like men. Why are America's sons the only ones good enough to die for their country? Women need to pony up their lives as well and start paying for the freedom they take for granted.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • PdelC

      Why do you assume that women take their freedom for granted just because we are unable to sign up for draft? We didn't make that decision. Like everything else, our government made that decision for us. What an ignorant thing to proclaim.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  48. Slappy_McGiggles

    Being that females are naturally more psychotic than men, I believe this to be a good move.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • BKLNUSMC

      With that remark, I would like to recommend my ex-wife. Either the service or MMA.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  49. Common Sense

    I see it now, Black Hawk Down, with a bunch of pregnant women.....

    January 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Jon

      Seems like half the women in the military are pregnant all at once. This is going to be detrimental to units that depend on manpower to ensure combat effectiveness. These women are going to get pregnant and flown back. Happens all the time here at Ft. Bragg. This is going to be pretty disastrous.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
      • redfootball47

        Women in the military who are pregnant and in a combat situation get put on leave or discharged. Learn your military regulations.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • My Opinion

        It happens here too! Fort Lewis has a ton of pregnant female soldiers. If my husband's unit relied on women any more than they do they would have almost no manpower. I am a woman but make no mistake, I am firmly against women on the frontlines. We are not made for that mentally or physically. We are different whether women like it or not! WE need to get over it and step back

        January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Jason

      I hope some female soldiers will show up and break every bone in your body.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
      • BKLNUSMC

        I was in the military a long time ago. Then, I went into federal law enforcement. I can tell you for a fact that some of the female LEOs were tougher than the guys. I mean, given, you wouldn't want to bring one home to meet your folks. I couldn't picture them out on a date with a guy. They basically looked like short guys with poney tails.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  50. boyamidumb

    Next up on the battle line for the U.S.........child soldiers. Where will we new Romans stop?

    January 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Jeff R

      Equal rights comes with equal responsibility.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      Dont be an idiot.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  51. Been there, didn't like the food, bugs & blood

    Real equality will not be achieved until the draft is reinstated.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • boyamidumb

      As a Vietnam era war resister I was ALWAYS for a draft. I was drafted and I said NO. But I had to think about it and make very hard choices. The people around me had to think about it. My friends and relatives had to think about it. When everyone is involved, we will think harder about the choices we make and how we sacrifice our youth. I love my country, and I understand that we must have a military, but I also know how politicians have misused our troops over and over again.

      Bring back the draft and end the wars.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
      • Been there, didn't like the food, bugs & blood

        II absolutely agree with you.
        Only when the wealthy and chickenhawks are faced with watching their own children board a plane to a horrible destination, will they wake up pay attention to the world around them, instead of wondering who's going to win the latest round of American Idol or what's on the Golf Channel...

        January 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  52. mickey d

    This combat vietnam vet has just one thing to say ARE YOU F_CKING KIDDING ME.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • m

      I agree with you very very much!!!!!!!!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • Army Wife

      Thanks for your service Mickey d. Our guys who fought in Nam were totally forgotten. Been there...

      January 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  53. Curley

    The girl in the front on the right of the picture is hot. Like one of those women that look good no matter what they wear.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  54. nomad2003

    Can I pick the woman to be in my fox hole all night?

    January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Marlon Myers

      Sure if you want to risk being in that Hole when she's cramping & want to Kill every man she can while armed with a M-16, Have fun when she shove that Bayonet up your Ass & Rip out your Throat

      January 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  55. Sandra R.

    All this is going to do is make wives/girlfriends uneasy when their men get deployed because you are going to have women around who temp them and we all know women will do whatever it takes to get promoted. This is a bad idea! So many people will come back pregnant and relationships will be ruined. It's still so unfair the females PT tests are way easier than the mens. They should have to cut off their hair too. Fair is fair!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Kristina

      Sandra, women are already involved in the military in numerous aspects and thus already around men on deployments. The decision to allow them into combat roles does not change that. If you do not trust your husband to deploy without cheating on you, the problem is either you, him, both, and/or your relationship, not the fact that women are in the military.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
      • SilentPro21

        Well put thank you!

        January 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • SilentPro21

      Word to the wise there have always been "FOB-ITS" and this will just give them more options to cuddle up to, and the "Army Wife's" in the rear need to be worried about way more then the spouse fighting down range, they start having "Girls Nights" before their boots even hit the sand. Don't worry kiddos you will still have "your money" on the 1st and 15th....SMH

      January 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • PdelC

      Wow, this is one of the nastier comments on the thread–so disappointing that it came from a woman. If you can't trust your man to stay faithful while away, that's his/your problem, don't blame it on women "doing whatever to get promoted." That's so untrue and you should be ashamed of yourself, stop self-loathing!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Kristina

      There is nothing nasty about it Pdel. There are women (and men) everywhere who have low standards and will look for opportunities to use $ ex to accomplish something. This includes the military, business, school, etc. Should we also ban women from working in corporate America because they may try to have $ ex with someone's husband? Or should we just ban men? Obviously not. Being faithful to a spouse is a personal decision that comes down to character. You cannot blame someone else when your spouse cheats.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  56. Al

    You can bet the farm that women will be excluded from the front lines of action. They just needed to open more fields to women. Not a single person is going to accept a woman being shot up because she was put in the front lines.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  57. JoseG

    About time.

    I remember when I was in the military, women would always use the excuse "I am woman" to get out of work.

    Put up a tent, oh no I'm a woman, you can't expect me to do that. What help unload the truck, I'm a woman we shouldn't be expected to do that. The sad thing is the Senior NCOs would let them get away with it.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • erocks

      I remember women in S&T getting men to unload their trucks and change tires. A slew of women went on sick call all at the same time each month (that time) Leaving men to do the work. These actions will need to stop.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  58. Aezel

    I have mixed feelings about this. I have no doubt about women's ability to fight, kill, and be effective soldiers. I do however shudder to think what would happen to them in a POW camp in the Middle East. Many of the enemies of the United States they will be asked to face are utter barbarians. Men can be tortured, but the séxuål violence that can be additionally be visited upon a captured woman takes it to the next level of inhumane. I wish our female soldiers good luck.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  59. Helen St. Denis

    I know. Don't ask me if I'm female, and I won't tell you. How's that sound?

    January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  60. Brian

    Tell them that Al Qaeda left the toilet seat up.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  61. paullubbock

    I was in the military and I can guarantee you, unless the women volunteer and really want to go into battle they will not stay. How? Simple, as soon as things get to hairy for them they will quickly and easily get knocked up and opt out. I saw it happen countless times even in non combat duty. A woman in the military does not have to stay in the military if she really does not want to. They will never be equal on those terms.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  62. Sazqwatch

    No offense but this is purely reactionary politically correct BS. In my 10 yrs in the Army, I had time to see PLENTY of women who did their best but simply COULD NOT HANG with the boys. The guys are bigger, faster, stronger, can go longer, and harder. Not to mention that they are genetically predisposed to combat roles. Men have the aggressive combat mind set built in! Seriously, I cannot count how many times I saw or had to have a male soldier (literally) pick up the slack for a female who couldn't hack the physical stuff. Are there some women who can do it? Sure. Are most women capable of hanging in a combat role...I do not believe so. Folks, lets get realistic here...a combat load is around 100 pounds of gear. 100lbs strapped to your hips, chest and mostly on your back. Then you have to run, walk, and climb with a semblance of combat efficiency. Which means you can do so without being a liability to yourself, your fellow soldiers, and the mission.

    I was no Ranger or Spec Ops guy. However, while at Ft Drum for 3 years, I was in a pretty hard core unit. I went to and graduated a 3 or 4 week (time erodes how long exactly) Light Fighter Course. It was pretty hard core; taught by Special Forces and Rangers. It was 10% class time 90% grunt work. There were three girls who started in my class. By the end of the first week, they had all dropped out. At that time not a single female had ever gotten past the 2nd week. (I graduated top of the class, but I digress) That class was intended to be as close to combat as you can get without bullets actually flying.

    Another point: Men are genetically wired to take care of women in extreme and dangerous situations. In the back of their minds they will always be checking on the women. They'll take greater risks to protect them and put themselves in potentially greater harm to do so. It's a bad idea. It's not chauvinistic. It's evolution.

    Can some hang? Yes. Will it cause issues? Definitely. Is this new policy worth the problems that will result. Not in this Vet's opinion.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • tekstep1

      Israel has used women in combat for years. Pretty effectively too.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
      • Al

        Israel removed women from combat arms (direct combat/grunt) units years ago.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • Common Sense

        Israel is also a different case, different culture/mindset and so on..... They also don't take on combat duties to a large degree, all full time Israeli front line units are exclusively male (I have yet to see an exception of an all-female unit).....

        January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • Army Ranger

        …out of sheer and dire necessity. The Israeli military is not formidable in size if you count every able-bodied person in the country. We don’t need the numbers.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Dom

        they stopped putting women in combat years ago after it caused distress in the males after seeing women being killed and maimed, don't believe me look it up!

        January 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Maher

        it is a common misconception that Israel allows women in combat units. In fact, women have been barred from combat in Israel since 1950, when a review of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War showed how harmful their presence could be. The study revealed that men tried to protect and assist women rather than continue their attack. As a result, they not only put their own lives in greater danger, but also jeopardized the survival of the entire unit. The study further revealed that unit morale was damaged when men saw women killed and maimed on the battlefield

        January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • Guester

        I think that's a little misleading. The Israeli do have a lot of women in the military but very few in combat units.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Rescue 7

      I agree. I was Special Ops Marine Corps... The only women we had were at main side. Can you imagine 400 young men flying off to where ever with a couple of young women? Women Marines cost more to train, fail basic training at more than twice the male rate, and will reduce combat effectiveness. Not every equal rights idea is worth doing.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • Molly Winston

      I hear you and mostly agree with your assessment. However, I think it is time to let those women who can hang with the men have their shot. It will probably only be 1 out of every 100... Maybe 1 out of every 200. But let's let them as long as they do not erode standards or readiness. Further, there are some areas in which women may be more capable than men – agility, flexibility, balance, speed. They can probably crawl into spaces men can't. Just saying... There may be certain combat situations wherein the advantages to having women around who are trained to fight as well as the men are make themselves evident.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • Marlon 45

      Even though I never served in the Military, I played football at every level including a stint in the NFL , Years ago when I was in High School I got into an altercation with a Lesbian that became angry since a young lady that decided to date me, instead of being with her, so this Lesbian walked up to me & started shoving me & challenging me like she was a Man, However when she said come on Tough Guy saying she's going to kick my Ass! I decided to hit her with a Bull rush Arm Under To her Throat & then picked her up off her feet & getting ready to slam her through a brick Wall, Then she found her femininity & she began to plead for me to Stop! That Butch thought that Size mattered, She was a large build woman, However I had a 350 lbs Bench press at that time & worked out everyday & getting ready to play College Football as a Defensive Lineman & was in excellent physical shape, Now I did see a peace about Woman in the Red Army during WWII that served as Snipers & how affective they were, One killed over 1500 Germans,

      January 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply
      • Marlon 45

        Correction, Lyudmila Mikhailivna Pavlichenko was the most successful woman sniper of World War Two. She killed 309 Germans as a Sniper, The Red Army had 1500 Female snipers & only 500 survived & made it home after the War Ended!

        January 23, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  63. MM

    Killing is a dirty job. Sounds like women have lowered themselves, again.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • Richard

      Hey...I've been married for over 20 years... my wife has been killing me for years.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  64. Veritas

    As long as they are held to EXACTLY the same level of physical readiness standards as men this should be fine...but, of course, almost no women will ever qualify if they do that. But to do otherwise is to ask men to fight and trust their lives to persons who would have been deemed "unfit for combat" had they been male. Isn't that insane?

    January 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  65. Bob

    As if the suicide rate isn't high enough, the libs have actually come up with something more demoralizing to our troops than seeing their male counterparts being maimed and killed.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  66. TR

    I'm in a Nat'l Guard INF unit. This is a big mistake. I've been in units that have females, HHC's, BSB's, etc. WIth a few exceptions, most female "soldiers" I've come across simply don't cut the mustard at all. They quit anything/everything at the 1st sign of pain, they complain constantly if it's hot and they're sweating (imagine working up a sweat in the US army??), and I've seen them put out of the service right and left. I don't know if they can take the mental abuse of being in infantry companies. For those who have served in these units, you know what I mean. If you tell the guys something, or display any weakness, you will be ridden hard about it, forever, You have to have very thick skin for the infantry. God help this country.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Sazqwatch

      You are hitting that right on the money. My experience also.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • JoseG

      I can vouch for this as well.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Dave in Arizona

      If they can't cut it and wash out then they wash out, just like anyone else. Those that do cut it, however, have just as much right to serve on the front line as mean who can cut it. A blanket restriction affecting them all doesn't make sense when there might be some good soldiers among them.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  67. my kids father

    The Marine Corps has been experimenting with women in the same Infantry Officers Couse that the males complete to be infantry officers. To date women have a 100% failure rate. Two things are going to happen. Standards will be lowered to accomodate women or the standards will not be lowered and women will not meet them or there will be investigation as to why units fail to meet their "quota" of women in infantry units. I am curretnly a 19 year active duty Marine. In a battiolion physical training run with women in the battalion on average 70% of the women fall out of all runs.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Veritas

      Son...get ready to die because the Marine who had you back was "unfit for combat" according to sane physical standards but got in anyway, because he's was a she. That's all there is to it. Period!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
      • my kids father

        Veritas, First, I am not your son. Second, I thank God I am here to be writing this. If you have no clue about serving in uniform keep your comments to simple things you can have some level of credibility in. For example simply stating you agree or disagree and why.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Rick

      You might want to learn how to spell ""battalion" before you talk about your military career.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
      • my kids father

        Well Rick am sorry I am "2 stapid" to do anything else huh? Guess that makes me uneducated and clueless about the Marine Corps or life in general cause I mispelled a word. You are just a "keyboard warrior" with nothing constructive to add so you just change the subject.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • Adam

        You might want to learn how to put only one quotation mark around "battalion" before you try to correct another person's spelling.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  68. M.E.

    Not smart. I don't care what the feminists say, sometimes complete equality isn't a great idea. Inappropriate relationships will certainly become a big problem and I'm sure rape and harassment reports will also go up. I don't care how much training there is, you can't fight hormones and stupidity. Yes, there are some roles women are very useful in, particularly in the last two wars since the cultural issues require men to go nowhere near women. However, for the most part it's just unnecessary.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Amber

      As a strong female active in sports and supporter of equality, I actually agree with your assessment. I too think all of the problems you cite will occur. Live combat is meant for the strongest and most killing machine-types among humans, and that would be men. Women are not meant to kill. Women should create and sustain life. Leave the dirty work to the guys.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Amber

      As a strong female active in sports and supporter of equality, I disagree with this. Live combat is meant for the strongest and most killing machine-types among humans, and that would be men. Women are not meant to kill. Women should create and sustain life. Leave the dirty work to the guys.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • P.D.

      I would like to address the portion of your comment on inappropriate relationships, rape, and harassment. We need to hold males (of which I am one), especially military males (I am not), to a higher standard than you are currently holding them to. Rape and harassment are two areas that a male should be disciplined enough to control their hormones and function as a member of our society. We can not let this fear stop us from allowing females to join military ranks, but if/when it does occur, we need to change the topic of conversation to not allowing a culture of rape, but a culture of respect

      January 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  69. securemycloud

    Mistake because men are pigs and this will just open up a can of worms. It will be a complete disaster..don't be surprised if we hear of rapes during war.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Sazqwatch

      Rape!? That's not the issue. They can't hang.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  70. Bart

    Why can't people admit that men and women are different? Being different does not mean inferior, women are made for different things than men and men are made for war. Any woman P.O.W. would be raped until the cows came home and this puts extra pressure on the other soldiers to take more risks to either prevent capture or carry out a rescue ASAP. It is more dangerous.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Tina

      Bart,
      I agree with you 100%. Well said.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • Enough!

      As a recently retired Army Ranger I could personally testify that there is in fact certain jobs in the military in which woman can easily become a liability.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  71. Alex

    Oh finally! Many armies of the world have women in combat. Israel being one of them, some Arab countries, too. So why not the U.S. unless you're backwards, of course.

    Equality for all means equal responsibilities, too. Why only men should die for their country and women sit safely in their homes?

    Women should be put in harm's way the same as men.

    You wanted equality - you're about to get it in full force!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Al

      I would want whoever was next to me in combat go through the same training as I would and if she can do it all then so be it, combat soldiers have to be able to carry, drag and triage their battle buddies.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • thom

      I wonder if the physical standards will remain the same too. I..e, male physical standards and female physical standards will disappear.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  72. Meh

    Lots and lots of dead sandwich makers.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  73. MDATB

    They want to have this right?Then have it.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  74. bythesea06

    -Why can't we fight and die for those we love too. We do it everyday at the homefront. We love our country too. Why do we have to sit back and watch others have the oppurtunity to serve with all of their strength and might, while we are required to sit back.

    I will remember this day forever.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Sazqwatch

      You'll remember this day forever... Combat suffrage. Count you in as one of the countless clueless who endorse this stupid shortsighted idea.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  75. Army Ranger

    While I acknowledge that there are surely some women out there that can more than pass the minimum standards, this has to go down in history as one of the all time worst decisions I've ever heard.

    I've never broken ranks from supporting a President or the military chain of command, but this is stupid. Men and women are going to die senselessly as a result of this.

    “The military viewpoint was that under the conditions of a high intensity close-quarter battle, group cohesion becomes of much greater significance to team performance and, in such an environment, the consequences of failure can have far-reaching and grave consequences,” the report stated. “To admit women would, therefore, involve a risk with no gains in terms of combat effectiveness to offset it.” -Washing Times

    January 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • harrisonhits2

      The women who have served in the Israeli Army in several wars with great distinction are waving hello. As are the great many who served with the Soviets in WW II on battlefields all over the eastern front. And many other instances throughout history. Women are perfectly capable in combat. Its your own thinking that prevents you from accepting it, not the inability of women.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
      • afkbrad

        The Germans raped millions of Russian women soldiers. In turn the Russians did the same thing to German civilians. When it's only men in combat women are a little more protected. Once an enemy sees a woman pointing a gun at them they'll get worse treatment than any man. I don't care though. I'm glad America's princesses are going to have to pull their weight.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  76. Blade1975

    Have fun dying. Not a single tear shedded "When is mommy coming home" 5 yea rold snotling crying when momma gets popped. NOT A SINGLE ONE. They begged for it they get it.
    Welcome to equality....

    January 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • heather

      you are an arrogant IDIOT.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  77. Brian

    I am sure the ACLU will help women soldiers captured by the enemy who are raping the $hi1 out of them.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  78. Why not?

    I think its fine so long as they meet the same physical credentials as the men. Currently women are on a different scale and very few women can pass the men's PT test... much less excel at it which is what you need for a combat soldier who has to carry a lot of weight in ammo, IV bags, and other supplies to not be dead weight. And of course be able to carry a wounded comrad out of harms way. So if they can do well on the same physical requirements as the men.. why not? But no unequal testing in any way (which is the current standard).

    January 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • Sazqwatch

      There is a reason there is a male and female PT Test. They cannot perform to the same PHYSICAL standards as males. It's not a bad thing. It's reality. God made us different for a reason folks.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • sallymae

        That's B/S- Most women soldiers can beat any man in a PT test. I'm a veteran – I know.,

        January 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • Dave

        I'm a veteran too, and I have yet to meet a woman in the military or out that could drag my 240lb body out of a Tank. We had PT gazelles where I was stationed too, but once you had them start hauling track blocks and roadwheels for tanks, well, Ms PTtest didnt last long. You have to go till you are exhausted, and then keep going.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  79. Zeus

    Score one for equality! It's about time women start pulling their own weight. You want equal rights? Then you need equal responsibility, period.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      I fully agree! They wanted equality - they gonna get it in full force now!
      I feel uncomfortable seeing men die in action and their women sit comfortable in their nice homes collecting insurance money and their husbands' pensions.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
      • PdelC

        What an assumption to make that a woman is content after her husband dies in battle. Give me a logical explanation for this outlandish statement.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  80. Bob

    So women can now be in combat... What about men that think they're women? Oh wait, we just recently allowed that as well!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  81. History Bear

    Armor, Artillery etc. is fine and long overdue. Infantry-not unless they can pass the same course as males and with no special adjustments or waivers. EXACTTLY. They also gotta have the right to mess up any male trying to forceably take advantage of them , Women want equality- here it is ladies. Good luck and welcome. (former airborne infantry)

    January 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • RedLeg1

      Artillery ... Armor ... are you serious?!! Yeah, I'd like to see the average female load 90lbs 155mm rounds at a rate of 4 rds/min for a prolonged period of time ... and then when the mission is over ... a relaxing break? ... NO ... you have to pack your sh!t and move to another FP before you receive counterbattery fire. Same with tanks ... we don't have auto-loaders in the US military!!! Plus, in the US Army "Armor" covers the Cav Scout MOS as well ... not going to happen. I can barely get the female motor SGT in our support company to grab her own paper for her printer without trying to flirt one of my 13Bs into doing it for her ... this is a travesty and will lead to a huge bump in SHARP investigations and degrade combat unit effectiveness ... not to mention now I won't be able to sleep in my tighty-whities in the field anymore!!!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • AbramsPilot

      Armor is fine?!?!?! Are you NUTS?!?!?! Spoken like true track grease. A lot of the men dont have the upper body strength to be tankers!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  82. gangrapearmy

    cnn is a shill

    January 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  83. levi

    They way my wife can shoot off her mouth would strike fear in any insurgent!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  84. Chuck Fulton

    After serving 12yrs in an Infantry unit and 8 yrs in Special Operations, this is gonna be funny. Lots of knocked up women when this happens. A young hard charging soldier with a dick made of steel gets a woman beside him in combat and something is gonna get stabbed...and I dont mean with a knife! Then the female is wanting a compassionate discharge and we have to pay for that she then she draws disability because of PTSD...this is gonna go to hell in a handbasket real quick....I see lots of babys in the US Militarys future!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Wild Cherry

      Amen! Brotha

      January 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • Cindy

      So... what about all the men who have PTSD? Also, we'll see how steel like his stuff is when she bites it off. Pipe down.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Army Wife

      Amen, Chuck.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • sallymae

      You're a disgrace to the uniform and the status of Veteran- didn't being in the military teach you anything?

      You probably got discharged for being too fat and lazy....

      January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply
      • Pete

        How, exactly, is he a disgrace? And what about his comment makes you think he's fat and lazy? The fact that he said something you didn't agree with?

        January 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  85. miller

    I work with women in Law Enforcement, some of them are tigers! I am sure they'll do just fine.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      Yeah, right! "Tigers". LOL

      January 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • Al

      Most of your peers probably aren't in their late teens and early 20s.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Bart

      Those are Cougars, not Tigers.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • Sazqwatch

      Seriously? Law Enforcement isn't friggin combat. At the end of the day you get to go back to your own home and a warm bed. Combat is about killing the enemy and living in harsh dirty hot conditions constantly. Day and night for weeks on end. Anyone can be a "tiger" sometimes. Can they be a hard charging killer if needs be 24/7? Not even the same.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  86. Dom

    As a former 1st Lt Platoon Leader with the 82nd Abn Div and former Staff Sergeant F-4 Phantom fixer with the USAF. I have seen women perform admirably in non-combat units BUT putting women in harms way for political reasons is a disgrace for all women. Even the Spartans and Romans never had women in combat roles and the Israeli Army stopped women from entering the Combat Arms years ago. Women were protected through the ages from dying in war BECAUSE here it comes WAIT for it, they have the ability to reproduce the species. OMG

    January 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Al

      I agree.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • allisonTOMS

      No need to worry. the blacks have that covered back home!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
      • Isdat Afamas Clipazine

        go that right

        January 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
      • interestsinimmigration

        What do you mean the blacks have it covered back home? Are you referring to African-Americans? If so, you should keep your ugly racism to yourself. Don't be a pig if you disagree with a military policy.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Ralph Moerschbacher

      Sir: Love those Fox 4s. Cleared hot Air Force radio operator in Vietnam working forward air control. Had a ride in F-4 in 1973 Unreal ride

      January 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      Dom, I feel uncomfortable when only men die in combat and their women sit in their nice homes and collect insurance money and their husbands' pensions.

      Women indeed should be put in harm's way same in men.

      You wanted equality - you gonna get it in full force now!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  87. lemon

    We will be the most politically correct warmongering nation ever known...

    January 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • lgbarn

      go live somewhere else

      January 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • Timodeus

        No, you.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Chuck Fulton

      After serving 20 yrs, you are dead on correct!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • tekstep1

      Tell it to the Israelis, who have used women in combat for years.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      Israel has us beat.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  88. Bart

    How are women supposed to kill the enemy when they can't even kill a spider?

    January 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • brad

      I have met more violent women in my 20 years in the military than you can imagine. I have met women that i would put on my fireteam before a lot of men anyday.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
      • Bart

        All great, until the enemy learns how to shoot a missile loaded with spiders, then we are screwed.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
      • heather

        finally a respectable comment.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Columbo

      LOL

      January 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • GI Jayne

      ...lemme guess Bart, you are afraid of snakes?

      January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • SquidEyes

      I've seen plenty of dudes freak out over spiders and shriek even louder than women. Arachnophobia isn't gender specific; it's universal, as is ignorance.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      You live in 18th century or something?
      What about women killing their husbands? What about women killing their children?
      Every woman is a killer. Remember abortions???

      January 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  89. nonyabidnes2

    Assement test? Wasn't that done through GI Jane???

    January 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  90. HM8432

    Good! Now make women register for Selective Service, so that they may be given equal-gender treatment should a draft ever occur!

    January 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  91. Jack Alex

    Are they nuts? Biggest mistake they ever made, liberalism and socialism at it's worse, women do not belong in combat.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • Joshua Stovall

      And this is socialism how?

      January 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • brad

      and your rational for that is? I have met countless women in my 20 years of miltiary service that I would put in a combat zone anyday. I have met just as many men that i wouldnt allow near a weapon.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • Seriously

      Woman do not belong in combat? What are you smoking. Woman have been proven to be better Pilots, Better shots, Higher endurance and obey orders better. someone must be watching Faux News Red Neck channel again.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
      • Joshua Stovall

        Learn proper tenses. It would be "Women" not "Woman" since there are many of them.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • Seriously

        @Joshua Stovall Go Away Grammer Nazi if you cannot contribute to the topic.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • Pete

        "Woman have been proven to be better Pilots, Better shots, Higher endurance and obey orders better."
        Links to verify, please.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  92. eurobirdbrain

    This after Hillary scored a few kills on Capitol Hill today.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  93. rjc

    Of course this means that since there is equal treatment now in order,
    1.) physical testing requirements are the same for everyone.
    2.) there should not be separate facilities
    3.) any references and regulation regarding gender, thus any potential lawsuits must be stricken.
    4.) This also means that any enemy forces are required to treat them no differently than men
    5.) Any and all media reports must treat everyone the same, no references, stories, spotlights etc.. on women.
    6.) Since men don't get that time of the month... no exceptions will be made, for excessive bloating, cramping or PMS.
    7.) Pregnancies are NOT allowed.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      That's right!
      True equality for all!
      Women wanted it - now you're gonna get it in full force!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • guppy

      Takes two to tango, so the person who gets pregnant and the person who impregnates. In a firefight I dont think people will be thinking about saving the girl, they'll be thinking save my butt and saving their comrade in arms. I know many a men that can't out do me in pushups, situps and sure as hell can't run as fast as me. However, I know I couldnt hang with the special forces either as many men get washed out as well. Same standards and if they meet it, good for them, if not suck it up cupcake and find another job. All men are not 200+ lb rock hard studs and not all women are 5 foot nothings. There's plenty of men that can't carry their buddy out of a fire fight either. Equal treatment with equal standards. Women are throughout the military and yes some get pregnant, you think war will be any different. Just cause you have a few, doesnt mean you need to austersize the whole lot of them.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  94. me

    Good job! Now this is the top story on CNN instead of the pesky little interview with Hillary Clinton.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • nomad2003

      nor things like debt, REAL spending cuts, budgets....

      January 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  95. Rhope

    About time....

    January 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      About time? Grow up. Some things the genders are equal, some things not. This is definitely one in which women are truly not physically equal in the least.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
      • brad

        me either, I am in the miltiary now, a combat career field. I have met more women that i would serve beside in a combat zone than I can count and just as many men who would wet themselves at the first sound of gunfire.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • Missy

        And there are plenty of women that can out do half the men that join. It should NEVER be based on gender it should be based a persons ability to perform.

        January 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  96. Dan Demmy

    I guess equal doesn't mean smart, this sucks , woman are our hope at reconfiguring modernity into a reality and time that isn't violent, that cares about creativity and ontology. I hope in the process of becoming equal women would not make the same mistake man have.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      I think they should be killed in the battlefield as much as men. It is unfair to men only to die in action.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  97. spike

    I cannot recall the general's name, but about 30 years ago when this question first came up, he stated, "As long as men have mothers, women should not be in combat". True then, true now.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      That was exactly 30 years ago?! No wonder! What a discriminatory comment!

      All, men and women, should be equally in combat, should be put equally in harms way, regardless of the genitals they inherited at birth!

      January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  98. Chris

    God help the enemy if they leave their socks and underwear on the floor.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      LOL! :-)

      January 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  99. Brian in DC

    Somehow this doesn't seem like a good idea but if they want to be on the front line so be it.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      It is a great idea.

      Have you heard of equality?

      I'm uncomfortable seeing only men die in combat. Equality should apply to ALL equally.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
      • Jim

        LOL!

        January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  100. allenwoll

    .
    BITTERLY OPPOSE, PERIOD ! ! !
    ..
    Incomprehensible ! ! !
    .
    This MUST be blocked ! ! !

    January 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      Why would you oppose it? Embrace it!

      Why only men should die and women sit safely in their homes collecting insurance and pension money from their husbands who got killed?

      Equality means equality for ALL. And women should be put in harm's way as much as men.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
      • Jay

        I wouldn't necessarily go THAT far but yes, this is their country too. Why shouldn't they be allowed the same opportunities to fight for it?

        January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Jay

      I can't wait for your logical explanation behind this statement.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
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