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. Ginger

    Makes me sick. It's all well and good for the women who choose that life but if there is ever a draft again, anyone's daughter can now be sent to the front lines. It's against nature for men to do it, and more so for those of us who give life to take it away. I've lived too long.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      Historically, women have been killing just as long as men for all the same reasons. It's only recently that people have been claiming that's 'against nature." And it's total crap. Stop trying to shove everyone into your little boxes.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  2. Mark

    Damn, more empty kitchens.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  3. Antronman

    I don't want to wake up someday worrying about my little sister enlisting in the military, and then, god forbid, have some taliban basturd get his hands on her. God forbid the same ever happens to my girlfriend should she enlist in the future.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • BPollutin

      I'd be more worried about yourself, or your brother if you have one, than your sister. We all know the Taliban secretly like suasage and meatballs!

      January 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Reply
    • beancounter

      If either enlists they might join that list of 300 wounded and 130 killed. I know a female machine gunner who did not get combat pay, but everyone else on that vehicle did. Get real and pay up. Give medals if earned. Not many women would want to officially be in combat, but if they are wounded or killed, obviously they were in a combat zone. Same for males who may have been paid as non-combat but were wounded or killed. Some back pay is in order.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  4. Roy

    Just like that... the number of military rape cases now increases ten-fold folks... only difference this time is that "American" women won't let these animals in the U.S. military get away with it.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply
    • GeorgeW

      And then what do we do with the raped female soldiers when they are impregnated by the enemy and held hostage to bear a child ????? Use some sense folks !!!

      January 24, 2013 at 2:12 am | Reply
  5. Alan Lewis

    If they expect a "level, gender neutral playing field" then they need to do away with the split standard on Physical Fitness, and females in combat roles should be required to have birth control implants. The unit's effectiveness is based on the soldiers being able to function as a team. If the soldier becomes pregnant then she becomes a liability on the battlefield. Pregnancy is also an automatic deferment from deployment. So this is a must, if the soldier's male counterpart can not avoid deployment by becoming pregnant, then the female must not be allowed to use the possibility of pregnancy to avoid deployment. Norplant is good for 5 years, long enough for one tour of duty, at that point maybe it should be voluntary, but the soldier should then be reclassed into a non combat position.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  6. relmfoxdale

    Some folks sure are worried that they might get beaten by a girl...it's cute.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      Quite the opposite actually, I'm worried that what i know from experience is true... that the top 1% of females aren't as strong as the bottom 20% of males... Physically you're not built the same way we are.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Reply
    • 1stSgt-TopKick

      Notice how most of the really "macho" men also can't intelligently spell or use the English language (even with the computer ability to automatically check misspelled words)? Any of my 3 daughters could handle any modern combat or civilian situation. That's how they were raised: as proud women in a male-dominated culture. Israel, Russia, N. Korea and other cultures have trained women for combat roles. I dare say, those women could take down most of these "macho" types. What? The martial arts don't exist anymore?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Reply
      • GIjoePR

        First Sergeant, I am assuming you have been deployed 11B, are Ranger qualified, have been on combat deployment conducting patrols with upwards of over 100lbs over vast distances. If the standards have been reduced and watered down because the male counterpart cannot compete on the same level, that already tells you something. If they eliminate the double standard without reducing the male standard then so be. Till then: "We are all created equal, deal with it".

        January 24, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  7. Jerry Lemieux

    Make the physical fitness requirements gender neutral. As they stand, a 27-31 year old male needs to do 77 pushups in the allotted time to score 100 on that event. A 27-31 year old female needs to do 50. Those 50 pushups would earn the 27-31 year-old male a score of 72. The minimum required to get a passing score for the 27-31 year old female would be a failure for the male in that same age group.

    As for Delta Force, Seals, Rangers and other special operations positions, forget it. The standards will have to be lowed to unacceptable levels in order for them to qualify. War is not a matter of what is fashionable. It's a matter of survival.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
    • George McCasland

      The problem that arises here is that while males reach peak efficiency in the processing of oxygen and energy at age 18, females reach that point at age 14. Properly, 14 year old girls should be required to register for selective service, and be drafted to equalize the gender numbers in the military.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Reply
      • beancounter

        Maybe. But according to a lot of experts, that 14 year old girl is about as emotionally mature as the 18 year old male. Brawn is important but so are brains. Besides they COULD toughen the training standards for women who want to officially be a combat soldier. I would support that, especially where brawn is needed, such as infantry. That's no excuse to pretend women aren't already being maimed and killed in war.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  8. Antronman

    All this reminds me of one girl I met at an iD tech camp...her dream is to become a navy seal. She was obese, a good bit less than 5 feet, and she said she trained to enlist by playing CoD. 'Merica!!!

    January 23, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  9. semper fi

    Anyone who bleeds for 5 days..... and doesn't die..... is about as prepared for battle as any man.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
    • AnnaLisa

      Well, you have a point

      January 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  10. nc1965

    Most women cannot carry a man if wounded. Most women don't have the reflexes and agility of a man. I would want to fight next to one. Sorry.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Okay so just weed out the one's who aren't fit to serve on the front line. We're already doing that with male soldiers.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:07 am | Reply
  11. Steve

    Call me old fashioned, but this bugs me. I have total confidence that a woman can perform just as well if not better then a man in combat. But something about it just doesn't feel right. I guess i'm so used to wanting to protect the women in my life, it wouldn't feel right throwing them into the line of fire. The thought of a woman being injured or killed in combat doesn't sit well (Thats not to say its okay for a man to be killed in combat). Anyone else agree? Men start these ridiculous wars, men should end them.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • Ron

      Men start these wars? Hillary Clinton is the Secretary of State. We'll probably have a woman as President soon. You need to get into the 21st Century.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      Since you asked, I pretty much disagree. Most men don't want to protect women. Most men don't even like women. A lot of men say, "I want to protect women," when what they really mean is, "I want to control women who do things I don't like." That's not the same thing. Just be honest about it. "I don't want women in roles held traditionally by men because I find it threatening." See? It's not so hard to tell the truth.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Reply
      • Alexandra

        That was simply lame. Many men have the instinct to protect women. Just because you either don't have it or don't know men who do doesn't make it incorrect.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  12. nc1965

    God help them if caught by the enemy. They will play toys until they are tired of. And then........

    January 23, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • Burt

      That's all I could think of too. I fear for captured women.some women consider normal American men animals. Just wait till they meet out enemies.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  13. Troy in Austin

    I'm just glad they didn't do it when I was in the Army. Don't get me wrong, I think women have the right to serve but when I was in the Gulf War, we had some 20 females there 364 days later when we left there were 3. All of them going home for some minor medical thing while men stayed even with a broken hand.
    IF the women can do the forced 10 mile march with 80 lbs. on their back and still be able to fight well after that I say "go for it!". Alas, I have never seen it, there MAY be a few but I've never seen one.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  14. Antronman

    I have an even better idea :D. How about, we give away all jobs to women, and have men stay home and care for their children. That way we'll both know how it is to be the in the opposite role!

    January 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  15. batjones

    This is a confirmation that the all volunteer military is not enough to fight a no-front global war. We do not have the personnel to protect every American interest across the globe.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  16. howardfeinski

    I'd be excited to have a woman next to me in battle, but don't expect common shower rooms any time soon.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • sybaris

      Now isn't that hypocritical.

      We have ga.ys showering with straights and other ga.ys of the same se.x so why can't straights of the opposite s.ex shower together?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  17. Zaphod

    The capability of a soldier should be assessed without regard for their gender. Worried a woman can't do the job of a Marine? Not a problem, only the ones capable will be allowed in.

    Old fashioned chivalry is tied to the idea of women as a natural resource. Back then it made sense... the ability for a small population to recover from disaster is tied directly to the number of healthy women capable of bearing a child. This is no longer an issue for our country. Now we should work to empower our women, doubling the available work force. Cultures that continue to oppress their women will continue to fall behind cultures that empower them.

    Men and women of the armed forces, I salute you. Thanks.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • Steel

      If it was that simple I would agree but I live in the realistic world. When the push to allow women to join the military outside of the nursing corp everyone was told the same thing...women would have to meet the same standards. Well, why do we have two standards then? I see all kinds of people on here making claims that women should be allowed in the infantry because it is "the right thing to do". Well as a combat vet I couldnt disagree more! The "right thing to do" is to allow me to keep my men alive and no one can afford one of the troops not being able to keep up because they are carrying more than they can handle. When the military decides to get rid of the biggest double standard there is (different PT, ruck, physical test scores) I will endorse this but until then everyone can pound sand. Talk about hypocrites!

      January 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  18. jerome

    Women in combat is not the issue women in the infantry is the issue. Anyone can pull a trigger and ride into combat. However, in the infantry you usually walk into combat. Armor is about 33 lbs, machine gun (240b) 22.5 lbs, 300 rounds of 7.62 is 21 lbs, water 8 lbs, a rucksack at 60 lbs and if your are jumping from a plane add a 35 lbs main chute and approx 20 lbs reserve chute. You will be walking all day up and down all types of terrain keeping a pace count, being alert, remembering call signs, TRP's, radio freq's. The average male cannot do this why do people think the average woman can? Combat support roles is still in combat and that should be fine.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  19. Antronman

    The thing is, I just don't know how many women out there are hard-bottoms. I haven't seen a single one in my life who could stand being in a small shooting, let alone a war. I also don't know any who would want too. That, and a few of the pervets in the army might have some interesting dialouge..."Hmm...what unit should I enlist for...oh! Infantry has PFC. Amanda Jones!!! I'm totally signing up for that unit! Shared living space? EVEN BETTER!"...perverts...

    January 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  20. Kathy

    Not all women want to be in an environment, exposed to nudy magazines and hit on constantly. Places like that, from experience, those males don't treat theirself with much dignity and respect, much less women.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  21. joe

    Women generally are not supposed to be in Infantry units.

    Being a former Marine, I wonder what percentage is of females that will be able to pass the male PFT or let alone make it though SOI? There is a good reason why most women have no need to be in combat units. I say most because there could be an exception but unless she's a massive 180 pounds and all muscle. I highly doubt she will ever make it into a Marine Corps Victor unit. I will never vote for an politician that advocates putting unnecessary lives in jeopardy in the military for the sake of some stupid political agendas.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Reply
    • Kathy

      This is what the Army does though, and more and more you see it in our culture, and it worries me. Yes there are a few exceptions, and that would be great to make room for people who are not the average women or even male for that matter... otherwise it's brainwashing and breeding an unhappy young and easily influenced culture to not appreciate gender differences.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  22. Gray

    The Misogyny on these posts is pathetic, come on Men act like Men.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  23. sybaris

    1. No value added
    2. The military should not be used as a social experiment
    3. Somebody watched Stormship Troopers and GI Jane once too many times
    4. Woe is the female POW
    5. Are they going to make female PRT standards the same as the male standards?

    January 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Reply
    • Alan Lewis

      If they expect a "level, gender neutral playing field" then they need to do away with the split standard on Physical Fitness, and females in combat roles should be required to have birth control implants. The unit's effectiveness is based on the soldiers being able to function as a team. If the soldier becomes pregnant then she becomes a liability on the battlefield. Pregnancy is also an automatic deferment from deployment. So this is a must, if the soldier's male counterpart can not avoid deployment by becoming pregnant, then the female must not be allowed to use the possibility of pregnancy to avoid deployment. Norplant is good for 5 years, long enough for one tour of duty, at that point maybe it should be voluntary, but the soldier should then be reclassed into a non combat position.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  24. Chris

    If women belong in front line combat, and can handle the physical rigors, then why are they not playing in any of the major professional sport leagues? US Women's Soccer is the best in the world, yet not a single player is playing in the MLS or Premier League. Women Ironman professionals post times that are beaten by men's amateurs.

    If people think combat isn't as rigorous, or more, than any sport played then they are wrong. Ironman is a tough day, but it equals a single day of Ranger School. Neither of them are life and death.

    It's not about pulling a trigger. It's about getting into the position to pull that trigger, then getting out again.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      I'm not going to disagree with your basic argument except to say, imagine your soccer analogy. Now imagine that 30% less men were trying out to play soccer. What would you do now with your smaller, inferior male soccer team? Would you force men to sign up for soccer? Or would you allow the best women's soccer players to take the open slots on the men's teams? Because enlisting in the military right now means a guaranteed 3 tours in either Iraq or Afghanistan or some combination of the two, not as many men are willing to enlist right now. So you already have a smaller army. Your only options are to start compulsory service or open slots to women.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        That may have been true 5 years ago, but not today. Iraq is over and Afghanistan is winding down. If they run out of qualified (and by that I mean physically) men then there is the draft.

        Your argument lowers standards and the performance of the 'team' so to speak. That is fine in sports, if people want it. That's not fine when there are lives on the line and objectives to be met. Take your team of 30% women and put them up against an all male team from another country. How do you think they'll fare?

        A gallon of water will always remain the same weight. Ammunition, food, and equipment will always weigh the same, regardless of gender. You can't reduce them based off of ones ability to carry them. Combat loads are going up, not down, even with technological advances.

        If there are women that can hack it, and I'm sure there are (I haven't met one, but I'm sure they're there), then they can have at it. But if we haven't seen gender equality in sports, why do we suddenly think we'll see it in war?

        January 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  25. samsapirstein

    I thought women were allowed to fight for some time now. Whats going on?

    January 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  26. samsapirstein

    I thought women were allowed into combat for some time now. What is this?

    January 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  27. Sounds good

    This is ok so long as women that ARE serving in combat roles match the minimum physical requirements for males (which isn't all that much harder anyways).

    January 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  28. Brian

    I have served with women IN COMBAT in Iraq. The few that I was with were braver than some of the sniveling men in the unit. Granted they are not physically as strong as men but the few that I was with were as mentally tough. I would not want to serve with a prissy female in combat just like I would not want to serve next to a prissy male in combat. I dont know how they will lug around a mortar tube and base plate in the infantry but I don't mind them by my side.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  29. Josie

    I'm am not too sure of this. Having served briefly myself, as have several women I know and admire. Outside of combat units, females get their fair share of combat (depending on their job). I do have to state, is this were "equal" rights come to play, instead of women embracing being a woman and all that comes with it, becoming like one of the guys to prove they are equal. We don't make men wear anything that is remotely female, but we as women tend to dress just like one of the guys. I am all for equal pay and treatment. But I am also proud of being a women, proud of the fact I am who I am and I just hope one day many others realize that as well.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      They let you serve in a dress? How progressive of them. Give me a break. Not all women aspire to wear lipstick and heels as you seem to. If a few women can meet the basic military standards and want the extra pay and career advancement opportunities that come with combat experience, why not let them have it? Because you think they should be wearing dresses? I seriously doubt you served. I mean, what happened when you got your hands dirty? Did you call for a time out?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • badolbear

      i am currently an 11b (infantry) in the army. If women can meet a strict requirment to be in the infantryy, which honeslty most of them wont. Be able to carry a 160 pound soldier + 30-40 pounds worth of gear, ruck 12+ miles with a 240b or 240L if their lucky, stay out in the field for a month at a time, or in a deployment go 2+ months without a shower let them in. a 120-140 lb woman will not be able to pickup their battle buddy that is a wounded male with full gear tipping the scales at 200+ pounds. this isnt about eqaulity its able the physical natures of 2 genders. I honestly think this is a mistake, but as the iraq war is over and afghanistan is winding down this seems like the perfect time for a progressive policy to come fourth. It will never be widely implemented in afghanistan and in my opinion serves a political agenda

      January 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  30. Antronman

    Oh boy, more solutions to the violence of the world! Yes, let's send the people who are loving, and caring to war, and turn them into gritty killers with hearts of ice and fists of steel. I approve comrades. How about next, we start opening up sniper units for women and have them also have no regard for their pals.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Reply
  31. Sean

    I am all for this but my brother, who is in the army, mentioned that everyone at his basic training was against it.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  32. Spartan

    Lets get a Public Posting of how NOW it will be Mandatory That all females 18-35 can be Drafted as well as males and then lets count how meny females wana play infantry and compare the numbers of civilans that would rather be draft free vs playing infantry and endangering men with there distraction during a fire fight nothing more distracting then a female who is in danger or injured

    January 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
    • Cassie

      You don't think that women wouldn't want to sign up for the draft? I think it's stupid that we don't do that currently. Any ABLE-BODIED person should have to, male or female.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  33. Seattle Nick

    And now they're gonna let women in combat roles..... Finally, I never thought I'd be on the receiving end of Chivalry. Where a woman would lay down her life for me. -Willingly!!! Without kicking and screaming!! This world is getting better!! Cause it wasn't long ago at all that all I could count on for certain was for a woman to pick my bones clean in a courtroom. Now, I get to sit here knowing, I'm being defended. I never thought I'd see the day.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  34. krush

    "gus I got foxhole duty with Kim tonite, its my turn"

    January 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  35. bankrupt1

    Step backwards. Being more immersed in patriarchy is not something to aspire to. Let's get men out of the military too. Not healthy for men or women.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Reply
    • Mister Jones

      So ... we should have no military at all?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  36. blake

    Another politically correct, but moronic decision regarding the U.S. military by the Obama administration.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  37. alientech

    Why not? It's a volunteer force, if some women want to do it, why stop them? Women want equality in everything, let them have at it. Nothing wrong with women dying for the country.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • Beenthere

      Because they are physically weaker. I would hate to see one of them throw me over their shoulders and pack me back a mile.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
    • ellid

      They already do, and have for years. This only acknowledges what has been going on for a long time.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
    • zeinland123

      If they stick with our standards I'm all for it. But sadly they will not. If they can go fast as us and be a strong as us in the infantry then its all good, but they won't. I'm not some misogynist but I need to trust my battle buddies if I get wounded in combat. Also Imagine Ranger school lowering their standards, its gonna be hell!

      January 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  38. Clif Watts

    Any Nation that would allow its women to go to battle is a Nation of cowards. Of course, being a Nation that exterminates its young, I should not be surprised.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • brian028

      Women have been fighting in wars for ages. The biggest contribution by women in a modern war was by the women of the Soviet Union. I would even suggest the Soviets may have lost if not for the Russian woman.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
      • Beenthere

        Plenty of pictures of raped dead female soviets taken by the Nazi's.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  39. Mega Montana

    First conservatives tell the country to not let the government meddle in our business. So the government essentially says ok women, its your choice to fight in combat, and the conservatives blast the government for allowing the equivalent of freedom of choice? I don't understand lol.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
    • michael

      That's because Obama's in the White House. It doesn't matter how good an idea it is, if it's from Obama the conservatives are going to oppose it in their typical obstructionist manner.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • Clausen

      Um... I happen to be conservative and I think this is great news. And I'm definitely not alone.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  40. Macman74

    Constant physical training in combat roles. Not so much for admin pogues. Another social experiment for the military to have figure out.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  41. Ash

    Nice Photoshopped image!

    January 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  42. policitical

    This happens at the end of every war. Have not seen any women screaming about not being in combat the last 10 years.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  43. rich

    Women have been in combat at least since the days of wars with no defined lines. Since Iraq I through Afganistan. Two of my daughters have been to the middle east with one in Iraq twice. The other was in Kuwait. Both of them ran HET missions into Iraq and both of them have been in combat and both of them have the ribbons and combat patches. My son was also in Iraq and was in combat as an MP. He also was involved in combat. In other words those who think that it will "just ruin everything", obviously don't know anyone in the miitary since about 1991. As a Father, I don't want my daughters subjected to a violent death in combat, but would be nothing but a worthless Father if I cared less about the same happening to my son. Get real people/

    January 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
    • banlarson

      Big difference between riding in a supply truck convoy and actual combat. I'm sure she got her patch because they took some small arms fire or an occasional IED, but combat it was not. Any father that would be proud to have a daughter as a combat grunt is a bit touched in the head. Be proud yes, but what your daughters experienced was not combat, maybe a taste, but not day in and day out.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  44. CGDoc

    Other countries allow woment to serve in combat such as Israel with no issue's. If we allow gays equal rights in the military why not Women? Only question is, why now? Going into another war and don't have enough troops to fight it?

    January 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  45. mcginnjw

    Can women now be drafted for combat duty if there is ever another draft?

    January 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
    • Flicker an

      Women used as cannon fodder will help rich kids and others avoid reimposition of the draft. Foolish.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  46. Brad76

    Men and women are not created equal, I dunno about this...

    January 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  47. Joe

    They have no place in the infantry. None.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  48. David

    Women already serve in combat as a matter of necessity. All this announcement does is is get rid of the dark cloud of technicality that floats over everyone's heads as they worry about some women hating pencil pusher playing the ;against regulations' card.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      David
      – Apparently you're not very smart, because no they do not. Women are in combat zones, they do participate in military activities but are not assigned to infantry units. That's a whole different ball-game if you know anything about being in the military... Women are not subjected to the same physical fitness tests they do not have to be as strong or as fast and that worries me, because bottom line there are biological differences between men and women and in a combat zone, you need to be able to depend on your buddies... As soon as somebody can tell me how a 130-150 pound woman is going to carry a 200 pound dude out of a firefight, i'll say it's okay for them to serve on the front line... but believe me when i say this... they are not our equal in fighting... in a military squad, you're only as strong as your weakest link... this is a very bad move for the military.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  49. Chase

    Women should not be allowed. To many issues

    January 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • A66 year old veteran and hunter

      right only men havethe right to die and or lead.........You go girl........I mean you go guy!!!

      January 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  50. Antronman

    On second thought, yes let's give women a taste of how hard it is to work your bum off trying to get a job from some guy eating candies at his desk, and then work for hours a day to support the family, then come home and try to relax while your partner screams at you to get off the couch and help clean. Then, instead of sleeping you sit at the computer trying to finish the project so your devilish superior might just recommend you for a higher position. Let's send women to hell in wars, and see how they like having to slaughter thousands without flinching. Yes, let's!

    January 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • cindykm

      A lot of us "wimmin" already do all that, moron, What's your point?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • ellid

      Women already do exactly that, plus have to deal with the possibility of being belted or raped by their allegedly loving partners. Cry me a river.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  51. ally07

    Here is an idea. All female units :) ok. problem solved. Well, there is the whole period sinking up thing going on but that could be a good thing.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      bang on

      January 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
    • Common Sense

      Good idea!

      January 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  52. krush

    322nd civil affairs(Airborne) here. n What about their monthly cycles and I do remember males soldiers competing for female soldiers attention in the field....distractions.......

    January 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • JFCanton

      "Female problems" could be treated like any other health consideration. How many women are suited for these jobs is an entirely different matter, though-don't they have higher physical standards? There might be 1 in 50 women who can handle a job that is suitable for 1 in 5 men.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  53. Bob

    Women SOF? Craziness.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  54. Norman

    SEND HILLARY...

    January 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  55. Daniel

    Women embrace emotion, men embrace logic. This is a scientific fact. Men are born stronger, and mature stronger than women, again a scientific fact. You liberals claim to love science so much but ignore it when it does not coincide with your ideals. These female soldiers will a have a logical and physical disadvantage on the battlefield. Again a scientific fact. So the only question remains, why are we putting our troops at a disadvantage?

    January 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • Dude

      Not a fact, much less a scientific one.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
      • Daniel

        Actually it is , do a quick Google search to quell your ignorance, or blindly ignore me and keep believing in unicorns.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Gray

      You are an ignorant man devoid of intelligence, good luck with that.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
      • Daniel

        Small insults and childish remarks won't get you far in life bud. But good job with your excellent rebuttal

        January 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  56. A66 year old veteran and hunter

    Note these women/patriots are not carrying assault/battle rifles.........These can be clicked to full..........so the 20 gauge single shot is just as deadly in room full of children..........Go NRA!!!!Keep up the truth taht AR-15s r the same as my shotgun.........
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCCqeV-qfuU&w=640&h=390]

    http://americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/ And Gabby Gifford although shot in the head is trying to take away my gun/tank/close air support.........Where are ya NRA when they, them, those, leftist, commys, righties, martians are trying to take away my right to bear arms, I mean armies, I mean B52's........You get em Wahne LALAND

    January 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • david

      It sounds like it is time for you to turn your guns in.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply
      • A66 year old veteran and hunter

        Right, but listen to the viatribe of NRA and see if I need to turn in my weapons...............

        January 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
      • A66 year old veteran and hunter

        BTW this original comment was pointed at the gun huggers/NRA..........For an old white guy like myself, they scare even me!!!!!!

        January 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • joe slow

      This is whats wrong with the NRA's members– the mindset that guns are life and life is guns.

      Hey grandpa, instead of picking up a gun, how about picking up a musical instrument?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  57. Ben

    Didn't Israel try this because of a lack of manpower and wasn't it a moral disaster and reversed?

    January 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
    • You are an imbecile

      women currently comprise 33% of all IDF soldiers and 51% of its officers?
      So much for a "disaster", you idiot.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  58. LongLivetheQueen

    The US military is ending its policy of excluding women from combat and will open combat jobs and direct combat units to female troops. “In order to curb violence and make for a safer America, we will also eliminate the longstanding policy of issuing magazines (check the photo) to combat troops,” a senior defense official says.

    In other news, an encrypted message sent by Piers Morgan to a high ranking British military official has been intercepted. Homeland Security is currently working to decode the message. But an unnamed source has informed CNN that the opening sentence of the message says, "Time is nearly right to retake Colonies.”

    January 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  59. david

    Well if nothing else at least when they are captured the interrogators will be able to have a good time with them before killing them. Ahh the spoils of war.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  60. What!

    If a women can make it through BUD/S under the same stipulations as a man then more power to them. However you can't send a women into the frigid ocean in just a plain tshirt...hello!

    January 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  61. banlarson

    Major mistake, one that will be overturned after the first female is captured and publicly tortured. Some women have been fighting for this...they will regret it. Combat is not glamorous or something to aspire to be part of. Believe me, I've been there done that. Why any woman (in her right mind) would willingly want to be a part of it is ignorance, plain ignorance. Women can shoot as good or better than men (proven fact), but combat is much more than simply shooting. You are only as good as a unit as your weakest link. We have just weakened our combat force; plain and simple.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      They've been lowering the educational standards for the Army for YEARS because men just keep getting dumber. Not trying to be mean but it's true. It's not surprising that they'd eventually have to lower physical standards to keep the same number of troops available.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
      • lolpoliticsarementalsick

        no tethys. there used to be a draft. so your feminism is showing. cover please.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • david

        We can tell they are getting dumber, our voters prove that.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
      • tethys

        Here's a link, d-bag. I win the internets. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2008/01/dumb_and_dumber.html

        January 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
      • banlarson

        Don't think it's a male vs. female issue. America in general is getting dumber, you just have to look at the education rankings around the world. Besides, you have to be pretty dumb these days to enlist given you will most likely serve 3 or more combat tours. Of course Obama is ending all our current wars and pulling troops home. That just means the fight will come to America rather than over there. They (radical Muslims) will not stop, America is less safe when the troops come home and there is nobody to take the fight to them.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • lolpoliticsarementalsick

      That's the truth... Nobody said the truth was fair.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  62. jeff

    Did woman in general really want this? Or is this the government getting desperate.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      I did. 18 years ago I scored the highest on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational test) than anyone in my high school for the last five years. My suggested career was "Combat Specialist". I met with a super excited MALE recruiter who was all too happy to tell me that they would LOVE to have me in the Army the second I graduated High School, but I could work supply and not get anywhere close to being a "Combat Specialist." I said, "If I get a job I can make more money than the Army pays for your supply job." He said, "That's true, but you'd be in the Army!" And I said, "Who cares if I can't do anything fun?" So I didn't enlist. I was disappointed as hell.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply
      • banlarson

        Bet your wife is glad you didn't enlist.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
      • tethys

        I'm not gay but thanks for the concern.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  63. Mister Jones

    This will cost lives.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      Yeah. 'Cause no one dies in WAR, duh.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
      • Mister Jones

        MORE lives. Sorry you needed that spelled out for you.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Garth K

      It will, mens lives....cause as we all know a women can do a mans job, as man can do a womans job. Lives will be lost cause ppl have to change there bigoted mine. Bad enough people said that my type of ppl will destroy the military....hate to say gays haven't destroyed anything. lol. I know women who are more of a man then they were.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  64. lolpoliticsarementalsick

    I know a few women who would do great in combat, and a few who can handle a gun better than most men. But in general this strikes me as political correctness run amok.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  65. Donald George MacDonald

    It remains a common individual and social tragedy when Christians, Jews or Moslems express beliefs in God, then are coerced or inducted to wound, kill or die for their countries or causes. It is especially tragic when any world citizen who feels love, and who shares love with others, enters the military and goes to war. It is tragic when our finest youths still agree to kill other equally perfect human beings.

    Most people have been indoctrinated since birth by government, church, family and friends that “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” except in wars. It often appears that our morality still changes to suit the needs and desires of the moment.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • lolpoliticsarementalsick

      you need to get a grip on reality.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Reply
      • Donald George MacDonald

        II was fortunate to survive your "reality."

        II likewise defended my leaders’ chosen causes when I volunteered to enter the military in 1969 and volunteered in basic training to go to Vietnam. I was subsequently decorated with the Air Force Commendation Medal for my one year of service in Vietnam. I then served as an in-flight crewmember on a C-141 personnel and cargo aircraft for another year and delivered military personnel and equipment to over 40 countries. During that year, I routinely returned to Vietnam in order to take healthy personnel and weapons in, then to take the bodies of our boys and our injured back home.

        II performed my duties to my country faithfully, but slowly became less faithful to my changing morality and myself. Eventually, I could no longer conscientiously contribute to causes condoned and to conflicts created and continued by my Commander-in-chief. I requested and received an Honorable Discharge as a Conscientious Objector.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  66. acedynamo

    I'm all for equality, no problem here, women have fought throughout history alongside men, but there is going to be some raping. We just need to be aware of this. Usually the bad guys mutilate torture and execute our troops, before dragging their broken bodies down the streets the camera. We just have to be ready to add gang-raped to the list.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  67. MATT

    Makes sense. Girls were some of the most violent people I knew in high school

    January 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  68. Edwin Segura

    Guys dont give up. women are making it out of the kitchen, if we dont stop them now, soon they will force us to pee in the toilet seating down.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  69. clark1v

    so why in the world was the decision made prior to the assessment of feasibility within each service? Answer – politics.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      How would you do a feasibility assessment without actually letting them in?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Reply
      • lolpoliticsarementalsick

        It's the military. THey have their ways.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Daniel

      Women embrace emotion, men embrace logic. This is a scientific fact. Men are born stronger, and mature stronger than women, again a scientific fact. You liberals claim to love science so much but ignore it when it does not coincide with your ideals. These female soldiers will a have a logical and physical disadvantage on the battlefield. Again a scientific fact. So the only question remains, why are we putting our troops at a disadvantage?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  70. david

    With all the gays flocking to the military, maybe the women will be setting the new physical standard.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Reply
    • Edwin Segura

      You are so , but so wrong. There are not enough gay men in the military, thats why they are calling on women, to do what the few gays could not accomplish. I say let more gays in to see if that creates a balance.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  71. eviltaxpayer

    This simply makes liberals "feel good" doesnt have to make sense.
    This really IS the stupidest thing Ive ever heard of but if it helps divide the nation, then its good for obama and his america hating liberals-

    January 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • david

      AMEN!

      January 23, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  72. woodsa1

    Just like CNN to get half the story right, the military are opening certain units to females. Not line units.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  73. Antronman

    Heh...you guys are missing the point. By 2014, not one drop of military influence will be left in the middle east. Obama is withdrawing all military presence. These girls won't have load a single bullet, let alone put a foot out of their transport. Sorry to disappoint the femenists, but no 5 foot tall 20 year old is going to get a medal of honor in this decade, or the next. Even before, when women were not placed in combat units but they weren't all ladylike as it was in the early 20th century. There are some pretty tough women out there, but thing is...it's not meant to be. There's a reason why women weren't placed in the infantry: respect. They weren't drafted, not only because they were like china tea sets, but the U.S. didn't plan on sending out women as target practice. You guys want women to get shot to pieces in the 30 years it'll take until our military goes someplace else? Fine, but when you complain about how many more of them are dying, it's not going to be my fault.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • Greenspam

      A woman can control a remote airplane to bomb out your ass as good as a man.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
      • retiredsgm

        True, but there is more to being a pilot sitting at a console day in and day out. In fact they probably have to lug a lot of equipment around that is quite heavy. As far as I am concerned , this gives the guys a firm legal leg to quit signing up fir the DRAFT. Now I will bet anyone that we start lowering the physical requirements for combat skills. P.S. the women in the Army already have PT standards that prove they have almost no upper body strength and endurance. I still remember the times when 17 year old women were allowed more time for 2 mile runs than was allowed for 52 year old men, and it hasn!t changed.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Anthony

      First off I doubt it'll be 30 years before we go somewhere else.
      About the medals of honor... I wouldn't be too surprised. I'm willing to be when the first combat unit with women soldiers goes to combat, something will come about to make one deserving of the medal, if for nothing else than to make this decision of theirs look good.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  74. Whatever

    I dare any one of you morons to say some of this stuff about women to THIS MARINE's face... come on, I double dog dare you...

    http://www.lejeune.marines.mil/PublicAffairs/News/ArticleView/tabid/1108/Article/3690/female-colonel-becomes-first-base-commander-for-camp-lejeune.aspx

    January 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • david

      WOW! One out of 300 million. What an overwhelming argument you present.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
      • Whatever

        She entered the Marines in 1978... when did you, Mr. Know It All?

        January 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Joe R.

      When and where? I love dares.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
      • Whatever

        I think she is at Quantico now...

        January 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Anthony

      A marine having a tough time of things in Norway (lot of fighting going on there?) and she started as a supply clerk? If you stay in long enough you have a pretty good chance at commanding somewhere. Also notice they lowered the rank of the commander by 2 ranks just to 'allow' her to command.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Reply
      • Whatever

        She served in Iraq. Did you?

        January 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  75. the cost would be to high?

    Current pass rates for men in basic training are from 70 to 90 percent. Give me 100 male trainees and you will get up to 90 trained solders. How many women out of a hundred can pass the same, non-reduced training? 10, possibly 20? Truth is I don’t know, could be less. The main argument here should be cost. Why would we settle for 20 solders when we can get 90 with the same effort and expense?

    January 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      You can't and that's why they are doing this. It's an ALL VOLUNTEER army and then men ain't volunteering like they used to. These women aren't taking spots away from men. There are as many men to fill them. Recruitment is low because it's wartime. People used to sign up just to get college $$$. Now they know they have to fight and they go work at McDonald's instead.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Reply
      • Jemarcus

        That is ENTIRELY UNTRUE the military has wayyyyyy more recruits than they have job slots, there are men waiting 10-12 months to go to bootcamp. Maybe before posting stupid comments, you do one simple google search.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  76. larry darrell

    The funniest part of the entire push for women's "equality" is that women are far worse off because of it. Taking away everything that makes women women simply reduces the to men....nice job.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  77. ArmyVet

    I am an Army male veteran of 22 years and have utmost respect for our female counterparts. They in every respect can accomplish the mission. It depends upon the "individual". Some females might not be comfortable in a combat role just as MANY male counterparts are not. It is not a matter of testosterone, but a matter of sacrifice and a willingness to serve.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      With all due respect, i am a veteran myself and i completely disagree with you... I carried the load of many of my female counterparts when i served because they were not strong enough to move equipment around, they couldn't march as far or as fast as us... Yes i believe Women have a role in our military but man, you know as well as i they simply aren't physically equal... tell me in a combat zone, if you're a 185 – 200 pound dude, how you expect a female counterpart to drag you out of a firefight if you're injured? many of these women are maybe 135-150 pounds? come on man, lets not mince words be honest about it.... you can't do that to the front line troops.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Reply
      • ArmyVet

        It all depends upon the situation. I have carried the load of many male and female. But I have had many females carry the load in combat for those males who would not. We have had all different experiences and in instances from where I have been, I would place my life alongside thos of my female counterparts.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • Franky

        Thank You. But it goes beyond that.... why do we need women in a firefight. Ok, strictly from a national interest point of view. To keep any society going you don't need that many men but you need as many women as possible because from a speciel standpoint 1 man can have many more children than 1 women can. So, why would you put the women of your society to be killed if ou are trying to protect that society? It's stupid.

        Beynd the average physical differences, I mean there are women like Lindsey Davenport, Hulk Hogan's Daughter, and Serena Williams but they aren't the average women, and even then a 5'9" 150 man is still going to on average be far stronger than a women of equal stature and weight. This reminds me of the Monty Python , "how could a 5 ounce bird carry a 1lb coconut".

        January 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • Donovan

        Honestly, i think the system should simply be performance based. If a women can pass the test, let her in. If she can't then don't

        January 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  78. Rev Dr Felix Nwosu

    this is great opportunity for women who want to be in real force,women equality is gradually coming up as promised by obama government. that's good and nice.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  79. AlienShark

    I guess this the end of the empire. How ignorant towards the nature of humanity we have become.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  80. TD

    np – but they should make the PT test equal...if you want a mans job then be able to do what a man can do (physically) esp when others can get killed...if they can pass it on equal stds then let them do it...think the same goes for fire fighters and cops

    January 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • pat

      Yeah, our police and fire fighters are the picture of fitness....

      January 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
      • Reasonable Dude

        That's not really relevant to the core of TD's argument. If women want to fight alongside the men, they need to be able to pass the same tests, and you haven't given any reason to believe otherwise. It's the essence of equality to hold everyone to the same standards.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
      • Greenspam

        I can. A woman can multi-task better than a man. How about mental tests that require multi-tasking. That's a test women can beat men and military can certainly use many multi-taskers.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Anthony

      This brings in a whole new problem in that I would guess maybe 10% or lower of women who try will be able to match the standards given to men... this is going to be a huge cost in training just to have so many fail out.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  81. lilyq

    And with the stroke of a pen, there go the last vestige of chivlary. ugh

    January 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      Since when does keeping a woman from more pay and career advancement = chivalry?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
      • lilyq

        It doesn't.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • Franky

        What does that have to do with women in combat?

        January 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • pat

      dude, chivalry's been dead for quite some time. Lately, it's just been used as an excuse for subjugation.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  82. Troup Brazelton

    Now women can register for the draft just like men are required to do and if Rep. Rangle (D) get his way women can be drafted just like men.

    Wonder how much support there really is for women serving on the front lines in combat?

    January 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  83. Franky

    I am liberal and it annoys me to know end. I believe the "women are equal" in the sense that their value to society should be considered equal. So if they do a job , pay them the same, as you would aman doing that job. However, I do not believe women and men are equal in any way shape or form. And that was nature, not my doing, we are different, it doesn't mean one is better than the other.

    But I believe we have a problem, you have women who want to be women, but don't want to do isht, they don't clean, they don't cook, they get nannies, what is their purpose? Then you have women who want to be men, and then no one is home with the kids, as society has been setup for men to be out working. So, basically, now everything is fxik. I don't believe in women in combat and I beat my daughter if she ever even contemplated such a thing, I would never want to even think about some Taliban who captured her, calling his buddies in some they can try some of that "Western". Not gonna happen on my which, and I'm an uber liberal Obama supporter, but this is too much for me.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • lilyq

      Yes! Thank you! Who is going to care for the children?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
      • Cassie

        Not him apparently, as he just admitted he would beat his daughter for something that is none of his concern. If she chooses a military life path, that is her choice, not YOURS.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
      • Franky

        Cassie just cause you have daddy issues and feel a need to be rebellious that's on you. Like I said, no Taliban, no Terrorist, no whatever is going to lay hands on my daughter and have his with her, period. You live your life how ever you want ... but no self-respecting man , would not do his utmost to prevent that kind of ending for his child. I give a ....k about what you think is her choice or not. Not gonna happen. Over my dead body.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
  84. Farrok

    Many Women are excellent rifle shots and are mean as Hades so let them on the rifle line.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  85. greg

    This isn't about women's rights, it's about doubling the fighting force without having to use the draft.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  86. Moko

    All the wars mankind had were caused by resources and territorial issues. Hitler wanted to give all Europe to the Aryan race. Men have the obligation to do the dirty and heavy work (like fight in a war) to protect his country and his family.
    War was an option of politics, but nuclear weapons made it a less interesting option.
    Now that the world is based in a Mutual Assured Destruction with nuclear weaponized countries like USA, China, Russia, UK, France, India, Pakistan, etc. IT IS NOT LOGIC TO ALLOW WOMEN TO KILL AND BE KILLED IN COMBAT.
    TO COMPENSATE THE DISCRIMINATION WOMEN SUFFERED IN THE REFUSAL TO USE THEM IN COMBAT, LETS EXPEL ALL THE MEN FROM THE MILITARY, LEAVE THE WAR TO WOMEN, AN MEN WILL STAY AT HOME DRINKING BEER, WATCHING FOOTBALL, WHILE WOMEN FIGHT IN WAR!!!

    January 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
    • Imagine No Religion

      Actually, most (if not all) wars are/were based in the perverse concept called religion.

      "War is over, if you want it. War is over, now." - John Lennon

      January 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
    • cindykm

      By all means, please do. There will probably be a lot less warfare if we try that.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      Couldn't agree more, Moko! Send in the women to fight all the wars and leave the men out of it! Problems will be solved peacefully in days without men shooting each other trying to prove how big their penises are.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  87. Troy

    Wow, I thought this was a story from the 1970s or something. Women weren't in combat??

    January 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Aud

      I'm right there with ya Troy, I had no idea either, wow.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  88. justababymaker

    I'm so sick of the flowery "Women are lifegivers not lifetakers". It's just a stupid way of saying "Yall, git back to birthin them babies!!".

    January 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      justababymaker
      – I'm not saying women can't handle being in the military, but be honest with yourself, women are not as strong as men and you know it, i was in the military and there are very brave strong women that i'm proud to say belong in the military, but they are in roles that allow them to do a job that doesn't require them to be as strong as their male counterparts... combat roles are a totally different beast, I was always aware that the women in my unit weren't as strong as I was... but it didn't matter that much because we weren't infantry... This is infantry you're talking about... you're talking about their job is to hunt down the enemy and kill them... These females will need to be every bit as strong and fast as their male counterparts or they will slow them down and that absolutely will be the case... women simply aren't as strong as men... it's biology... You think a 135 pound women has a shot in He11 of carrying a 200 pound man out of a firefight if he goes down? Because that's what will be asked of them... you're simply not thinking clearly about what's being talked about here.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
      • pat

        Do you think women should be allowed to fly a plane or work in a submarine? Cause this is really what this article is about.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  89. Clinton

    Cindy,
    I keep seeing your name out there in defense of putting women on the front lines, can i ask you are you a female soldier? – my experience in the Army was that most women couldn't keep up with most men, particularly when it comes to ruck marches, Carrying or moving heavy equipment around etc. ... heck most women weren't issued SAW's (Squad automatic weapons) or M-249's because they simply didn't have the strength to carry them fully loaded in Iraq. Now this being the case, why does it make sense to put women in combat roles when they are not equal to their male counterparts... I'm sorry but the bottom line is men are built to be stronger and faster than women, that's a biological FACT not a gender biased idea.... You put every man in that squad's life in danger by putting someone who is weaker in the group because if you know anything about being in the military you should know you're only as strong as your weakest link.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • stanley

      The solution to your problem is simple: impose a uniform physical standard. It seems that your argument is not against women in the military, but against weak people in the military, in which case I couldn't agree more.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  90. Rob

    That's why everyone packs baby wipes. Everyone.

    January 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • Rob

      In response to those wondering how to keep clean in the middle of nowhere for weeks or months at a time. Adapt. Overcome. Carry on. Complete the Mission.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  91. Ranger

    6 year vet and all I will say is this, if any woman can make it through Ranger school the way I did (without changing the standard) than more power to her and she deserves to serve with us.

    January 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Reply
    • Ed

      You know they are going to change the standard – like they do for everything else. It won't fly if no women can pass the current standard – in the name of "politically correct" and "equal opportunity" standards will be changed.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Vet543

      Until she demands a separate living space and showers...

      January 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • pat

      He never said demand separate showers or change the standard. He simply said if a woman could go through the training he went through they'd be deserving. Why do you have to make his comment something it's not?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
      • Mister Jones

        Because that is what is going to happen. Women are going to need separate living spaces. And they have different hygiene needs. I was Navy, but I have seen the way the Army and Marines do things, and this is going to make a complicated situation into a worse charlie foxtrot. This isn't making anything better.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
  92. Joe

    "The existence of the combat restrictions clearly indicates the basis for Congress' decision to exempt women from registration. The purpose of registration was to prepare for a draft of combat troops. Since women are excluded from combat, Congress concluded that they would not be needed in the event of a draft, and therefore decided not to register them." -Majority decision Rostker vs Goldberg 1981

    January 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • Ed

      Looks like time to change that decision if we want to be "fair".

      January 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  93. jenkins05

    As a famous man named Nelson once said " HA HA "

    January 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  94. David

    I'm in the military and right now women are not required to pass the physical fitness test on the same level as I have to. Why not? Double standards as usual.

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

      Because they can't pass the same physical fitness test – they are weaker by genetics. Makes no difference with a gun – but in hand to hand combat they are as good as dead.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Reply
      • Joe

        When has hand to hand combat ever happened in the modern era? name a single instance.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • Chris

        A single instance of hand to hand in modern war? Are you kidding? How about the SS given to the Ranger for killing a man with his bare hands? How about the Brits doing an actual bayonet assault in Iraq? I personally was in a hand to hand fight – and it was in Kosovo, the lowest level of zone there is. There are hundreds of examples if you just look, all in the last few years.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Greenspam

      Because war is not won by physical strength anymore.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  95. Fields

    Has everyone lost their minds?

    God help us if we ever actually have real war again...

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

      In case you haven't noticed we have been involved in a real war for the las decade.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • Ed

      Lost their minds assumes they has one in the 1st place.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  96. Frank

    Perfect!

    They want equal pay and equal this, and equal that!? Then with equal pay and equal benefits of being a man COMES EQUAL RESPONSIBILITY! I have been saying to put them on the front line from the get go and see how they like the s***ty end of being a man rather than all the supposed benefits of being a man.

    Now lets start having automatic custody and child support start going to the DAD for a change and see how they like being a MAN!

    January 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • D. Carter

      I agree-it's just sad it could affect women that want to be women (not men) and serve their country in the military but not in combat. I don't want to hear these liberal, "I am woman hear me roar" types gripe when it's their daughters, granddaughters, etc dying in combat. You asked for this.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
      • Franky

        I am liberal and it annoys me to know end. I believe the "women are equal" in the sense that their value to society should be considered equal. So if they do a job , pay them the same, as you would aman doing that job. However, I do not believe women and men are equal in any way shape or form. And that was nature, not my doing, we are different, it doesn't mean one is better than the other. But I believe we have a problem, you have women who want to be women, but don't want to do isht, they don't clean, they don't cook, they get nannies, what is their purpose? Then you have women who want to be men, and then no one is home with the kids, as society has been setup for men to be out working. So, basically, now everything is fxik. I don't believe in women in combat and I beat my daughter if she ever even contemplated such a thing, I would never want to even think about some Taliban who captured her, calling his buddies in some they can try some of that "Western". Not gonna happen on my which, and I'm an uber liberal Obama supporter, but this is too much for me.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
      • stanley

        If Franky really is a liberal, I'm appalled at how little respect he has for his daughter's decisions. He clearly believes that because he's a man, he gets to tell women what they can or cannot do, and what kind of risks they should or should not undertake.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • Franky

        Call me whatever you want , there will be no Taliban making a snuff/rape flick including my daughter, not gonna happen.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  97. lsn2me

    females are, by nature, empathetic, compassionate and nurturing. they are designed, genetically, to live in harmony and to be aware of the needs of others. children would not survive their dependent years if this were not so. men are lacking (not all men) in these genetic endowements for this is evident in men's cruelty (not all men) to man and animals alike. males create war and are responsible for untold violence and suffering imposed upon the innocent creatures of this planet. men (not all men) tend to be the narcisists who's goal is to conquer and control. women do not have this propensity toward such objectives. it is sad to see women behaving as men, especially at this critical time on planet earth, when the earth needs to be attended to through common sense and selfless compassion. these women have the right to fight as men do. but why do they? we live in patriarchal societies that still teach that it is more respectful to be male or to take on male qualities. only when women own their collective feminine power, will wars cease.

    January 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      females are, by nature, empathetic, compassionate and nurturing. they are designed, genetically, to live in harmony and to be aware of the needs of others. children would not survive their dependent years if this were not so.
      ___________________________________________________________

      Their kids are NOT SURVIVING IT. Women now days choose their own selfish needs over raising their kids an taking care of family as nature intended it. Our children in this country are TERRIBLE.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Reply
    • Franky

      Finally, I'm sorry women are crazy. Empathetic , oh my god I've never seen a more selfish creature created. They are simply more emotional and aware of emotion, which I guess is the definition of empathy.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • pat

      Your opinion on how women are "by nature empathetic, compassionate, and nurturing " only points out how ignorant you really are. You may prefer women and men to adapt to gender stereotypes, but that doesn't make it "nature". It only makes you ignorant to how "nature" works.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • Franky

      Pat, pick a side. Buddy. There are inherent differences in men and women, maybe it's nature versus nurture, but there are plenty of studies on this women, are more aware and empathetic, meaning feeling emotion. For example, they studied reaction of women versus men shown images of violence, mens empathatic region is simply far less active. Now you can argue this was developed afterwards but I disagree, I think there is a genetic component. It's like Oxycotin, the hormone, which causes a women to bond to her child or male for that matter is far more prevelant in release in women, versus men. They did an experiment with prarie dogs and removed the gene that produces the oxycotin and at birth you know what those prarie dogs did with the child, absolutely nothing. Honestly, there are genetic differences Obvious with men and women, and then more subtle differences. It's not to say one is better than the other, but there is. And it's not absolutes but law of averages. On average a man is far stronger than a female. On average female shows greater signs of empathy. Does that mean man A is less empathetic than female B, not neccessarily but it's simpy an average meaning given the average , yes, it would be the case.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  98. Franky

    So, you think you are more likely to get raped in a base than as POW in an enemy camp? ARe you listening to yourself. While I see your argument, but a base you have some sort of potential refuge, and you are not expressly there to likely be tortured as a POW, there is no uch illusion. The argument you make is simply silly to me. Like I said if the women who sign understand the consequences if captured then, you like it , I love it. I don't have any kids, but fxi.k no would I ever encourage my daughter to be in that position, I'm sorry. Call me old fashioned but in some regards men and women are not equal , and I'm ok with that. I have no problem with differences.

    January 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  99. Jackson

    And they can end the war in seconds with the following line...

    "Oh, this is so typical of you, enemy soldiers....this is JUST like that war we had three years ago, when you said this would never happen again, and like a fool, I believed you....well, trust me enemy soldiers, there are going to be some changes in THIS relationship, that's for sure"

    The enemy will surrender before that speech is done.

    January 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • Hitman

      Lmao!

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

      You are a lucky man if your woman only remembers mistakes you make from 3 years ago.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  100. Faith-Isn't-a-Preacher

    War is Hell. The kinds of atrocities of war just got expanded.

    January 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • Kathy

      Perfect wording. It's bad enough too being a minority female in a unit like that not in war. Only a very tiny portion of the unit will be open for females, making them extreme minorities, in a rough male environment. And let me tell you, most of them wont treat female soldiers with respect. There are already other line units open similarly to women, the Army needs to look into those and see what it's really like before jumping the gun.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Reply
      • Hobo

        Respect is earned..... everywhere.... Not just in the military.

        January 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Kathy

      Is this what you tell rape victims and people with mentall illness or disorders?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.