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 (3,534 Responses)
  1. 21k

    oh boy, NOW what are the inbred d.b.'s at westboro baptist going to put on their signs?

    January 23, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • BK

      Same thing as always. They aren't very creative.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  2. Joey

    Great – it will be like Starship Troopers. Hot women with tattoos, naked co-ed showers. Love it! Where do I sign up?

    January 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • BK

      I'm not sure what to think if you have to risk your life in the military just to get a lady to shower with you.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Reply
      • Joey

        Well, it doesn't come as easy to some as to others.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  3. asdf

    Hey if some woman desperately seeks to please her military dad I am all for it. Allow a maximum amount of volunteers will reduce the likelihood of the BS draft.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  4. john

    i heard stories about males having to carry the other females ruck sacks and that was military police. infantry,ranger, and special forces is a different animal. STOP the special treatment and lower standards for women so they can think they are equal!!! they are not. served proudly in 1st ranger battalion but am sad to see how weak the military ha become!!!!

    January 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Reply
    • capiers

      So because of some out of context example you posted we are to assume that all women who decide to go infantry simply can't hold a candle to the stud in you. I pretty sure there are plenty of women out there who are just as capable and willing.. I will have to trust that the Military will decide based on successful completion of all required training which female candidates will become combat ready. I think they do this for males already right.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  5. JAden

    Im kind of surprised that most people here are more concerned about the physique of women as the issue of contention. I think that as long as the woman is physically capable then that shouldn't matter. I know several women who are built like men and who most men wouldn't beat in a fight. As long as she can meet the physical demands then there's no issue.

    My issue is with MOTHERS choosing combat. I think it's incredibly selfish for a mother of children to put herself in harms way. For a mom to go on the front lines isn't brave..it's selfish!!

    January 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      Is it selfish for dads, too?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • mamanas

      Father's just don't get any love...

      January 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Reply
      • tethys

        I just think JAden has mommy issues. Dads leave their kids to go to war all the time. JAden seems to think women are just a walking uterus.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Todd

      In my observation, most women who are really dedicated to the military and the mission (the type who are likely to want these jobs) do not have children.

      But even if she did – presumably the kid has a dad. If she's a single mother, I agree with you. I would not encourage any single parent to join the military.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • KevMatt

      JAden, Yes there are women out there that are capable over powering men, but men who are not physically trained like men in the military in physically demanding combat positions. When a man and a women are both in equal levels of physical conditioning, basic human anatomy cannot be denied, men are stronger.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
      • capiers

        Wrong again.. There are plenty of women who are just as strong or stronger than men. Stop with the stereotyping.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • capiers

      Wait just a moment... If there is a Father in the picture then your concern is irrelevant, unless of course you are saying that Fathers can't raise there own children without the help of the Mother.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  6. Star-Spangled Bullsh!t

    WOW!

    Are there ever a lot of sad, d!ckless misogynists out here tonight.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Reply
    • mamanas

      Agree

      January 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  7. nc1965

    Correction:

    If I'm injured, I want to at least be confident that the person next to me can carry me to safety. Or better yet, have the reflexes that are quick enough to throw a grenade back at the enemy before it blows up.

    I wouldn't want to fight next to women. Sorry.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      Don't worry. They wouldn't fight next to you. They'd just shoot you.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Reply
    • Sammy Z

      You obviously haven't been deployed. Only certain few are even allowed to carry frags.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Reply
    • capiers

      Seriously.. you think that all women are fragile little creatures. Grow up and accept the reality that exists outside of your tiny bubble. In order to be a combat ready soldier you have to pass many mental and physical challenges. Women will be held to these same challenges. If they succeed and are given combat ready status then she is just as capable as any other combat ready solider.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  8. God's whisperer

    Women should not be allowed to kill being a maternal instinct at their hearts hence their exclusion from combat shall stand.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • Mage Grumbley

      The maternal instinct for the mama bear includes killing to protect her offspring. This is not me, "Ah! My female nature! Can't keep you from hurting my child. Quick get me a man over here! They're so good at the stabby punchy trigger shooty thing."

      January 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  9. john

    airborne school was very easy yet 80% of female's failed. put women in ranger school or special forces and see what happens. glad im out, the military is a joke now

    January 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • mamanas

      Actually soung better since you left.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • capiers

      If a women fails her training then she will not be allowed to fight alongside other soldiers. This is pretty much true for men as well.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  10. Patrick

    It's about time.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  11. Kevin

    Platoon leaders on their periods.... just what the military needs.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  12. Stephanie

    Wow sad day for the Infantry

    January 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      yeah. They'll have to start acting like men instead of drunken frat boys. So sad.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  13. pb

    what about selective service and eligibility for the draft is now everyone going to have register? I think they should for the sake of equality.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • Fred

      As a Vietnam era guy with a low draft number, significantly effected my life and now all women should carry that burden and eventually we can eliminate all EEO and base advance on merit.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  14. 75Ranger

    The movie G.I. Jane aside.... do they really think that a Special Forces unit such as Navy SEALs, the Ranger Rgt, Marine Recon, etc. can have females in them, having the same physical standards? This is a bad idea. the majority of units/Military Occupation Specialties are totally appropriate for women, but units that are specifically meant to engage in direct combat should be closed to them. I'm not talking about whole divisions or something, but specific roles within that division or other organization. Should they be in the 82n Abn Division? Yes. Should they be in one of the combat regiments as front line airborne infantry? NO. There's facts of life, and one is that in the majority, women are not suited for direct combat.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • Alex H

      My Grandmother was a partisan warrior fighting in the former USSR during WWII and probably has more direct combat experience than 99% of the standing US army. So yeah, whatever you say man.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • asdf

      Really? Tell that to the IDF (Israel Army) where some of the most distinguished troops have been women (full integrated military). Next you will say but Israel doesn't see combat.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Reply
      • Star-Spangled Bullsh!t

        You and Alex know the score, so to speak. Amazing, the reaction of many of the so-called "men" on this board.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
      • Coulro DeSouth

        While 90% (but not 100%) of IDF specialties are open to women, less than 70% of the specialties actually have women serving. In the other 30% of specilaties, women have been unable to meet the standards. As long as a given woman can meet every standard, she should have the right to attempt to meet them.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Dave

      The key is if a combat specialty will open for women, the exact same physical standards must be applied to women as to men. If a man must do a certain number of push ups or pull ups, then a women must meet the same standard. If a man has to carry a 70 pound pack over a certain distance in a certain time, then a women must accomplish the same standard. If this can be met, then the woman is eligible.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Reply
    • capiers

      If a female candidate passes all required mental and physical challenges(meaning she is just as capable as a male) then of course she should be allowed to fight alongside. It is sad that people still consider all women to be inferior to men. That hasn't been the case ever.. Just something you were taught by your up-bringing.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  15. nc1965

    If I'm injured, I want to at least be confident that the person next to me can carry me to safety. Or better yet, have the reflexes that are quick enough to through a grenade back at the enemy before it blows up.

    I wouldn't not want to fight next to women. Sorry.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • Star-Spangled Bullsh!t

      Maybe you should stop acting like one then.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  16. Brian

    If you have no served in the military you have absolutely no right to critique or comment whether women are fit for combat. Because you have never seen or experienced combat.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • Truth

      What an idiotic statement. Go pound sand you d-bag.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • Citizen Patriot

      Nope, but I know women.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  17. Darren

    I suggest we start forcing these women to reveal when they start menstruating each month and send them on a one week deployment behind enemy lines. Wars would be over in a sixteenth of the time!

    January 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  18. Soldier 1

    Please help us OBGYN Kenobi, Your our only hope.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  19. RAWR

    Some people will never know what its like to have a dream kept from them because of something they couldn't help (i.e. their gender). It was a dream of mine to be in Special Operations Pararescue, and it was shattered as a young child. This is the dream I've been waiting for. I joined the army at 19, got in the best shape of my life, and damn it I will give it everything I got if I ever get this opportunity. To those who wish to take this dream away from me, I don't care, the decision is made, and its so close I can almost taste it. I love the Army. I love all my brothers and sisters in arms and all I want to do is be a good soldier. That's all I have ever wanted.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • JAden

      I support you 100% sweetie but I'm praying your not a mother. Women with children should NOT be allowed on the front lines. A woman who chooses combat when she's got kids isn't heroic–she's selfish. I hope that they add a clause preventing women with minor aged kids from going into combat.

      I wish you success and hope you realize your dreams as long as your not a mother. If you are you need to think about how risking your life isn't fair to your kids.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
      • RAWR

        No I am not a mother. I agree that women should make the moral choice of their responsibilities.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
      • capiers

        Again you are wrong... Women who are Mothers can be Heroes. The only thing that would not be desirable is a Women with children but no Father in the picture. Men are capable of raising children. Stop with your stereotypes. Children can get everything they need from a Mother, Father, Grandparent, Aunt Uncle etc.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Clinton

      RAWR
      – More power to you for wanting to be a soldier but I was a soldier once and i can tell you right now you're also not having to meet the standards that your male counterparts must meet, and you are not built like a Man you are not as strong and not as fast... You're asking to join the ranks of the strongest fastest men in our armed services, I don't think that's a good idea because i guarantee you they are faster and stronger than you, if they take you into combat can i ask you, how is it fair to them that you would be holding them up? Slowing them down? How do you think they'd feel knowing that if they are 185-200 pounds and you are 135-150 pounds... and that if they get injured they got to rely on you to drag them to safety? How do you think they feel knowing if you join their ranks their lives are in your hands and you're not the best they could have with them... It's life and death it's no joke out there and you could end up getting dudes killed.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
      • Lauren

        How do you know what she weighs?

        January 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Kathy

      Grow up... or go watch some Disney movies. Your "dreams" are not more important than the unit's well-being and mission. Geez.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  20. jim

    i served in 1st ranger battalion and let me say that women cant do it physically or mentally. allowing women to enter combat units will weaken units, because women have lower standards and special treatment. im glad im out of the military

    January 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • WOOGY

      The Marines are fixing that problem in late 90's I think 97-98 The commandant said alright you want to be treated farily then no more 1 1/2 run for the females you get to run what the males do 3 miles for the PT test. And starting this year the females will no longer be doing the flex arm hang they will do reg dead lift pull-ups like the males but of course the point system is not the same. Bottom line if you can't strap on a 55lb ruck with out the 12qts of water and the extra 40lbs of ammo and ruck run 10 miles at a 15min mile pace you don't belong there.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  21. Confused

    I've been waiting for years for Gloria Allred to fix this injustice.
    -And what about women registering for the draft like men have to.
    Gloria, where are you?

    January 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Reply
  22. nocturne8734

    Women in combat! Now I will sleep better tonight.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  23. kaylynd

    My hubby is infantry and I personally don't think a woman can handle the physical work. How is a woman of a 120lbs suppose to drag a man who is twice their weight to safety. I think it will put more people in danger

    January 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      In all honesty how many times has your HUSBAND dragged a fellow soldier to safety outside of a training exercise? Probably zero. So you're saying it's better to give a slot to a stronger person who can't shoot as well because at some point every man in the unit might be rendered unconscious and every female would have to carry them? How about we start building units based on logic and strategy rather than ridiculous scenarios that won't ever happen?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
      • N

        "Ridiculous scenarios that won't ever happen"?? In your inane quest to promote selective equalist ideology, you're ignoring an absurdly important component of being an infantryman - the ability to carry your comrade to safety should he be wounded.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
      • EM

        Someone getting dragged to safety in a combat situation is a RIDICULOUS scenario to you?
        Are you handicapped or something? You think your soldiers never take casaulties?

        January 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
      • Semper Cogitatus

        Are you saying that soldiers in combat do not drag wounded comrades out of danger? Not only is that not an unrealistic scenario, it pretty much happens every day in real combat all around the world. Being able to drag a fully loaded soldier out of harm's way should be a sine qua non of qualification for a combat unit regardless of gender. Women can be strong enough to do this, I know several female firefighters that are required to be able to do the same and are able to.

        Certainly no hundred pound five foot tall woman will be able to, and that should disqualify them from those jobs, but that doesn't mean no woman could do it.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Tom

      Some people say women cannot do the physical stuff needed (this is even coming from misguided women). Israel has used women in combat, along with several other countries without difficulty. Would a 100 pound barbie be able to do this, maybe not, but I'll tell you, when you look at female athletes, they can kick the butt of a good percentage of army guys...

      January 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Who in the world wants to send a 120 lb male or female to the front line.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:16 am | Reply
  24. Clinton

    Everybody is getting bent out of shape over the wrong reasons the fact is this isn't a problem with gender bias, this isn't a problem with equality this is a problem where you're asking men to rely on women in a combat role where physical performance is VITAL to survival. Biology is the problem, men are bigger, stronger, and faster than women and there's no sidestepping that fact... get angry if you want to but it's the truth... Now you're asking front line troops to rely on a female who isn't as strong as the rest of the team simply to appease some people who think it's excluding women to not allow them into combat roles... Believe me i served with women when i was in, they serve honorably in the jobs they have now but putting them in the infantry etc. is a BAD Idea... you're putting people's lives at risk for what?

    January 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      Would you rather have a woman beside you or no one? Because not as many men are enlisting due to the inevitability of being sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. I think people are just going to have to admit that the world is changing. Not as many men are enlisting in the military so your options are a smaller army or a slightly weaker one. There are no easy answers here.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Reply
      • john smith

        Link to enlistment numbers, please.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
      • N

        Another insanely inane false equivalency - "would you rather have a woman next to you than no one"? We'd rather have strong men next to us in a combat scenario, given the choice. And I'm virtually certain that's true of BOTH men and women.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
      • Aaron W.

        What planet are you from? Based of what you're saying I can tell that you're not in the military, nor do you know anyone in the military that you are close with. The services are downsizing, but trust me... TONS of people are enlisting JUST TO GO TO WAR! No one enlists in the military who doesn't factor in the chance of going to war. Women in combat is trouble. I love women, I love my woman, but she would be a wreck in combat... just like most of the women I know/knew in the military. Women cause jealousy, misdirection, and malice.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Alex H

      There is no mention in this article of any affirmative action. Now it is simply possible for a woman to be in a combat role. Sure, on average women may be smaller then men, and more men may be able to pass fitness trials than women, but why shouldn't a woman who is capable of passing the tests be allowed to serve? All they're doing is eliminating the requirement of having a penis.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
      • Tom

        Alex, I agree – maybe a smaller percentage of women than men are fit for combat-duty, but there certainly is a segment of women that can do it. (And there certainly are men in the military, police, fire departments that are not that suited for duty)

        January 23, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
      • FutureSEAL

        Because they don't have to do nearly as much the work. They do push-ups from their knees for Christs sakes

        January 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  25. sasss31

    On average, women are not as physically fit as men. But there are exceptional women who are just as fit if not more fit and capable than men. Standards should not be lowered so that women get accepted. But women should not be discriminated from the front lines. Women serve in Israel, and should serve here. There are many women in the military who want to have the same opportunities as men. It is about equal opportunity for those women who meet the qualifications. This is the 21st century. Both men and women should be given the same opportunities. It is long due that we soon have a female general.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
    • WOOGY

      For your information there are lots of Woman Gens Yes even at the 4 star level and yes they even have Gens in the Marines. The Army promoted a Female COL to the Rank of MAJ GEN skipping BGEN Thats going to 2 star skipping the 1 star rank.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Reply
      • sasss31

        Thank you for that information. I did not know!

        January 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  26. Dino

    Hey! No hanky panky in the foxhole. We're trying to run a war here!

    January 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  27. bikermiker

    There are other militaries in the world who have females in combat roles and they seem to have figured it out. This is the 21st century. I would rather relish the possibility of one or more female soldiers kicking the crap out of some of these Islamic militants that so enjoy killing innocent men, WOMEN and CHILDREN. That would really tick them off – beat by the women they want to subject to virtually slavery and ignorance. Unleash the women!! I'm all for it.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Some people on here seem to think we train inferior soldiers in the U.S. I pretty much feel that our troops can handle anything other modern country's expect of their soldiers.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  28. n2it

    Isn't that special... Now, the next time we have a few skyscrapers free-fall into an obvious controlled demolition we can attack yet another uninvolved country and send our children off to war in glory. God bless America. I just hope all this duct tape and aluminum foil will work...

    January 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Reply
    • Mark9988

      the foil in your hat seems to be holding up pretty well

      January 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
      • n2it

        So sorry, I failed to mention the commercial airliner that flew into a 15ft wide hole, leaving NO wreckage in front of the Pentagon. Crazy days are behind us I guess, save the occasional AR-15.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • JAden

      lol, awesome comment. I agree 100%!

      January 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Reply
      • n2it

        You sir are an obvious non-conformist. Will you please stand over there?

        January 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  29. Mark9988

    The policy-makers here can't imagine how a combat role is different than any other job, and that's a shame. So this is the lousy "politically-correct" decision we get. No one who has been in combat wants to go back to it. We go out of necessity, not because it pays better or because we have the 'right to'.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      But you don't go out of necessity. You VOLUNTEERED. They want to volunteer. If they can meet the same physical standards, who cares?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Reply
    • JAden

      Well thats just wonderful, now mothers have the "right" to orphan thier kids. I'm sure 5 year old Suzy or 6 year old Jason will be really happy to know mommy is going to not be coming home, well in a body bag..

      This is an awful idea!! Congrats ladies of the "we want to be equal" movement. You've just effectively orphaned thousands of children with this super-idiotic move. I'm a woman and support equal rights but come on! When it comes to moms on the front lines I have a real problem with that. Sad day for lots of kids today.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
      • MarkinFL

        Please look up the definition of orphan. Any educated women should be able to decide what roles are right for them.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  30. billybill

    I'm sort of indifferent. The treatment of female POWs might be an issue, and just like a fire fighter it would be nice if they were strong enough to carry out a fellow soldier. If the woman can meet the same physical requirements of the men I see no issue, reducing the physical requirements to allow more woman out on the front lines I'm less inclined to agree with.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Reply
    • Elmis

      This post has recieved no comments because it is well thought out and is not an inflammatory face-roll across the keyboard.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  31. heh

    Nurses in Nam would fight the VC with knives to protect the patients, they have already proven themselves all though out history, They deserve the honor and respect of serving in the roles they can qualify for.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Reply
  32. william

    wwwooo

    January 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  33. nc1965

    Like the saying goes, "be careful what you wish for"

    Women, you want to be like men, now you will die like men. Except with you it won't be a quick if you're caught. Well, you can only pray that it will be.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Something tells me that the women that volunteer for combat roles will be well aware of the risks. Possibly more so since they will not be as potentially testosterone driven while making the decision.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  34. MelloYello

    Wanna see women in combat? Try working I n a Wal Mart store.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  35. Robert

    BAD IDEA. What's going to happen if both genders get caught as POWs in a war, and the enemy starts torturing the female (within earshot or sight of the male POWs) unless the men give away secrets? Especially if she is cute and vulnerable looking. DUMB DUMB DUMB - BAD IDEA.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Reply
    • heh

      It already happpens...

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

      Are you saying men can't handle watching torture? Aren't they supposed to be capable of dishing it out in the first place? Let's not blame women for men's weak stomachs.

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

        I love it - you're bashing men's "weak stomachs" when he's pointing out a fairly massive security risk seen over and over again associated with this combat policy of "equality".

        Unfortunately, the whole "men should just deal with it" answer that you're used to using as a likely feminist doesn't fly when national security is involved. The enemy doesn't really care about the West's notions of "equality" and will exploit it as much as possible.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Sammy Z

      Anyone who would give military secrets for ANY reason does not belong in my Army. I don't care who you are.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • Todd

      I wouldn't worry about this. Women can already serve as 88Ms (vehicle drivers) which is one of the, if not THE, non-SF occupational specialty most susceptible to capture. There are already female POW and MIAs. Female infantrymen and pilots won't change that any. Being a pilot is actually much safer then being a driver.

      What worries me is SF units that work directly with the local population. A female SF soldier might do fine in say, Korea. But in the middle east it would be a disaster and bad for the mission.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Reply
      • MarkinFL

        Depends on the mission. They already need females with some combat troops for the very reason you mention. Remember, there is a female population there as well.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Ben

      Are you suggesting that a male soldier would care less if another male soldier were being tortured within earshot?! Don't you realize how insulting and degrading your comment is to women? It is exactly because of people who think like you that women are still to this day fighting for equality. Grow the heck up already!

      January 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      A soldier who's extremely devoted to his country would still keep his mouth shut since he already saw his best friends and his brothers in arms getting shattered by his captors. After all of that, who would give a damn about a woman that he doesn't even know?

      January 24, 2013 at 1:15 am | Reply
  36. Truth

    Round up the inner city trash that costs us millions of dollars in taxes and god knows how many lives and put them on the front line. They have their own guns already. Let them "keep it real" in Afghanistan.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  37. Todd

    In reality – this is pretty much a formality. The non-traditional nature of our current war means that women have actually been in direct combat for years now.

    But anyway. Women in the infantry doesn't bother me. Most units have 1 or 2 female PT studs who make it a point of pride to max the male PRT standards. It's much more difficult for a woman to hit the male standards, but it's doable if she's dedicated. I'm guessing this select group of dedicated females are going to be the only ones reclassing to 11B (the ones who get pregnant to duck deployments and cry to get out of trouble? Won't touch it with a ten-foot pole).

    What worries me much more is SF units. It's not that women cannot handle it physically (some can) it's cultural. Having a female trying to train, say, an Afgani military unit compromises the mission and puts her in danger. There are some place (SE Asia comes to mind) where a woman serve with SF and not have an issue. But in the middle east? It would be a disaster.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      Certainly not a "formality" in the Marines.. I dont even know how the would put men and women together to fight a war.. Horrible idea to be honest..

      January 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
      • Todd

        Men and women already are together fighting a war. Females already can serve as vehicle drivers and in psychological operations units, which are pretty direct-combat. The fears people seem to have about guys throwing away the mission to save a girl have not happened even though women have been dying, getting captured, and put into danger over there for years now.

        (I'm in the Army, not the Marines. So I can't speak directly to Marine procedures)

        January 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  38. Calvin

    I feel if woman are going to serve in combet, the military shouldnt alter any of the training the us males have to go through to be combat effective.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  39. JAden

    This is not a happy day. Ok, great so my female counterparts of gotten another opportunity for equality. Except it was a bad idea. Women who are also MOTHERS will now be blown away and leave orphan children behind or at the least motherless children.

    This is a sad day for women in the service. There's a reason why women were prevented from combat..to protect thier kids from not having a mommy anymore. Bad enough daddy's are killed, but now mothers too?? Sorry but I think this really stinks and any mother who chooses to enter combat is selfish not heroic.

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

      Actually, women deemed capable of combat will be unlikely to have had children since the prime years are 18-25 and they will be enlisted for most of that time to work their way up to combat slots. They might die and hence not be able to produce children, but it's unlikely that a woman could have a child, then enlist, then get promoted to the front lines in that short amount of time.

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

      Mom or Dad, I do not think any child likes losing any parent to war.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  40. dutchtown

    I go to this local bar in town and there is a women there that I think wouldn't even need a weapon.All you have to do is make sure she has a flask of wild turkey.God help the enemy who keeps her from having a drink.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  41. Scott

    We aren't that far advanced yet.
    You still have basic emotional issues to deal with on both sides, then you want to put them into a combat situation? I have no doubt that women can handle the job as well as a man, I'm just not sure how the emotions, both male and female, will play out on the battlefield...
    Will a male choose to save a single female, over saving the rest of his outfit? How conflicted would you be making a decision on who to save? Would that conflict in itself create enough indecision to cause even worse losses?
    These inhibitions against placing a female of child bearing age in danger have been ingrained into us for 100's of years. Going to be hard to change such things in one generation.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      We have well trained troops. I trust our soldiers to be able to generally make the right decisions in combat. Soldiers have best friends as well and may (and sometimes do) make decisions that are impacted by those friendships. This is not a new issue. just a different angle on it.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  42. ed

    NOw imagine a scenario were the enemy captures a woman soldier. Imagine what the Taliban will do to her. Okay with that? Send them out there then.

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

      Shouldn't it be their decision to accept the risk and not yours? What business is it of yours?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Reply
      • Randall

        "Who cares?" I do. My US Marine son does. My US Soldier son does. Both my boys are extra-large size men with muscles out their ears. They are battle proven and have had many a close call. But If they get injured on the battlefield how is a 100 lbs woman ever going to get them to safety? Pick 'em up? Drag em? Yell for another women to come help in the middle of a firefight? Think tethys, think!

        January 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
      • Me

        Randall, seriously? You think super models are fighting in our nation's wars? Who weighs 100lbs anymore? Obviously they would need to prove themselves physically able to be in those positions…it's what the article stated. Dragging a 210lb piece of crap is easier than you think…

        January 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Me

      I'm sure they do the exact same thing to their male prisoners…ever hear of man-love thursdays? everyone who's deployed in the last 10 years sure has…

      January 23, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  43. ug

    Not yet they won't wait a couple of years.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  44. Jack Novak

    Nightmares,Flashbacks, hit the ground when a baloon pops and I can't finish my meal and leave. These are SOME of the things my wife had to put up with.
    NOW, imagine 2 people with the same problem in the same family. It would tear it apart.
    My wife of 43 years has gone through it with me, THANK GOD, she stayed with me, how or why I don't know but she did and I LOVE HER more than words can describe!!

    January 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  45. Common Sense

    Forget women, just drop violent felons in Afghanistan, two birds with one stone sort of a deal

    January 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  46. EARL

    I know some women can do the job but is it still the best idea. What makes the military stronger or more effective? It is hard enough asking a fellow soldier who you feel is like a brother to you to go on a mission that might get him killed. How much harder will it be to ask a woman who you might think of as a sister or may even have romantic feelings for to do that? I think it really could affect the dynamics of our entire military. Does it affect the troops ability to do their jobs as well as they should? These are some pretty big questions. Hopefully the military does this the right way and evaluates the results before going all in on this idea. What's more when I was in the military the women did not have to run as far, do as many pushups and situps. When we were out (camping) they got a nice bathroom and shower so they could feel respected while the guys pooped in ditches. I have no doubt that some women can do the job but it would be a mistake to lower the standards for them. Just like it is a mistake to lower the standards for police of fireman so that more women can do those jobs.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      You're not allowed to have romantic feelings for enlisted when you're an officer. So it's not relevant. Most of the shortcomings you listed are all men's, they can't handle this, they can't handle that. Sack up. Are you a man or a whiner? But she's like my sister! Get over it. And I know the Physical requirements have been different because they never needed to be the same before. Most women won't automatically be able to meet the requirements but in a few years I'm sure they'll adapt.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  47. SSharpe

    Its only a formality that the military is formally allowing it....they've already been fighting for our country.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  48. sergent Louis P.

    This is establishing the foundation for a full draft..men and women. Which means they have some big wars planned - most likely internal ones.

    They wish to enlist women so they can reduce the populations ability to reproduce

    January 23, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
    • Sammy Z

      lol Thanks for the hyperbolic entertainment. I needed a good laugh.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
      • Thomas J

        @ Sammy-

        You see hyperbole, I see a (generally) logical progression of though here. Only one person (on this page of the comments so far, at least) has mentioned the possibility of 18 year old women having to register for the draft. Personally, I think Sgt whatsiz is barking up the wrong tree with this population management stuff, but if women are now fair game (no pun intended) in combat, the next logical step WOULD be a unis.ex draft registration at the age of 18.

        "SERVICE GUARANTEES CITIZENSHIP!!!"

        (WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN MORE???)

        January 23, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
  49. David

    This is going to be a big mistake all the way around.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • macbaldy

      You're mistaken.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Don't like the fact that women do not feel inferior to you in any way?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Reply
      • Chelsea

        I AM a woman, and the majority of us ARE inferior, we are built much much differently then men and can not withstand the physical abuse and torture just because we make it through some boot camp that catered to the fact we are women. And the women who feel like they are not inferior, they need to become police officers, DEA agents, FBI agents, not soldiers. Pick another profession, I agree, AS A WOMAN, we are not physically and mentally strong enough to go through war – It's putting a lot of men at risk, and its just asking for an rape epidemic

        January 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
      • apotas

        @Chelsea
        Go back to getting your MRS degree and kindly refrain from spouting your misogynist, outdated, and frankly asinine opinions. No one's asking you to sign up for combat. You're free to stay at home and cater to your overweight ex-frat husband; however, allow women who are not so unintelligent and weak and inundated with hateful rhetoric about their own gender to enlist.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  50. r2g

    If they can shoot, move, and communicate, I don't care what gender they are.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • Common Sense

      Yeah, but the whole team has to work together in combat. Lower standards, which the Military does for females, won't cut it on the battlefield. The enemy doesn't give you a free pass.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Reply
      • shaleefa

        I am not saying anything about the shooting/communication skill of women, but when my 220 lb butt gets hit, I want to know that someone near me can carry me out.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
      • Sammy Z

        Shalefa,

        Most men can't carry your 225lbs butt off the KZ when you're wearing 100lbs of crap. Guess that means you'll be fighting alone.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  51. debbie

    The world would be a better place if we run by women, more talk, less violence. U S should stop being world police.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
    • David

      This is combat, not a talk show.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
      • JAden

        Don't be so condescending, your idea of a typical woman is repugnant. I'm a woman and hate talk shows. But getting back to the issue, I disagree for the reason it will leave kids motherless. Bad enough there's too many daddy's not coming home but mothers too? Nope, this idea stinks much like your perception of women.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • r2g

      Last time I checked, it was a woman's actions that brought down the city of Troy. Oh, let's not forget the now sunken city off the coast of Egypt called Alexandria. Who was Secretary of State when Benghazi happened? Pretty sure Condolezza Rice supported OIF. Finally, which country had the apartheid with a FEMALE president?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Reply
      • bob

        Dude, Helen of Troy did jack crap. It was the men who fought over her and ended up burning everything down.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
      • Me

        let's see….it was all men who started those wars

        January 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Common Sense

      No way in heck. Women are too emotional, I see it in the workplace all the time. I had a woman boss who would promote people "who made her happy", not based on if they could do the job or not. Estrogen and Logic rarely mix....

      January 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • Me

      Agreed…men have shown that they are incompetent (for the last 10,000 years)

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

    One other thing. The tank mechanics would go out on a recovery mission for days at a time to recover tanks, and these guys are inside the m88 wrecker as their home. How in the hell do she do a bird bath when the time comes. We use to stand on top of the wrecker, and pour water down on the guys. I guess if she can over come shyness, and bathe with the guys, and or do a number 1 in front of the guys I guess that is what it will take. Still I am having issues making the connection to this.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
    • Me

      she'd probably throw her dirty tampon on you… haha!

      January 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  53. inspiration

    Joan of Arc was quite a fighter. She didn't last very long, but she made some guys sweat.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Reply
    • inspiration

      Burned at the stake at 19!

      January 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
      • Me

        by a man

        January 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  54. heh

    So your son is expendable but your daughter isnt? Do you hate your son?

    January 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Reply
    • inspiration

      One guy can impregnate 50 women. If we loose to many women, we'll theoretically take a lot longer to replenish the population. That's why guys are expandable, women are not.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Reply
      • birdgirl

        Somehow I doubt that we'll lose women by the millions. And our population is pretty big already – I seriously doubt Americans will die out as a result of this. (By "I seriously doubt," I really mean "it's not even possible," and is not a legitimate concern.)

        January 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
      • frankiesweep

        What if a chick gets her period out on the battlefield and leaves a trail of blood that can be tracked? That won't be good.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  55. Mitch Taylor

    Well Sorry to hear this, Mr. Penetta. I guess liberalism has come a long way.Just wait until the our body-count reflects exactly what you have done for the "Other" Gender

    I fought, and I mean Close Quarter Combat in the Ashau Valley with the 101st.ABN. Vietnam 68-69. I'm a decorated warrior . It was a very bad year for all light weapons infantrymen as some of the Vietnamese I have know would say. I mean close quarter with Naval Air at 50 meters. Even today for me its like being in a head on car crash once a week..

    Most women I would say have no place within a close quarter battlefield. I don't think that my male combat peers would feel much different. God, I hope I'm wrong for those women wanting to be part of this.

    Whats it to be< instead of Infantryman will the new nomenclature going to be Infantry-person?

    Good luck to all of you wanting to experience the kinda combat that's just sucks:(-

    January 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Reply
    • heh

      Why would you deny a qualified women the right to serve her country?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  56. inspiration

    It's always good to see the stupids being eliminated from the gene pool, men or women.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  57. Common Sense

    Time to airlift some tampons to the battle zone

    January 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
    • Jack

      Time to shove those tampons up your A**. You're probably a frequent bed wetter/masturbator living in Mommy's basement and being disrespectful due to the anonymity of the internet.
      Be man enough to meet me at the MMA gym in Tampa on the corner of North Dale Mabry and Zambito Road. The place is called Evolution Martial Arts. By the way I was an NCO in a combat arms MOS (13 M) so believe me when I say that you are an ignorant, misogynist 42 year old virgin that doesn't know sh**.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  58. Tom

    Women are already sterotyped as being blabertmouths. What is they alll get captured and the sterotype holds true?

    January 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  59. Mark9988

    Not sure why people are fighting for the right to experience traumatic amputation, PTSD and increased risk of becoming a POW. I guess the pay is better, but what a horrible trade-off.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  60. chuck

    Being a veteran Sapper, and going on missions, to destroy enemy vehicles, keeping down for hours getting recon information, I am trying to figure how is it possible for a woman to do this. If I had to do a number 1 I could do it right next to my battle buddy. She could not do this easily, without giving up our position. How is it possible.

    Even if it is some other combat job, and it requires to be on patrol. We gets ambushed, and they take a few of us POW' I could not imagine what they would do to the females they capture. Come on ladies why make this an issue.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  61. kmaz

    And everyone is gonna be crying about it when women are the ones getting their body parts blown off

    January 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
    • Me

      they already have

      January 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  62. RedLeg1

    Hey, I'll be the first to admit that there are some beastly women out there that could mop the floor with me. Back at MCT in the late 90s (woot – Camp Geiger) there was this FM on the 12 mile road march that was out sprinting all of us dudes ... while carrying the M240B! Unfortunately, the other 50-60 females in her platoon had already fallen out and gotten in the HUMMVs around mile 3. Did I mention that as men if we fell out at all on the road march we were to be immediately recycled … the ladies got to pass by just showing up.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  63. menotyou

    I don't get why any woman would be excited about this. Big whoop – you get the chance to go and die for a country that wants to take your reproductive rights away. Yeah, go for it.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  64. Jeff

    As soon as the first major conflict results in some significant female deaths, their mothers will be in an uproar. As a Vietnam veteran I wouldn't have been comfortable manning a machine gun with a female versus a male as my backup. The sob stories are about to begin.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Reply
    • Me

      good thing you're old

      January 23, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  65. Mark

    God help us. I wouldnt have fought or even been in the Marines had there been women in my unit..

    January 23, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  66. Travis

    I bet that these broads must be in 7th Heaven tonight! Now they can go to any country where they don't belong and murder people who don't deserve to die. They just can't wait to go! When I was 10, I killed a turtle and that bugs me to this day! What a difference between me and them!

    January 23, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  67. mamanas

    About time!!! These comments are wonderful.......We have a long way to go. I also like the idea that the value of a woman's life is more than a male. Not!! Come on Cavemen.

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

      A battlefield is no place for a women period. Im all for everyone being treated equal but there is a reason women dont play along side men in the NFL.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply
      • beancounter

        Actually a battlefield is the perfect place for a woman on her period.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
      • mamanas

        Battle should not be a place for anyone. Men and father's should not be seen as expendable. This is a individual choice and gender has no place in this conversation. But the more I read on this blog maybe they are expendable.

        January 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
      • Me

        and they were complaining that the NFL doesn't have enough black offensive coaches the other night…

        January 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
  68. Red Dog

    Everybody should have an equal opportunity to be sent home in a body bag.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • tyuow

      lol

      January 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  69. nc1965

    Women. You've just made most of your kids motherless and orphans. They may as well be orphans if left raised by the man.

    Anyway, he'll find someone to replace you to raise his kids.

    This is what you get for pretending to by just like a man.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • inspiration

      It's always good to see the stupids being eliminated from the gene pool, men or women.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Reply
      • That'sSo

        funny

        January 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Me

      most men today are women anyway…bunch of pansies…

      January 23, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  70. inspiration

    They should allow women to enlist, only the butch lesbian women. That would work for me. Make roadside IUD fodder out of them!

    January 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  71. James

    what do you think the vc would have done to women if they would have captured them? Is that what you really want America, l, your daughter being torn apart by the enemy?

    January 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Reply
    • inspiration

      What difference does it make? Men or women, if they are stupid enough to enlist in the volunteer army let them enjoy the fruit of their foolishness.

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

        exactly

        January 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • WEDub

      Its a good think you VOLUNTEER for it...

      January 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Reply
    • Me

      Probably the same thing they did to their male prisoners.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • Semper Cogitatus

      It doesn't matter if we want our daughters in that position, it matters if our daughters want to be in that position and are capable of performing the duties.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Oh nos, women are suffering in prison camps while the men get to stay in 5 star resorts. Oh wait, we all end up in the same place, complete with starvation, forced labor, routine beatings and torture, and an eventual execution.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:10 am | Reply
  72. 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
  73. Mark

    Damn, more empty kitchens.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  74. 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
  75. 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
  76. 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
  77. 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 |
  78. 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 |
  79. 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
  80. 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
  81. 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
  82. 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 |
  83. 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
  84. 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
  85. Antronman

    I have an even better idea😀. 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
  86. 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
  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. 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
  90. 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
  91. 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
  92. 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
  93. Gray

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

    January 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  94. 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
  95. 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 |
  96. samsapirstein

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

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

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

    January 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  98. 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
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

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.