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 (3,523 Responses)
  1. Babak from LA

    We honorable for a woman to want to do this and they must have the right to do so. With that said, I fail to see the reason behind it. Is the military opening this up to women for equality reasons or because they need more recruits?

    January 23, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • Rob

      The military hardly needs help recruiting.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • Babak from LA

      oops .. I meant to say VERY honorable not We ... Sorry bout that

      January 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  2. Sammy Z

    So lets see, there's two types of people posting here: Those that approve but say the standards should be the same for both men and women and those that spew off something about the Military has gone down the drain or women are too weak for combat.

    To me it's pretty easy to see who is and is not in the military (Currently). To those that say this is a bad decision, when you serve, you'll learn that you'll find a different viewpoint on things.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  3. mamanas

    Cavemen and a few "girls without brains".....it will be ok. Go scratch yourself, drink some beer and watch some adult movies. If other countries can make it work, the US will make it work even better.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  4. john

    put a woman in a ranger stress shoot. see how bad that goes

    January 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Reply
    • infantry guy

      word

      January 24, 2013 at 9:24 am | Reply
  5. frankiesweep

    Special forces aren't so special anymore it seems.. No longer the best of the best... Just a liberal wet dream.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Reply
    • Sammy Z

      I work with Special Forces. Do you want to know who they had directly embedded in their teams? Women, and their "ladies" more than held their own.

      Oh and you're being childish.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  6. peter

    lets see a female do an airborne jump, a 20 mile road march with 50 pounds, and a live fire exercise at the end of it. RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!!! women dont belong in combat

    January 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Reply
    • OldManChawin

      Tell that to the Israelis. They have female combat soldiers, and they've never lost a war. Unlike, say, the Americans, with only male fighters.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Reply
      • scotz

        usa neva fought a defensive war..im sure u'd enlist for d army if usa was attacked..think abt that..and isreal has lost its war in lebanon..anyway

        January 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Lee

      What makes you think a woman can't do that plenty of women are strong enough to cut it in combat the Israelis have been doing it for decades

      January 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
    • combatveteran

      B!tch please. You are living a damn fantasy. When is the last time you did that?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Reply
      • GIjoePR

        LMAO...nice

        January 24, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Jack

      A hell of a lot of men can't do that either. Yet I notice we aren't completely banning men from combat roles.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
      • 2feisty4u

        everyone seems to miss that point...

        January 23, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Teri

      Women are already in combat and have been since the Revolutionary war. In fact, as of Feb 2011, two servicewomen have been awarded the Silver Star, the military's thrid highest medal for valor in combat. I watched a female airman recevie the Bronze Star for valor in a road-side attack in Afghanistan where she not only returned fire, but saved 2 of her fellow airmen. I personally have female friends who have engaged the enemy as fighter pilots... you better believe there are women in combat roles. We should be proud of any American who's willing to put their lives on the line for our country and our freedoms... I agree, women should be able to meet the physical standards expected of men in traditional combat roles, but don't underestimate the differences and stregths between genders, too.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Ever seen one of those women who competes in triathlon events?

      January 24, 2013 at 1:19 am | Reply
  7. ChrisM106

    It's not like the men of this country are signing up to fight. The last ten years have proven that. May as well let the women do it.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  8. pete

    most of the people that agree with this have never served and doesnt know what u need to be in combat. those of us who have been in it know that women would put lives at risk and weaken the military

    January 23, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      And yet many people who have been in combat feel otherwise. Do you have anything to offer besides a general opinion?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  9. Techno

    Exoskeletons will likely be an equalizer in terms of physical requirements.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  10. Hugh Mann

    Republicans simply want to do "The Deciding" for Women, no matter what issue is.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  11. john

    lets see women do 72 push ups, 78 sit ups,5 mile run under 40 minutes, and 7 pull ups. if she can do that then let them go out for combat units. stop giving women weaker standards

    January 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
    • Todd

      Do you really think women who max the male PRT standards don't exist? I can't tell you're not in the military.

      I think people are afraid some 5'0 100 pound princess is suddenly going to decide to go infantry, but that won't happen. Women like that will stay exactly where they are (behind desks) because that's where they want to be. The females who choose to go infantry are going to be the hardA ones.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
    • joe

      after 10 days in the field without showers, they will all be yeast infection casulties.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      John – I wonder if you can do those tasks.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  12. OldManChawin

    The Israelis have women in combat roles, and the IDF kicks azz (so to speak). Of course women can fight, and why not? The burdens of citizenship should fall equally on all citizens.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  13. BigGuyWithABigBazooka

    women should no be in combat.It's too dirty and hard for them.

    It should also be mandatory that a women soldier,while on tour should NOT get pregnant.This is WAR,we don't need to have to take of your changing body.The second you get pregant,you get discharged and must stay on leave intill the baby comes out and the soldier feels ready after re-tests.

    Because now I don't want a whole crop of women crying that the military isnt helping their new pregant bodies etc...

    January 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • Sammy Z

      You obviously know nothing because it currently IS against the rules for a woman to get pregnant while deployed.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  14. Equal Opportunity

    Those that oppose Equal Opportunity must be

    living elsewhere in the world besides the United

    States. We strive for the pursuit of happiness

    and that includes Equal Opportunity in every

    field, no matter the differences physically,

    mentally, etc. If you do live in the United

    States and oppose equal rights for everyone,

    then I do hope you plan to move elsewhere,

    because the United States is of being Equal in

    all ways possible.

    I do agree that women should be included in the

    draft and the height/weight charts be

    normalized. I agree we should have a standard,

    that all inspiring to be an infantry combatant,

    should ahere to.

    I would assume both men and women would go

    through rigorous training to show that they are

    ready and capable of the expected requirements

    for infantry combat. If this is not the case, it

    is not women that should be banned, but rather

    the regulations to be updated.

    For those that have the viewpoint of women being

    empathetic, loud mouths, etc and the viewpoint

    of men of being chivalrous, e.g. "man sees women

    in danger, man runs to save woman's life," keep

    in mind, that we are human, both men and women

    alike, we have many differences and

    simililarities that are present in each of us.

    Do not assume that we all fall into the same

    stereotypes respective of each gender and should

    not be used as a means to justify not including

    women in combat roles.

    "A person can grow only as much as [their]

    horizon allows." Modified quote of John Powell

    to be politically correct and gender nuetral =)

    January 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  15. inspiration

    Women should not be allowed in combat. Period!

    January 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Your opinion exists.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  16. Ymmda

    As a combat vet I will tell you this will be a disaster. Discipline break down will be frequent and often. Moreover, the physical fitness standards will be reduced for women, they will have to be, that I state from experience. So what have women won in the cry of "equality" if standards are lowered for them and them only?

    What a joke.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Reply
    • Semper RI

      This couldn't be anymore true.. Woman already get injured in training more than men. Also, having woman around a bunch of men in a war zone, there heads might not be where they are supposed to. This so rediculous wait till the first one dies in combat, it will be the secretary's fault. Politicians will never understand because they are just that. So do they sign up for the draft? Can't wait to see this fly in a grunt unit. Morons

      January 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  17. soaps

    This is just about the stupidest decision ever made. It defies not only logic, but the God-given nature of women. Just another way this society is trying to rip apart the natural order of family, men and women. Women were made by God to be women, not aggressive men in combat. Not saying that women don't have the right to self-defense, but to make this a policy for them to be aggressors in battle is just stupid and irresponsible and against the laws of nature. They should only be put into that role by necessity, not as standard policy. Are these women volunteering themselves prepared for all the horrors the enemy will put them through? Probably not. Yes, agree with other poster that this is just one more way to reduce human population, and eat away at the family. Signed, A Woman

    January 23, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      We took a vote. We don't want you speaking for us. Signed. All other women.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Reply
      • mamanas

        We have to find a way to weed out these woman. God's Nature??

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

        Then go on the front lines, sweetheart! Be our guest. Actually, I'm sure most women would agree with me.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  18. nc1965

    Men. Your odds of surviving the military and returning home to your families have just decreased by 50%

    January 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Reply
    • mamanas

      Sounds good to me, weed the male population woulde good.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  19. frankiesweep

    Send in a battalion of chicks... See how they do in the middle east.

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

    hey if a female wants to sleep out in the woods for two weeks straight with no showers, no sleep, little food, then let them go to ranger school. love to see them fall over when they have to carry a 80 pound ruck sack on their back for two months

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

      They did, and they flunked.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  21. Agapatos

    Once again, the deified democratic principle of "Absolute-Equality-for-everyone-everywhere" shows itself to densely mindless.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  22. borat

    And then they cry how they get raped by male soldiers etc

    January 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • aceptle

      What other professions would you like to exclude women from by raping them? Teaching? Doctors? Cashiers?

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

    While this decision may be controversial, women serving in combat, although not common, has been part of American history since the Revolution. Deborah Sampson dressed as a man and enlisted in the Continental Army under her dead brother's name, Robert Shurtlif Sampson. She served a year and a half, was wounded in battle and dug the musket ball out of her leg herself with a pen knife. She was discovered when she came down with a fever, however, no word was said against her. She was honorably discharaged at the end of the war and received a soldier's pension. Mary Ludwig Hays followed her artillary husband to war as a "Molly Pitcher," a woman who brought water to artillary crews to cool down the hot cannon barrels so they wouldn't burst. When her husband fell due to the heat, Mary manned the cannon until the end of the battle. General George Washington made her a sergeant, and she, too, received a pension after the war. Another Molly Pitcher, Margaret Corbin, ran water to the artillary in the Battle of Fort Washington in New York. When her husband was killed, she took his place at the cannon until British grape tore into her left arm, chest, and jaw. She was captured by the British, paroled as a wounded soldier, and became the first American woman to receive a pension for invalided soldiers.
    In the Civil War, historians estimated that between 400 and 800 women dressed as men and served in both the Union and Confederate armies, and although not officially allowed to enlist, many of these women received soldiers' pensions after the war. There were also women like Bridget Divers who followed her husband to war with the First Michigan Calvary. She not only nursed wounded soldiers, she also helped bring them off the field, and even traveled behind the lines to recover the bodies of slain officers. It is also said that, on occasion, when a soldier fell, she picked up his rifle and took his place in line. After the Civil War, she stayed with the army and it is believed she died out West during the Indian Wars. Mary "French Mary" Tepe and Anna "Gentle Annie" Etheridge both enlisted as Daughters of the Regiment - Yes, the United States Army did enlist women to such a position. While their official duties required them to cook, do laundry, and nurse, both women went out on the field during battle to remove the wounded. Mary Tee was wounded in the foot during battle, and Annie Etheridge was wounded in the hand. Both women received the Kearney Cross (named for General Philip Kearney) for valor under fire. They were accepted as heroines by Victorian-America.
    Do I want, as a high school teacher, to see my female students go off to war? No. But if they want the opportunity to serve their country, then I cannot object.
    To counter your arguments - open some books. The men who served alongside these women respected them. They held their own in battle and there are, at least to my knowledge, NO accounts of battles being lost to women.
    If women could fight in our Revlutionary and

    January 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • heh

      well said...

      January 23, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Reply
      • chuck wagon

        The brief historical references have enlightened all that have read it and informed us of events and actions taken up by women, however, it does not and will not change my mind of the negative and bigger picture issues associated with this decision. Let me give an example of my take on equality: I have a right to wear a dress and heals and carry a pocket book yet it's not something I desire or want to do.

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

        Chuck women can and do fight just as good as men the Israelis have had women fighting for decades, women fought both for the USSE and the resistance movement in WW2.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
  24. nc1965

    If you have a wife, girlfriend or sister in the military, have them get out. Especially if it's a chance of them being in combat.

    Actually, I think this is what the new order is trying to do. Decrease the number of women in the military.

    Well, either way, their numbers will decrease in battle or discharge.

    Clever move.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  25. Mike

    This is a bad idea! If the Taliban captures a male American service member they cut off there head. Lets all imagine what would be done to service women in similar situations If your mind has not come up with rape and other assorted scenarios you are both a good person and not thinking realistically. Wake up america! Not every country respect women like we do!

    January 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Reply
    • Semper Cogitatus

      Yes, a captured would would almost certainly be raped as part of the torture inflicted on her. No, we don't want that to happen any more than we want a captured man to be tortured and executed. Like any job, as long as they are going in knowing and accepting the dangers they should be allowed to.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Reply
    • mamanas

      Respect women??? What are the rates of violence against women in the US? If a woman wants to serve in a combat role she accepts all that come with it. The objections seem to be from men who pretend to put value on females.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • ChrisM106

      Got news for you. Taliban do rape their male prisoners as well.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
      • GeorgeW

        And the male prisoners don't get pregnant. The transport units in Iraq had really bad rape problems for all the female POW. Never hear how many were impregnated and how far along they were when released. WHY on God's green earth would the citizens of this country put our women in that position. That's their right, huh ? Not in my book. I'd never want my daughter or granddaughter willingly put into that position as part of her job. My grandfather was a POW and had it bad. Can't we have mothers raising children at home and not returning from war with that scenario.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:26 am |
  26. Alex H

    I love the negative reactions all over this comment board. The funny thing is you know the people who are complaining are the same ones who say bullh*t like "Well if feminists really want equality then let them fight on the font lines!". But now the government simply allowing them to apply for these positions is driving them mad! Sorry you won't be able to use your BS line anymore to justify your male chauvinism any more. Hypocrites.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
    • heh

      yeah it has really brought the cavemen out hasnt it?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  27. john

    if women can do the same standards as men then they can try out for it. but the real soldiers that have served know that women get special treatment, lower standards, and are always in sick call complaining about something. in combat there are no timeout and women simply cant hang.

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

    Let the R A P I N G began ...........it will bring a whole new meaning to parting with the FEMALE P.O.W.

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

      Why is it only men care about rape? It's so weird.

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

        Because most of them are pervs, no matter where they come from. Women in military are raped by fellow soldiers and nothing is done about it. Men bring out "rape" similar to bringing out the race card. Any time women try to break out of men's perceived control, the rape word is thrown around as if all women will be terrified. As if the taliban couldn't whack off the men's jewels before execution. Yes, all you men grab your crotches in horror now. See how that works? Bobbitt, Bobbitt, Bobbitt. LOL

        January 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  29. Capster7899

    Great! So when will we start requiring women to register for the draft! And when will we also demand that half of the forces on the ground are women. Women have forcefully pushed their way into the workforce and demanded a 50% stake in it. Lawmakers have, in many career fields, passed laws to ensure a "fair" percentage of the workforce is female. So lets start mandating that women die on our battlefields at the same rate as men. Come on women!! You can do it!! Pick up that gun, pick up that 70+ pound pack!! LETS GO! LETS BE EQUALS in love and in death!

    January 23, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • marianna68

      I've been serving in the Army for quite some time. If women want to serve in the combat arms let them. Just be thankful the draft card hasn't been used or you'd really hear some whining from some of the negative posters here.

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

      Wow.. you are so out of line I just don't know where to begin.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • beancounter

      You are an idiot. Women have been forced to join the work force because so many wothless s.o.b. Husbands dump their wives and act like they never helped create their kids. I got the good job I have because after searching for months I was the ONLY person the company found that had the education and credentials to do it. No one handed me the job. They were darn glad to find me to fill their niche.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • beancounter

      Women outlive men on average, because we are stronger. When men can birth a 9 or 10 pound baby, while having NO pain meds, we can talk about who is tough. I am all for equality whenever you men are up to it. Let me know when you can handle bleeding like crazy for one week of each month and pop out a kid every few years.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  30. 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
  31. 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 |
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. Patrick

    It's about time.

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

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

    January 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. 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
  47. Soldier 1

    Please help us OBGYN Kenobi, Your our only hope.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  48. 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
  49. 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
  50. 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
  51. nocturne8734

    Women in combat! Now I will sleep better tonight.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  52. 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
  53. 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 |
  54. 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 |
  55. Dino

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

    January 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  56. 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
  57. 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 |
  58. 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 |
  59. 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
  60. 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
  61. william

    wwwooo

    January 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  62. 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
  63. MelloYello

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

    January 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  64. 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
  65. 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
  66. 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 |
  67. 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
  68. 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
  69. 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
  70. 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
  71. 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
  72. ug

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

    January 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  73. 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
  74. 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
  75. 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
  76. 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
  77. 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 |
  78. 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 |
  79. 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 |
  80. 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
  81. 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
  82. 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 |
  83. 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 |
  84. 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
  85. 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
  86. 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
  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. 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
  90. 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
  91. 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
  92. 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
  93. 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
  94. 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
  95. 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
  96. 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 |
  97. 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
  98. 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
  99. 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
  100. 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
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