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. adam

    Surely they will have the same physical fitness standards right? Oh, no. That would be impossible, because women cannot do pull-ups, or even pushups for that matter. What a joke.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  2. Excuseme

    Does this mean men can punch women now? (

    January 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  3. Miko

    Men are worried women will turn out to be just as tough as they are.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      Speaking as a Man in the Army Infantry your not even close.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Reply
    • Excuseme

      my pennis disagrees

      January 23, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Reply
    • heh

      It is pretty funny how insecure some of these men are...

      January 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Reply
  4. Hillcrester

    This will finally open up the highest ranks of military service to women, progression toward in many instances requires combat experience.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Reply
    • Excuseme

      And now tell me why that is good?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Reply
    • BOB

      What do you know about combat experience? Should the mentally or physically disabled be allowed in the infantry as well? People with no military experience making decisions that affect conditions which peoples lives depend on. This is a joke.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  5. John Geheran

    At the risk of appearing arrogant, one would think by this time the root cause of Islamic terrorism would have been deciphered. It's hard to account for this lapse in intellectual honesty. Is it due to PC, willful blindness, death wish, moral relativism or just plain stupidity? Or perhaps a case of deja-vu all over again. How long did it take Western liberals who, for decades, were duped into believing Communism was the best thing since sliced bread, to realize that it was all a big lie? Was it the fiendishly clever propaganda of the Comintern, the Potemkin showcase villages or articles in the New Republic by John Dewey (father of modern public education) praising Russian leadership for their bold vision of the future – all designed to convince the 'proletariat' that the time had come to overthrow the capitalistic society. What is the common denominator of this madness? Could the answer be a belief system that is so deeply flawed, it spawned 150M misunderstaners (that's only a "tiny minority" of 10-15%) who wreak havoc not only on unbelievers but also their brothers and sisters cut from the same cloth?

    January 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  6. As a veteran ....

    We are witnessing the slow death of the American Military Forces. First openly gays serving and now women in combat. In the next 4 years we will see the volunteer forces gone and in their place will be a mercenary type force, highly paid, mostly single males, no dependents (which cost scads of money), and they will have no 'ties or honor or love for country", just for the paycheck. As a veteran I have seen the decline and it is shocking.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • heh

      You can predict the future?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Reply
      • As a veteran ....

        Yes

        January 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
      • Excuseme

        Common sense and knowledge of history....

        January 23, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • disgustedvet

      The gays don't really bother me as they can take care of themselves in combat. Women ? I don't know. Figure out of a combat platoon 4 or 5 women, you are under attack and you are watching out for their safety as we were brought up as men to do instead of what you were trained to do by the Military. The distraction could get everyone killed

      January 23, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  7. disgustedvet

    Now you can die in combat with equality. You've come a long way baby.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Reply
  8. joe

    The problem is that most women do not pass the same physical tests as men. Women have trouble with pushups. They have trouble with chinups. They have trouble climbing ropes, and carrying heavy packs. This has been known for years by people teaching basic training. So what, if there is one woman out there who can bench press 200 pounds! So, one woman out of a 1000 can do this, therefore, all women are heavy lifters? Therefore, because of this one muscular woman, all women make great soldiers? How about it, ladies! No, you aren't good at pro football. No, you aren't good at lifting heavy weights. Let's end the fantasizing. If you can't get out there, and do the heavy lifting, don't act as if you can. You should realize that you are endangering your fellow soldiers, because you can't do the work. Men realize that they cannot do as well as women at managing children, and ladies, we know just how arduous and difficult is the care of children. It's time for women to realize their limitations. Women make terrific mothers, nurses, and workers. It's not a weakness to realize that ladies don't make good combat soldiers.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Reply
    • KyleRKD

      Most women don't pass the male PRT standards, but some do. And it's not "one in a thousand". Females who make it a point to max the male PRT standards every time are something you see fairly often in the military. A woman will never be as strong as the strongest of men, but strong enough to pass the male physical requirements for military service? Yeah, they exist. The military's physical strength and fitness requirements are not unattainably high.

      I see no reason to bar those females who can do it from serving.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Reply
    • heh

      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.
      General George Washington made her a sergeant.
      She was honorably discharged at the end of the war and received a soldier's pension.
      And she had bigger balls than you ever will...

      January 23, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Reply
      • Tim

        That is an utterly irreverent argument. One woman in a completely different war environment does not validate and justify the changing of a system that works. This is about more than just one woman its about a group of them being able to both mentally and physically integrate into a very select group and not being a burden in any way, I can tell you as a Sergeant First Class in the Army Infantry I kick out week men who don't posses what it takes and these are men who are much stronger than the above average woman. But then what do I know I am not on the sidelines giving history lessons I am out there doing the job. Just some food for thought for all you people who have never even warn a uniform much less been in combat.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
  9. KyleRKD

    As long as these women can pass the physical qualifications, let them go for it. Women strong enough to that are not a dime a dozen, but they do exist.

    As for the threat of rape/mistreatment as POWs/etc – hey, it's volunteer army and women will know those risks when they sign the dotted line. Men don't really have the right to decide what's best for females whether they like it or not. We traditionally protected them in the past, yeah, but if they don't want that anymore it's their decision. If you're "shielding" someone who doesn't want to be shielded – that's not altruism, it's just condescension.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  10. bad idea

    Yeah dude so my wife should be joining the team next week........LOL

    January 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  11. RDL

    Women have and always will be a very important part of our nations defense. From the women that performed heroic feats in the revolutionary war to the every war since, they have played the roles given and some not given. I as a person and as a member of the US Armed forces believe that as long as the standard doesn't change for women's supposed weaknesses then there is not issue. As far as the POW situation, well this is something that could be exploited against the US, but just like our men, they will learn to endure. It's ludicrous to think that they have not already been put in harms way. The American public has been fooled all along, women have been put in harms way as much as any man. We just don't focus on it, so keep the standards, and let them do, just like you would any man.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      So very valid points RDL, but we both know they will have to lower the standards, That's why there are two dramatically different standards right now in how the military measures physical fitness. As a soldier I have given the APFT to woman and there maximum effort in the upper body and run portions are so much lower that a female best efforts would cause a male to fail his test. This whole thing is nothing more than a stunt by an out going SECDEF pushing a politically correct agenda.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  12. Wolfgang Hunter

    This is dangerous - Women's physical fitness requirements in the Army are a tiny fraction that of men's. A man who runs 10 miles in 20:18 gets zero "points", a woman gets 43 "points" for the same time - Men have to do 42 push-ups to "pass", women only have to do 19 push-ups to "pass"... In battle, a squad is only as strong (and fast) as its weakest (and slowest) link. This social-engineering policy will be deadly.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Reply
    • dvworker

      So are the different standards for age categories okay then? They must be or we would have to weed out very experienced and battled-tried soldiers since we do all get older. Additionally, if you know anything about your Army PT standards you would know that the average for male and female PT scores are very close and not polarized like the max/min standards would suggest. I know that in my time in the Army, as a female, I have maintained a higher than average male score in the younger male category and I am certainly not alone. In fact, most of the females I know are the same way. Last PT test, the person with the highest, correct push-ups was a female who pushed out 85 push-ups. Don't assume that just because the standards are one way that the reality is another.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Reply
      • Wolfgang Hunter

        PT requirements for males and females are massively different (for every test except situps). If they were the same, then I'd have no problem with this. But until the PT requirements are equal, it's a deadly policy...

        January 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
      • dvworker

        I don't necessarily agree with the different PT standards but my question is why do we allow lower standards for different age ranges if they are doing the same jobs?

        January 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
      • Wolfgang Hunter

        41 year old men only need 33 pushups to "pass" because very few of them are in combat ... but this is still far more than the 19 push-ups required for 21-year old females that these nuts want to send into combat just to prove some social engineering point.... You need to be strong enough to carry a 120 pound load while quickly dragging a 200 lb wounded soldier 100 yards to a medivac helicopter or people will die.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Betty

      But their weapons can do the same.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • KyleRKD

      PT test requirements for older male soldiers are also a fraction of the requirements for younger soldiers – but the older (and more experienced) soldiers are often the most valuable in the squad. PRT scores are one small part of what makes a soldier.

      You're also leaving out that many of the more motivated female soldiers DO max the male standards.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  13. Leopold B. Stotch

    The ultimate disgrace to Islam. Let women kill them. Exceptional!

    January 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Reply
    • infantry guy

      hahahah thats funny

      January 24, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
  14. Kilgore

    When is the ACLU going to sue the NFL for not opening up ALL positions (defensive line, etc) to women?

    Women have less career opportunities in sports because of this blatant discrimination!

    January 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Reply
    • Alex H

      The NFL is open to women moron. Unlike the military (until recently of course) there's no rule saying women are not allowed to play in the league. And wow!!!!!! somehow the NFL is still fine. Just because the number of women capable of running a 4.2 40 yard dash while weighing in at 200+ lbs is quite tiny, why shouldn't those who can have the opportunity to play? And why should 195 lb me who can barely bench my own body weight be considered more deserving of an opportunity to play in the NFL than a much more athletic woman? Your reaction to this story is really quite pathetic and shows a great deal of insecurity. Grow a pair man.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Reply
      • Kilgore

        So why aren't they playing MORON?

        If women were really equal, where are all the great women defensive lineman, linebackers, etc?

        January 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
      • Kilgore

        FYI, if you can barely bench your own body weight, face it, you are a sack of S*%T.

        You should be doing 2x your body weight for reps.

        In addition to 99% of women, a weakling like you wouldn't even make it through 11B training at Benning, never mind Ranger School.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  15. Sylvyor

    The only thing that pops in to mind is that if a female soldier is caught by those willing to perform horrible tortures to a man, they may have less concern for what they do to a woman. Just something to consider other than the selective service

    January 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Reply
    • nicole

      Only men consider this. They try to use it as "We know what's best for you."

      January 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Reply
  16. nick morales

    Women want to be in combat so they can feel equal? OK thats fine; they can come home euqally burnt, equally paralyzed and equally traumatized, war is an equal oppurtunity traumatizer. The question you should be asking is, why now? Why at the end of major combat operations? I'll tell you why,if women had been on the front lines at the beginning of both these wars their would have been as many of them killed as thier male counterparts. Is America ready to see it's mothers, daughters and sisters come home in flag draped coffins by the thousands? This will fail because the women who are pushing this are a minute minority who are more concerned about advancing their carreers rather than ensuring the security of thier nation. Men and women are not equal; some things women do better and some things men do better. Women will never understand the concept of brotherhood no more than men will understand the concept of motherhood. This will only weaken our military by forcing men to adapt in a proffesion that is far from being "sensative." In the infantry we use very vulgar words to drive home a point or motivate a stragler; with ladies in the mix men will be forced to watch their langauge or face possible reprecutions. No military can ever discipline away men and womens desire to be with one another between the sheets. This will create an unnecessary unit tension. This was a desicion that was made to pander to a certian political base and not the security of our wounded, but beloved nation. Wake up America and learn to read between the lines.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Reply
    • dvworker

      I don't even know where to start on your post. First, there are many service member that have served on the front lines unofficially that have scooped up the brains of their battle buddies during war and have come home with PTSD. They didn't get the credit for firing back when no one else could or would. True story. Second, there have been many service women die in the line of duty. Where have you been?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  17. idiophobia

    i fell that this is a step in the right direction but the fear of what will happen to female POW's is very real. there are a lot of things a terrorist could do to a female soldier that they couldn't do to a male and this is why we need to go at this with caution.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Reply
    • heh

      Male POWs also get ra ped...

      January 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  18. bikermiker

    Let's see, there was a time in this country when women couldn't vote, they couldn't own property, they couldn't run corporations, they couldn't become welders, they couldn't run the marathon in the Olympics, etc, etc, etc. And every time, the naysayers were proven wrong!! So, all of you naysayers, just get ready for another bite of humble pie. You will be proven wrong again. Women will enter combat – some will do well, some not. But in 10 or 20 years this conversation will be absurd because women in combat will be the norm.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • heh

      very wise of you...

      January 23, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  19. jed

    Many women died near the front lines in WWIl . They were not engaged in combat but died as soldiers anyways.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  20. Brox

    Yes, as soon as men are allowed to give birth.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply
    • CloseAirSupport

      This is total B.S.! It is further proof that America's War Machine is stretched to thin and is on the decline! Now, we need to put our mothers, sisters, and daughters on the front lines. Crazy. Stop fighting foreign wars!

      January 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  21. thik abot it

    American men traditionally protect women. What happens if or when a squad is captured and the entire squad is threatened of possible rape of the one or two female members? Former Soldier thoughts.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Reply
    • Kashidog

      How threatened would you have felt if they held a weapon to the throat of your male squad member? Would you truly have made a different choice than if they threatened to rape/kill your female squad member? As a military woman, I would expect the same treatment as any of my other squad members. If you feel that you have to treat me differently, I'm sorry, that is your hang-up, not mine.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Reply
      • thik abot it

        Don't get me wrong, women are loved, revered, and respected in the military. A strongf emale Soldier commands respect. However,a combat situtation is totally different. The emeny will purposely target the females togain an advantage. Right or wrong that is human nature. Females in my opinion are a liability to an American fighting force.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Harsh

      American men traditionally also protect fellow men (soldier). Men also can get raped and tortured.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  22. hello

    so women will also be registered for draft since it's all about "equality". Sure hope so!!!

    January 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  23. Jo

    It's about time!!!

    January 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  24. NNN

    Women have been holding their own in domestic law enforcement for decades now, there should be no problem with gender integration into combat jobs.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Reply
    • Kilgore

      Really?

      Some women in LE spend 2-3 years of their career on "light duty" because they're pregnant. They're also more likely to resort to a use of force, including deadly force, because their weak appearance invites attack by violent suspects. Many of these women then spend years on workers comp as a result of injuries sustained on the job.

      If I was in a brawl with a suspect, I would rather know a 6'4" 250 lb male officer was en route as back-up instead of a 5' 100 lb female.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  25. Critic

    What do you mean "allowed"? Do women have to ask for permission like they do in Saudi Arabia? Allowed by whom?

    January 23, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Reply
    • Harsh

      Exactly. Still many men don't get it. They are not the ones to 'allow' or 'disallow' women.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Reply
    • dvworker

      I appreciate your comment because it was exactly what I was asking myself. As a female, it is just as much my right to serve my country as it is a male's. If I meet the standards, which I do, than there should not be an issue. I have had to listen to concerns about women getting raped by friend and foe, different physical capabilities, and other issues all under "they." What do "they" think about this? I can tell you from experience no matter how physical fit a female is it still doesn't matter. There will always be a reason to exclude unwanted members. All of the things that could happen to women in war, excluding pregnancy, can and do happen to men. It's just not as talked about because it is taboo. Putting restrictions on women being in certain units because of how the men will react is stupid. How about not accepting that men will act that way? And, once again from experience, a woman can surpass men in her age group and in younger male age groups and the "right" for her to be there will still be questioned. It sucks.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Reply
      • dvworker

        Many women have fought for the right to fight for their country. And these same women are aware that they may be added to the draft. So what. I have no issue with men and women being drafted into the military. I think a big issue is that when people think of the military they think of infantry only on the front lines but there are many different jobs besides infantry such as medics (which have been filled by women for a long time but they don't get the recognition for it), military intelligence, linguists, and many more. Many of these positions are filled by women and it is really a shame that such comments are being made concerns Veterans who have fought for the United States of America. To disrespect the men and women is a disgrace.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • MontanaTrace

      Women in combat will cost lives. Men will do stupid things to protect the women. There are differences in men and women and their combat abilities. I don't mean to be disrespectful to women. It's just a fact, our enemies will rape our captured women. Our men will go beyond extremes to prevent this.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply
      • Harsh

        Men also watch out and protect fellow soldier men. Men also can get raped and tortured.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Joe

      In the late 80s at 29 Palms CA, Marine Corps Air- Ground Combat center, I had the opportunity to work with women in live fire combat positions. Like the men the women’s abilities, strength etc. was unique to each individual. However there were physiological limits with the women that were less pronounced in the men. For example a loaded pack ways 75 lbs, 30% of my total body weight, while it was 75% of the average woman Marines weight. Even with the increased demands carrying 175% of their body weight for long periods, the women physically did an amazing job. However because of the extra stresses on the body of caring the women tended to have more injuries, stress fractures, sprains etc.
      It was not a lack of ability, heart, or physical strength that caused them issues; it was the physiological structure of their bodies. Stress fractures, sprains, and such were more prevalent in women than men. It is a simple matter of physics, if your framework was made to support Xlbs and you make it support 2X lbs, it is going to give out.
      As for those of you with the “rape” argument, are you under the impression that men do not get tortured. Believe it or not, there are things worse than being raped. To keep women out of combat because they may have to go through what men have gone through for 100’s of years is a wrong.
      The women Marines I served with have the same love for their country I do, they have the same willingness to help an enemy lay down his life for his Country, the shed the same Marine Corps Green blood in the same mud as I have. They are my sisters and it is my great honor to have served with them.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  26. mlg4035

    As long as there isn't a different standard for women in terms of physical strength and ability, then I suppose it might be okay. But we are opening up a whole other can of worms in terms of treatment of POWs...Women will become one of the biggest "trophies" of war...It could get even uglier than combat is now...

    January 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Reply
    • Astounded

      Totally agree! The Taliban for example aren't exactly great observers of rules of engagement. A woman would most definitely be a trophy. Gang rape, tortured and killed. That's exactly what will happen to female POWs.

      This is a case of political correctness gone awry. I really hope mothers of young children are prevented from joining combat positions. Bad enough we have too many fatherless kids thanks to recent wars. We don't need motherless ones too.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Reply
      • Harsh

        Men also get raped and tortured.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Kashidog

      This does not create an environment that does not already exist. Women go outside of the wire all of the time...these women are constantly at risk. If anything, combatant females would be less likely to be taken then the medical and public affair teams that are already out on the streets of Kandahar. The loss of any soldier, sailor, marine or airman is a tragedy; it does not matter the gender.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  27. swohio

    Hey, great! Now, how soon before women between the ages of 18-25 have to register with Selective Service? I mean, fair is fair, right?

    January 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Reply
    • E

      You act as if women are protesting this It is men who have disllowed women from selective service, as a woman I have no problem with us being included.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Reply
      • swohio

        And it has been women who haven't had to worry about a potential draft, either. You see, it's one think to voluntarily join the military...but quite different when you are drafted. Until now, men have been doing women a favor.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
      • steph

        Hats off, E. Thank you.

        It has been a long time since the draft has been used anyhow.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
      • Ben

        to swoho – "Men have been doing women a favor" By causing wars that their children die in?

        January 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Harsh

      Iinsecure or jealous or both?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  28. heh

    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.
    General George Washington made her a sergeant.
    She was honorably discharged at the end of the war and received a soldier's pension.

    I agree with George...

    January 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  29. Winston

    This is a amazing day for all women in my opinion. They want to show the guys that they can do it! Let them do so! I don't mind giving up my pride. It only makes the girls think of us men as apes and dogs. Guys and Girls. Lets make this country proud again by working together! Seriously. The time of stereotypes need to stop and have a different look on life.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  30. djo

    If I get shot and the only person to carry me out(I only weigh 240 with full gear) is a little 5 foot nothing 120lbs rambo lady.... good as dead

    January 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  31. Edward

    So this means, I assueme, that women now have to register for selective service too, right?

    January 23, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Reply
    • E

      I am a woman and have no problem with that.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Reply
    • swohio

      Didn't see this comment before I posted my own. I guess there's more than one guy who thinks the same way about this as I do.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  32. meg

    That means woman will soon be required as men to sign up for selective service as well right...

    January 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  33. lordcoleman

    This is so wrong. there are so many reasons why a woman doesnt belong on the front line. Some silly girl is going to come on here and say that it doesnt matter, WELL IT DOES! This stupid progessive agenda has no compunctions no limits. STOOGIES. I hope its repealed. I cant even imagine how it could be. CRAZIES!

    January 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Reply
    • I Am God

      Why is it wrong? I like to see why you think it is wrong instead of whining and crying about it.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Reply
    • I Am God

      Why is it wrong? I like to see why you think it is wrong instead of whining and crying about it.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Reply
      • joe

        how about yeast infections??? you wont be getting showers everynight and may go 20 or more days without showering.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • E

      Women serve in combat in other countries without problem.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Reply
    • Harsh

      Who do you think you are to judge?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  34. Peter

    Women who are strong enough to carry a 100 pound ruck, lift and carry a 200 pound man, etc do exist. They're rare, but they're out there. If Gunnery Sergeant Big Bertha wants to go infantry and can pass all of her quals, let her.

    My fear is the standards will be compromised so that the average woman can join, not just the occasional, unusual woman who actually is strong enough.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Reply
    • Harsh

      there are many men physically less capable than average woman.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Reply
      • ugh

        yep, and those many men do not meet the physical requirements and are unable to enlist in the armed forces.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
      • Cave Painter

        Yes – there are men who are less capable than women. As someone else has also pointed out – they are not in combat arms. The key point is consistent standards related to the requirements of the job.

        I was an infantryman and a cavalry scout in a previous life. Combat is not just about the physical aspects – it is also about mental toughness – the ability to improvise, adapt and overcome your enemy while swimming in a river of your fellow soldier's blood and brains – all the while protecting civilians in the line of fire. It is equal parts sociopathic and empathetic sensibilities – and I am surprised more veterans don't end up with mental problems from being immersed in it.

        There are few men who have what it takes, and fewer still women. For the few, of any gender, I have no problem with them protecting this nation through their service in combat arms. My worry is that overall standards will be lowered in order to fill quotas – which will undermine the capabilities of our armed forces.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
  35. Harold619

    At the present time we have an all volunteer Army and military. If some major conflict, with much larger force requirements changes that and we have to re-instate the draft, this means young women will be drafted from civilian life into combat roles whether they want to or not. As a combat veteran I'd like to say "be careful of what you wish for ladies".

    January 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  36. Mark 5

    It is about time. Russian women in ww2 were great snipers. It doesn`t take much to pull a trigger.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Reply
    • robert lewis

      Great point mark 5. One Russian sniper killed 306 German soldiers including 24 German snipers. She survived the war. Also, women served as fighter pilots. If a woman wants to serve in a combat role, she should be allowed to.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Reply
  37. Grunt

    This will give a whole new meaning when the 1st Sgt tells the company to fall out for a hump.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  38. Newt Gingrich

    Last I checked, the military is still voluntary.

    So, I'm pretty sure only women who feel they have what it takes to join the military will join.

    So there is no need to worry or have guilt over any woman who voluntarily wants to put her life in harms way.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
    • Newt Grinch

      It's obvious you've not been in the military.
      Just because they volunteer and feel they can do it DOES NOT mean they can

      January 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  39. 2feisty4u

    Reading these comments leaves me quite dispirited, since I realize we as a society have not progressed as much as we thought, nor learned from the examples in the past. Most people against this change are so due to ignorance, prejudice, personal feelings they believe should be forced on others, completely irrelevant issues, etc. They are ignoring the reality of today, and can't discuss the issue on its own merits. Sadly enough, many are the old guard (retired military etc).

    How depressing.

    - An 100% P&T disabled female veteran

    January 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Reply
    • Kashidog

      I concur....I am frustrated, saddened and disheartened to read the comments posted here. As a female military officer, I firmly believe that military jobs (as ALL jobs) should be filled by those most qualified to do the task....Set the standards, allow all to test against them, and take only those that qualify. All the way from sniper to tanker to pilot to nurse to load master to platoon leader....Use ALL of the talents of our ALL of our people..Those that have a problem with gender integration need to take a page from those that learned racial integration (which also appeared insurmountable at the time to certain populations). Examine your paradigms people and progress beyond them! Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Reply
    • Harsh

      Exactly II am astonished to read some of the comments here. Just didn't expect this kind of narrow insecure mentality even here in United States.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Reply
    • Astounded

      Although some commenters here are just plain old knuckle dragging relics, there are some valid points being made. It's a fact that having women on the battlefield presents some disturbing and unique issues. Imagine the woman caught by the Taliban:animals with NO observation for the rules of engagement. This woman is not just any POW, she's a trophy and will be raped, tortured and likely killed by them. Now let's also think about the woman with kids, should she be able to risk her life and possibly leave her kids motherless? Finally, it's a simple fact that women (most of them) do not have the same strength as a man. This can undermine the unit in endless possibilities.

      Equality is great but this is one instance maybe we don't need equality as much as we need common sense.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Reply
      • Harsh

        hello, open your eyes. There are many kids in our society right now without Moms or Dads or both. Men also can get raped and tortured.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
      • 2feisty4u

        Astounded- I have repeatedly addressed you (and similar comments) below. Not only have women shown that they can carry, but men have just as valid a problem carrying which is why they teach alternative methods. Additionally, your argument about young children applies to men as well.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Getbackinthekitchen

      With a name like 2feisty4u, it's sad that your sense of maturity hasn't progressed much either.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
      • 2feisty4u

        Pls use the grey matter if you can on the topic and arguments, rather than juvenile attacks on the person. You are acting in the way you describe, which makes you a hypocrite.

        Re: my name, I earned it as a sign of respect from the guys I worked with on a flightline overseas in the 90s when I was the only female (and a redhead) on it. I will wear it with pride, something you would understand if you ever served in such a situation.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
      • Astounded

        With a name like "Get back in the kitchen" it's a wonder you can turn a computer on let alone type your silly drivel. Must be a quiet night at the trailer park tonight huh? Not much to do except insult a woman who'd probably kick the snot out of you.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Rendl

      The military is ultimately run by politicians. Politicians are run by the people. The people have access to video and imagery from the front lines, and its often brutal. The people question "why are we at war?", bring our soldiers back. They influence the politicians, the politicians in turn change the military strategy. The enemy know this.

      Seeing male soldiers killed, brutalised, tortured, executed already sways public opinion and the course of war, but it pales in comparison to the impact of seeing the same happen to the countires daughters. The enemy will develop new tactics to exploit this. They will target and abduct female soldiers, and publicise the brutality on Al Jazeera. They will break the back of public opinion, and the public will further influence the course of war – potentially to its own deficit. There is simply no stomach for any more loss – there is enough depression already. We cant afford a nation paralized by PTSD and yet war is sometimes necessary.

      Consider a war with China. Unfortunately for us, their communist rule affords them the ability to both field female, front line soldiers (though they don't need to) and to exploit the weakness of US public opinion (democracy). That is unlikely to end well.

      Fielding female font line soldiers in expeditionary wars will thus, be a catastrophe. The only potential exception being wars with a very clear, defensive goal, such as world war 2 or defence of an invasion.

      - I'm a returned, front line, special forces soldier. I have no doubt women are capable mentally and physically.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply
      • Bill

        Excellent points.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
      • 2feisty4u

        Rendl- it's just as affecting when we see videos of our men being tortured. Gender is irrelevant to the level of horror and atrocity. Will society have a difficult time initially? Of course. Will we adapt? Yes, just ask the Israelis. If we let the social aspect stop us from doing what's right, Hitler would own Europe and the U.S. military would not have integrated blacks and women.

        - Thank you for your service!

        January 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  40. Swade

    If women can meet the standards both physically and mentally, then why not? As long as they are not dragging their unit down and can care for themselves and their unit, I see no reason to keep them from it. Our current laws require men to register for the draft in case of a potential large-scale conflict when they turn 18, regardless of if they can handle combat. So why keep a woman who is qualified from it when we have so many out of shape men registering for something that they have no business doing either? As far as being protective, men are just as protective of their fellow soldiers. Never leave a man behind? That involves guys risking their lives to save other men. Medal of Honor recipients have typically done something reckless for the sake of their comrades. When its saving other men, its called heroic, but when it involves saving women, its suddenly them being protective and rash? As far as people having served being some kind of expert on the matter, please note that since most haven't actually been in combat with a female, their so -called knowledge on the matter doesn't make a difference since they have no hard facts and only more opinion. I find it really interesting that women are always cast as emotional frail creatures when, in this argument at least, it is men using their own emotion as reason to keep women out.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Reply
    • Astounded

      As long as they can pass all the same tests (no modifications or lower standards) then fine. But if a woman with young children is crazy/selfish enough to want to do combat then we need a stipulation in place that prevents women with kids from joining. Risking your life if you have kids isn't heroic–it's selfish!

      January 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Reply
      • 2feisty4u

        astounded- guess it's "selfish" of a man with kids to serve too, right?

        January 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
      • Kashidog

        We already have guidance in place for parents. Single parents, (male or female) are restricted from entering. Dual military must have child care arrangements (family plans) in place. Placing women in combat roles does not change this....women deploy now to combat areas.....they are just not the ones pulling the triggers (in most cases). I have deployed to situations where the shell casings from the Apaches were falling off of the roof of my hut as they were shooting....and I am a female and a mother. We are responsible Americans, mothers, fathers, family members. We believe in defending our country for our children and their children.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • Astounded

        Yes, I think it is. Just ask any 7 year old who goes months and months with no father. Daddy is not there for birthdays, Christmases, hockey games etc etc. it's unfair to a child to have a parent in the service. And especially unfair for a child's mother to play Russian roulette with her life and leave her children motherless. It's not heroic, it's selfish.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
      • Astounded

        Kashidog, I feel sorry for your kids. Your loyalty should be to your children first. We aren't fighting wars where our freedoms at stake. Wars these days are manufactured by politicians for ulterior motives under the guise of fighting "terrorism" Bushes "war on terror" a perfect example. Invaded Iraq on the premise of WMD's that didn't exist..

        Anyways, how many birthdays, special occasions etc etc have you missed serving? Lots probably. I'll bet your kids really missed you. I bet you missed a lot of them growing up. I bet you probably regret that deep down. Parents have no business in the army. Kids need full time parents. They need stability and consistenve

        January 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
      • 2feisty4u

        Astounded- if we used your logic, we would have the worst military in the world. People would join young and get out when they had kids, leaving us with no experienced leaders.

        Additionally, why should a single soldier fight for the married soldier's family? Who has the real stake in keeping America free?

        I disagree with your statement that it's selfish; in fact, you're teaching your child about values, self sacrifice, and what truly matters. You're telling your child you love them enough to die for them, so they don't have to live in a country like Pakistan or Syria. Perspective is everything.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
      • Swade

        by your logic, men with kids shouldn't serve either. which means we would have a pathetic military.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
      • Swade

        which, in turn, would mean you wouldn't live in a free country and be able to enjoy your life with your kids either... you're just full of contradiction, aren't you?

        January 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
  41. Jim

    Good luck to the soldier who finds himself wounded and needing carried out by the "soldier" next to him.
    The heart may be willing, but how many women can shoulder a 200lb man?

    This will surely weaken our military

    January 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Reply
    • I Am God

      Yeah there are several different techniques to get a wounded soldier off the battlefield. Anyone that is a part of the military and went through basic training would know that.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Reply
      • Jim

        any one of which will demand a generous amount of upper body strength.

        unless you have a wheel barrow

        January 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • I Am God

        Jim obviously you don't know much about the techniques.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
      • Clot11

        You are correct in saying that there are numerous techniques. Buddy Carry, Firemans Carry, Walk, drag, bear crawl, etc. However, they do require a decent amount of strength regardless, or at the very least the endurance to continue the task. This is not even taking into account the body armor and kit.

        I am not saying it is not doable, it is doable, but there needs to be unified standards and combat fitness tests to assess this. Physically speaking, from my experience and what I have seen, a woman weighing 130lbs struggles to accomplish the same physical tasks that a male at 130lbs is able to complete. Muscle is carried in different places. Again, not saying it is universal.

        I support the opening of women into combat oriented roles (This is different than combat roles and combat support) however, there needs to be universal standards, not gender based standards.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • Swade

      How many guys can shoulder a 200 lb man? There are techniques and other methods of moving a body that the typical fireman carry. Ones that even small people, male or female, can manage.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      I have no concerns with this if the women are held to the same exact basic training physical tests as the men are.......I doubt that will happen.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Reply
      • I Am God

        Which is what is happening. The military are reviewing everything, so I do not know why you are so worried.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
      • Brandon

        I am not against women in combat, but I have a hard time believing that women are going to be held to the same standard. They don't even have the same boot camp or physical training requirements for a standard PFT. If women want to get into combat roles then they need to step up and prove the doubtful military members wrong by not just barely passing by, but decisively making it through all the same training as the men from start to finish.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Don't fear change

      Excuse me, but may I ask why you would put the word "Soldier" in quotes? Just because they are women does NOT mean they are not equally in harms way or equally a soldier. Just because women are different from men does NOT mean they can not do the same things as them. Lifting 200 lb. men included.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Reply
    • dvworker

      As a female service member, I can assure you that the majority of the males I have had to carry did not weigh 200 pounds and the one that did, no one was able to carry without additional assistance. In battle, there are several techniques to collect bodies, alive and dead. Females who meet the standards are just as capable of doing that as the males are, especially when adrenalin kicks in.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Reply
      • Wanda

        Thank you for your service.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
  42. Lasoldier10

    While I'm torn on this matter. I do agree with you that their are some women in the military that can meet the challenge and their men in the military that can't. But if we are going to truly make it equal then it needs to be totally equal. If you require a man to carry a 80 ruck then the woman needs the same requirement. If your going to have different standards weather it be PT or other requirements then it's not equal. Also if your going to require by law that a male register for the selective service when they turn 18 then you also should require females to do so. Hey equal is equal, right. I know some say allowing this will only make the military soft. I disagree with them on that. I know this is off the subject, but I also feel all soldiers should be paid equal according to TIS and pay grade. They need to do away with the with dependent and without dependent difference in pay. I don't think a civilian employer or even the Federal Government pays a employee without dependents less then their fellow employees that have dependents. Base pay is equal, but BHA is not and also family sep pay. I know many soldier that will marry their best friend and never live with them just to get the extra pay.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  43. Clot11

    A few key things need to happen in order to prevent the Military from Weakening and in order to ensure equality:

    1) Women are required to sign up for selective Service. Same standard as men.

    2) Same physical standards, no exceptions. That, or base the fitness test on the job. Infantry Must Meet X while Admin must meet Z. Not sure how well that would work though, but the fact is any deviation in fitness standards will weaken the units.

    3) No Special Treatment. If your unit goes to the field for 2 weeks, then you are stuck. No special treatment for showers (Women in basic training were required to return to the barracks after a certain amount of time to shower while their male counterparts remained in the field – this is a report from female soldiers I know. I attended and served in all male units).

    4) Need to have Combat Oriented PT Tests as well, and they need to be put into effect. There is a difference between Fitness and Combat Fitness.

    5) No affirmative action or quotas. They either pass, or they don't. If they don't pass, too bad. If they can't meet the standards then we don't need them putting peoples lives in danger.

    I understand that women have served in Combat Support Roles, and have been attached, key examples being Transportation or MP. However, there is a difference between being in a truck for 12hours (Concept of Death before Dismount depending on the mission; and yes I know there are different missions, but scouts and infantry have a significantly different job than the rest of the support roles) and being required to do a 8 hours foot patrol with the purpose of "Movement to Contact". Just because you returned fire from a turret or dismounted and returned fire from cover, does not mean you are capable or ready to endure the patrols and extended fire fights that some of these guys experience.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Reply
    • 2feisty4u

      Fully agree!

      January 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Reply
    • usmc vet

      Agree 100%

      January 23, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      Absolutely

      January 23, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Reply
    • Astounded

      Totally agree! But one more–if you have kids of minor age then all bets are off. Mothers with young children shoud not be able to do it. A mother who chooses to risk her life isn't heroic, she's selfish. So I'd hope to see something preventing mothers of children from enlisting into combat positions. I have no issue with them doing behind the scenes work but a mom of small kids has no business on the battlefield. I'm sure her kids would agree that they'd rather not be orphaned.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Reply
      • 2feisty4u

        once again, I guess men with small children shouldn't either, since it's equally "selfish".

        January 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Donny

      Well stated brother.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Reply
    • Andrew

      Se have just become the weakest fight force in the world

      January 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • Harsh

      Stop preaching. Women go through more than 36 hours of labor. Women naturally endure physically challenging jobs.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Reply
      • ugh

        that has to be one of the most idiotic arguments I have ever seen. You think a woman's pelvic strength is going to help her in combat? You are a fool

        January 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
      • Bill

        Thanks Ugh- you said exactly what I was thinking... all of the Teen Moms gave birth... Snooki gave birth... my mom gave birth- hence, they all have the ability to be combat infantrymen!?

        January 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
      • Clot11

        Labor does not equate to phsyical strength. There is a difference between Pain tolerance and Muscular Strength and Endurance.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
  44. Bouttime

    At first women weren't allowed in military at all because they would "affect the mission capability and morale" of the male troops. Then they were allowed but not in areas/jobs that might witness combat because of the same silly reason. Now that female troops have proved they can do their jobs even when bullets are flying over their heads, the military is willing to give all troops equal responsibility along with the equal rights and privileges. It's about time. Classify, use and promote the troop based on abilities, not chromosomes.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Reply
    • Cliffintex

      You are correct.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • 2feisty4u

      Hear, hear! Well said. You either meet standards and performance expectations, or you don't. Why is this so hard for people to understand?

      Funny how when it comes to change, whether it be integrating blacks or women, there's always excuse after excuse which is eventually proven false.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • Mary J

      Women do not have the same upper body strength and never will. The only way they will be equal on tests will be if the standards are lowered. That is the plain and simple truth.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Reply
      • 2feisty4u

        mary- yes and no. Both men and women on the same fitness program, yes, the man will be inherently stronger. Not being equal on the test, no. Some work out harder than others. Standards do NOT have to be lowered- DoD did a study in the 90s showing that civilian women, after 6 weeks of moderate exercise, could meet the military male's minimum standard. Pls don't perpetuate misinformation.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
      • Bill

        And yet, military women, with months of military PT, cannot pass the basic male PT standard.... weird, huh?

        January 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
      • Harsh

        Doesn't matter. Stop making excuses. Physical strength is not enough.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
      • Tim

        2fieisty4u you are correct they did do a study, they took a group of female soldiers and in six weeks got all of them up to at least the male minimum standards on the Army Physical Fitness Test but when they were sent back to there units with in six months of going back to a regular army work day and regular PT everyone of them failed there next test based on the male standards. If your going to quote study's don't just pick out the parts that fit your narrative. I was in the Army then and remember this very well and I am a leader in the Army now and I can tell you for a fact that most woman don't have the over all physical stamina to do the jobs they are about to try and open up.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
      • 2feisty4u

        Tim- actually, they did several studies including the one you mention, but the one I was referring to used civilians. I can send the link if need be.

        However, you are missing the point of the study- women WERE able to meet the standards. You also prove my point about coddling military women- if their job, not a study, required it, they would have kept to those standards. It's no different than the slacker who waits until 3 months before their annual PT test to start exercising.

        The bottom line is that they were able to meet standards. Keeping to it is a chronic problem for both genders unfortunately.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  45. joe

    MRE's will now have kotex and other female products. i guess you can always you the pad for a pressure dressing???

    January 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Reply
    • Cliffintex

      To your point – tampons are frequently carried by black ops to use as an asorbant material. Of course, they're in the field and not sitting behind a keyboard playing badask...

      January 23, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Reply
      • Afghantzi

        Really?
        Tell me more rumors that you've heard.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
      • 2feisty4u

        Awesome comeback, Joe got owned.

        Having been flightline and supported specops, you would crack up at some of the odd things they carry. For example, almost all carry condoms since they are waterproof and can be used for many things.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
      • 2feisty4u

        Afghantzi- Don't consider it a rumor when I'm talking to the guys getting ready to board, and I see it first hand. (Made the mistake of thinking he was bluffing. Won't do that again.)

        I gave you one hint, I'll tell you another. Rifle and elements.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  46. lawoke512

    Will military hair grooming policies be aligned to promote this new equality?

    January 23, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Reply
    • Kashidog

      Military standards already contain gender specific guidelines....

      January 23, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Reply
      • yup

        it's 150 degrees, two weeks at a patrol base. What are you going to do with the little water you have rationed for the week to the base before higher sends a resupply? Wasting it to wash hair definitely isn't on the list.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
  47. Bill

    I wonder how much this has to do with the fact that over 60% of Americans are Overweight or Obese, and this statistic is expected to continue to climb.

    Basically, the military needs a larger pool of fit people from which to recruit.

    TOO FAT TO SERVE:
    http://www.cbsnews. DOT COM /8301-505263_162-57393115/too-fat-to-serve-military-wages-war-on-obesity/

    January 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • I Am God

      There is no such thing as to fat to serve. I was big my age, but I joined the military and did better then half of the individuals who claimed they were fitter then most people.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Reply
      • Bill

        Oh, so you were in the Navy. I see. Down in the bowels of some old ship mopping floors?

        You wouldn't last 2 days at Paris Island, chubby.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • I Am God

        Hey Bill no I joined the Army. I find it funny that you attack someone that has served in the military. It makes me doubt that you ever joined in any military branch in the United States.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
      • Astounded

        Bills an accomplished keyboard warrior, lol.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
      • Brandon

        A. of course there is such a thing as too fat to serve, really? is there an argument for that? Its okay for people to be naturally big, but come on lets face it bad eating habits and lack of GOOD exercise play a role for a lot of people claiming otherwise.
        B. shut up about boot camp Bill, who cares! have you seen some of the people that make it through?... not impressed, also since you brought up boot camp I'm guessing your a POGUE so what do you care if women are in combat roles, you wont see them anyways.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
  48. Maj. Variola

    Its all fun feminism until the
    talibs post a youtube of a chick soldier getting raped. Even better, the leaked US drone video of the incident.

    Folks in glass empires ought not fly drones.

    Rome did not fall in a day.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • Joe Lee

      I agree. Putting women on the front lines is a decision which this nation will come to regret. Politcal correctness run amok.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • Astounded

      I agree 100%. Women do not belong in combat. I am a woman and think this is a horrible idea. Aside from being a target for crazy sick talibans, we can expect lots of motherless children. Bad enough lots of daddy's never make it back. The feminists can thank themselves when the brutal reality of thier "victory" is realized. It's a sad day.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply
      • Kashidog

        Sorry....female military officer here....the loss of any of our soldiers, airmen or marines is sad. Both combat and non-combat positions should be filled based on the capabilities and talents of the individuals in relation to the task. Can a 5'2" male hump a 100lb pack as well as a 6'0" male? No...examine the specifics of the job....can a 5'2" female pull the trigger on a sniper rifle as well as a 6' male....absolutely. Examine the job. This is not a feminist/ traditionalist issue...this is a matter of our country utilizing ALL of the talents of its' citizens. Set the standards....test the individuals against the standards.....those that meet the standards, (regardless of gender) fill the jobs....simple. I am a military mother....I have been deployed 5 times. The loss of me as a mother is no greater than the loss of a soldier who is a father.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
      • Bill

        Retired military officer here... thanks for your service... we do need to examine the job... but, you use the example of a 5'2" sniper - sure, pulling the trigger is one thing... well, how did the female sniper infiltrate in and exfiltrate out? Did she bring in any gear? Ammo? Once she makes her shot, how rapidly does she move to her next position? Is she moving as fast as her spotter? Not trying to bust you out- I am just pointing out that even the easiest looking combat position is a largely physical exercise. Heck, even one of the first branches to get desegregated will likely be Field Artillery - well, the lightest gun is a 105mm, and each ammo case is 70 lbs, and each gun would have about 30-50 cases at their position... If the military keeps the same standards, that's one thing... but, every time they've made changes to accommodate society, they've lowered standards.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
      • heh

        But your ok with fatherless children, how high and mighty of you.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  49. ChiTownArt

    Demi Moore played a Navy Seal. Wonder who will be the first real one?

    January 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  50. scotz

    to me its funny..that the us is tryin to enlist more soilders..when its airpower and nukes that decide the fate of all battles nowadays..imagine u.s can even combat iran now..a single nuke and alot of pple are dead..the days of " a million man army" are over..buildin a smatter smaller military shld b the top priority!

    January 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  51. ddtrey

    Women are a risk to any unit as they are not equivalent in stature or ability. Are there a few exceptions? Maybe, but the true numbers of capable women are not worth the distraction it is causing to try and implement this obvious political move. That a boy Panetta, just wait till you are leaving to do it!!! Typical political puppet.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  52. 03grunt

    Sure women can join army or airforce bc their standards are a joke. Fat ass army pog's. Leave the killing to the men and the Marines rah

    January 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  53. CelestialOne

    Why would 'rape and pillage' be the province of men. Now women can have it too !

    January 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  54. E.A.G. marine

    Sorry if it offends anyone but as a combat veteran women have no place on the front lines. Regardless if they meet the same quals. As men they will still be a target and men will protect them even if it means someone else getting killed or the mission failing. This is just an all around bad idea.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      So because men can't control themselves women have to sit down and shut up?

      January 23, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Reply
      • Astounded

        It's a sad reality but the animals in third world countries don't observe rules of engagement. Women will be targetted, caught, raped and tortured. Then you can call her KIDS and let them know what happened to mommy.

        Even if a few women can match the physical requirements (most cannot, simple fact) you'll have men having to risk thier lives to save the women from certain capture torture and/or death. They can't be expected to lift a 250 pound guy off the field and run with him. So whoevers depending on her to save him..well, let's just say there's going to be more funerals.

        This is a bad idea! Political correctness gone too far, to the point of stupidity. Mothers risking thier lives isn't courageous, it's selfish. Women don't belong in combat period!!

        January 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
      • common sense

        So just because women want to get pregnant just before or during orders men should have to pick up the slack?

        January 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
      • dvworker

        Fact One: Men get raped in the military. Fact Two: Men get raped by the enemy. Fact Three: It takes two people to have a child and it is not just a females responsibility so if "slack" is being picked up by a group of males or females due to the birth of a child, deal with it. Fact Four: That is life.

        January 23, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
  55. Cheerios

    All is well on the battlefield.....until the rider on the red pony shows up, usually once a month.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  56. sfczeus202

    wow what is wrong with people nowdays? how stupid can you be?? why are all sports teams male only?

    January 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  57. SGTWayne

    A lot of women are crying over this today and as most Republicans believe, women do not deserve to have a choice in what they want to do. Republicans consider women 2d class people who should bow down to men and always do as they say. Republicans are USA's Taliban. They also would prefer Senior citizen forgo medical care, decline Social Security and just exit the earth as soon as possible. A sad group of people that as a disable war vet would spit in face of the Un American pieces of crap

    January 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Reply
    • Pam

      Um....do you believe that female Republicans also see females as second class citizens? Your comments are that of a ranting person, not a thought filled and rational person. Get a grip and take in the entirety of the article: there were NO politics mentioned in it. Godspeed.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  58. 2feisty4u

    Speaking as a 100% disabled female vet...

    About time! Women have already been in combat and proven themselves, contrary to what the peanut gallery is saying.

    Regarding reflexes, DoD studies have proven trained women have FASTER reflexes and better hand-eye coordination. Additionally, fit women are built better for forced marches, even with gear. Regarding the knucklehead talking about women not being able to carry a man in combat, that's been disproven. Not to mention a lot of MEN can't either, not when carrying 75lb of their own gear! Why do you think they focus on teaching various drags and 2-man carries?

    Ethically speaking, I always had a problem with the fact that men had to register with selective service and that men had to go to combat when I didn't. I'm not a feminist nor do I WANT to go to combat, (neither do most men!), but it didn't seem right that I put on the uniform just like them but got excused from our real mission of defending our country in combat just because of my gender. If we both put on the uniform, we both should share the same risk. That means both combat and the draft. EQUAL RIGHTS MEANS EQUAL RESPONSIBILITIES.

    We coddle our military women and that needs to stop. The DoD did studies back in the 90s showing that civilian females, after 6 weeks of moderate exercise, could meet the military male's minimum physical fitness standards. So there is no reason to have two sets of standards. For specops and combat jobs, they either meet the standard or they don't. Enough said.

    For those arguing that kids need their moms, well guess what? Dads are needed too. Neither gender is more important than the other.

    Lastly, don't forget that in some branches and some career fields, some women can't get promoted past a certain rank due to a lack of experience in the restricted fields.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Reply
    • awells62

      Couldn't agree with you more.

      There is nothing saying women are less capable, and if they can pass the same standards as men why should't they be allowed?

      January 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Reply
    • Cliffintex

      Well said. There are many women that are as capable as men. No reason they should be excluded.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Reply
    • Meg

      Great post, we run a program for reintegration of female vets, would love to speak with you. Please email me thanks, Meg

      January 23, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Reply
    • EOD

      I agree with 99% of what you are saying. Having said that, the role humans play in war, is much less suited for the female anatomy than it is for the male. Physically males are far superior to that of females and that aspect alone should mean exclusion. A very small percentage of females can make the basic requirements of most basic male marks. However, for the small percentage of females that can make it there is a different angle that has not been discussed yet. There was a study in the Israeli military that showed that men from an enemy unit were increasingly reluctant to surrender to women, often times fighting to the death. This results in a higher body count on both sides, when an all-male unit stood a much better chance of getting them to surrender. The male – female dynamic is apparent regardless of what side you are fighting for. When the enemy knows women are amongst the aggressors attacking at dawn, there morale sky rockets. A large part of any battle is lowering your enemy’s morale so that they can see that defeat is a distinct possibility. This is why snipers are so effective… So I agree men and women should be equal, it’s fair after all. Unfortunately, nothing is fair in war. I support the way it was…

      January 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Reply
      • 2feisty4u

        EOD, I have to disagree that what you call the "social" aspect is a valid reason against women in combat. Historically, if we had accepted that, neither blacks or women would be in the service. Will there be difficulty integrating at first? Of course. However, as the old guard passes, the new gen will be used to this as the "norm", and less problems will occur.

        I speak from personal experience. In the early 90s, I was assigned to a flightline overseas, and I was the only woman. We had a meeting, and before it started, the DO came up to me and asked me to make the coffee and "he was real happy the newcomer was a gal so we'd have good coffee finally". I didn't know where it was at or how to make it! Yet when I got out, the first question about a newcomer was not their gender, but what type of performer were they. What a difference!

        January 23, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • Harsh

      well said. Looking at some comments, just can't believe how insecure men can become even in a 'so called' advanced country like USA. They don't sound very different from some of the countries that we view as backward in treating women. Men in those countries talk about all issues everyone is going to have as soon as when they have to send girls to schools. This is not a very different. These men have to stop thinking as if they are faultless superior humans. Here is an advice – stop comparing yourself to women to feel superior.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Reply
    • dvworker

      I completely agree with you. As a female service member, I also agree that the military coddles females-they will meet the standards if the standards are higher. Most importantly, thank you for your service and fighting for others who do not even believe you should have the right participate in defending freedom.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Reply
      • 2feisty4u

        Thanks and to you as well.

        This reminds me of the line "I fought for your freedom of speech, and THIS is what you're doing with it!?!". Lol

        I don't think it's a rights issue so much as an ethical one. If you put on the uniform, you need to be prepared to sacrifice the same.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
  59. Edwin Bowers -Old Soldier

    Just watch and hear the out cry when they come home in body backs with their young kids seeing a flag drapped coffin and no mother to wipe their noses and kiss their boo boos. Is it worth it to allow this to happen? If it becomes necessary to reinstate conscription (the draft) in a national emergency, are we going to draft a 95 lb 18 year old female to carry an 85lb pack in extreme conditions. Alls fair in love and war. How combat effective would this be?

    January 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      Out of curiosity, what did Uncle Sam do when 95 lb. 18 year old boys got drafted into the military?

      January 23, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Reply
      • Cliffintex

        They would make him a clerk or some such.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
      • common sense

        Doubles rations and voila he gains 30-40 lbs of muscle throughout training. Most men can develop that fast, most women can't. Women have lower physical standards in the military hmmm I wonder why.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • 2feisty4u

      Do you know how many 95-110lb MEN there are??? Using your logic, let's have a more stringent min height and weight standard- for BOTH genders...

      The bottom line is standards. The individual, regardless of gender, either meets it or not. Period.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  60. Dan

    Time for WWIII, 100 million draft.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Reply
    • scotz

      sorry dude world war 111 would b fought over the skys nt land..nukes war

      January 23, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  61. Bill

    Most of these women in the military would make fools out of the right-wing Republicans and their gun-loving "militias".

    These right-wing “militias” and “minutemen” are nothing but civilian organizations largely comprised of wannabe commandos, skin-heads and dipsh!t law-and-order types who join up for the paramilitary vibes, the testosterone-rich conviviality of meetings with other faux servicemen, and the patches and hats they get to wear. True !diots, the vast majority have never been out of the sight of their hometown trailer-park, or ever in any real danger….

    January 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Reply
    • ddtrey

      Well said mama's boy. How much time in the military do you have?

      January 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Reply
      • Bill

        Fukkin 15 years Special Ops.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
      • Patrick

        If you're afraid of serving with women, you don't have to. The Army won't miss a beat with one less bigot to drag it down.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
      • MarkinFL

        One does not have to be in the military to recognize the difference between a soldier and a yahoo. I work with a retired Marine Corp General and several other retired officers(Navy and Marine). My sister and Brother-in-Law are both retired Marine Corp officers. I have never served and do not pretend to have the personality for it. Unlike so many chicken-hawks in this country.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Cheerios

      isn't that nice...15 years "spec ops". The great thing about the internet is that anyone can pretend to have a big d**k. Oh, and I personally shot OBL, so there.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Reply
      • Bill

        Look, buddy, I was dropping into Danang while you were eating Cheerios out of your Nazi skin-head Dirk's ass. You shaving potatoes way in the back mess tent?

        January 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Cliffintex

      15 yrs Spec Ops – BS. You're a keyboard warrior and not particularly good.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Reply
      • Bill

        Look there Cliff-Clavin, you one of those Corporals way in the back doing administrative tasks behind a desk? I hear you guys like wearing a glittery pearly white necklace.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
  62. JackL

    Alright!!!! With so many more soldiers, its time to invade Canada...

    January 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Reply
    • David Thornton

      Well, you know JackL, the definition of a Canadian is an unarmed American with healthcare. But if you really need to invade, come on up. You are welcome to Winnipeg or Edmonton in January, just so long as we can go to Orlando.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Reply
      • JackL

        I like Tim Horton's. Plus we have our defense industries to support. Canada is a logical choice – Spock would say so. ;-)

        January 23, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  63. Dan

    This is ok....IF and ONLY if it is the EXACT same PT and entry standard. You need to know that the soldier or marine next to you can pick you up and pull you to safety if you get hit, and that he/she will be able to lift/carry whatever everyone else needs to lift/carry so the fire-team/squad/platoon/company doesn't suffer because of her/his weakness.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  64. Vandikar1

    Fine by me, if the standards are the same for both men and woman, and the woman can pull her weight, so to speak, let her in. My wife shoots good enough to make cops look over and give her a quick nod! But she couldn't haul 20 lbs more than about 20 feet! If the woman call compete with the soldier on equal ground, far as I'm concerned, she can roll over Taliban with the best of um.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Reply
    • Harsh

      iit is not about competing with fellow soldier. It is about service. Stop comparing yourself with women. Learn to include and work with women. They are your fellow citizens.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  65. john

    make women do the same standard as men then we wont have a problem. problem is that they cant and they will lower the standards so they can pass. the military is weak!

    January 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Reply
    • Krisagi

      wow your idiocy shows itself with every post you make. do you have any valid point to keep women from the front line or do you just have excuses?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Reply
      • Veritas

        Pointing out the fact that most women don't have the physical strength to ensure they aren't a burden on the front lines is idiocy?

        January 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
      • common sense

        Yea real idiocy. Women's physical standards are lower in the military right now.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
      • Krisagi

        @Veritas if thats the only excuse to keep women from the front line then yes it is idiocy.

        January 24, 2013 at 4:28 am |
    • Harsh

      You are also physically weaker than two men. Your thinking is weak. Actually military is going to be stronger.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  66. john

    there will be no more elite units in the military anymore. allowing a female that has to only do 18 pushups in the unit is laughable. china is laughing right now!!!

    January 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • joe

      the mighty 7th Cavalry is going from Garry Owen to Mary Owen. aggghhh!!!!

      January 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  67. trex

    ........jan Brewer................we have a job for you............................

    January 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  68. Nutz

    As so ends the age where women were exempt from the draft.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  69. john

    wait till a female gets captured then we will think hard about this

    January 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Reply
    • combatveteran

      Already happened

      January 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Reply
      • joe

        who was this woman???! i hope you are not referring to jessica lynch as what ACTUALLY occured is totally opposite from what the media reported.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
      • George

        Major Rhonda Cornum, for one. Her helicopter was shot down trying to rescue another pilot. She had two broken arms and a bullet wound, was kept in an Iraqi jail, and was raped by an Iraqi soldier. She describes the rape as the "least" of the things that were done to her. This happened way back in the 90's, and somehow the U.S military still exists! No men threw the mission to the wayside trying to rescue her. She was handled the exact same way as any other POW situation.

        There are many more; google is your friend. Female POWs and MIA already exist, and you're very naive that's not the case. It's crazy how many posters on this board seem so up in arms about changes to the military but have no clue what's already happening in the military.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Vandikar1

      They really should issue suicide pills to our soldiers. I sure as hell wouldn't want to get captured in most of the countries where we fight.

      Option 1) Have my head slowly cut off by a dull knife.
      Option 2) Quick painless death with cyanide

      I go with option 2! and I'm a guy. Thinking girls may have a worse deal.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Reply
      • awells62

        Suicide Pills? Are you nuts? We have training to get out of those kind of scenarios.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Harsh

      none of your business. You are not here to protect women. Stop feeling the need to control what women should do and should not do.

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

    equal is same PT standards and no special treatment. this will make our combat forces weak. hopefully my 75th ranger regiment will stay off limits to females

    January 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • awells62

      If they can pass the actual exact same standards as the men, why shouldn't they be allowed? I think for these kind of roles though they should have to pass the exact same standards, Ruck marches with 80lbs of gear, all the push-ups sit-ups and pull-ups too. If they can't do that they can't be expected to live up to whats currently required of the Men in the field and that puts the mission at risk.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Reply
    • mvw

      already happened multiple times....what's your next dumb argument?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  71. mamanas

    I just saw what a E5 makes in the Army. They won't have to worry about me serving, the pay could not cover my monthly hair and nail cost. Let the men go and die.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • Dp

      "Let the men go and die?" So you can go get your precious hair done? Feel pretty good about that hair don't ya MAMA?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Reply
      • mamanas

        Got to look good for the men who decided not to serve. Plus that pay really indicates the value we put on people serving in the military. Treating them like school teachers.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • awells62

      You should try donating some of that money to charity. As an E-3 right now, I make ~2800 a month living off base. If you're spending that much on your hair your priorities are all messed up.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  72. Dp

    So what do you tell the other MEN in your platoon that we had to wait for the stargler trying to keep up with a 60lbs ruck sack on? Should we just wait? Or is this soft America going to alter the trng so it adheres to women trng with men?

    January 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  73. john

    this is simply a political move and little thought was put in this. when they see the drop out rate for females, then they will rethink this

    January 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      "little thought". That alone shows how little you know about this topic.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  74. joe

    girls in combat???? 10 days without showers and they will all have yeast infections.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Reply
    • mamanas

      I think women can figure out a way to keep clean and fresh. She'll have to spend more time trying to keep fellow soldiers from trying to take the goods.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  75. Taylor

    I'm ashamed of the Americans who say the pledge, use our money and land, and live under the law that proclaims every Americans' EQUAL, unalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness who denounce women in combat. If women want to stand up and fight for YOUR rights and protection, they deserve to. Women are as physically capable as men. People serving in our military do not go through months, even years of training and boot camps for nothing. If a someone fails the tests to serve, they will not fight in combat whether male or female. Women are capable if you give them the chance. Either way, support or denouncement, American opinion will build women's cause and determination to prove their patriotism and skill.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Reply
    • gabe

      you obviously have never been in the military or can comprehend any asspect of the matter so please sit on the sidelines and watch as you have been for many years now.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Reply
    • ddtrey

      Hey Taylor, your next shift at McDonalds starts soon. Better run off and go make fries like a good little girl.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Reply
    • CSully

      Is anyone thinking about how this will effect all of the women serving in the armed forces that DO NOT wish to be put into combat positions? Certainly we are all aware that even though we have an all volunteer military, not all of those currently serving in combat positions choose to be there. So with the inclusion of women who choose to serve in combat we are including ALL female service members to the possibility of being non-vol into those jobs. This possibility may deter some women from continuing military careers and may deter some from considering military service at all.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Reply
      • 2feisty4u

        If a woman puts on the uniform, she accepts the same risk as a man. She will either meet standards, or not. Period.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  76. john

    you men in here that agree have no balls and have never served in a combat unit or special ops unit. so your opinion doesnt count

    January 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Reply
    • Lee

      Rangers aren't special ops bro. try again light infantryman.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Reply
      • Bill

        Actually, Rangers are under Special Ops Command.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
      • Ryan

        While rangers may not be true blue special forces, they fall under USSOCOM command, and are listed as SOC (Special Operations Capable). they are an Elite Infantry unit.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
      • Steve-O

        Shut your hole. Rangers lead the way.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  77. joe

    terrific.... now i bet MRE's will come with kotex and other female products. (sigh).

    January 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  78. Yago

    I hope this forces our Military and Government to start respecting the Geneva Convention. We need to force other nations and non-goverment armies, guerrillas, terrorist groups to respect the Geneva Convention so our Combat Women are protected if they fall as POW. As a powerful Army we need to give the example and avoid the barbary of RAPE as a war weapon. If other do, they lose the Legal and Moral grounds, if we do, we end at the same level of those we consider lower or uncivilized enemies, We should also force our Allies, as Israel, to respect the Geneva Convention.

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

      Wouldn't it be better and simpler to just do our best to keep them out of harms way? It's really naive to expect all warring parties to follow rules. IT'S WAR!

      January 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Reply
      • Yago

        so to us not follow the G. Convention? This is the real reason behind this deist ion.... from CNN itself http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/28/one-soldier-one-year-850000-and-rising/

        January 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  79. Bad Idea

    Scissor squad, ten-hut!

    Right-shoulder, maxi-pads!

    Are there really enough lesbians in the US to fill out even one infantry division?

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

      as per lesbians in the army, the bull or butch (male) is good as she/he can fight but the "Willamena Woo Woo" (girly-girl) has no business in the army as once she breaks a fingernail or gets dirty she will have an emotional breakdown and start crying and pouting. the butch is ok but definetly not the girly-girl.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  80. Ignominious

    One more step to a more vicious and callous society. The suicide rate for male returning vets is high; what do you think combat conditions will do to females?

    Do we really need or want combat conditioned women?

    January 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  81. BigGuyWithABigBazooka

    I was on a battleship during Fleet Week,and there were a TON of females.Alot of the security gurads came from the shup and they were holding large machine-guns.Doesnt that count?If theiy work on ships?Battleships,frigates,and crusiers?

    January 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  82. john

    other countries women are way rougher than our lazy, out of shape, pampered, american women. everyone knows this

    January 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  83. BigGuyWithABigBazooka

    what will happen in the canteen? It's a boys club,and lots of lewd things happen?Will she complain and be a tattle-tail.These situations help to calm down eachother,but if the female is all sensitive,then the whole team becomes overly stressed and can't focus on their new mission.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  84. john

    people that make these dum ideas have no clue what combat is. the soldiers that have been know and think this is a bad idea

    January 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  85. George

    I'm laughing at all the people so upset about this, or who think it is some huge change.

    News flash: there are already millions of female soldiers "attached" to direct combat units. Do you know what that word "attached" means in the military? It means that for all practical purposes, you're part of the unit. You do all of the same things they do. You're just logged differently as a way of ducking the legal requirements. This has been going on since the war began.

    Nothing is actually changing except the paperwork.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Reply
    • Ignominious

      Both are a mistake.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Reply
      • 2feisty4u

        Speaking as someone who has completed CMRT (Combat Medical Readiness Training), George is absolutely correct.

        Ignominious- since you feel its wrong, guess you don't want medical aid on the field if only a female is available? That's ridiculous- when it happens, you won't care about my gender, you'll just want my help.

        January 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • ddtrey

      Yep, plenty of women to do the paperwork...as that is what they are good at.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Reply
      • George

        Human Resources paperwork rangers are usually guys. Medical fields are where most of the women are to be found.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
  86. Joe

    FINALLY the U.S. joins the 21st century. I know of several women who are just downright scary! I'd be running from them if I were the Taliban!

    January 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • 2feisty4u

      Joe- I was active before and after 9/11. Let me tell you, some of the gals seemed more ticked off than guys. Some deployed and saw how the women were treated, and wanted to go BACK. Yeah, I'd be scared if I was the Taliban. Can you imagine how one of those a$$h0le$ would feel getting it from one of our women? Poetic justice, I tell you.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  87. mamanas

    Has anyone explained how or why Israel has been successful with having women serving in combat units. (Without making a racist comment)

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

      define "successful". They still only do light infantry and for a fraction of the time their male counterparts do.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Israelis live under a constant state of threat. They are a violent people by their very nature.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Reply
      • mamanas

        Really?

        January 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • tethys

      Don't take my answer the wrong way. I still think this is a good move. The IDF mostly starts filling positions from the bottom with women freeing up the men for actual fighting. It's only been recently that they have moved women further up the line simply because they don't have that many people to begin with. The US military applied this strategy somewhat in WWII, enlisting women in huge numbers to work supply, maintenence, clerk, etc to free up men to fight. But when that war was over they simply booted all the women they begged to volunteer and shoved them back into the kitchen pretending that they never served their country.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Reply
    • scotz

      isreal soilders dnt serve far away from home thats why

      January 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Reply
    • sfczeus202

      There is only one infantry battalion in the IDF (Karakal) in which women are allowed to serve... This battalion has never yet taken part in combat.. I wonder why..

      January 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  88. Zoe79

    I don't know why people are acting as though women in combat are anything new. Women have always contributed in every war historically, not just in this country but over centuries in countless others, as well. Both as warriors, nurses, and other important roles. Archaeologists dig up ancient female skeletons buried with their weapons, many Native American tribes had female warriors, women dressed as men in the Civil War to fight, lest we forget Joan of Arc leading troops to major victories... Just because historical school textbooks have decided not to teach little boys and girls of women's contributions in war (and other areas) doesn't mean it hasn't been part of life on this planet for eons. This is America, 2013. No big deal.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  89. Chad

    I'll be impressed when women have to sign up for Selective Service. Until then, this is just posturing.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Reply
    • Keith B Rosenberg

      You said what I was going to say!

      January 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  90. mh53j

    All physical standards need to be the same for everyone now. An ammo can, artillery shell, or anything else isn't any lighter when a woman carries it and the unit cannot be compromised.

    Everyone also needs to sign up for selective service now. And I mean every U.S. citizen when they turn 18, men and women. If they don't then they need to be denied student loans and anything else that requires selective service verification. I fully expect to see all the women of fighting age, regardless of mental or physical capacity, sign up and no grandfathering the 20-30 somethings out.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  91. Rob L

    This policychage is a big deal. I am for equal rights and opportunities for women. If this policy is enacted then women should be requried to register for selective service like 18 year old men do.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • Zoe79

      When any policies change, procedures and integration take time and testing to work out. This is not going to be an overnight transition nor is selective service options. Changes do come in steps and stages.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  92. nc1965

    Reality will sink in when it's discovered that most women don't have quick enough reflexes to jump on a live grenade, totally covering it before it explodes.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • Zoe79

      Yes, because women aren't self-sacrificing. Guess who wiped your bum all those years?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  93. john

    why give a infantry slot to a female that has lower standards than a man. waste of a slot and puts peoples lives at risk

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

      so you'd leave an infantry slot unfilled because no man will enlist?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Reply
      • mh53j

        I would. Better not to have someone in the slot than having to lose one or two others to support that one person. Just having one other person support someone else just doubled your loss of manpower.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
      • matt

        No slot will be unfilled in the Innfatry expecially for leadership positions. Right now the military is preparing for a downsize that makes it even more competative. People do not know what they are asking for. There is a difference between a Soldier getting killed ona "mounted" patrol vs a 10 day persistant engagement operation. We are not Isreal nor are we Canada. This is the begining of the end of the "greatest combat force" on the planet. Standards will be fall and people will die. Our nation was weakend today.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
      • Bad Idea

        If women are in the grunts, trust me, no "slot" will go unfilled.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
      • christoph

        women only account for 14% of the military forces. Every branch is overmanned and people are on over one year waiting lists to get into the military. Theres defiantly no problem with filling these infantry spots with men.

        January 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • nc1965

      I agree.

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

      No, you do not lower standards....Everyone seems to think that this will mean lower standards....No. This means that you set standards that all must test against. I no more want some 5'2" female that can't lift 50lbs in a physically demanding position than I want some 5'2" slightly built male. Now, on the other hand, put that 6' female in there anytime....IF she can meet the standards! Utilize the standards correctly....this is no more a world-changer than those that thought that allowing African Americans into the military would lower the standards...no more than the fear that allowing gay Americans into the military would change how we operate....(guess what ? it hasn't changed anything....) Utilize all of our talents as a military and a country. Get those women who are awesome snipers into sniper positions....if a girl can drive a tank like she stole it; get her in there! EOD takes guts and often a careful hand....get her in there! Quit equating capability with anatomy....its archaic and shows your ignorance.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  94. Lee

    I want to be President........that does not mean I should be.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  95. dmg2fun

    Great, can hear the radio chatter now. Hey in the next supply drop do you want mini or maxi?

    January 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  96. john

    everyone knows women have low PT standards and special treatment. want to be equal, then do the same standard as a man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  97. nc1965

    Women. The feminist movement has just done a disservice. They’re sending you to you deaths, leaving you kids motherless and to later be raised by you man’s next woman.

    Well, “be careful what you wish for”.

    Well, I'm telling my nephew to unenlist. He's survival rate has just decreased.

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

      Israel has had women in combat roles for years haven't hurt them yet

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

        truth is unlike the USA..all of isreal's war where women are involved are defensive..so the women arent or cant be captured and so far so gud isreal has won all its wars since 1948

        January 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • ffff

      @lee you flawed feminist twit...Israelis require everyone to serve due to the fact they are surrounded my millions that wold like to destroy them. Israeli soldiers training is not anywhere as difficult as ours even in Army basic infantry.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply
      • Ryan

        I'm Afraid i have to disagree, man for man, an Israeli infantry platoon, without support of any kind, is vastly Superior to almost any other country when it comes to Urban Warfare. their training is much more difficult and riggourous than standard US Army or Even Marine Corps boot camps. plus their force is smaller, they have more money concentrated into a smaller force, therefore they can afford to train each soldier better.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Mage Grumbley

      It is inherently better to be fatherless. Duh?

      January 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply
    • Navybrat

      You are an idiot.....how many kids are left fatherless?? Too many and I have seen it!!! Get rid of all the weak and scared men who are decreasing your chance of survival too!!!!

      January 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Reply
    • meg

      who needs men, when woman will destroy each other... if you ask me it has never been men they are just a tool in which woman use to control other woman... just a thought...

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

    all i see are females getting out of PT everyday because they have a medical problem. that wont fly on the battlefield.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • tethys

      Do you honestly think those women are going to try for combat slots? The article makes it pretty clear these positions would be voluntary. Just because a few women joined to get college money doesn't mean they all did.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Reply
    • combatveteran

      Hahahahha and i see p*ssya$$ shamtastic profile riding males in the ER everyday what is your point? Oh thats right you have none

      January 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  99. kenny

    Nigeria did it first and now the Americans have copied that, later they will claimed they did it first..

    January 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • scotz

      the nigerians wont put them in d field..dnt b dull pls

      January 23, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  100. MikeJ

    The Israelis have one of the toughest militaries out there, and they have women in every job. Why not us too, I guess.

    The trick is going to be equal standards. I've seen some women are very tough and strong, more so then average man. The thing is, those exceptional women should be the only ones doing this. As long as they don't lower the standard so EVERY woman can, I'm okay with this.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • wahoo69

      Agreed... Standards CANNOT be compromised.

      The NFL and NBA would dry-up and whither away if either were forced to comply with social wish-lists or forms of affirmative action(s), versus the standards they have in place and that is just meaningless sports...

      Imagine the ramifications of doing the like with our military and national security...

      January 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • wahoo69

      Not knocking your post MikeJ, but Israel has compulasary service for all citizens who are physically and mentally able to. This is due to the nature of Israels situation of being surrounded by hostile nations and close-proximity threats alike.

      They are in an active defensive mode 24/7, much more so than the U.S. or any NATO ally...

      January 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Reply
    • scotz

      dont u get it..isreal is defence only..its soilders mostly fight in its own land..so capture is nt a possibility and..women would do well but they shld serve at home..thats safer..if nt..american women pow's would soon b carryin different nations children cos rape is real!

      January 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Reply
      • JT

        Scotz, you spell like Shaq and your grammar is horrible. Learn to write properly before you post anything.

        January 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Post a comment


 

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