January 23rd, 2013
03:21 PM ET

Military to open combat jobs to women

By Chris Lawrence, with reporting from Barbara Starr

[Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET] The U.S. military is ending its policy of excluding women from combat and will open combat jobs and direct combat units to female troops, multiple officials told CNN on Wednesday.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will make the announcement Thursday and notify Congress of the planned change in policy, the officials said.

"We will eliminate the policy of 'no women in units that are tasked with direct combat,'" a senior defense official said.

The officials cautioned, however, that "not every position will open all at once on Thursday." Once the policy is changed, the Department of Defense will enter what is being called an "assessment phase," in which each branch of service will examine all its jobs and units not currently integrated and then produce a timetable for integrating them.

Go to CNN's iReport to share your thoughts on women in combat

The Army and Marine Corps, especially, will be examining physical standards and gender-neutral accommodations within combat units. Every 90 days, the service chiefs will have to report on their progress.

The move will be one of the last significant policy decisions made by Panetta, who is expected to leave in mid-February. It is not clear where former Sen. Chuck Hagel, the nominated replacement, stands, but officials say he has been apprised of Panetta's coming announcement.

"It will take a while to work out the mechanics in some cases. We expect some jobs to open quickly, by the end of this year. Others, like special operations forces and infantry, may take longer," a senior defense official explained. Panetta is setting the goal of January 2016 for all assessments to be complete and women to be integrated as much as possible.

The Pentagon has left itself some wiggle room, however, which may ultimately lead to some jobs being designated as closed to women. A senior defense official said if, after the assessment, a branch finds that "a specific job or unit should not be open, they can go back to the secretary and ask for an exemption to the policy, to designate the job or unit as closed."

The official said the goal remains to open as many jobs as possible. "We should open all specialties to the maximum extent possible to women. We know they can do it."

CNN readers skirmish over women in battle

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who spent six years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, said he supports lifting the ban on women serving in combat, pointing out women are already serving in harm's way. But he said the move should not fundamentally change the military.

"As this new rule is implemented, it is critical that we maintain the same high standards that have made the American military the most feared and admired fighting force in the world - particularly the rigorous physical standards for our elite special forces units," McCain said in a statement.

By the numbers: Women in the U.S. military

Thousands of women in the military have already found themselves in combat situations, said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington. Recent wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan have lacked a real front line, and women serving there have come under fire and had to fight back alongside male counterparts, she said.

Murray, who leads the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and is a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, called Panetta's decision a "historic step for equality" that recognizes the role women play in the military.

The Pentagon must notify Congress of each job or unit as it is sent up to the secretary to be opened to women. Then the Defense Department must wait 30 days while Congress is in session before implementing the change.

It is a marked difference from the way the military ended the exclusion of gays serving openly, or the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. In that case, there were no stipulations attached to openly gay service members. There was no staggered approach that integrated openly gay troops into units. It was instead done all at once, across the board.

A senior defense official explained the Pentagon's reasoning behind the different approach: "You're talking about personal choice of behavior versus physical capability. And they were already in the units. If you take a unit that's never had women before, that's quite a culture change."

Another senior defense official said the goal is "to provide a level, gender-neutral playing field."

The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense, charging that combat exclusion is unfair and outdated, harms America's safety and prevents women from receiving training and recognition for their work. The plaintiffs, who include women awarded Purple Hearts, say the exclusion places them at a disadvantage for promotion.

Former troops say time has come for women in combat units

The ACLU said it is thrilled about Panetta's planned announcement.

"But we welcome this statement with cautious optimism, as we hope that it will be implemented fairly and quickly so that servicewomen can receive the same recognition for their service as their male counterparts," Ariela Migdal, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Women's Rights Project, said in the statement.

Earlier this month, the Army opened the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment to women, and it has begun recruiting female pilots and crew chiefs. The Navy has put its first female officers on submarines in the past year, and certain female ground troops have been attached to combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 800 women were wounded in those wars, and at least 130 have died.

soundoff (3,524 Responses)
  1. mycommoncents

    I think many of you focused on the infantry combat role. If you ask an infantry soldier, he's the only one who goes into combat. Broaden your minds for a second. How about the Navy ship commander who had commanded the ship that fired tomahawk missiles. That's a combat. Unfortunately she was transferred to a desk and her XO got to go launch tomahawks instead. How about women Apache helicopter pilots? Fighter Pilots? Military Police? There are many roles woman take and excel in training and peacetime and it transfers over and shows during conflict. If you trust your battle buddy knows how to do their job well there wont be a problem.
    It's like in WWII, women flew planes & even taught pilots how to fly. Women built tanks, planes & other war equipment @ home, but yet we had to wait to the 70's for women to be accepted in the production lines. It's time to let the women who are in roles that see combat be allowed to continue their roles. If new positions (i.e. subs, ships, ground fighting specific) open up let the have the opportunity. That's what this country is all about.
    I praise & grieve at loss of any life knowing they freely gave theirs for mine, regardless of who they were / are or will be. Give them the opportunity to do what many of us have done, and are doing. That in itself is all anyone can ask.
    I also find it interesting that those who speak loudest are those who never wore a uniform. For those in uniform, there are many jobs that aren't "combat" labeled that see combat. Murphy's Law, life sucks, embrace the suck.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Welcome To Reality

      After serving 12 years as an enlisted troop, I went to school, did ROTC, and went back in as an officer. My wife, whom I met on active duty, did the same. New Butter Bars are assigned additional duties and one of my additional duty was funeral detail. The hardest funeral I did was in 2002. I had to present the flag to the husband of an AF pilot who was killed in action; they were my wife's and my age. All I envisioned was my wife in that casket instead of his.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:57 am | Reply
      • MarkinFL

        Basically, men are starting to understand how the wives have felt for generations.....
        There are no easy funerals....

        January 24, 2013 at 10:17 am |
      • Alyssa

        This I think is important. Men are much more effected by harm to females than they'll ever be by harm to males. But you have to understand that your discomfort is not more important than that female soldier getting every opportunity in her career that makes sense for her to have.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Sam

      In the army, MP is a combat support role. Combat roles are infantry (11 series), Artillery (13 series), Special Forces (18 series), Air Defense (14 series), Armor (19 series). Also, for the Navy, the Surface Warfare Officer NUPOC program is open both to men and women.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Reggie B

      All good comments, but how do we move from women having an "option" to serve in combat to "required" to serve in combat. In naval aviation, USA aviation and the USAF, the answer has been addressed during the last ten years as you noted. But how do we address the land forces, whose mission is different than flying or driving ships?
      Should the guiding thought be exceptional women only serve in combat position, or all women should serve in combat positions?

      January 24, 2013 at 10:30 am | Reply
  2. Mark

    US Government=Comedy Central

    January 24, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
  3. Bester FesterTester

    They can start their own elite group like the SEALs... but they can call themselves the Navy TUNAs

    January 24, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
  4. Stephen Cohen

    Sound interesting. Women in combat. When the war dies down, drop the drawers and go at it. Then back to war! How to make combat interesting

    January 24, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  5. Kenny

    Certainly this is no place for a woman.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  6. Welcome To Reality

    This is the case of politicians finally waking up to what is really happening. Women have been in combat for at very least the last 10 years. There are no "front lines" in Afghanistan and were none in Iraq. Bullets, IEDs, or any other device that goes boom do not discriminate. Women have been Logisticians, MPs, pilots, and in other support jobs with the Infantry and SF for years – it's just politicians are finally acknowledging it. Women have been killed and captured. The unfortunate truth is that we do need women in these roles because more women are signing up for the military then men. If the public does not like it, pull Johnny off momma's teet and tell him to man up. Otherwise, for the rest of America and politicians, welcome to the way it has been in the military for at least the last 10 years.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • tcp

      I would only rebut one point here. Where is your source for the statement about more women signing up than men?

      January 24, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
      • Welcome To Reality

        DoD keep statistics. To save time, attached is a website you can visit: http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/apa/Index.htm. You will need to do some clicking to find each year's statistics but this is an example of only the Army. The AF and Navy (includes MC) have their own websites.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • mycommoncents

      Thank you for telling it like it truly is

      January 24, 2013 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • Jon

      Once females are held to the same standards as the rest of us, I'll quit complaining.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  7. Barney

    Bad idea.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:39 am | Reply
    • Sarah

      Reading these comments reminds me of my father - Chief Master Sargent in the Air Force - ridiculing the women entering the service 40 years ago: "It takes 4 women to do the work of 2 men on the flight line..." Well, here's the thing, men have physical limits just like women and when a task exceeds those male limits, machines do the job or teams tackle big jobs.

      Accommodations can be made in many cases to mitigate the relatively small gap between male and female physical abilities. And as for field exercises, why can't women carry a lighter rifle? Carry less food and water (they eat less anyway)? Why can't radios be made lighter? Etc, etc...

      There is no good reason why strong and courageous women should not serve in combat roles. Where there are jobs based SOLELY on physical capabilites, then exclude those (men and women) that can't perform to an acceptable level. But not because the soldier is female.

      One more thing. You guys with your hangups about women's menstrual cycle...first you need to grow up, you sound like a bunch of middle schoolers. Second, men wipe their butts, right? That's some nasty waste generated by bodily functions...just like a woman's period. Menstrual cycles are NOT a legitimate argument here.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:34 am | Reply
      • jrh0

        Sorry Sarah, as soon as you said "so what if they can't meet the same physical standards, we could make some accommodations for them" you proved the point of all of us who don't want them here.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  8. Barney

    Better hope they don't get captured, wherever they may be. The point is women can get pregnant, and most men are straight. That pretty much sums it up.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • Souljacker

      Birth control. It comes in a shot now you know. Besides, women have been bearing children from rapes for time out of mind. You really think a woman who goes into combat doesn't know the risks? A lot of current soldiers are being raped by OUR OWN TROOPS. Yea, we get it. Men might rape, because that's just how you are.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • Sasha

      If a woman wants to become a soldier and is physically capable, why not let her? Every soldier, man or woman, gay or straight, accepts their duty and knows the risk (at least I hope they do). Female soldiers know the risks of going into combat, and they accept that. Do people just ignore the fact that male POWs are raped as well, or do people really believe that doesn't happen? Every soldier is put at risk, and they all know that. Death does not discriminate.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:53 am | Reply
  9. Norm

    All they're doing is acknowledging modern warfare. In places like Iraq and Afghanistan, there are no rear areas as in previous wars like WW2. Everyone is at risk, no matter where they are. As the article points out, woman are already assigned to combat units:, they're just not getting credit for it.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • Blair

      Wait so Camp Leatherneck isn't considered "in the rear" if you don't think so you've either never been there or never left there.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:51 am | Reply
  10. Bob R.

    Well, Women always wanted to be equal,,,,To heres your chance.....Isnt that why you sighed up in the first place????

    January 24, 2013 at 9:33 am | Reply
  11. vpk

    want to kill human-been do abortion on yourself

    January 24, 2013 at 9:32 am | Reply
  12. Portland tony

    This issue is not about GI Jane fighting shoulder to shoulder with men in a combat situation. This is primarily about career women officers and enlisted, who need to have "held" certain "combat" and leadership job descriptions in order to advance in rank. It's called getting your ticket punched on your career path. This ruling allows women a better opportunity to be promoted along side their men counterparts!

    January 24, 2013 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • Question

      So you're saying let's put women in combat roles just for promotion purposes and not put them in the field after wasting money on training?

      January 24, 2013 at 9:33 am | Reply
      • Souljacker

        No, we're saying let's stop holding women who have keen tactical minds back and start to advance our military into the next age of combat readiness.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Jimmie Russells

        Pretty much. They'll see "combat", but they'll never really see any combat.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • tcp

      That is just prattling nonsense.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:39 am | Reply
  13. 2feisty4u

    In a way, I don't know why we bother debating this. People are set in their opinions, and won't let a little thing like FACTS or REALITY change their minds.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:28 am | Reply
  14. no

    More of the expanded World War to benefit banks and corporations while they send the poor out to die. This is the real reason they want our guns. They are afraid the American People are realizing our vote and our thoughts dont matter, only lobbyists banks and corporations who fund our corrupt politicians do.

    The real war will come not in the Middle East, or even on the Mexican border itll come against the Federal Reserve, and the wallstreet banks who robbed us during the bailout. If youre reading this you are the resistance.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
    • no2

      you're

      January 24, 2013 at 9:54 am | Reply
  15. fiftyfive55

    I guess with women in combat,we dont have to treat them like ladies anymore because they are now the same as men,too bad

    January 24, 2013 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • Durundal

      must you hijack the conversation in order to inject 5tup1D? If you have a problem with the ladies, then go shack up with a dude and zip it

      January 24, 2013 at 9:32 am | Reply
      • fiftyfive55

        Oh,so your the decider on who says what here ?

        January 24, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  16. infantry guy

    i think this is a bad idea....especally in the infantry......every chick will be inpregnated during deployment...EVERY.. not to mention i went 58 days with no shower or running water. femminine hygene will be a problem. good thing they left that loophole.....i can say i honestly believe that ALL infantry and special forces groups will be closed to women......ps guy on guy action dosent happen to all who think it does.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • tcp

      Whole bunch of broad sweeping generalizations there...NONE grounded in fact.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:25 am | Reply
      • USMC 0351

        How about BS on your part, its stated in fact because we lived this life day in day out. We are the Infantry and have done the dirty work. Yes women are in combat, they are located out on the FOBs, and yes they may do presence patrols with the Infantry units (a 1-2 hour walk down the street). But at no time will they be able to load up with a 100lbs pack (Which includes our basic ammo load, demo, water, food, batteries, mission essential gear, and socks) (Not tampons, not shampoo, not undies/bras), perform a 20-30k movement through the Kunar of Afghanistan, having to endure multiple engagements (Movement to contact), and all doing this while on 30 plus day sustained missions (No heading in for refits to sh!t, shower, or shave legs). The sad part is every one supports this BS but when women can't even conduct physical fitness tests at the same standards as the men, how are they suppose to fight along side of them. If you've never served and I mean in the Infantry, then you have no damn idea. So when the good idea fairy slaps you across the face saying you should support this... Then this is when you need to sign up, volunteer for the Infantry AND THEN DEPLOY AS A GRUNT, then you'll be fully QUALIFIED to defend your argument! The military, especially the Infantry is not a damn social experiment. You know what, if a woman can perform at Ranger standards day in and day out, then cool I have no problem with it. But the moment she calls that time of month, then we hit her with Failure to Train disciplinary actions....

        January 24, 2013 at 10:22 am |
      • Justmyopinion

        Why is it that men always think that women have to be pretty, dainty things who have to shave their legs everyday and immediately stop working when it "that time of the month." I'm pretty sure those little things would not get in the way. If a female can do the same job at the same standards as men, then I don't understand the problem. Many claim seeing women injured and killed would be worse, however, women have been seeing men injured and killed for thousands of years, it isn't a different situation- seeing anyone killed is going to be heartwrenching. As for pregnancy and rape- I doubt any woman going into the military hasn't come to terms with the possibility and decided that serving outweighs that fear. Why not allow QUALIFIED women the chance- you will likely be pleasantly surprised that not all women are the dainty little flowers you have described them to be.

        January 24, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Souljacker

      Thanks for clearing that up about guy on guy action. It's good to know you aren't gay. Really. I'm glad you let us know that you definintely aren't gay.

      Also, you do know that one of the first things a female soldier is given access to is birth control, right? Right??
      Your ignorance is showing.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:26 am | Reply
      • fiftyfive55

        go ahead,send your mother and sister to the mideast,you bbrave brave man

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

        You think birth control is a military issue item to females? It's not given out like candy

        January 24, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • David Souther

      you dude are a fricken idiot... and you are gay cause you had to emphasize on the fact so hard... this is why the military is retarded and i hate being a nco in the army. cause of stupid soldiers like you.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • Cobra6

      Interesting. When I was an Infantry company commander in Baghdad, we had 5 females on our combat outpost. Our best platoon leader was a female MP lieutenant, who saw more than her share of combat and excelled. None of the females became pregnant over the 13 months we were there. And we actually did have two males engaged in some "action", plus any that I didn't find out about. Any more asinine statements to be debunked?

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

    Wonan in the infantry. It's about time. "You've come a long way, baby...". So now we are getting this "equality" business on the road at last. And the ladies can die along with the men, countless opportunities in these wars without end...

    January 24, 2013 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • Bob

      Dying is the easy part. The hard part is losing your limbs, being burned, blinded, and PTSD. Oh, and knowing your fellow soldier died because of the modified physical requirements allowed people not qualified into combat.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:42 am | Reply
  18. nc1965

    Women. Get out now while you still have a chance at a family. And if you have kids, get out now before you make them orphans or worst, leave them for another woman to raise with your man.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
    • Souljacker

      Why on earth do you think that every woman's goal is a family? Humankind could do with a little less procreating.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:20 am | Reply
      • ajking981

        Actually the human race, at its current birth rates, will die off in the next Millennium. Go educate yourself.

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

        ajking981 – Are you on drugs? Even Stephen Hawking admits that if we continue at the same exponential growth rate, we will be standing shoulder to shoulder by 2600.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  19. A dog in the Fight

    Women in combat? Hmm.. This one is not really floating well with me, on one side if the standards of fitness and competence are not compromised I can role with it. All the talk about a women's feminine hygiene care is not really relevant. I think these ladies know that they need to be prepared for their cycles and the other issues that they may face out in field. These things need to be brought up but not the central focus, the focus should be that the physical and mental standards NOT be compromised for ANYONE. ALL should be held to the same rigorous standards as the other.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:18 am | Reply
  20. Miko

    Looks like there are enough disposable women sitting at home getting pregnant. They might as well do something with their lives.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:17 am | Reply
  21. Joyce Neal

    What happens when it is that time of the month & there is no place to shower/wash-up? Will women be required to maintain a very very short haircut, which will require a regulation change? What happens when a female is the "only" female in the unit? I am sure that many women are happy with this decision, but just as many women are unhappy with this decision. Will the assignments be mandatory? I understand women want to be treated equal in uniform, but what happens when that female cannot carry their full weight? Will a male counterpart offer to help or leave her behind? There are many questions surrounding this decision.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • Souljacker

      All of these questions have already been asked. Stop focusing on a monthly cycle as if there are no options. We live in 2013. All a woman has to do is go get a shot and she is set for a 6 month operation.

      Aside from that, what do you think happens when a man can't carry his weight in the field? Do his comrades leave him behind because he's too weak, or do they help carry the load because "no man gets left behind"?

      Do you really think that men never falter in the field?

      January 24, 2013 at 9:24 am | Reply
  22. Cheneys5deferments

    Cutting the defense budget by 50% and reinstating the draft for any deployment over 40,000 troops would 1) immediately balance our budget and pay off our national debt in eight years, 2) even at 50%, we'd still be the largest most powerful military force on Earth, 3) allow resources freed to rebuild America's collapsing infrastructure that would create 90,000,000 new, well paying jobs, 4) returning us to our status as the most prosperous and secure nation in the free world...

    January 24, 2013 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • Scott

      A conscript army is virtually worthless compared to a professional force like we have now. Thats common knowledge to anyone with any knowledge of military practices...

      January 24, 2013 at 9:33 am | Reply
    • Mark

      First, we are NOT the largest Army in the world (China, India, N. Korea) then US. So cutting the defense budget by 50% would reduce manpower to the US to being incapable of responding with any decisive capability should it be required. Now, requiring and collecting taxes on the 47% of people that DON'T pay would provide a HUGE windfall for the coffers.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
  23. Reggie B

    As we debate the short term implications of women serving in combat positions, I want to focus on the long term implications of the “womening” of our all volunteer force. In the end, the impending changes may do more harm to the advancement of women in the military then good.
    I celebrate the opening of all combats positions to women. I believe every able-bodied American with the required character who wishes to serve their country should be able to do so. My question is simply, should service in combat be an option or a requirement? I believe it should be a requirement. Hence, as the majority of men recruited in the military are destined to combat positions, now the majority of women recruited for service should be destined for combat positions too. If such is the case, would this requirement affect the number of women recruited into the military and who successfully complete training?
    In addition, should women be required to enroll in the draft as every 18 year old male?
    I think the answer to both is yes. So how do we now require women to serve in combat verse celebrating the “option” of serving in combat?

    January 24, 2013 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • CHhrisINF

      In my opinion you are absolutely correct. Having now gained the right to serve in combat women should now have the obligation to register for Selective Service (Draft) and be required to join combat arms positions in equally higher numbers as the males are, afterall we wouldn't want it to appear that we are being unfair in allowing women to shirk their newly won responsibility (equal right) to fight and die in the mud against our enemies... come on in!

      January 24, 2013 at 9:25 am | Reply
  24. Norm

    These people might not have a schwally....but they sure aren't "women".

    January 24, 2013 at 9:13 am | Reply
  25. larry

    When you are taken hostage in some middle eastern muslim toilet country, tortured and raped before your beheading. Hillary and Obama will say "At this point does it really matter? "

    January 24, 2013 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Norm

      Thanks for sharing your twisted fantasies here on CNN
      Now go clean yourself up.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:12 am | Reply
    • Souljacker

      Honestly, how is it any different from the millions of women currently held hostage in their own homes, being brutally beaten and raped by men they are supposed to be able to trust? At least after service she'd get a medal.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:29 am | Reply
  26. Todd

    Personally I think if you can do the job you should be allowed to but as a nation are we ready to hear how are wifes mothers daughters and sisters were treated as POWs

    January 24, 2013 at 9:10 am | Reply
    • Souljacker

      Why not? We already hear how hey are treated as wives, daughters, and strangers on the streets. Or do you think rape, torture and terror is something that only happens in a small, dark country on the other side of the map?

      January 24, 2013 at 9:32 am | Reply
    • Justmyopinion

      What I don't understand is why it's any different for a woman to be injured/killed than for a man. Women have been losing men they care about since wars started. Is it because there is a historical precedent that some how make it better? The pain women feel when losing a male loved one in combat is just the same as what a man would feel losing a woman in the same context.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  27. gc

    I bet a lot of the people that want this have never even served one day in the military. I just dont want to hear the crying and moaning when things hit the fan on the battlefield. There is no love given out there. Just hope that none of them get captured, you know the story after that. Be careful for what you wish for, you just might get it.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:08 am | Reply
    • tcp

      Um, they are already on the "battlefield" and have already been captured. Is there a point here?

      January 24, 2013 at 9:22 am | Reply
      • Jorge

        Yeah, maybe one or two. When I was in a unit overseas, we moved to another post that happened to have women on it. Our Battalion Commander briefed us on how we were to act since there would be women around. In other words, we couldn't offend them. If these women need special accommodations in order not to be "offended", they probably don't belong in the military, much less on the battlefield.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • tcp

        Wholly concur, Jorge.

        January 24, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  28. Marine Pogue

    The real issue is what happens when females get marked lower than their male counterparts on performance evals? Its going to happen. Combat arms is physical, so performance evals will be heavily weighted on physical performance. Not to mention a woman will have to forego having children the entire time they serve. 9 months pregnant, 6 months maternity in a job field where you could be deployed at any time? Seems like a stretch to implement.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:08 am | Reply
  29. Mike Remeir

    I'm all for women in combat. Be careful what you wish for because you might actually have to hump a pack. Require selective service registration and have the same physical standards across the board.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:05 am | Reply
  30. JOHN

    well this is fun...but its really simple. Societies are based on roles and societal norms. No matter what the feminatzis say. That is how societies survive. One of the males job in a society is to protect, fight, work, kill the enemy...testosterone....now women roles are to nurture the family, take care of the home, support the male...estrogen. Of course lefty loon libs consider this blasphamous (no i cant spell). ...just another nail in the coffin of what use to make america great...thank you democrats!!!

    January 24, 2013 at 9:04 am | Reply
    • P2000

      Really? You really feel that way? Have you ever met a female soldier who has been in combat?

      January 24, 2013 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Justin

      As a combat veteran in Afghanistan and Iraq I think this is great for women however, as a male in a combat situation I know I'm always going to go above and beyond to protect a female soldier over a male. It's a natural instinct and I think most soldiers would relate, of course you want to protect yourself and your squad (male or female) but natural instincts tell you to protect the female. I am an advocate for women getting all the equal treatment that they deserve but I think it's going to be crucial that the reports to these chiefs are accurate and transparent.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
      • tcp

        If what you say is true that only makes YOU weak and I wouldn't want to deploy with you...you shouldn't be in combat if you would protect one over another.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:29 am |
  31. wade

    This might just be the only thing Obama has ever done that I agree with. Equal rights menas equal rights. Including the right to fight, be a prisoner of war or be injured or die. Now if women can develop the uper bidy musle streangth required to carry all the gear then march on. If they cannot then they will be dead. THen all teh liberals will shout out against the Idea.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:04 am | Reply
  32. Kevin P

    Spent 12 years as a Marine and I'm all for it if done with equality. Combat Arms is a tough world. I've seen men who can't hack it and women who could if given the chance. I think it would have to be on a volunteer basis so you start with those women more inclined to the life of packing heavy gear and living dirty. There is a logistics hurdle that will have to be dealt with and that comes from the current rules for segregated billeting. An infantry company in a staging area requires 5 big tents to hold everyone. Current rules would add another of those big tents for just one woman. We have to get past the issue of potentially seeing each other naked if we are going to really go out and fight together.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:59 am | Reply
    • P2000

      Very well said. It is refreshing to hear from a man with combat experience who has an open mind about this issue.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:14 am | Reply
  33. Owl Creek Observer

    Based on Panetta's goal of giving all Americans "equal opportunity" to serve in combat units, here are my suggestions:

    – Require all young women to register for Selective Service when they turn 18.
    – Require the same physical standards for women to qualify for combat units as their male counterparts, and don't lower the standards so that both genders can meet them.
    – Young men are sometimes involuntarily selected to serve in combat units. The same standard must apply to all young women who serve.

    If Panetta and the Obama administration are intent on creating genuine equal opportunity to serve in combat, then they would surely agree that these steps must apply to that process.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • Marine Pogue

      Involuntarily put women in combat arms and expect them to meet the same male standards will retard female promotions.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:04 am | Reply
    • Polonel Meagre Jr.

      WOmen: Does it occcur to you for just a second that you might have been tricked?

      January 24, 2013 at 9:04 am | Reply
  34. Christos

    Christos

    OK. So now it is time to register at 18 for men and women. It could be draft time. Has anyone been watching Korea? Wow... where is carrie Underwood, Nicki Minage, Taylor Swift and other 18 – 24 young ladies on this. Are they for hand to hand combat? Sorry, USO they are going to fight next to me. Can't have it both ways.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • Souljacker

      Yea? What about Justin Bieber? Don't see him rushing off to try to hack it as a green beret.

      Are we saying that every woman is cut out to be a soldier? No, we aren't. We are saying "ok, women have been pretty successful in the positions we have them in now, let's see what happens if we open more opportunities for them."

      Get over it.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
      • DreamTheater

        Justin Bieber is Canadian, so he won't be serving in the U.S. military any time soon.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:32 am |
      • 31stada

        As much as you enjoy telling others to "get their facts straight"....maybe you should take a dose of your own medicine souljacker.....justing beiber is of CANADIAN citizenship.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  35. WhatsYourOpinion

    I have read the DoD is opening up Ranger School to female officers as a test pilot to see how females will do. What do you think? Also, men in Ranger School lose a lot of weight and essential body fat. Essential body fat is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions. The percentage of essential fat is 3–5% in men, and 10-16% in women.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:55 am | Reply
    • newsrell

      You raised an interesting point, if valid (I am not bothering to check). Assuming it's valid, then yes, it could affect child bearing capacity for women in combat, but it's their choice. There also women opting for corporate rather than family.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • P2000

      Female atheletes maintain lower percentages of body fat as do some other women. We don't stop women from being atheletes. Why stop them from being in combat. If women can take the physical challenge then let us. Ever seen GI jane?? Or what about Serena and Venus Williams?

      January 24, 2013 at 9:20 am | Reply
      • WhatsYourOpinion

        Okay...let's talk about GI Jane. What did the female Doc tell Lt. O'Neil, played by Demi Moore? "her body fat falls below normal and she ceases to menstruate" And typical values for elite athletes are 6% to 12% for men and 12% to 20% for women. My point is if men drops to 6-12%, I will guess women will drop around the same percentage which will affect their organ functions, which can cause injuries or death.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  36. Women are MONSTERS

    We want equal rights, except when we don't!

    January 24, 2013 at 8:55 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Since all men do not think alike it is fair to assume that not all women think alike. Your clear hatred of women is your own personal problem.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:57 am | Reply
    • 13directors

      Look, why tear down your countrywomen because they have other responsibilities that preclude them from going full throttle combat? The fact is childbearing is our responsibility to further our species. You should be grateful and proud of our women who want to support our men in combat.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:02 am | Reply
  37. All Women Everywhere

    We want equal treatment at all times.... except when it's not awesome!

    January 24, 2013 at 8:54 am | Reply
  38. East Coast

    What makes me sick are these married couples who deploy and leave their children for someone else to raise. These mothers need to stay home and raise their children instead of going away to play soldier. If we weren't involved in everyone else's business all the time, these women would be home. No, I may be the farthest thing from a feminist, but I also believe in peace. Yeah, I remember 9/11, but that war is over, right?

    January 24, 2013 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • BioHzrd420

      Yeah, because soldiers have a say in when and where they deploy. (rolls eyes)

      January 24, 2013 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • Anna

      Women have been getting deployed for a while now even before the combat jobs open up. They can't help the fact that when they and their husband are deployed at the same time leaving their children. Some women feel it is their right to serve. However with combat jobs being now open to women I believe that in a household where both husband and wife serve one should go and not the other at any given time especially if they are both tied to a combat unit.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:21 am | Reply
    • jechet

      Are you serious? I must say im not the biggest fan of all this but your comment is ridiculous. I have plenty of dual military couples as friends and they dont like the idea of both of them deploying at the same time either but they know its their job and they do it with honor. But if thats the way you feel, how about you be the one to stay at home and take care of the kids by yourself for a year, and let your wife deploy since your comment is all about the kids. But you wont because you're a feminest.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:34 am | Reply
  39. mike electrician

    If the women can go through the same basic training regiment, and I mean the same, with 100 pound packs, no girly push-ups, and can carry a 200 pound guy who is lying on the ground wounded, back to the medics. Then sure, why should men be the only cannon fodder. I for sure would not be all to eager to be dealing out death. But as long as they can go through the exact same regiment of training, then what do I care.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:53 am | Reply
  40. Lee

    Why not give females the equal rights to be in full combat? Provided that any individual can pass muster with the physical expectations, he/she should be given the right to put their lives on the line in service to the country. Females should have an equal right to die for their country too. I am still waiting for the feminists to demand 18 year old females be required to register for the draft (or face a felony for failure to do so), just like it is for males. Strangely, they have remained silent on this issue....

    January 24, 2013 at 8:52 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Actually they haven' been silent. But it is not relevant to the discussion at hand. The draft is a societal question. Women in combat is an internal personnel question for the military.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:55 am | Reply
  41. gager

    All those people with assault rifles. Do the anti gun people lknow about this?

    January 24, 2013 at 8:52 am | Reply
  42. rickmeister1203

    Imagine in a middle of a fire fight in Fallujah, a commanding officer orders his platoon of women to take out a machine gun nest or directing them to assault a house knowing full well there are deeply entrenched insurgents waiting for American soldiers to barge in. I hope it doesn't happen.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
    • Tyler

      Don't worry, it won't...

      January 24, 2013 at 9:00 am | Reply
    • PartyInMyPants

      A platoon of women??? One lucky commanding officer! I'm so jelly!

      January 24, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
  43. Tony

    On the *OTHER HAND*, WOMEN OUT-NUMBER MEN in the U.S. now. Therefore, let them "equal out" the traditional "bullet-catching" men who are boots on the field–after all, this means "better equality" (in a *different way, of course) for men and women in the U.S. ...

    January 24, 2013 at 8:49 am | Reply
  44. Joey

    I whole-heartedly support this. Maybe when our daughters body parts are lined up in coffins at the airport we will start to question the reasons we went to war. Clearly we aren't asking the right questions when it's just our sons that are dying.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:49 am | Reply
  45. ColdWarVet75

    You must have the body strength to carry a lot of gear, which nearly all women don't have. Fighting an insurgency is different than fighting a land army. If a Chinese, Russian or North Korean soldier jumps into a females fighting hole he won't care if she is a woman before he plunges his bayonet into her belly. Other than the Soviet Union during WWII women did not serve in combat. Even Israel doesn't use them. Armies that allow them in infantry units haven't been in a war in a very long time like Switzerland and Sweden.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:48 am | Reply
  46. bo lies

    I'm surprised the women's rights KLANS haven't fought for women being part of the draft.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:47 am | Reply
  47. 912guy

    Here we go...it isnt about the aftermath of getting caught .....it is about knowing your enemy,knowing there reasoning,knowing how to leverage your best diplomacy,and understanding what they respect,dislike,and deem honorable.If you were a military leader over a great nation,and you were at odds with a enemy,and that very enemy hated women, looked at them as cattle,thought they were nothing but baby makers,and could never advise man,would YOU send a female to negotiate on your behalf?If you would then you must be slow.War is about smarts,.planning,common sense tactics,no equal right policy.Because bad policy and silliness will get you and your country killed.As for guy on guy rape, this isnt Sing-Sing prison....It is very easy for a guy by himself to rape a female...dont need a click,or crew.Now tell me how many raped men have you EVER heard of in the military that were raped by ONE man ?Yes, tell me what male soldier who has been raped by another male...I can bet you cant...But I bet you can find several females that will say I was raped by one guy...The entire point is that women are easier prey than men,that can be seen here in the states and to try and argue as if this is not a fact is useless because we are emotionally defensive with policy.Next we will be saying that a snale is faster than a cheetah....l

    January 24, 2013 at 8:46 am | Reply
  48. Libdumb

    Fantastic. Boy there are many women in the their cozy groups like NOW. Can't wait for them to see the real war on women. Wait until we need a draft and the Hollywood set have to go into basic training to kill their enemy. No salons in the foxholes. Welcome to the real world of equality.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:45 am | Reply
    • Christos

      OK. So now it is time to register at 18 for men and women. It could be draft time. Has anyone been watching Korea? Wow... where is carrie Underwood, Nicki Minage, Taylor Swift and other 18 – 24 young ladies on this. Are they for hand to hand combat? Sorry, USO they are going to fight next to me. Can't have it both ways.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:55 am | Reply
  49. blablabla

    I was in one of the first integrated boot camps in 98. I remember that when we hit a hill ruckmarching, one or two males would get behind a female and push them up. But that was basic. Later, in the 82nd, we had females in our unit, and some of em were studs, didn't mind carrying a saw. But they were the kind of females that would volunteer for an airborne unit, so like the males in the unit, they were a different breed. I think if you even out the PT standards and only let the females who can hack it (not bring the standards down to accomodate) into combat roles, this will really be a great thing. Yeah, they're rare, but there are some females who can outrun, outpush, and outruck 80% of the guys out there. They want a piece, let em come get it.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Amazing, a lucid and clear post. Why are you on here?

      January 24, 2013 at 8:45 am | Reply
  50. Tony

    There are SEVERAL problems with women in combat that the military has studied: 1) Feminine Hygiene–most women use their OB-GYN as their "primary care" physician, because their "plumbing down there" needs so much attention. 2) When you're talking about anatomy, the bottom line is that 1) an M1 Abrams tank is built like a submarine–*optimized* for space. Tampons, pads, etc. take up valuable space. 2) MORE IMPORTANTLY, if a woman winds up with a "problem" down below, then you've LOST a combat soldier–a weakness to the WHOLE unit, whether "boots on the ground" or in a tank. Plus, there is all the "dirty laundry" which *quickly* becomes toxic (because its dead blood) that has to be either STORED in a tank or somehow disposed of in a "sanitary way"–which means MORE "dirty laundry" whether in a tank or on the ground.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      I did not read past your first completely ignorant line...... What a crock of cr@p.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:43 am | Reply
      • Tony

        Oh, SHOVE IT. Statistical proof is statistical proof. And, you have NO answer to THAT.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • tcp

      I would LOVE to see you post a link to these "studies"...

      January 24, 2013 at 8:50 am | Reply
      • Tony

        simply do an "ixq

        January 24, 2013 at 8:55 am |
      • Tony

        Simply do an "ixquick" search or Google search–what do you live under a ROCK or what?

        January 24, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • p

      This is a ridiculous statement. There are ways for women to prevent menstruation during deployments and many do it. I, myself, did it when deployed to Afghanistan. It does not affect our health or ability to have children when we choose to.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:54 am | Reply
      • ashley

        thank you for your service, and thank you for standing up for this progressive change. By doubling the candidates for any role, we improve the strength of our forces.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Ellen

      You have no idea what you are talking about, but since you are convinced let me explained. 1) Feminine Hygiene–most women use their OB-GYN as their "primary care" physician, because their "plumbing down there" needs so much attention. – BS! I see only see my primary doctor for everything, I never have had "so many issues down there" give me a break. 2) an M1 Abrams tank is built like a submarine–*optimized* for space. Tampons, pads, etc. take up valuable space. Again BS- Most trael tampons are the size of lighters- second I am on the DEPO shot( I am lucky to get a period once a year) 2) MORE IMPORTANTLY, if a woman winds up with a "problem" down below, then you've LOST a combat soldier–a weakness to the WHOLE unit, whether "boots on the ground" or in a tank. Plus, there is all the "dirty laundry" which *quickly* becomes toxic (because its dead blood) that has to be either STORED in a tank or somehow disposed of in a "sanitary way"–which means MORE "dirty laundry" whether in a tank or on the ground- This is just plain stupid. If I am having no periods, no waste. If I am fit and in great health, not a issue with "problems down there".
      So unless you have actually real reason outside of these....

      January 24, 2013 at 9:01 am | Reply
      • Ellie

        He doesn't. Obviously, he has nothing better to do then attacking women. No need to waste your time argue with him, this type of people will not be around in the future.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Puck

      You're fascination with a woman's menstrual cycle is down right disturbing. As is the fact that your refer to it as "down there", you didn't do to well in health class or biology did you. Now I was wondering what about when guys have a "down there" problem, like an std from sticking it in places that they shouldn't. do crabs in a tank increase or decrease moral? And statistical fact is not statistical fact, it's relevancy is based off of the source from which it was obtained. Now please continue your idiocracy, it's rather amusing.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • Ted

      Your ignorance is overwhelming

      January 24, 2013 at 9:09 am | Reply
  51. Todd

    Wait till there's a real war like ww2 Vietnam where thousands of troops get killed every day
    I was In Iraq from 05 to 06 I am an infantry veterin from the 327th out of 101st airborne
    I mean yea in oef and oif thay could do the job there it's more of a police effort
    But if we ever fight someone with a real army like china or russa thay have the same capability as us
    The death toll would be a lot higher thin what we've seen from oef and oif there for a lot more mothers would get killed
    Imagine 25000 troops get killed one day storming a beach in china half of that number was women
    That 12500 dead women dead moms dead wife's
    Women are more important then men they are needed to repopulate after a large number of people are wiped out

    January 24, 2013 at 8:37 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      So women are simply incubators? Sorry, I have a lot more respect for women than that. Also, the number of women lost to your hypothetical war would not significantly impact our ability to procreate.
      Also, that assumes that we draft women into combat roles. Not likely. As that is not an internal military decision but a societal decision. Totally unrelated to this current discussion.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
  52. Christos

    I think what they need to do is have divisions based on the womens cycle, i.e, all members of the are on the same cycle. So you would have Midol 1, Midol 2 ect. Then send them into combat 3 days before their period. Trust me, they are going to be angrier than any man on the field of combat and wanting revenge on xy's.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • Jeff

      LMAO!!!! That's too much!!! ;-}

      January 24, 2013 at 8:37 am | Reply
    • JayneQP

      My training since the time I was 13 in pain, stress, anxiety, extreme discomfort, and MESS makes me better qualified than you sissy boy. If you think a period is a hindrance, YOU shouldn't be allowed to fight. Ninny.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:41 am | Reply
    • JOHN

      ...so true...they will be crying and screaming at the same time.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:56 am | Reply
  53. Tyler

    I'll bet the Taliban and al Qaeda can't wait to get a hold of these new combat soldiers...

    January 24, 2013 at 8:31 am | Reply
    • p

      Having been to Afghanistan I can tell you that men have a lot more to worry about than women when it comes to rape. The Afghan men find women dirty and only useful for child bearing. Many of the men, especially in positions of power, have young boys. My fear was never being raped, but being sold to other insurgents and ending up in Pakistan where there is no hope of rescue. I also feared being raped by my fellow serviceman far more than I ever did of being raped by Afghans.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:04 am | Reply
  54. Jeff

    I for one think this is hysterical....women have been screaming for "Equality" for years...and now they got it...be carefull what you wich for ladies, cause you just might get it!!!

    January 24, 2013 at 8:29 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Great fifth grade level response there.

      nanny nanny boo boo....

      Luckily most of our soldiers are actually mature.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:37 am | Reply
      • Jeff

        Just reality my friend....my grandfarther on fathers side was Navy off the coast of Korea during the Korean War...Grandfather on Mothers side Army Communcations Specialist/Infintry WWII Battle of the Bulge...Father Army M.P./ Infintry Vietnam...one Female Cousin erned her wings in the Air Force and another is in the National Guard!!! ......Because of all the HORROR StoriesI herad from my dlders and my political beliefs I choose a different route because my family has more than fought for the freedoms of this country!! If women want equality and to see combat, all power to them...but the psycological aftermath is not gonna be pretty!!

        January 24, 2013 at 8:45 am |
      • JayneQP

        Jeff, it's not pretty now. I have a brother (giant of a man, tough as nails, always), suffering from terrible PTSD... and he's not alone, is he.... PTSD isn't gender-specific.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • JayneQP

      *curtsy*

      January 24, 2013 at 8:39 am | Reply
      • Jeff

        Thanks Jayne I appriciate that...in no way was I trashing the integrity of women by any of my comments or responses....I was just finding the humor in life on a dark and uneasy topic...so once agian, thank you!!! Plus if I did trash women, my mother would kick my ass!! ;-}

        January 24, 2013 at 8:57 am |
      • JayneQP

        Right? Women...mothers... have a different kind of toughness that people tend to forget. Ask most people who their most fierce protector was as they grew up... Mom. I would and COULD do anything to protect my family... these women are the "mothers" of our country and what better way to protect us than to let them be the mother-bear she is.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  55. fiftyfive55

    I'm glad it won't be on my conscience when these women get captrured and BRUTALLY RAPED by the enemy,I'll know I am not responsible for this farce.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • Chake

      Isn't all rape brutal? Do you think men don't get raped?

      January 24, 2013 at 8:29 am | Reply
      • fiftyfive55

        well,I see you dont see a difference between men and women even though it's obvious

        January 24, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • MarkinFL

      You seem awfully excited by the prospect.... consider therapy.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:38 am | Reply
      • fiftyfive55

        Not me but if I was the enemy , I'd be thankin you for the women.Man some of you guys are just so ignorant about lifes little differences and realities.Tell us what you really think is going to happen to captured women ? they gonna get flowers ?

        January 24, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • tcp

      Is being "brutally raped" any worse than being "brutally beheaded" or "brutally burned" or "brutally dragged through the streets"?...Such a non-argument.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:00 am | Reply
      • fiftyfive55

        Pretty lame and naive response,too bad you dont understand differences between men and women

        January 24, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  56. Esog

    Before you know it, they will start the draft again. It takes a lot to keep an empire going.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:26 am | Reply
  57. CHhrisINF

    I am a US Army Master Sergeant in the Infantry with over 21 years of service and still on active duty. I would like to give my opinion on this subject but the people who are making this decision don't want to hear what I have to say. I'm sorry, I just think that there is something wrong with this.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:26 am | Reply
    • Tyler

      Don't feel bad Chris, all normal people know there's A LOT wrong with this.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • Pure nervy

      I agree. My concern is how many women have bad cramps, where will they have access to change pads and OMG what about PMS. These are very good things to consider. Some women can't even function day to day life during that time of month. What is Obamy and panetta thinking? Dumb, real dumb.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:35 am | Reply
    • Marine Pogue

      You're spot on MSgt. I'm a Marine SSgt, admin type and I think its ridiculous. But no one ask our opinion. I highly doubt it will last long. Women already serve in FETs, serve in motor t billets with the constant fear of ambush. Its a political game for these people.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:35 am | Reply
  58. Christos

    Collatoral damage as a result of an offensive does include women and children. Are women ready to make that decision as per orders. Not that men are going to make that decision any quicker, but the remnants of that decision may be felt longer for women and their instincts to nurture.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • fiftyfive55

      Any woman going into combat is definitely NOT a nurturer,let alone a mother.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:34 am | Reply
      • tcp

        I've served with nurturing mothers in combat. You REALLY underestimate them!

        January 24, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  59. Julie

    My husband was in the Marine corp. We both agree as long as they can meet the physcial requirements they should be allowed. However, many of todays soldiers can carry 90 lbs. into combat. That along with the elements such as heat and cold and many many miles of carring that kind of load would be to much for most females based solely on their physical anatomy.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • jhysterio

      Why would heat and cold make any difference? Men and women have existed together in various climates since forever.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:26 am | Reply
      • Tyler

        I guess that 80 lb ruck won't make any difference either, huh?

        January 24, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  60. jhysterio

    I guess the phrase "I need every swingin' dick out there" no longer applies.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • jhysterio

      As well as "Drop your c*cks and grab your socks".

      January 24, 2013 at 8:24 am | Reply
  61. gadzod

    I find it interesting that all of this happened the same day Hilliary Clinton was to testify about Benghazi......

    January 24, 2013 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • Mark Packer

      Wow...you nailed it! I bet you think you're clever.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:37 am | Reply
  62. Army Vet

    Ok, the first thing that needs to happen is that the Service's physical fitness tests become "gender neutral" and that the toughest standards ( mostly the male standards) become the benchmarks......like the old saying goes..."Be careful what you ask for...you just may get it."

    January 24, 2013 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • TommmyG

      I honestly think that's what Panetta hoped would happen. Trim the fat. Nothing wrong with that at all.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:26 am | Reply
    • Chake

      Some of us already trained according to the male fitness standard-it was easy too.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:32 am | Reply
  63. tcp

    SGT Leigh Ann Hester, SPC Monica Lin Brown...

    January 24, 2013 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • WhatsYourOpinion

      I have read the DoD is opening up Ranger School to female officers as a test pilot to see how females will do. What do you think? Also, men in Ranger School lose a lot of weight and essential body fat. Essential body fat is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions. The percentage of essential fat is 3–5% in men, and 10-16% in women.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
      • tcp

        I think as long as NO standard is compromised there is no harm in this. The OSS had MANY female operatives. Tier one units have females. The Israeli Army is pretty integrated....

        January 24, 2013 at 9:07 am |
  64. stevenbeto

    In the Vietnam war, the enemy used female combatants and they were capable and brave. I have no doubt that American women are up to the task, but this will challenge deeply rooted values and myths. This decision will have societal resonance as portentious as the development of the pill and Roe vs. Wade.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:21 am | Reply
    • Tyler

      What percentage of female soldiers and Marines do you suppose would be capable of meeting the men's physical fitness requirements in boot camp or in the field?

      January 24, 2013 at 8:25 am | Reply
      • Chris in Seoul

        I would say maybe 20-25%. I have known many women soldiers so could outdo their male counterparts in virtually every aspect of the PT test (2 mile run, situps and yes, even the pushups), shoot just as well and ruck just as much as guys. Many of the guys would get shown up by the females in my unit and they wouldn't be happy.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:35 am |
      • Souljacker

        Well, probably the same percentage as men. A lot of people are missing the fact that not all guys make it into the special units either. It's not like somehow having your reproductive organs external to your body automatically means you are going to be a top soldier. We have lots of soldiers who just can't hack that training.

        We also really need to get off the topic of r@pe. Women have been suffering it at the hands of men since humankind came into existence. We have suffered it at the hands of strangers, we have suffered it at the hands of family members we are supposed to be able to trust, and we have suffered it at the hands of partners we have chosen and love. Why in the world does ANYONE think that a woman who can make it through special ops training would suddenly turn into jelly just because of the possible danger of r@pe? Nevermind the fact that our service women are ALREADY being hurt by OUR OWN TROOPS, men who are supposed to have their backs and they are supposed to be able to trust.

        I'm sorry if this makes you feel insecure about your manhood, but it's about time our military stepped up to the plate and acknowledged the contribution women have and can continue to make to humankind. It's not like we didn't come out of the caves with you guys. You wouldn't be here without us.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:54 am |
      • Marine Pogue

        The physical fitness test or the physical fitness requirements in the field? They are different. All Marines and soliders are capable of being in the field. I'd say less than 5%, however, can max the male PFT for the USMC. I was 18 when I maxed it, haven't maxed it since. Then again, my cup of tea was always weight training, not much of a runner.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  65. Marine Pogue

    I lead female Marines everyday. I'm married to a female Marine. I'm here to say two things: 1) There is no front lines anymore and all people (military, civilians, contractors) in a combat zone are equally at risk of "seeing" combat and 2) the women I know have no desire to be a 0311. Call this what it is, a politically fueled ploy by feminist groups filled with people that have never served but see the military as a venue to push their agenda.

    Heres the bottom line. If a woman can maintain the same standards as those required by men, have at it. What will inevitably happen is 1) the juice wont be worth the squeeze because its unlikely many women will rush to become an 03 and 2) women will experience slower promotion because being an 03 is extremely physical. Artillery men, for example, lift 100lbs rockets for hours straight. Even the best fit woman would have to work exponentially harder to get her body to continue to perform at a level most young boys can do naturally. Her leadership will see she is weaker and rank her lower on fitness reports thus stalling her promotion. Now you have an entirely different "equality" issue at hand.

    There's nothing glorious or equal about being a grunt. its a thankless job that most grunts don't even like doing. Women in the military, like my wife, learned very valuable skills that have provided endless opportunities once she hung up her uniform.

    IF ANYTHING I SAID IN THIS POST IS FOREIGN TO YOU (I.E. 03, FITNESS REPORT, ETC) YOU DON'T HAVE A DOG IN THE FIGHT AND HONESTLY DO NOT RATE AN OPINION ON SOMETHING THAT MEANS THE DIFFERENCE OF LIFE OR DEATH. SERVE, THEN SPEAK. UNTIL FOCUS ON GUN CONTROL OR SOME OTHER LIBERAL ISSUE.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:20 am | Reply
    • Glo G

      "IF ANYTHING I SAID IN THIS POST IS FOREIGN TO YOU (I.E. 03, FITNESS REPORT, ETC) YOU DON'T HAVE A DOG IN THE FIGHT AND HONESTLY DO NOT RATE AN OPINION"

      Wow. Arrogant s–t, aren't you? Excuse the hell out of we plebes who haven't your glorious backround and intelligence. Now, I think I'll go write a blog about knitting and the benefits of baking well for one's man.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:25 am | Reply
      • Marine Pogue

        Not arrogant at all. We, the people that serve, leave our families for a year at a time, watch our friends die, etc, do not view our military as a science project for liberals to practice their social experiments on. I'm sorry if I think that people who have no idea what we do or the difficulties of doing it should not have an opinion on it. Just support the military and trust that our leadership makes decisions based on decades of experience. They have witnessed the horrors of war, they have made calculated decisions that women should not serve as a point man in a fire team for a reason. A patrolman's pack weighs nearly 80lbs. My wife when she served weighed 105 lbs. She was incredibly fit, but even a simple understanding of biology tells you she would not be able to keep up with, or if necessary save, her 180lbs team mate. There is bigger issues than equality here. What the general public perceives as making things equal will only make things less equal as women will fall behind in promotion and there will be a disparity in rank distribution. What then? The activist groups will scream for change yet again. Just leave it alone, it works the way it is. Sorry if I offended you, and I mean that. I'm just passionate about my organization and how it is composed.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:31 am |
      • JayneQP

        LOL!

        January 24, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • JayneQP

      Time will tell, won't it. It's a foolish thing to speak in absolutes before all the facts are in.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:26 am | Reply
      • Marine Pogue

        You're right Jayne, perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. Who knows, perhaps it will work out fine. From what I see at military schools I've attended, where all MOSs come together to train, most women can't hang with even the average infantry man in even basic PT. Keyword, "most". There are a selective few out there, but they are far so few that the juice isn't worth the squeeze to reorganize the entire military for less than 1% of its members.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:39 am |
      • Alyssa

        This is hardly a reorganization of the entire military. They're evaluating standards and changing policies. 90% of the military will remain unchanged or unaffected.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Tyler

      It's also being drive by female career military officers who want to make General but know they can't without commanding a combat unit. The people who will be forced to hump it in Indian country want noting to do with this nonsense.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • TommmyG

      @Glo & @Jayne, STFU. @Marine Pogue thanks for your service. I do politely disagree that we don't have a dog in the fight. They're our sons, brothers, dads, neighbors, and we care about anything that may jeopardize them. With that said, the feminazis jumping in to troll an argument about their superiority, STFU.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:29 am | Reply
      • JayneQP

        awww.. foul mouth trumps a brain every time. you win! YAAY!

        January 24, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • tcp

      Those things that you said in your post would be "foreign" to anyone who isn't a Marine, Marine! Stop being so myopic and get back on the FOB where you belong. Tell me if a 105 lb MALE Marine would be able to hump kit as an 03...yeah, that's what I thought. Just 'cuz your wife was a Marine doesn't give you some special knowledge of the issue it just gives you LIMITED knowledge from YOUR perspective.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:39 am | Reply
      • Marine Pogue

        Fair enough tcp. Back to the FOB where I belong, as you wish.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:42 am |
      • Marine Pogue

        Actually, I read some of your responses. You're legit, but I'd like to hear your take. I'm not some FOBit. I've worked with psyops on propaganda for ANA recruitment in Afghanistan and spent weeks in Marjeh overseeing check point construction. Anyway, my main concern is not the front lines issue, because as you know they don't exist. The concern is the promotion potential it will create for females that take extreme measures to do what men can do naturally. You can't deny that outcome is very probable. With so much of being in combat arms being physical, what happens to the extremely fit, but still "normal" by military standards? My limited perspective as you so eloquently put it, has never had a female be a top physical performer in any battalion I've ever been in. I've seen 300 PFTers, but they were 300 PFTers using the female standards. Never seen a female running less than 18 minutes. I mean how do you fairly assess females in MOSs where everything falls back on the physical component?

        January 24, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • suzyqpie

      I did not serve. Thank you for serving. I will argue to my last dying breath intellectual equality. I will concede the physical superiority of the male physique. I suggest the real goal with this decision is the lowering of all military physical tests. The goal is to reduce our Militray from fierce warriors, which the Left hates, to moderate sensitive thoughtful
      Comrades. The Pentagon will now hire hundreds of bureaucrats to start rewriting all of the standard tests, ROE, and everything that has created the historic pride that we have had in our Military. We are now getting down to the most fundamental transformation.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
      • Marine Pogue

        We have the smartest military in history. I've been on convoys with 19 year old Corporals as the convoy leader and they were able to completely put together 5 paragraph orders, taking into account all possible areas of friction. When things got sticky they went from really smart to really smart and ferocious. Lowering the standards wont happen for two reasons: 1) anytime we downsize the military, standards get tougher not more laxed and 2) Marines will never lower their standards so long as there is 10% of the population that can blow the "standards" out of the water. If females want in, they would have to conform to those standards or find another way to spend their 4 years...simple as that.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:58 am |
      • Souljacker

        Why would you think that? They are rolling the changes out slowly to see what areas are a goot fit for femals soldiers and which ones aren't. They aren't just going to start lowering the standards for Green Berets so women can join, but we might start seeing places where it's a god fit to have female tactical units serving with men.

        I don't think that anyone is suggesting that women should do grunt work, but let's face it, there are a heck of a lot of women out there that are intellectually advanced and could offer a lot more if they were part of strategic tactical units on the front lines. I know it's a big change and change is scary, especially if your reproductive organs are outside your body. But it will be ok, I promise. We want to protect you as much as you want to protect us, and we aren't trying to take anything away from you. Some women just aren't cut out to be Susie Homemaker, just as some men aren't cut out to be John Shepard.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Alyssa

      As an American citizen I most certianly do rate an opinion on the military that I help pay for. Or are you disqualified from having an opinion about abortion due to your lack of a v@gina?

      January 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  66. patriottony

    Fine,,,so be it, then ALL initial entry recruits of the Female gender must adhere to the same P/T standards as males, same Body fat standards as males, same training requirements as males....and OHHH sign an statement that when you get dropped in far from a support base, you have no showers, no cots, no hot food, no toilets of any kind, no place to buy tampons. But most of all,, no privacy at all,, grunts shuck off all that stuff in combat, because it's just not logistically possible. So she will have to hump the mortar base plate, or extra cans of ammo, and of course if captured, she faces gang rape at the hands of her captors as an infidel sow.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:20 am | Reply
    • Marine Pogue

      Most females don't have a problem with the "luxuries" available at FOBs but not at COPS or PBs. But you are right, the necessities like Tampons is a big deal. When that PX truck doesn't go out for a month or more because the threat level is too high, what will females do about basic feminine hygiene? These liberal groups don't think about these things, they just see a perceived injustice that they can exploit, so they go all in. I was completely on board with doing away with DADT, I felt it was stupid and barbaric. I thought the timing was wrong with us fighting wars on two fronts, but still a worthy cause. This however, is just stupid.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:25 am | Reply
      • armymedvet

        First of all, female soldiers in theater receive a shot so they do not have periods during deployments. If a female desires the job and can adapt to the standards what is the big deal?

        January 24, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Marine Pogue

      @armymedvet, the females I've been in Iraq and Afghanistan with received no such shot and the PX had an entire shelf dedicated to feminine hygiene.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:59 am | Reply
  67. Barfo

    Political correctness gone bizarre.How many police officers are wounded each year protecting their female partners? Can you imagine a squad of soldiers in combat with a 50/50 male/female ratio?

    January 24, 2013 at 8:19 am | Reply
    • dclayton4473

      I have to agree. As tough as my wife is I can't imagine her having to go hand to hand with a male in battle. As a wrestler small things like size, weight and strength are the difference...

      January 24, 2013 at 8:22 am | Reply
      • JayneQP

        As a martial artist, I'd say when you play to your strengths, size makes NO difference.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • tcp

      Are you honestly implying that Police Officers DON'T "protect" their male partners? I sure wouldn't want that guy on my patrol...

      January 24, 2013 at 8:34 am | Reply
  68. gadzod

    Definitely looks like the "Attention to detail" is really working for the female in the picture with her chamber....Ooops

    January 24, 2013 at 8:18 am | Reply
  69. Old Salt

    It will be interesting to see if the PTSD figures increase when this happens. One thing is that this should not be a voluntary thing for women. They should be picked for infantry service exactly like the guys and meet the same physical requirements.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • AR 611-1

      Men are not picked for infantry service. They can just enlist or become an officer in the infantry corps. Infantry (11 series) is just closed to women and other combat MOS's are closed to women.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:23 am | Reply
  70. Ralph

    It will be a challenge for military leaders in the field. Just the logistics in supporting this, I do not think they really thought this through.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:13 am | Reply
    • Johnny

      They'll fit in the same body-bag. That's pretty much all Uncle Sam cares about.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:17 am | Reply
  71. Johnny

    I see nothing but positives here. The women who enlist should be held to the same standards for the same job, and should understand they'll be taking all the same risks. This should keep out the freeloaders and strengthen the military.

    As for the draft, let's not go there. When you think of your wife, girlfriend, sister, daughter, mom being drafted and hauled off to a foreign land, kind of makes you sick doesn't it? Well it should. This is for enlisted personnel, let's keep it that way.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:11 am | Reply
    • Ralph

      Leave the draft to men. Women can volunteer if they want.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:17 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Agreed. The draft is not relevant to this discussion. The draft is a societal issue. In the volunteer armed forces, combat jobs are an internal personnel issue.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:34 am | Reply
  72. wb

    The Taliban are probably picking out new drapes for their rape rooms. You don't want to make a bad impression on a first date. War is hell ladies, as some of you are about to find out.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:08 am | Reply
    • ac

      Rape rooms? They are much more likely to get raped by the Neaderthal in their unit.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:15 am | Reply
      • MarkinFL

        This whole rape argument is pathetic. It seems to come from the same people that have no problem with our women soldiers being raped in massive numbers by their fellow U.S. soldiers. I guess THAT is OK. As long as we keep it in the family.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  73. USMC Vet

    I think it's fine. It's about time that females have to deploy and get put in harms way just like the male service members. It wasn't fair when it came to promotions, etc when you have a female who just did their 9-5 while the males where on ships or deployed and living in a shelter half. Now they need to change the physical fitness test to be the same and then hopefully it will weed out the females who are just not cut out to be a war fighter.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:07 am | Reply
    • nik

      Boot Camp weeds out many males, as well.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:11 am | Reply
      • USMC Vet

        nik – you are correct...males get weeded out in Bootcamp. But as many know a female service member, if it's intensional or not, get treated differently than males. I remember on a hump one time with full gear. When a male fell back a little he was thrown into the truck of shame and counseled while the senior enlisted would just grab a females back or rifle, etc and lighten her load and motivate her to get back up with the pack if she fell behind.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:38 am |
      • armymedvet

        @UMC Vet
        I served honorably for 8 years and never had anyone take my ruck or rifle. I rucked at the head of the pack. If a male feels some need to save a female soldier that is their problem. Women are capable of doing the job.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:58 am |
  74. nik

    Historically, males attack women on the basis of menstruation. Indeed,somethings do not change as I see guys still using this
    against them. The Tet offensive in Vietnam saw scores of women driving tanks into the American compounds and blasting everyone in sight. Did the tanks have kotex machines in them?

    January 24, 2013 at 8:05 am | Reply
    • Willie12345

      In your dreams.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:19 am | Reply
  75. Joe

    Come on guys, this is excellent reverse psychology. The military is making it sound like they're opening up "opportunities" while in actuality they're trying to rid the military of the dead-weight female soldiers who enlist to meet men and to collect pay without having to do any of the real work. The ones who stick around will be worth their salt, probably as tough as the brave men they'll be fighting next to.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:01 am | Reply
  76. Kilgore

    In the armor branch, some of the things I would be concerned about would be a woman's ability to load six 50+ lb main gun rounds per minute, help break track, and be able to pull a 200+ lb injured male soldier up and out of the turret by themselves.

    I also remember fellow armor soldiers decorating the inside of their turrets with porn for morale + welfare. I'm sure political correctness will now be in effect, and combat arms soldiers will have to be on their best behavior at all times.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:00 am | Reply
    • tcp

      Most of my Armor brothers couldn't pull a two hundred pound Soldier up and out of the turret. That is ridiculous. Oh, and those pictures you are talking about were banned about 20 years ago.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:12 am | Reply
      • Kilgore

        So you would let a fellow tanker burn inside the turret because you couldn't extricate him?

        As a platoon leader, I allowed porn on the tanks about 10 years ago. I'm sure it's more politically correct now...

        January 24, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
  77. creative36

    Military is moving towards using drones for combat so this is more of a symbolic move. Not because the military trusts women in combat.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:57 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      If you think drones will replace feet on the ground anytime soon then you need a lot more education about the military AND technology.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:23 am | Reply
  78. MDK

    The people making these decisions have less time in combat than Prince Harry. As such when they say there will be no effect on readiness I am a bit skeptical. I did notice the wording of this states "Gender neutral requirements". Does that mean a single PT test scoring scale? It would go a long way towards Soldiers accepting we are all the same if come PT test time said woman that is the same as me had to do the same number of pushups and run as fast as I do (I won't even touch on the height/weight standards). Also, now will women have to register for the draft at age 18 and should they enlist and decide to go Officer one day will 3 of there top 4 branch choices be required to be a Combat Arms branch? The fact is that Iraq and Afghanistan were/are very mature battlefields. As such facilities exist for males and females in even some of the most remote places. Should we ever fight a traditional ground war again where we are on the move and living out of our ruck this will not be the case.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:53 am | Reply
  79. Techno

    Exoskeletons will be used to level the playing field, eventually. The technology is still evolving. Female POWs will still be vulnerable.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:53 am | Reply
  80. LTC Hunter

    Yessirreebillybob, there's nothing I find hotter in a woman than when she's had all four limbs blown off and has been burned over 60 percent of her body. I hope the women who want to see combat get everything they have coming to them. Don't expect any sympathy from me when you're laying in a burn unit dying. You Liberals... you wanted it, now you've got it. Enjoy.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:52 am | Reply
    • tcp

      Remind me to NEVER go to war with you...change your name X-box ranger.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:58 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      You must really hate women. Too much rejection?

      January 24, 2013 at 8:28 am | Reply
  81. gadzod

    So, what happens in 4-5 days when a female hasn't been able to take care of their female parts because of being in a swamp in a combat operation, and they start to get infections? Females MUST have access to things like showers, or they will get physically sick. Do they just tell them to go back to base, take care of themselves and meet up back with your unit? Doesn't that sound insane?

    January 24, 2013 at 7:46 am | Reply
    • Rina

      You sound insane. Just because you have testicles doesn't make you any better. I served along many women who could outdo a lot of the men in my unit. The comment about the infections was hysterical! You really need to study the human body.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:19 am | Reply
    • JayneQP

      Don't be obtuse. Women's menstrual cycles are messy, uncomfortable, frustrating, and fraught with anxiety and exhaustion.... we start when we're about 11-13. By the time we are 19-21 years old, we have had more experience in coping with physical and emotional stress than most young men. I'd say that gives us a leg up (no pun intended) on you fellas when it comes to sitting in a swamp for a week. I can handle pain, stress and anxiety better than most men...and I'm a girly girl. Difference is, I don't condescend to the boys who haven't had that experience, I still think you can handle it... with training.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:21 am | Reply
  82. sheikyerboutie

    God bless these brave women!

    January 24, 2013 at 7:39 am | Reply
    • Jon

      There's nothing brave about it. They've arrogantly forced themselves into a place they don't belong and aren't qualified to be a poart of.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:42 am | Reply
      • JayneQP

        ha ha ha ha!!! that's funny!!! So we' are SOOOOOO strong that we can FORCE our way into a position where we are not wanted.. AND SUCCEEDING, but not strong enough to fight beside you. WOW!

        January 24, 2013 at 8:04 am |
      • JayneQP

        Whoa...So let me get this straight.. we are SOOOOOO strong that we can FORCE our way into a position where we are not wanted.. AND SUCCEEDING, but not strong enough to fight beside you. WOW!

        January 24, 2013 at 8:07 am |
      • TommmyG

        @Jayne stuff a sock in it honey. put your fat carcass back on the couch and grab those Doritos you got with your WIC card. you're SUCCEEDING at being really annoying.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:22 am |
      • MarkinFL

        Are we talking about women or black soldiers? The argument sounds identical.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:29 am |
      • Rina

        Says you? Good thing your opinion doesn't matter on this subject. Um, and by the way, Mr. smart military guy, I guess you think women don't serve in combat now? They have for the last 10 years – only now it is official. They were serving in quasi-combat units back in the 80's when I served.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  83. Charles

    I generally have no issue with this as combat these days is not as linear as it was back 50 years ago. I do see a drop in some standards happening though. Women will never be required to meet the same physical standards as men in the US military. What I do remember of my time in the Infantry was being in the field for weeks at a time, sleeping with nothing but a poncho liner and some trees as my restroom. Moving over to a military police unit which allowed women, we always had to have at least a porta-potty near by, and the females had to have access to a shower every three days. I remember walking with a ruck sack that was so heavy I couldn't stand up on my own, but women won't be expected to do that. Genders will never be equal, as they have very different abilities. I'm sure they'll figure out how to make it work though. Now start forcing them to sign up for the selective service like men.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:35 am | Reply
    • tcp

      Logical and concise Charles. GREAT analysis of the REAL problems associated with this. I recall EXACTLY the same experience when I went from an Armor (all male) to a PSYOP (male/female) unit...

      January 24, 2013 at 7:40 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      So you end by comparing women that volunteer to the general population? That is a total BS argument that has no relevance. It is simply obstructionist without actually having any logical connection.
      Perhaps, one day women will be expected to answer a draft, but that will be a long time coming I suspect. You do not actually support it anyway.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:43 am | Reply
      • Charles

        How is comparing the women volunteers to the general population any different than comparing the male volunteers to the general population? The idea here is to remove the gender barrier. Or is it to remove it only for those who feel like it? Equality works for the good and bad.

        January 24, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Soljagurl

      Well put Charles. I did my 20 and got out. I wouldnt want to put up with this mess now. We never had the same physical standard and we never will. Women are of course built different LOL... but again well put...

      January 24, 2013 at 7:46 am | Reply
    • Kilgore

      Combat wasn't linear 50 years ago. During the "Battle of the Bulge" many rear area US Army units were cut off by advancing German spearheads. The Germans on the Eastern Front formed Kampfgruppe consisting of cooks, clerks, and other rear area soldiers in order to counter deep Soviet penetrations. So the idea that combat is somehow different today is a fallacy. What is different is that we now have women in combat support and combat service support units, something we didn't have during WW2.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:49 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      BTW, one of the answers may well be that for women to fill CERTAIN jobs it will require them to meet the same criteria and not have accommodations greater than is required for any other soldier. Remember, they are removing a gender prohibition, haven't read anything yet about changing the jobs.
      Some positions may not need the same physical requirement. Many may be open to a very few select women that can meet the needs of the job. We'll see over the next several years.
      I can assure you that there are MANY women that can handle the rigors and depredations you describe above without showers and potties.
      Your questions are the same ones that have been asked for more than 30 years as women have entered more active roles in the military.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:49 am | Reply
  84. Dan

    They can leave no man behind but they didn't say anything about women. The women are going to put the men in greater danger. The women will not be able to keep up.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
  85. samxool

    THIS IS SO WRONG IN THIS PC GONE MAD DAYS.
    THE BIBLE QUITE CLEARLY STATES "Older women train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the Word of God."
    AT NO POINT DOES IT SAY WOMEN SHOULD GO OUTSIDE AND ACT LIKE A MAN AND GET A JOB
    A WOMEN'S PLACE IS AT HOME

    January 24, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • Dan

      Women don't belong in combat but let's leave your fictional book out of this.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:35 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      If not a troll, he may as well be. What a pointless argument to make.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:39 am | Reply
    • tcp

      Women are already IN combat but I agree with your point about the fiction book!

      January 24, 2013 at 7:41 am | Reply
    • Soljagurl

      Sam Sam Sam... it is 2013 AD not 13 AD....

      January 24, 2013 at 7:48 am | Reply
      • Jon

        It's 2013, and women are still physically inferior. Dont expect the biological realities of humanity tochange any time soon.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • JayneQP

      Oh right... that book that says, "Thou shalt not kill" while condoning lots of killing. I see.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply
      • Chake

        This is probably the same troll that complains that Muslim women are abused but wants their American women to stay home too.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:51 am |
  86. JOHN

    I can see testosterone sales going up.....I served 25 years, women are physically inferior to men. They cant carry a 200 lb soldier on their back out of harms way if he is injured. They cant march as far with a heavy load. Relationships will develop between men and women and instead of thinking of the unit the male will want to protect the female and jeopardize the unit. Its disgusting to see politicians who have never served feminize our culture and our armed forces. This will cost lives. If they bring back the draft, then they will have to include women.....another reason liberals suckkkk.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Oh dear. feeling threatened aren't we. I read so much fear in your post.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:38 am | Reply
      • tex from Virginia

        Fear of what you mo ron? It was quite simply stated that women cant physically keep up with men. Why does that bother you so much?

        January 24, 2013 at 7:50 am |
      • JOHN

        ...yes, if I was in a ground combat unit taking fire and wondering if I was wounded could a 120 lb woman carry me to safety. ...any way, libs like you will never understand..its all about "fairness"..

        January 24, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • tcp

      I wouldn't "protect" a woman any more or less than I would my brothers-in-arms. That is a RIDICULOUS argument.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:43 am | Reply
      • Jon

        Maybe that part, but the rest is sound. Women are a liability in the military. If you don't understand that, you've clearly never served.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:59 am |
      • JOHN

        ..yes u would, if you were in love/lust with her. Its genetic.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • tcp

      20 + years Jon. Do we really want to get into a d-i-c-k measuring contest?

      January 24, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply
      • JOHN

        wow..u are impressive...its ok..no matter what u can still worship the hope and change poster over your bed.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:38 am |
      • tcp

        Registered Republican here. But you just keep towin' that party line boy.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:44 am |
  87. Disabled Marine Corps Vet 1998-2010

    The historical purpose behind women not being allowed on the front lines is the biological differences in brain chemistry.... A man is on the front lines and a child soldier picks up a gun – The man will shoot first.... A woman is on the front lines and a child picks up a gun, that two seconds of hesitation has just cost her life and potentially the lives of her fellow soldiers. It's science. The emotional capacity for women is not only larger, it's simply a part of who they are within our genus. This is a terrible idea and I'm afraid is going to greatly damage our military.

    Semper Fi

    January 24, 2013 at 7:33 am | Reply
    • JOHN

      Good post, libs dont care...they love the feminization of society.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:35 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Your assumption of reaction in combat situation is hardly scientific. Using scientific knowledge in a non-scientific manner does not add any credibility. Not saying it could not be true, but there is literally no science to back that up.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:36 am | Reply
    • Dan

      Welcome to Obama's America. Thank you for your service.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:38 am | Reply
    • JacknJill

      Says you genius. If I were on a front line I would shoot at anything on the other side, child or not. There would be no boo hooing about it later either. Your ideas about women are from the stone age. If a woman wants to put herself at risk on a front line, so be it. They will be fighting for your right to sit on your fat tail watching football while talking smack about what your idea of a soldier is..

      January 24, 2013 at 7:44 am | Reply
      • Disabled Marine Corps Vet 1998-2010

        I fought for your right to post your opinion. Your welcome.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:59 am |
      • tcp

        You have admittedly never shot at ANYONE. You'd be quite surprised at how much you might "boo-hoo" it once you've done it. For the rest of your days...

        January 24, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Stephen1981

      Thank you for your service Warrior. Semper Fi

      January 24, 2013 at 7:59 am | Reply
    • JayneQP

      First, it's reprehensible that you would use your status as a disabled vet to gain a) sympathy and/or b) credibility. That's shenanigans. Second, I believe that before you are placed on the front lines of combat, there is some kind of... oh... what do they call it???? Training? Yes, training. I am also fairly certain that there is a kind...mmmm... what is it???.... Psych test! Yes, that's it exactly. They don't put June Cleaver on the front line for heaven's sake! These are trained soldiers. I would think that someone who experienced Marine training would get that, no?

      January 24, 2013 at 7:59 am | Reply
      • Disabled Marine Corps Vet 1998-2010

        I don't need sympathy, or credibility. Trying to argue over the fact of my status is shenanigans all in itself.

        Training doesn't necessarily oust nature. Fact.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:03 am |
      • JayneQP

        Clearly you do, or you'd let your record speak for itself and post under a name like "BigMan" or some macho cr@p instead of tooting your own horn so blatantly and without a shred of integrity. You make me sick because I know Marine vets and none of them go shouting about it to the world... it's something they clearly learned and you missed... Humility. Integrity. I thanked the real men that fought for my rights, not some self-serving loud mouth who thinks he can determine whether or not a soldier is capable of fighting better than the military in which he served. Sickening.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:10 am |
      • tcp

        Jayne Q Public. You don't get to do that. You disgust me...Marines are some of the proudest, loudest, vocal, in your face people I've ever met. They want the WORLD to know they are g-dam MARINES! You don't get to denigrate their service just because you have slogged swill w/a few of them in some of the seedier bars around J'ville, Lejeune, or Pendleton! Get a grip.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:18 am |
      • JOHN

        ..jayne is already a "soldier"..she is a feminatzi. She is what is wrong with America. Jayne, u are cluless...no use talking to a bitter hag who thinks all straight men are evil and out to get her. Now go watch oprah.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:41 am |
      • JayneQP

        oooo you're all sooo scary... as you tap-tap-tap on your computers, attacking a woman. You're a bunch of sissies. A real man, a real soldier isn't offended or threatened by the strength and capability of a fellow soldier, male or female. Sorry you can't take it. Ninnies.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:53 am |
  88. tcp

    Ruck up! Hope those standards don't get compromised...hope this doesn't create any logistical nightmares...

    January 24, 2013 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Yeah, our military isn't used to dealing with tricky logistics. Agree that it still has to be the appropriate person for the appropriate job. Regardless of gender.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
      • Jon

        If that were the case now, 80% of the females would have never graduated basic training.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  89. MATTY13

    They've been in combat for 10 years, now it's official.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:30 am | Reply
  90. Phil

    So what? It's called war. If you don't like it, then do something to stop war. Men get raped in war all the time. In fact the Spartans used to make a special thing of raping captured male soldiers to humiliate them. Women want equal opportunity? Then they shoiuld get equal opportunity to get die: to get captured, tortured, raped and executed just like men do all the time. Sure, they want the perks, early reirement and great pensions that the military offers, and they were getting all that up until now without even risking combat! How is that fair? It was one rule for men and another for women. Just watch the recruitment numbers for women drop like a stone now that they have to play nasty with the boys for _real_ and get bloodied

    January 24, 2013 at 7:29 am | Reply
  91. Cman

    So, women will be able to carry 40-50 lb. of gear and M-60 machine gun and keep up with the men on 8-10 hour patrols and be combat effective when the shooting starts? This is what is going to happen: women will pack less gear. They will not carry any of the heavy weapons which means the heavy workload will be distributed among the men. When it comes time to jump over obstacles or worse hand-to-hand combat with the enemy, women will not be able to keep up with the men meaning that they will put the male solders' lives in danger. This is what happens when politicans that have never served in the military (Obama/Clinton) are put in charge of making strategic military decisions.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:26 am | Reply
    • Jon

      The women in my unit are already a liability. I can't imagine accommodating all of their needs outside the wire.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:30 am | Reply
    • juliemac

      1) Not all men are trained with the M-60, neither will the women. The women in my shooting club can seriously out shoot the guys.
      2) Never fought a woman seriously have you.
      3) for that "delicate" time of month, we would take birth control. Works for the female astronauts.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:01 am | Reply
      • tcp

        Logic not rhetoric. Good answer juliemac.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • MilitaryMike

      Nobody carries an M-60 anymore. They started phasing those out in the early 1980's. Crew-serve weapons are the M240B(7.62) and M249 S.A.W.(5.56). The heavier of those two is the M240B at 27 pounds. The 240 crew member also has an assistant gunner who usually carries the tripod and extra ammo. As a former U.S. Army infantry soldier, I would have had no issue serving with a woman as long as she was held to the same standard as the men.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:52 am | Reply
  92. edward

    Makes me sick, none of our men should be in combat, and we could have avoided all combat in the past 60 years with a foreign policy our founders saw fit for us. However, we have lost every single war of choice in the past 60 years. There has been no good results in us going to fight and entangling ourselves with the inner workings of other countries. Panetta is a big Jewish guy who wants to kill Muslims with your daughters because there isn't enough men and the ones we do have are going insane after 12 years of combat.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:26 am | Reply
    • MATTY13

      You should submit your resume to the State Department. I'm sure they could use a good laugh.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:30 am | Reply
    • JOHN

      You lefty loon moronic bozo. I hope a crazy muslim attacks u personally.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:30 am | Reply
    • Stephen1981

      As delusional as you may appear, you make a few good points.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:33 am | Reply
  93. Stephen1981

    This should be interesting.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:25 am | Reply
  94. gadzod

    Floyd Zepp just sounds like a child that is mad because other people get attention (that they deserve). What have you done for this country? If you say pay taxes I will laugh. 1. Military does too. 2. If you had a choice to not pay as many taxes or taxes at all, you wouldn't. Don't believe me? I'm sure you didn't mind the Bush tax cuts.

    The Iraq war wasn't meant to stop car bombs in the country. It was meant to overthrow Saddam and have a democracy. They had an election in 2009, and will have another one this year. Regardless of how many car bombs happen there, that isn't our problem. It's theirs. We went in there and I'd what we set out to do to help Iraq. The rest is on them. You wouldn't know that because you're too busy being some hater of America and their troops, but still enjoy you're freedom of being a mental midget on the internet, and probably in real life. I guess I'd be mad too if I was living in mommy and daddy's house working at Burger King at the age of 32 as well....

    January 24, 2013 at 7:25 am | Reply
  95. fo

    Women in the U.S. military are often raped by men in the U.S. military.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:25 am | Reply
  96. joe d

    government getting desparate for recruits..who in there right mind would fight for a bunch of dirtbags that lied about wmd's in iraq, lied about the first failed war in iraq and the lie called vietnam...and fight for a bunch of dirty low-life jews in israel..our corrupt government is a joke..Americans..we have been punked

    January 24, 2013 at 7:22 am | Reply
    • tcp

      Anti-semite much?

      January 24, 2013 at 7:35 am | Reply
  97. Matt in KY

    Good for them (women)! The quest for equality is a confusing trip. To me, combat eligibility has a larger, more elevated, serious long-term effects on the psyche sort of of a deal.
    When I say, "think of the redcoats fighting our Founding Fathers"......you see a picture of men fighting men. 100 years from now, there will be a woman with an M-4 included in that "mind picture".
    Notice the feminine characteristics of some (male) Hindu gods as the life giving force of Shakti (female divine force) spreads to them. I am not religious, but I can see the balance of masculinity/femininity....and.... It doesn't hurt my feelings one bit that the ladies get their chance.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:22 am | Reply
    • Jon

      If they actually had to meet the same physical requirements as everyone else, I'd agree. But unfortunately, "equal" treatment means special treatment as usual.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:26 am | Reply
    • tex from Virginia

      What a bunch of crap. Very few women will be able to carry a full infantry fighting load. If they cant be held to the same physical standards then dont let them in. Sorry no special breaks princess.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:30 am | Reply
    • Scott

      "Feelings" shouldn't be part of this discussion. My personal experience confirms that the idea of sending/allowing women into front-line combat is absurd & disgusting. However, it is sadly indicative of the sorry direction our nation is headed...

      January 24, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
      • tcp

        Define front line. I've had experiences with female Soldiers on the "front line". They performed as well as most, better than some, and not as well as a few of the male Soldiers. But that was on mounted patrol. There ARE valid issues. Whether or not women are "good enough" to be on the "front line" is NOT one of them.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:37 am |
  98. George

    I have no problem, as long as, the women accepted have the same physical standards as the men.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:22 am | Reply
    • Jon

      They don't now, so I doubt they will. 50% of the females I would through basic training with would have washed out if they weren't given special treatment and dumbed down standards.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:28 am | Reply
      • MarkinFL

        50%? Not bad, that means 50% could meet the same standards. Quite a large number of capable women.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • JOHN

      The marine corps has seperate and NOT EQUAL basic training requirements for male and female. If u have ever served, u would know women have easier physical readiness requirements than men, they get more time on runs, less pushup requirements etc etc etc....the other services train together, but women still have easier "pass" requirements....no matter how u spin it, women are physically inferior to men. How will that 120 lb female do in hand to hand combat with another equally trained soldier...political correctness will be the death of many.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:45 am | Reply
  99. Jon

    Does this mean women will finally have to meet the same physical stadards the rest of us do, or will they still get the dumbed down version?

    January 24, 2013 at 7:19 am | Reply
    • military gal

      Men have made the rules that allowed women to have standards applicable for their size and biolgical limitations, and you hold it against us? Don't complain to the women about it – just because our standards are lower doesn't mean some of us can't meet the men's standards. There are a lot of men who cannot meet or barely meet the men's standards but the general line of thinking is that at least their limited abilitiy is higher than the women's standards (again made by men). I have been in training with some women who could stomp all over several men, so don't judge everybody the same. Women should have to meet the same standards as the men in that combat unit – carry the same weight, have the same skills etc., because in combat it's not going to matter what their reproductive organs are. If we can't meet those standards, then we shouldn't be there. If our military leaders mandate that requirement, then all of you who throw different standards in our faces will have to come up with another reason to complain.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:42 am | Reply
      • MarkinFL

        Oh, and they will. Whiners will always whine.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:58 am |
      • Chake

        Right on! Rather than keeping the same low standards, let's raise the standards because there are many of us quite capable and willing to go into combat. The main argument of insecure people is that they fear things in which they most likely will never face: COMBAT, spiders, snakes and good hygiene. Even General Patton had to tell his men to wash their feet-seriously, the mere fact that some men have to be told the most basic things is amazing.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Rina

      No, unfortunately, women have to work twice as hard to be thought of as half as good. But I hope some female soldier kicks your *ss someday.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:25 am | Reply
  100. MoMO

    IF THESE WOMEN get captured in combat they will get rape.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:14 am | Reply
    • Cheerios

      That is unfortunately, a very distinct possibility. See what happens when jihadists post their first video of such.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:16 am | Reply
    • Sciguy73

      If you get captured in combat, you could be raped. What is your point?

      January 24, 2013 at 7:19 am | Reply
      • Jon

        I think his point is that women have no place in the military, much less combat.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:21 am |
      • MarkinFL

        The he should have tried to make that point instead of blathering on about how horrible it is to get captured by the enemy.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • 912guy

      I think this is a mistake..I can understand women wanting equality,but we are NOT created equal.I am a ex police and I can remember when females were dispatched to domestic disputes, I cant tell you how many times that I have arrived on the scene and saw a female officer bear-hugging this 6ft guy from behind with her feet dangling several inches in the air.The guy was basicly just standing up,and I can tell you,if he wanted he could have most likely taken her firearm from her easily and killed her.Yes a woman has the ability to shoot a gun accurately,yes she can read a map,yes she can use reasoning, but in land combat she has no place carrying a 60lb. backpack,a weapon,36lbs of body gear and expect her to march the same distance as a man whom can barely do it and is 2.5 times stronger than her.Just like I have never understood why a president would appoint a women to be secretary of state...and send her to a country where there culture doesnt believe a woman can even speak to a man,and she goes there to delegate?Do you really think this is good tactic? Would Alexander the great,King Clovis of the Franks,Charles the Hammer,King Raja,or Justinian, or Nero? Would any powerful military leader have done that?Yes we live in different times,yes I know times are changing,but that doesnt mean ALL share in this evolving mental acceptance as we do in the U.S. I believe the Army may be setting us up for heaches,and all through history we have always protected our women and children,whats next?Lets just throw grandma on the frontline next week also..This is just my opinion,and I do want all to be treated equal based on not just the mental prowess,but the reality is females and men have a VERY different physical make up that has always kept us operating in our individual,but natural capacity and no matter what we want ,it will always be a factor.AL-Qaida will run with this,and this sends a message that we are losing it with all of these laws for equal rights...no common sense policy anymore...everything is about policy no matter how bad it is! Goodday!

      January 24, 2013 at 7:49 am | Reply
    • Chake

      As if guy-on-guy rape doesn't happen,....sorry pal, it was witnessed in Afghanistan among their own troops. Use your tweezers if you must, but do check for your own phallus.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:19 am | Reply
      • jhysterio

        Guy on guy in Afghanistan is considered normal.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • Rina

      And what happens to men who get captured? I'm sure they don't make them tea and crumpets and sit down to a nice chat. So, what is your point?

      January 24, 2013 at 8:23 am | Reply
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