Women in combat: One soldier's story
Lt. Candace Fisher, on right, says what matters in the military is not your gender, it is whether a service member can meet the standard
January 24th, 2013
03:27 PM ET

Women in combat: One soldier's story

By Jake Tapper and Jessica Metzger

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jake Tapper is an anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent for CNN.  He’s also the author of the best-selling book about Afghanistan “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor

In her senior year at West Point, Candace Fisher decided she wanted to join the Military Police since it would allow her the most options “to do the most soldier-like things,” Fisher recalled in an interview with CNN.

In 2006 and 2007, Fisher served at what would become Combat Outpost Keating, one of the most dangerous bases in Afghanistan. Fisher – who then went by her maiden name, Mathis – led a platoon of Military Police, supervising 36 troops, including six other women, attached to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 71st Cavalry.

With Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announcing today that the Pentagon would end its policy of excluding women from combat positions, Fisher – reached at Fort Leonard Wood in the Missouri Ozarks, where she is currently a small group leader for an officer leadership course – said the Army was acknowledging what has already in many ways become a reality in the military.

“It’s a formalization of what we’ve been experimenting with the last ten to twelve years in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Fisher told CNN. “I think that those two conflicts have probably given the Army a pretty good idea of whether or not an actual policy change was warranted.”

Even though Fisher is Military Police and not Infantry or Cavalry, she says “given the nature of the fight over the last ten years or so, it’s made us all very dependent on each other as far as branches, interdependent as far as combined action and combined arms. So there has been a lot of bleed-over for missions regardless of what branch you are based on the conflict.”

During one mission in October 2006, Fisher and her MPs were teamed up with Able Troop’s 3rd platoon when they had to push through a complex ambush. The female MPs returned fire along with the male soldiers. Actually, one male soldier recalled, with their AT-4 grenade launchers, the MPs had stronger firepower than the scout platoon.

Fisher, 30, speculates that had the ban on women serving in combat missions happened before she chose the Military Police, “maybe the 22 year old gung-ho me would have” applied to serve in a combat unit. “But at this point I’m really happy with the choice I made. It’s great that those opportunities are going to be there for future women soldiers,” she said.

She takes criticisms of the policy change seriously. Of those who say women don’t have the upper body strength to serve in combat roles, Fisher said, “I think that's one of the reasons that Secretary Panetta is allowing the branches the time to do their analysis and give their feedback, because I'm sure that is a concern.” She personally doesn’t “have the upper body strength that a man does,” Fisher says, but “I do know some females out there who are exceptional athletes who can certainly hold their own with their male counterparts. So I think that whatever those branches decide needs to be their standard in order to facilitate their mission.”

Regardless of a soldier’s gender, what matters is that he or she can meet the standard, Fisher says.

Before Fisher and her MP platoon were deployed to what would become Combat Outpost Keating, one officer recalls, there was concern about sending female soldiers to the frontlines of the conflict. Fisher and her soldiers “were manning the same machine guns on patrols as our CAV scouts, which our senior leaders did not like,” the officer recalls. Then those concerns turned into ones about possible “General Order 1” violations – intimate relations between unmarried troops. There were myriad rumors of such prohibited contact.

In terms of fraternization, Fisher says, “people are always going to have those concerns, and whenever you get groups of people together, there's always either going to be that perception or there's going to be the few that do violate those types of policies… I don't think it's going to be enough to detract from the mission.”

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  5. Kayaking Maps

    I think it's great that we allow women in combat .God bless them. We need all the soldiers we can get!

    May 31, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Reply
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  7. Skorpio

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    January 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  8. Anonymous


    January 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  9. 11bravo

    Hey MEN!
    If the founding fathers were to come back and see this...They would tie us to a pole in the town square and horse whip us ALL!! for cowardice! Starting with the joint Chiefs – and working their way down.
    Awesome, I not only live in a republic that condoned the killing of over 50 million unborn children, we now have our women fighting our wars for us/with us.
    We are done, our society has reached the apex of infantilism, and immasculation worthy of being snuffed out by Islam!!
    Great work Leon, Barry!

    January 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  10. ModSquad

    Not to be a nitpicker here, but aren't those captain's bars she's wearing?

    January 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Keeks

      Yes. And...??

      January 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • jkc

      If she were in any branch of the military either than the navy, that would be true, but genius, those are lieutenant bars. Read and comprehend the article

      January 26, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
      • clot11

        Jkc, fisher is a captain, not a Lt. Two bars connected is the O-3 rank in all branches. In the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps that rank is designated Captain. In the Navy it is Lieutenant. The picture is in fact incorrectly labeled, not that it pacts the article at all. Nowhere does it say she served in the navy.

        January 27, 2013 at 2:18 am |
      • Retired Army 1SG

        Did anyone read the article. She is now a CPT at Ft. Leonard Wood, obviously she was a LT when the pic during her deployment was taken.

        January 27, 2013 at 9:52 am |
      • clot11

        Incorrect. She is clearly a Captain in the picture. There is a 1LT in the picture but it is not Fisher.

        January 27, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  11. Perplexed

    Here is the reality that this and other articles that are obviously favorable to women in combat leave out. It is customary during long marches for women to put their field gear on vehicles to have them transported and the men to be required to carry theirs. The guys see this and resent it. They know that the physical requirements are different because women can't cut it. Being an MP is NOT the same as an infantryman. Grunts go out in the bush for extended periods of time and engage in extended firefights that require much manuvering. MPs don't do that. Any guy that has been in combat for long periods of time knows that women will not be able to cut it. Not only will they die but guys who depend on them will also die. Sad commentary on us as a nation and civilization that common sense is abandoned.

    Also you left out the problem that exists today of the high incidence of women getting pregnant and ot being able to deploy. Wait until the face combat in infantry units and watch the pregnancies increase.

    January 25, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • Keeks

      No one is claiming MP is Infantry. Neither is better than the other as they are both unique and if working together bring some major awesomeness to the table. Females have been in the front lines throughout this whole war on terror in respect to combat arms/support. Medics and MP's in particular. And your claim on long ruck marches with females getting to frontload gear and males carrying their stuff around,that is absolute bollocks,and I've been in almost 10 years now.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  12. Michael (a Soldier)

    I hate how everything is becoming so PC. The REAL issues are not women being able or not being able to handle physical and psychological standards. It's basic stuff like taking a dump right in plain site of men and being nude in front of men. That sort of deal. I can't imagine being at some OP with women doing the stuff infantrymen do out in the REAL mess. We aren't talking on the comfy FOBs where danger is not nearly as great and we have porta potties or more advanced toilet facilities, but out in the REAL danger where every day your life is a fight.

    January 25, 2013 at 1:45 am | Reply
    • Retired Army 1SG

      On all my deployments, I worked with female soldiers, Michael, It wasn't in a "comfy FOB" it was on cordon and search missions, route and area recon missions and dignitary protection missions. Your concerns are baseless. They handled their own, I would go to war with them in a heartbeat, they are better soldiers than the ones that complain and can't adapt to change in the combat environment. Did I want to see a female soldier wounded or killed? of course not, but I didn't want to see that occur to any of my soldiers male or female. Females have been carrying the fight to the ememy for years, if they can meet the standards then allow it. They are soldiers and are expected to fight like a soldier.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:26 am | Reply
      • Perplexed

        You are full of bull!!!! Unless Vietnam is so very different from combat in wars fought today there is no way that they can cut it. Either you have hidden agendas or you are just fantasizing!!!! You should be well aware of the obvious physical limitations of women as well as the very different phsycholical makeup.

        January 25, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Keeks

      Some females can give the most physically fit males a run for their money by surpassing even the highest of male standards. And psychologically,females generally tend to cope better than their male counterparts. I'm not being biased. It's just what I noticed during my deployment.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
      • 11bravo

        You could fit all those women (who would meet the PT standards) in a room the size of a pantry. This is pure pandering, devisive politics, and in NO Way improves the readinass of our armed forces. In fact the opposite is true.

        January 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  13. Jon P.

    One of the negative repercussions of this policy- is its adverse impact on the children of single mothers. I'm
    thinking of the many orphans this may produce in this country.

    January 25, 2013 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • ee

      Are you saying it's ok for children of single-fathers to be orphaned? Because that's happening now yet nobody's gives a rat's patootie.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:57 am | Reply
  14. Petrushka

    Women should not be in combat.
    They should be the ones in command, implementing battle plans, and running the show.
    Men make great soldiers.
    Women make superior leaders.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Reply
    • Bibi Satanau The Great Player

      What are you craaazzzee Petrushka.

      By golly, we need them women in combat. Do you think our goyim boys are gonna want to ja.ck.it. off every night????

      With all these women in combat, our goyim boys and hot to trot girls will get a little bit of sack time before those towel head fire 'em up with some lead in the pants. Heck, when their higher-up/E-5s tell our generation of new cattle soldiers to "hump that mountain on the double" there will be new meaning to the order and boy 'o boy . . .you can bet there will be lots of h.u.m.p.i.n.g.

      Now, what red-blooded American boy and girl will not want to get to some h.u.m.p.i.n.g-time in green while a rag-tag bunch of towel heads are blowing them up?

      Yeah . . . unless you been there, sh-ut the ump.p.p up! Remember our enemies are your enemies . . . LOL!

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      January 25, 2013 at 12:25 am | Reply
  15. Joe

    If they wanna make women completely equal in military operations they also need to make all women sign up for selective service like males do at 18. Fair is fair right?

    January 24, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • Numbercruncher1

      I have no problem with lifting of the ban; and I completely agree with your point. Come war time you too can get drafted! Equal Rights equal fights!

      January 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  16. Steiner

    Women in Combat Support and Combat Service Support units think they have been in "combat" by supporting counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Wait until the US faces an enemy with numerical superiority, technological parity, and the will to win. Google "Chosin Reservoir", "Kasserine Pass", or "Ong Thanh". Better yet, look up "Cherkassy Pocket" for the German experience on the Eastern Front. No air support, no reinforcements, no ammunition, no food, freezing temperatures, and a numerically superior enemy that wants to annihilate you. There were 30,000 German casualties during the 3 week battle. That's a far cry from driving around in an MRAP waiting to get hit by an IED or sniper fire, then saturating the ridgeline with 10,000 rounds of small arms and an A-10/Apache strike, after which you go back to the FOB for a hot shower/meal and watch a movie. Afghanistan is hardly a litmus test to say that women are ready for all combat arms positions.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      Well said, but seems to be how modern conflicts are trending.

      January 25, 2013 at 5:06 am | Reply
    • Retired Army 1SG

      We pushed across the border with females in Iraq for the invasion, no showers, no FOB and no movies. I had females at my outpost in Afghanistan, field shower, slit trench at first with a enemy that had religious idiology not political or racial superiority in mind. The battles of past were horrific, I give great respect to those that fought them, we cannot discount our current warriors who have fought battles and have been wounded and died in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are no less deserving of our respect for their will to fight in their battles of our modern era and we shouldnt downplay the fight they are in as less dangerous or less of a fight as in history. A bullet and a RPG are the same no matter what era you speak of, they kill the same.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:37 am | Reply
  17. Clot11

    1) AT4 is an Anti-Tank Rocket, not a grenade launcher. What they were probably referencing was the MK-19 Automatic Grenade Launcher. MP's and Infantry are the ones that primarily mount those weapons systems, and usually the Heavy Weapons Company/Platoon in the Infantry is the unit that has the most of these with the exception of the MPs.

    2) The reason the MP's use a lot of these is they are primarily conducting mounted patrols, mounted escort, or a combination of mounted and dismount PSD mission, but not typically dismounted Patrols

    3) Dismounted Patrols require a significantly different mindset and strength than do mounted patrols.

    Not saying that women can't do it, but comparing MP mounted patrols and firefights to a lot of the Infantry dismounted patrols and firefights is a disservice and is misleading to the general public.

    January 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • Retired Army 1SG

      As a MP unit we did foot patrols and cordon and searches on all the time with an occasional fight. My females were warriors and I would go back to battle with them again in a heartbeat.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:40 am | Reply
      • Perplexed

        As an MP you cannot speak for the Infantry. Unless you have been there and done it don't try and pawn yourself off as a Grunt. You had a very different job than we had. During TET MPs in Saigon were called upon to engage in a lot of combat but limited to an urban area. They had a very hard time of it.

        January 25, 2013 at 11:33 am |

    TRUTH ...................................

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    January 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  19. Ambersky

    Parents of children and people who have served in Iraq war know the truth. Women have served at the front lines throughout the whole war. My daughter served as an MP in Najaf area in 2004-5 and was attached to !st Cav , Marines that were at the Cemetery, and other front line Units. She was a turret gunner on a Humvee and saw constant action even receiving a Commendation for Valor in the attack on Camp Gulf. But what eats at my craw is she wasn't allowed to wear her Spurs from the 1st Cav or the Wings she received from the Marines on her uniform even though she earned them because she wasn't suppose to be in a front line Unit which she was attached to. It is just a dirty little secret that Women have been there the whole war but not acknowledged for it because of bad press.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Reply
    • Mik

      I think that some people don't understand the difference between 'combat' and an actual combat arms job in the army.

      Great, you mounted up and manned a turret on a patrol, I respect that, I haven't done it.

      However, that is a far cry from carrying a 70lb + kit 15 miles through the mountains (at the very lightest, many are 100-120lb or more) then engaging in a 30 hour firefight.

      I don't mind females in combat. I DO mind the double standard that exists currently for physical fitness, and I certainly mind the whole "they just want to fight" mindset. There are many people who want to do it, but believe it or not many people are not cut out for certain jobs in the military, on top of that, many civilians aren't cut out for the military at all.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Reply
      • 18BFighter

        Amen! The day a woman can carry my 220lb body, in full kit, off a mountain top after being shot all to pieces is the day I'll support this. Until then, keep manning the deuce and stop the complaints.

        January 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Clot11

      Spurs are reserved for individuals of the Cavalry or Armor MOS's or Infantry that were assigned to them, not attached. There are also Silver and Gold, one earned for a Deployment and one earned for the Spur Ride.

      Not being able to wear the wings has nothing to do with her being a female or not supposed to be at the front. It more than likely has to do with uniform regulations with awards from other branches. Wings are universally worn, so gender and MOS don't really have any play in that situation.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  20. what a crock

    As a former female member of the US Army MP Corps, I would have to say that I'm not proud, because war is downright stupid.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  21. Anonymous

    I won't comment with my opinion on this, it won't change anything and doesn't matter, I'm sure others have the same opinion I do, but I just thought it was somewhat interesting that CNN has their little question for the poll asking "Should women be allowed in combat"...well...uh...they already are, this new thing is direct combat JOBS not whether or not they should be allowed in it. These days, there's not really a defined front-line, especially with combat support MOS's (jobs) also seeing combat. I think they should reword the question because some people might answer yes to "Should women be allowed in combat" but no to "Should women be allowed in direct combat jobs".

    Just a thought, because there is a difference between the two, the majority of grunts have no issue with women serving in other jobs, most have an issue with them being in infantry.

    But I digress.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • the middle man

      "I won't comment with my opinion on this, it won't change anything and doesn't matter, I'm sure others have the same opinion I do, but who cares what we think, we have a stegosaurus to look out for."

      January 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Reply
      • Anonymous

        I didn't mean anything by it, but I just don't care to share my opinion. Some people will agree, some won't agree, there's no point to add another yes man or no man.

        January 25, 2013 at 12:35 am |
  22. no one

    I am the only one who noticed the AT-4 being called a "grenade launcher" in this story?

    January 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Reply
    • no one

      Am I the only one...stupid autocorrect

      January 24, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Reply
      • the middle man

        It made more sense the first time any way.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • DPO

      I assume you also noticed that the text under the image identifies Fischer as a Lt. but is clearly wearing the insignia of a Captain. Wonder if she likes being demoted two ranks.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
    • Clot11

      I noticed it as well. They obviously meant MK-19, but somehow AT4 popped in there...either because someone is an idiot, or some other reason that I cannot think of.

      However, yes, MPs typically have significantly more MK-19's than any other unit. The only exception might be a Heavy Weapons Platoon in the Infantry, but those Platoons are relatively small. MP's have so many heavy weapons because their missions are primarily mounted escort or PSD.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Reply
      • Retired Army 1SG

        Don't forget route recon an surveillance, manuever and mobility support, Intelligence preperation of the battlefield, anti terrorism, tactical combat force (TCF) and passage-of-lines ops just to name a few. MP's are a force multiplier and are considered the "commanders force of choice" due to the economy of force organization of the MP unit.

        January 25, 2013 at 7:51 am |
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    January 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  24. BigGuyWithABigBazooka

    AWWW,LOOK how cute they look posing like they're in a club.PATHETIC!

    January 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Reply
    • the middle man

      Your poor daughter.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply
    • Tina M

      @ Big Guy with a Bazooka, For your information those women who are in the picture are in a "group" per say something you know nothing about apparently. You are the one who is pathetic considering you think that you have a big one :). I as a military wife love the fact that this ban has been lifted finally.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  25. Dave

    My daughter is a senior at West Point now, and decided to branch to MP's as well. She told me last night that is the reason she branched to MP's, to be the soldier that she trained 4 years to become.Not to show someone that she could be as good as a male, just to do the job she was trained to do.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      Your daughter gets an extra 3-5 minutes to do the same physical challenges as a man. Here are the Male and Female PT standards for the Army:

      Male 17-21 years old : 2 Mile Run 100% : 13:00
      Female 17 – 21 : 2 Mile Run 100% : 15:36

      Male Pushups 100% : 71
      Female P-Ups 100%: 42

      This is just an example... the rate at the bottom to just pass is even larger.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Reply
      • the middle man

        Well don't hold it against his daughter, be a man and take it up with the drill sergeant, it is clearly bothering you.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
  26. justanopinion

    Here's my question. Say the enemies somehow capture a squad of US soldiers made up of both men and women. Does anyone think that the misogynistic taliban will treat the female soldiers worse than the male soldiers? I don't know, I'm just asking.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • markprevatt110711467

      What exactly is the point you're trying to make? That women need more "protecting" than men? Or is it that there's an assumption that some or all of the women in that unit would be somehow romantically "attached" to men in that unit, making ANY improper treatment of those women that much more trumatic....FOR THE MEN!

      Your problem is that you're too used to the social "image" you have of women, which many of them subscribe to due to the lack of THESE very opportunities that would help shatter those stereotypes.

      Take a hint...not all women will just scream and cower, then simply let themselves get gang raped, like they seem to ALWAYS do in the movies! Remember, for a long time in this country, women had NO legal leg to stand on in rape cases...to this day, MANY are still made to feel as if THEY brought it on themselves. Any woman adequately trained in lethal combat techniques, with no social stigma to burden her would make short work of MOST men who are trying to violate her.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  27. George Patton

    Another mean spirited broad bragging about her chance to kill. This kind of bravado makes me sick! Like I said many times before, there is no glory in killing contrary to American public opinion!!!

    January 24, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      BWA HA HA HA HA HA phunnie boy you are cracking me up.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  28. AAW

    As a Marine Infantryman I have no problem with women joining the combat arms as long as they meet the physical and mental requirements. One thing people have confused with our recent experience in Iraq and Afghanistan is that their is a big difference between being "in combat" and fighting. Anyone wearing a uniform can wake up and find themselves "in combat", going out and killing deliberately is a different ball game. Also we can't forget that what we've done in the past 12 years isn't neccessarily what our NEXT war will look like. War on the Korean peninsula will be far different (and far more difficult physically) than what we've been doing.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  29. ogibillm

    Fisher is wearing a captain's rank. I believe the caption should be corrected.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  30. I Am God

    Good. It is about time that women have the opportunity to protect this country like everyone else.

    January 24, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Going to a place where you have no right to be in the first place in order to kill people who don't deserve to die is hardly defending anything let alone your country! Get real, will you?

      January 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Reply
      • I Am God

        Afghanistan was a just war crazy. They were harboring and hiding terrorists.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
      • George Patton

        Yes Afghan and Paki muslim terrorists are crazy MFs so it is okay to drone them God.

        January 24, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
      • Perplexed

        Spare us the left wing hyperbole. I have been there and done that. I am really sick of it. Sometimes you have to stand and fight and it isn't always clean. That is war and that is life.

        January 25, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  31. Dandude

    So... If I slap a bi*ch around because she talks to me like a man is that okay now? Or will everyone say "but , but , but you can't hit a girl!!! "

    January 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • Patrick in Wisconsin

      No, you'll get written up by your Commanding Officer for assault and insubordination, duh. The same would happen if you did that to a man.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  32. mike

    a 18 year old male has to do 42 push ups just to get a 60 to pass\
    if a female does the same 42 push ups she gets 100 she only has to do 19 to pass
    is that equality

    January 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • MrNeedtoKnow

      Yes, the females want equality but there is a double standard. If they would have to do the same numbers of push up like the guys and score the same without the double standard, guess what? they will cry and complain about discriminating against women.

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

        All they want is to be allowed to serve in combat. Let them do it.

        January 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Sy2502

      Women already do combat but don't get paid for it and don't get career recognition for it. Is that fair?

      January 24, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Reply
      • sapperdaddy87

        I'm curious to know exactly what you are trying to state here. Are you assuming that soldiers in combat specialties get additional pay that non-combat and combat support soldiers don't? Or are you saying that female soldiers don't receive Combat Zone Tax Exclusion and Hostile Fire Pay, etc?

        Either way, you are misinformed and have only succeeded in making yourself look ignorant. Soldiers deployed to Iraq/Afghanistan, regardless of gender, receive the same pay. There are instances where soldiers performing certain duties are given additional allowances i.e EOD techs, which is not an all-male MOS, being paid demo pay.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
      • Clot11

        The Combat Action Badge (Look it up) was designed specifically to give recognition to men and women who had been engaged by the enemy (IED's included) who are not of the Infantry MOS or Medical MOS. Infantry receives the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) and Medics receive either the Combat Action Badge (CAB) or Combat Medic Badge (CMB).

        My point is that recognition is given to Soldiers (In the army at least) who are engaged by or engage the enemy. Additionally, for enlisted Soldiers, these awards are accompanied by promotion points.

        January 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • the middle man

      You have a binder too don't you?

      January 24, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  33. Sy2502

    The same tired excuses have been used to keep women locked up at home, prevent them from ownership, getting a job, get higher education, vote, run for office, and everything else. Seriously, don't you feel even a little bit pathetic bringing them up again?

    January 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  34. show some love

    Hi, like i said show some love. i believe you an others are forgetting the prison are fill all over the united states. inlist those men an women to help with the proper training. an some thing to live for it's worth a big consideration do you think. some one please forward this to our congress/men&woman as soon as possible. show some love. p.s. they need to pay the people back for all we do.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  35. tony

    Having spent 20 years in the military and serving with both men and women. i think women are just as capable as men- and as far as the pt test and strength goes..combat has changed...every heard of drones, fighter jets, missiles, intelligence, and other non hand to hand combat...we have evolved in how we fight....stop watching gladiator movies.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  36. Nathan

    Yes; you super women go get them; and good luck to you!! I am sure once they see you; the enemy will run...

    January 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Clutterbuster

      You're a real clown Nathan, and you have no respect for the fighting men and women who defend your freedoms!
      War has changed and when women walk along side men on dismounted patrols in enemy territory, they ARE in
      combat and have died doing this. Too bad you can't appreciate the sacrifices made by the brave, for the free!

      January 24, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
      • sapperdaddy87

        I will add to what you said here. In today's world there are no front lines. If you are on a FOB or COP, you are still in a combat zone and can die just as quickly as anyone else. IDF doesn't discriminate.

        January 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Sy2502

      Insecure much?

      January 24, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  37. Kashidog

    If modern combat remained an arena of brute strength, then indeed, few female military members would be able to meet the standards for a successful combatant. Currently however, warfare is a combination of the strength needed to get your weapons (whatever type they may be, small arms, grenade launchers, rifles, tanks, air power....) into the combat area, the talent and training to hit your mark and the courage to make it so. In very few instances are combatants going hand-to-hand. Throughout my deployments, I have seen many casualties, most the result of mounted and un-mounted explosions. (MRAP and IED incidents). Very few of them were in a situation where gender would have changed the outcome. We are a nation and a military composed of diverse individuals with diverse strengths and talents. It is cutting off our nose to spite our face if we decide to ignore the talents and strengths of our people merely on the basis of gender. Set the standards and allow those that aspire to serve in that capacity to test against them. Make talent and ability to criteria, not anatomy.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • C Rod

      @ Kashidog.... hey dog you have no idea what you’re talking about.... just because you went some FOB as a engineer or some other gay ass job took a few rockets doesn’t mean you been in combat POG. For all of you who thinks this is Iraq where you lazy fatty's drove everywhere let me tell you this we walk everywhere up and down mountains. I was 220 pounds and solid and know I am 175 and starving.... you think I got that from not using a lot of brute strength chump man you live in la la land and for all of you that spent time in Afghanistan on some huge fob as a supply clerk FYI you were never in Combat

      January 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Reply
      • Jeff

        Your kind of an idiot, but I agree I don't think females can do certain things. Maybe world class athletes, but most of the females I knew in the Army couldn't do ONE correct push up. Now if they can do it... ok more power to you. If not... this isn't a G.I. Jane Movie

        January 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • Perplexed

      Not all wars resemble Iraq and Afghanistan where IEDs are predominate. We had them but there was a lot of direct contact with the enemy where you had to engage and manuver. What if we get in a war where this is the case? War with China probably will be more conventional.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:57 am | Reply
  38. D'Andre Washington

    As a combat veteran myself, I'll say this. If they want to break down the barrier seperating men from women in the military, then they need to make the P.T. test scores EQUAL. Why is it that a woman has an extra 3-5 minutes on thier 1.5 or 3 mile run? How is it that they have to do FAR less push-ups, sit-ups or pull-ups than a man does? If they make the P.T. test scores equal and a woman can score the SAME P.T. score as a man then I agree, let 'em fight with us. If not, back to the rear with the gear for you.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Kashidog

      As a current female military officer....I CONCUR with you....If I can't meet the standards for a job, be it strength, intellect or ability, I have no business being there. All we want is the same chance as you to try for the position. As for the PT, I would welcome a change to the PT scoring; why should I be tested at a different level?

      January 24, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • MrNeedtoKnow

        What would happen is the will lower the standards because other females will complain about gender discrimination. What about Selective Service? Are females mandated like the guys to register? Mmmmm

        January 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • sV1

      Come on dude... ease off the ladies! If they want to run slower than their male qounterparts/team mates... be cut-off and left behind because of inferior training and abilities and die...who are we to demand equality?

      Just kidding! It should not be an issue. All soldiers must be equal in all points when it comes to being prepared for entering combat scenarios.

      When a male soldier weighs 140 lbs. and stands 5'5" tall, is he allowed to run slower, carry less equipment and/or be less of a participant within the team, squad, platoon...etc. when the rest of the team are 180 lbs. and 6'0" tall?

      No...no...and NO! Male or female, you clime the same mountain, run the same course and score above the same minimum for men and women soldiers. Why would a woman soldier want to be considered as inferior to male soldiers by virtue of physical strength and abilities before they enter an assault team?

      Nukem til they glo...!


      January 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Reply
      • Perplexed

        I was 5'9" and weighed 140 lbs but had to hump it the same as a guy 6'2" and 190 libs. They don't cut you any slack because the other guy depends on you. A male can do that. A female can't. When you go up against an agressive enemy in hand-to-hand combat estrogen won't help you any. He will beat you everytime.

        January 25, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  39. Tj

    If the can pass the same exams that men do; its their choice in job/.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • MrNeedtoKnow

      What exams? witing and reading? What about physical endurance and be able to carry large loads? Ohhhhhh! I see, the blind man to his deaf and dumb daougher, while he swung the hammer.

      January 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      The female PT test is extremely easier than the males. For instance a man must literally run to pass the 2 mile for the Army.. the female time can be achieved by power walking. That's the difference.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  40. Hahahahahah

    Teach those Towel Heads a thing or two about women. Hahahahahahahahahahah

    January 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  41. Paul

    exceptional female athletes are the only ones that can hold their own with a man of average abilities.

    January 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • Lou Salerno

      Paul, while that's certainly true in most cases, i believe the article was saying that if she's competent enough to put a 9mm or a .223 right between your eyes at anywhere from 10 ft – 200 yds., who *cares* how fast she can run or if she can 'dance' with a guy?

      January 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Reply
      • RedLeg1

        I care ... cause as a 13B cannoner my primary weapon was a M777 lightweight howitzer ... that means whoever can't throw around 100lb rounds at a rate of 3-6 a min ends up becoming the PLs RTO or CMDRs driver! And why does everyone think that patrols are all vehicle mounted these days?! When we deployed in lieu of 11Bs we were going out on all day patrols for 10s of miles. Luckily the BTRY/CO that was at the COP before us fixed it pretty good ... we had working showers ... sort of.

        January 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
      • ben

        Boy Lou. You are everything that is wrong with America. Europeans are right, Americans are ignorant and arrogant.

        January 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • Jeff

        The Army cares how fast you can run... that's why we have a PT test.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • Chris

        The question is will this female soldier or Marine be able to shot straight after maneuvering for 10s of miles with a lot more gear than a MP ever has to carry? If you don't know anything about being a grunt wee do have different M.O.S.'s besides rifle men (0311 in the Marine Corps) which is seems like people don't realize because all everyone is talking about is how well these women shot the m-4 I was a 0341 Mortarmen in a Weapons Co. so we carrying the 81mm Mortar and I would love to see some of these ladies carry the 34lbs Mortar tube along with a full combat load and personal weapon up and down the mountains of Afghanistan and than still be combat effective when we reach the objective. I have no doubts that some women can handle the load but I just don't know that the risk is worth the reward as we have able body men to do these jobs and those men don't get pregnant which is one of my biggest concerns with this. Its not about a single mother dying and orphaning her child, its more about a fellow grunt getting pregnant before a deployment and being unable to join her fellow Marines or Soldiers in battle which will not only mess up moral but will also leave us short handed which puts the whole platoon at risk.

        January 25, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Dandude

      Ha , watching the WNBA is a joke, they can't even dunk .

      January 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
      • the middle man

        Neither can you.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • the middle man

      So what do you guys excel at exactly? Making fire?

      Here comes a T-Rex, watch out!

      January 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Reply

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