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Pentagon Ends Ban on Women in Combat

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: military, news, obama, politics, women's rights, women in the military )

- 1913 days ago -
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is ending the ban on women serving in combat in the U.S. military, potentially opening up more than 200,000 positions on the front lines and possibly also jobs with elite commando units.

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. (0)
Wednesday January 23, 2013, 3:38 pm
Look to Israel for information on women serving in combat.

John B (185)
Wednesday January 23, 2013, 5:33 pm
Thanks Cal for the link to the article by Shashank Bengali. Should women want to serve in combat situations then why note. I say go for it. Kudos Defense Secretary to Panetta. Read and noted.

Jae A (316)
Wednesday January 23, 2013, 6:20 pm
As I commented on another thread on this topic...According to all the 'action movies' and Tv action series they can. I'm guessing they can shoot a firearm as good as any man/male and if that's their choice to join the military then .....other than the sexual relationships that could place any in such relationships in the same battle as a possible issue be it I suppose.

Past Member (0)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 4:08 am
As I have said many times, are millitary should be reduced 90%, and as long as they can meet the standard, why not.

Carol H (229)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 5:09 am
noted, thanks Cal

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 8:45 am
There are a lot of reasons why this is a very, very bad idea. Here are the observations of a retired U.S. Army colonel, compiled when he was on active service. It's long, so if you want, you can skip right to the list (it's easily recognizable, in list-form). Before dismissing any of his points, check anything you doubt with his observations as written in the text:

There are a few points with which I disagree, but until somebody can show me how 5% of women can, even in peak physical condition, carry their own combat-loads (~63 lbs.), pick up wounded male comrades (~180 lbs.) with their combat-loads (~63 lbs. for a total ~300 lbs.), and get them out of harm's way fast enough not to be shot, after marching for a day while carrying 92 lbs. of gear and supplies, I'll be convinced of at least one very good reason why women should not be in front-line small infantry units. Adrenaline only goes so far, especially in extended shoot-outs. Until somebody can explain to me, making sense, why extremely misogynistic and proud enemies will be as willing to surrender to a female-led platoon (rather than fight to the death and kill more people) as to a male-led one, I'll be convinced of another reason why women should not be allowed to command small units in many current wars.

I could go on about sexual harassment, which according to Care2 seems to be rampant in the military except when discussing allowing women into combat-roles, real romantic love and crushes which are far more dangerous to unit-cohesion than the lust that many people talk about, and how much more often female soldiers who get divorced end up with custody of children (than do male divorcees) and what that would do to deployment, but you get the picture (not to mention sanitation-issues on the march and maternity-leave). We have a long way to go before having women serve in these roles becomes a good idea, and perhaps even more problematically, our enemies have a long way to go before it becomes a good idea for us.

. (0)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 2:02 pm
As long as physical standards aren't lowered for combat situations, I think it will be fine. Though, I still think the military needs to take a serious look into how they handle sexual harassment in their ranks.

It is interesting that sometimes the military is more forward-looking than our society. The military desegregated before our society did. The military accepted homosexuals as equals before many of the states have. Now, they will be paying women as men are paid in combat situations. Maybe our society needs to catch up a bit?

Lois Jordan (63)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 3:39 pm
Yes, this should pave the way for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment....finally!
BTW, there are men of small stature, as well, who may be just as unfit physically for combat duty. There are tests that must be passed, regardless of gender. The first person killed in duty in Iraq was a Native American female from AZ....Piestewa, I believe is the correct spelling. Piestewa Peak in No. Central Phx. was named in her honor. Just wondering if this has to do with receiving equal "combat pay." ...Anyway, score a point for equality.

Craig Zimmerman (86)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 4:57 pm
So now we will have young women coming home mutilated or in a coffin. What progress.

Ruadha S (6)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 6:10 pm
If the smaller country of Israel can do it, so can we.
Stephan Brian-- I've seen the bit about carrying combat loads and a wounded soldier. I don't believe EVERY man can do that either. Maybe for the 15 or 20 yards needed to pass the test. Women and men should be trained in more unarmed combat, like the Israelis. Of course, if everyone KNEW they had a mandatory military commitent ahead, they would get and stay in better healkth in high sdhool
In this country women are routinely passing tests to join the fire department, which are intense. My stand has always been that if you can meet the requirements, gender should not affect it.

Claudia O (73)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 6:33 pm
I wish there was some way we could get beyond combat and war.

Winn A (179)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 6:42 pm

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 8:33 pm
Hi Ruadha :)

Not even every male field-medic can do it, and that's a problem. The reason I went for the 5% number is that I think that's about the proportion of men who can, even at peak fitness, join combat-arms. If women can pass the physical tests, without those tests being altered for political purposes, then they have the necessary physique and nobody should question that. However, if we are talking about only a handful women getting into combat-arms in the entire country, that might not justify the cost of any extra facilities that may be needed.

U.S. and Israeli military-needs are very different. Israel doesn't have foreign deployments limited by logistics, or long-range walking-deployments. Its population is small enough that it needs conscription to get the warm bodies, but that also dramatically reduces how selective its combat-arms branch can be, and how rigorous their training-standards can be. They're still very good, their air-force is top-notch, I think, and I suspect they are the best in the world at urban combat, but face different challenges. They rely far more heavily on tanks, vastly reducing distances which soldiers move in combat, loads, and general physical requirements. Also, the experience of being a conscript for a few years and serving near home is different being a career-soldier on foreign deployment. I don't knowhow much or little of a difference these things make, but there might not really be a one-size-fits-all solution.

Ruadha S (6)
Thursday January 24, 2013, 10:09 pm
Good points, Stephen. There may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, but I'm guessing there are already differing requirements for say--medic, SEAL, infantry. In some cases the military probably needs to join th 21st century.

Sexual harassment needs to start being addressed in grade school. We females are not "asking for it", we don't have to be victums, we can fight back. Some girls hear nothing good at home. School should be teaching about strong female characters--Barbie needs to retire.

I'm not sure what I want done. I was in college the last time the draft lottery was called and I still remember. We all huddled around the TV as numbers were pulled out. If the ball said '10' then everyone with a birthday on the tenth of each month was first on the next draft.Then we'd spend thge rest of the night figuring what everyone was going to do. I wouldn't wish that on a new generation.

Bruno Moreira (61)
Friday January 25, 2013, 7:22 am

Matt B (8)
Friday January 25, 2013, 7:37 am
National defense is not something that should be used to push a PC agenda. The fact that a small number of women could do the job does not mean that their sex as a whole can do the same work. Where women have been concerned they have been held to a lower standard. Why is this? The Answer is both simple and obvious, woman by and large can't do the same type of physical work that men can do. We owe it to the people that are willing to sereve our country to provide the best of everything which would of course include personnel. In combat, there are no points for second best. Indiviudal lives in combat units are on the line here, and by extension our lives at home if the military's combat units cannot fullfill their mission requirements because they have subpar troops. There are very real diffeences between men and women and not just biologically speaking that make the idea of haviing women in combat roles a bad idea.

Melania Padilla (122)
Friday January 25, 2013, 9:36 am

Beverly T (82)
Friday January 25, 2013, 9:57 am
@ Craig Zimmermen

OMG Under what rock at the back of a cave have you been living ?????

If Senator Tammy Duckworth isn't an example of what is ALREADY happing in COMBAT then I suggest you gather a few more facts. Never mind...I don't think you have the intelligence to do so. So here...

"More than 150 women have been killed and more than 800 wounded in the Iraq and Afghan wars, according to the military."

The issue is....
THEY DID NOT GET PAID the SAME as the men for endangering their LIVES !!!!!!!
JUST BECAUSE it was not called COMBAT DUTY, they got LESS PAY and BENEFITS !!!!!
Not to mention that having the words COMBAT DEPLOYED alllows greater access to PROMOTIONS !!!!
Hiding in the dark with the weight of that boulder on your head must have severely damged your brain. May I suggest you seek medical attention or crawl back under.

Beverly T (82)
Friday January 25, 2013, 10:03 am
P. S.
Add Matt B to my comment above

WOMEN ARE PERFORMING IN COMBAT !!!! You are only talking WORDS not facts. A WORD and DESIGNATION not realityy. Getting shot and blown up and killed and maimed is COMBAT !!!!!


Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 2:51 pm
Hi Ruadha :)

I think the solution to sexual harassment in school should mirror my preferred solution to bullying: Enforce the law. If a kid commits a crime in school, whether a civil or ciminal offense, treat it as such, at least once the kid has reached an age where he or she would be criminally liable for the same act outside of school. Before that point, I don't know if the concept of sexual harassment even really applies (where at least juvenile liability begins roughly at the same time as puberty really gets underway), but there should be some responses by teachers (in communication with families) to harassment and attitudes of disrespect which precede it from early childhood.

Sergio Padilla (65)
Monday January 28, 2013, 8:16 am
Good, thanks for sharing
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