AP source: Pentagon chief Leon Panetta opens combat roles to women

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  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 28, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    atl134 is spot-on. Women have been barred from frontline conventional infantry combat, which is traditionally considered different from anything like aircraft or missile silos. One can argue semantics, but that doesn't change the fact that infantry combat is the last glass ceiling for women in uniform.

    As to those saying that the military has to lower the physical standards, the expectations remain the same for anyone on patrol in the Hindu Kush chasing Taliban. Women will be no exception.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 25, 2013 12:19 a.m.


    Facts please? How do you know how much goes to the military when we haven't had a budget plan for four years? Thousands of jobs provided by the military is better then unemployment checks. So Pagan wants to cut jobs?

    Might do? N Korea just stated what they are going to do.--Europe would have save many lives had they acted earlier with Hitler.

    Does anyone think North Korea would threaten Russia with nukes? They'll threaten us with no fear. ---.

  • Raeann Peck Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 11:01 p.m.

    I cringe at the thought of women being drafted.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    "Your dismissive response clearly shows that you really do not understand the concept of how a nuclear war is fought, or even defended and prevented."

    Oh I understand it, I just know that I'd much rather be there than anywhere even remotely connected to the actual battlefield whether in a combat or support role because I wouldn't want to get shot.

  • Turtles Run Missouri City, TX
    Jan. 24, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    Women have served in combat in Iraq & Afghanistan for the past 10 years. They have fought in recent conflicts such as Desert Storm and Panama.
    They have proven their ability so let them serve. Anyone willing to carry a rifle and protect this nation should be allowed to do so.
    As for the whole captured women being used to hold back the nation's military objectives is malarkey. Women entering combat arms role will understand the risks involved. Women were captured during the Iraq War and we sure did not put a stop to the war because of it.

    Jessica Lynch and Shoshana Johnson are two examples.

  • Eastern girl New Haven, CT
    Jan. 24, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    @Pagan You say people are fabricating reasons women should not serve in combat... based on nothing. There's an eye-opening article in the LAWeekly from Jan 23, 2008 called "Women Firefighters: The Gender Boondoggle" that gives a roadmap of where the military will go as they implement this policy. Lowered physical requirements, disregarding females failures of Phys requirement tests, requiring more people to do a job than necessary because if one of them is a woman it requires more people, losing people to do other critical tasks because the women can't pull their own weight--those are the highlights, that'll do wonders for fighting effectiveness. Not to mention weeks of not showering and doing hygiene tasks in front of each other in close quarters. The military, great place for a big gender experiment!

  • Eastern girl New Haven, CT
    Jan. 24, 2013 5:02 a.m.

    So now men have to fight and they'll have to carry extra weight from the packs of women who are not able to carry the amount of weight that they are supposed to. And a video of a woman POW shown back home, that's going to make military objectives impossible, they will have big targets on their backs.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 12:31 a.m.

    If you have to fabricate reasons why women should not serve in combat, what makes you different from...

    the Taliban?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 12:17 a.m.

    Blacks serve in our military, nothing changed.

    Gays serve in our military, nothing changed.

    Why do people speculate instead of have factual reasons why women should not serve our military?


    Well done sisters.

    It's about time.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan. 23, 2013 8:34 p.m.


    No one is making women fight on the front lines. Some women want to. Some women want that equality. With all due respect, when you write this line, "Do we really want to do this to women?", we are not doing anything to women. "We" are only letting them make that choice!

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 23, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    "Are American female POW's going to face "demeaning physical abuse" at the hands of the enemy?"

    @Oatmeal.... we had women POW in Iraq. And, yes, they did get inflicted with some harsh treatment. Just like the prisoners at Abu Graib did. War is an extremely ugly business...in the end though t it is these women's right to choose... it is their right to serve, and their right to sacrifice and take risks, its there lives, let them choose.

    But that is not the real issue. I do pro-bono work at the VA. One of the people I work with is a lady by the name of Susan Smith who is runs a group helping women in the service. The biggest threat our own women soldiers have is abuse from within their own ranks. The numbers run as high as 1/3rd of women who have served have be the victim of some form of sexual assault. It is a huge issue. The people we need to worry about aren't those wearing the other uniforms, but those who share the same uniform.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 6:15 p.m.

    Will young women eventually have to register with the selective service like the young men? If we don't discriminate regarding combat duty, under what rationale do we restrict selective service and the draft to men alone?

    Are American female POW's going to face "demeaning physical abuse" at the hands of the enemy?

  • Charlemagne Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 23, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    This is another move motivated by political correctness rather than what is best for the defense of our country. As a normal red blooded American male I enjoyed having women around when I was in the Army during peacetime in a combat support role. But going co-ed in actual combat would be a hindrance! Women are not as physically capable as evidenced by lower standards for women on the PT test, they require separate facilities and their is always the problem of sexual interaction.

    I am not saying that there are not capable women or that if necessary women couldn't do the job. But if given a choice male only unit would be preferable.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    "It definitely is a combat role when that Launch Center has to absorb the shock and damage of that first nuclear strike, and then respond accordingly."

    In the traditional sense of the term... it's not a combat role.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 4:30 p.m.

    Dear Utah Blue Devil, it is not a hypothesis. That is a matter of history. The Israelis pulled women back from combat because they found that the Arabs were so afraid of the humiliation of being taken prisoner by a woman that they fought harder. This is just a fact. Women serve in the Israeli military, but they don't serve on the front lines. If this has since changed, then I stand corrected. But,it is an historical fact. The Israelis are very smart people and they do what is most effective for their survival. Women are great in the military but NOT in combat.

    Jan. 23, 2013 4:17 p.m.

    In Iraq there were no "front lines." I served with women in Baghdad and Fallujah that did the same jobs as any of the men. This included night time residence searches, convoy security, patrolling for IED's, etc. When you leave the wire at the BIAP you are on the "front line." Representative Tammy Duckworth who currently serves in congress lost both of her legs in Iraq. Women in combat has been the unofficial policy and the official reality for the last 11 years.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 4:15 p.m.


    You're getting caught up in semantics. There are plenty of examples of women currently serving in ACTUAL combat roles in Iraq and Afghanistan, but you example doesn't count.

    A bunch of people sitting in an ICBM bunker aren't what most people would consider a "combat role", no matter what the "official" designation may say.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 23, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    "They found out it didn't work out too well. They found that their enemies fought even harder when they knew they were fighting women. They found it was more efficacious to pull the women back.:

    What an absurd notion. I am trying to kill you. You find out that it is a women trying to kill you, so then you really start fighting back. Doesn't anyone find this hypotheses ridicules? If someone is trying to take my life, i don't gauge my response to that threat if they are women, asian, Christian, Islamic, hetro or gay. What.... "hay, someone is shooting at me.... waite.... she's a woman..... now I am really going to fight back then."

    Good grief.

    Try reading up on it.... per 2012 AP article

    "The Caracal battalion's response to the militant attack on Friday – which left three gunmen dead, including one whom Israeli officials said was killed by a female soldier – marked a major test for the unit that typically handles tame operations. One Israeli soldier also was killed."

    The Caracal battalion is a co-ed Israeli combat unit.

  • Y_is_for_Yale Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    It's about time. Now we should reinstate the draft. Currently, only a small segment of society shares the burdens of war. Only when those burdens are more widely held, will we pause before committing our servicemen/women to war. We need to stop allowing politicians, who have never served in the military, who defer their service because of college, religious callings, etc, and who don't have any family members serving, commit us to endless conflict.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    The Isrealis tried it. They found out it didn't work out too well. They found that their enemies fought even harder when they knew they were fighting women. They found it was more efficacious to pull the women back.

    In addition, when women become prisoners of war, it is quite different than men. Rank is not respected and women are immediately raped. These are just a couple of reasons why I don't think this is a good thing.

    It's bad enough that men have to become killers in order to defend our country. Do we really want to do this to women?