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Military to End Ban on Women in Combat

The move would open hundreds of thousands of positions for women, according to an Associated Press report.

Pentagon chief Leon Panetta plans to remove the ban on women in combat, according to an Associated Press report.

The move "overturns a 1994 rule banning women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units."

Read the full report here.

The New York Times also weighed in, noting that, despite the nearly 20-year-old rule, women have seen combat in Afghanistan and Iraq

NBC News also reported that some female veterans are jubiliant about the change. One said women “are treated differently,” at least partly because of being kept out of combat.

A Politico story also reported on the response of Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who lost both her legs while serving as a helicopter pilot in Iraq.

“Anytime that we as a nation have lifted restrictions and allowed people to serve based on their performance, our military and our nation has benefited from it,” she told Politico.

What do you think about the shift in policy? Was it overdue, or do you think it was a mistake? Why?

LeAna Bui January 24, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Actually, I'm pretty sure NOBODY was "designed" to be on the battlefield, man or woman.
fact checker January 24, 2013 at 10:19 PM
We are happy to let the matter rest.
JustUs January 24, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Julie, very few women have been killed in actual combat unless it was by accident. Like a Pvt2 clerk typist who had errant mortor round strike her place of work. Look at all the victim soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. How many are women? Hardly any. So let's cut the drama here and stick with the facts, ok??? I imagine that some dogs are capable or walking around all day on their hind legs too. It is a rareity. But no doubt there are a few freak dogs out there that can do it. Men and women are designed completely different from one another, Julie. DIfferent muscle mass, different bone structure, different hormones, different emotions....competely different, Julie. One is DESIGNED for war. One is NOT! Did mom and dad ever teach you about the birds and the bees? Have a nice day. Don't get wet.
Julie Flores January 24, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Women comprise about 14 percent of the 1.4 million active military personnel. More than 280,000 women have been sent to Iraq, Afghanistan or to jobs in neighboring nations in support of the wars. Of the more than 6,600 U.S. service members who have been killed, 152 have been women. Read more: http://www.dailybulletin.com/breakingnews/ci_22441285/women-combat-strength-says-panetta#ixzz2Iw29GQ7J
Julie Flores January 24, 2013 at 10:35 PM
“It is clear to all of us that women are contributing in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission of defending the nation,” Panetta said during a press briefing on Thursday. “They serve, they’re wounded and they die right next to each other. The time has come to recognize that reality.” Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/pentagon-chief-praises-women-soldiers-lifts-combat-ban-article-1.1246914#ixzz2Iw2aMmle
Julie Flores January 24, 2013 at 10:43 PM
http://www.squidoo.com/military-women-in-combat
Julie Flores January 24, 2013 at 10:45 PM
here's an excerpt:When warring tribes fought over food or men during our first beginnings, those women were undoubtedly in combat. As the centuries went on, women warriors were not considered so unusual, among others there was Joan of Arc, and Bodecia who fought as warriors. There were women in the Civil War who donned men's clothing and fought alongside their buddies, only to be found out once they were slain in battle. This is by way of explaining that women in combat are nothing new, but have been in existence since ancient times. Only in modern, "enlightened" times have we thought of women as weak and ineffectual.
fact checker January 24, 2013 at 11:07 PM
On another thread JustUs shows us his real game. JustUs 2:43 pm on Thursday, January 24, 2013 I adore this woman! Orly Taitz absolutely ROCKS!!! If there was a war I would have NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER having her fight by my side. She has more courage than 10 average men put together!
JustUs January 24, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Julie, you failed to mention that woman make up 16% of the armed forces personnel but only about 2.4% of those killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Do the math: 152/6600 =? Oh, and most of those female deaths were due to non-hostile actions (accidents, disease, suicide, etc...) So let's not just spin the numbers without full-disclosure, ok young lady? Let's all be up front and transparent on these comment boards. It makes for better discussion. Thank you on behalf of our commenters.
JustUs January 24, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Absolutely! Orly Taitz is a HUGE exception to the rule. She is truly a SUPERWOMAN. I have the UTMOST respect for her and would not bat an eyelash if she led me into battle. But she is the proverbial needle in the haystack. I am simply amazed by her tenacity and determination. She will simply NOT BACK DOWN! She has the gut to defy the Court and even King Obama himself. GOD BLESS ORLY TAITZ!!! :^)
Purvis Granger January 25, 2013 at 12:01 AM
JustUs, I'm sure Julie is honored to have earned the nickname "young lady." What makes for better discussion are facts, backed up and clearly presented in an argument in the English language. Despite your sexist antiquated views (and mistaken assertion the the majority of female fatalities are not the result of hostile acts), I find it amazing that you are counseling someone who actually possesses basic communication skills on style and protocol. I hear they'e starting a monopoly game in the rec room- you may want to go check it out!
Purvis Granger January 25, 2013 at 12:04 AM
JustUs, I think many readers would love to see you led into battle by Orly Taitz. If fact, it would be poetic on many levels.
fact checker January 25, 2013 at 12:18 AM
Orly Taitz looks a little weak to me. Physically as well as mentally. But I wish you well in future battles.
Shawna January 25, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't recall anyone saying that women cannot compete with men, but rather, in combat, they shouldn't because they were designed to be different and that as a whole men are far more cut out for combat mentally and physically than are women. I think JustUs agrees with my views and is very thankful for those who protect and serve our country (be it men or women), however, that being said, it does not change the fact that we hold the opinion that they do not belong in combat. I do not find his comments sexist or antiquated in the least. You cannot rewrite history and history proves this to be accurate with few exceptions. I find them very realistic and highly accurate. There are many out there that hold the same viewpoints, that does not mean we are putting down the service of anyone. JustUs... Could you imagine the backlash I would receive if they knew I also believed that we should NOT have a women President? Oops, did I say that outloud! I must be a male shouvenist of pig! Not!!! They are my opinions and just because they may not be yours does not make them wrong. Study up on what happens to the morale of a man/unit in combat when he feels like he has to protect a woman before doing his job first. Time and Time again it hampers the effectiveness of combat missions and unit cohesion. It is fact not opinion. Can that morph over time? Perhaps? But doyou women really want to be men? Again natural design defines you differently.
fact checker January 25, 2013 at 12:38 AM
How did that fighter pilot relative of yours measure up in combat?
Purvis Granger January 25, 2013 at 01:00 AM
While I don't agree with your views (and you've made it a point to say differently wired but just as capable, which, while offensive to some, is a position of difference and equality...and you are female), you are detailing your position, providing links, and politely deflecting less than respectful responses, which is something Justus seems incapable of. Curious- if you were serious on your position regarding President, what's your rationale on that?
Julie Flores January 25, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Natural "design" has no bearing on politics, which is clearly a role created by humans and not nature. Combat is also something created by humans and not nature. Humans have evolved overtime based on genetics, environment and you know, evolution. Shawna you have every right to your opinion and certainly the right to express it. Other women and men have the right to disagree and engage in activities you may not agree with. The simple fact of the matter is that women are already in combat no matter how many protest that they are unqualified or that they should not be there. To your point about men feeling the need to protect a woman before doing their job, then they are simply unfit for combat if anything distracts them from fulfilling their duty.
Purvis Granger January 25, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Julie- Your last point is an amusing twist (distractions..). I think if we talk about combat as if it were a monolithic entity we ultimately fail to understand why women can fight in combat. As it stands, we have male soldiers, (tall,short, thick, thin) of differing abilities in combat doing different things and sometimes the same thing. There isn't an argument in these comments that clearly states why, based on skills and limitations, women shouldn't serve in combat. I understand the perspective of "natural design," but I think that's an argument that has been used to suppress women for, well, a really long time- so without sufficient support from facts (what are the measurable requirements for combat and where do women, AS A GENDER, fall short), it's not convincing. In the end it's a job with prerequisite skills and abilities, and those who meet the criteria should get the job.
JustUs January 25, 2013 at 02:12 AM
Shawna, as I said before - the people you are addressing refuse to accept human biology and the differences between the male and female species. They want to believe in their fantasy world that women can keep up with males on the battlefield. It's really so silly. Plus, you are corrrect. Males will instinctively try to protect females on the battlefield instead of fulfilling their assigned jobs. That only results in many unnecessary casualties. But none of these people have ever heard a shot fired on the battlefield, so they speak from ignorance. It would be like an auto mechanic trying to explain how to perform brain surgery. Absurd. So consider the ones who are attacking you. They know not what they do. :^)
Purvis Granger January 25, 2013 at 02:26 AM
JustUs, you are incoherent, illogical, lacking in language skills, and expressing views that are simply stupid. I understand why, with your impairment, you would want latch onto someone for whom English is not a second language. Shawna has a view. You can't construct one. Was I right? Did they serve jello tonight?
JustUs January 25, 2013 at 03:24 AM
I laugh at you, Purv. Out of one side of your mouth you want to throw women into combat on the battlefield because you claim that they can handle the rigors of war.....yet from the other side of your mouth you oppose allowing women in civilian life to have access to firearms to protect themselves from rapists twice their size! hah. You claim that firearms would put them in too much danger!!! HAH! You need to pick a side and STICK WITH IT, Purv. By your divergent responses that contradict one another you might have some sort of split personality. I am no professional but who knows? I heard it can be treated. Sybil had 7 or 8 different personalities and they helped her. There are free help lines. Drop a dime and let us know what you find out. Good luck.
fact checker January 25, 2013 at 03:46 AM
Why not ask the commanders to share their reasons for recognizing (not allowing, since it is already going on) women in combat? http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/24/us/military-women/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
Purvis Granger January 25, 2013 at 03:56 AM
JustUs, that you don't see them as separate issues is simple a function of a crippled intellect ( which most readers have declined to call out). You simply lack the ability to abstract, analyze and articulate. Suggesting that someone needs to pick one side across many issues reveals a clinical impairment. Do fhey let you use the Internet during TV time? Of course you're not a professional. You're illiterate and incapable of organized thought. Then again, you've been cleared by the CIA, you have no understanding of the Internet, and you yelp like a kicked puppy when you suspect that your comments are being moderated by someone more educated than you. What's that I hear? The med cart.
Norman Oppegard January 25, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Just Us, what is your military experience?
Mostwatchedgirl January 25, 2013 at 07:44 AM
Purvis, when u are elderly, I hope someone treats you with as much disrespect that u have shown on this thread. As a matter of fact, if U weren't born from wolves, should your parents be treated with equal disdain as they have obviously did a very poor job in raising u.
Mostwatchedgirl January 25, 2013 at 07:47 AM
Women in combat? I'll let the men fight for me thanks. This is a true war against women. Panetta must have binders full of them!
JustUs January 25, 2013 at 08:07 AM
Oh, you should laugh at Purv, Mostwatchedgirl. For he is the board clown. He has shown 2 distinct personalities. He wants to prohibit woman from having firearms to protect themselves from rapists.....yet he wants to throw woman onto the battlefield to participate in bloody wars when he hasn't even heard a shot fired on a battlefield himself!!! hah. He is a clown, MWG. Laugh at him. Don't be angry. He's the cheapest form of entertainment that you'll find on the web. I think he's on a day pass and you probably won't hear from him tomorrow. He'll once again become a ward of the State. heh. :^)
Purvis Granger January 25, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Mostwatchedgirl, you just used the phrase " born from wolves." What's that noise? Oh, it's the 19th century asking you to return its cliches. You also seem to make assumptions around age with no data. Are you in the room next to JustUs? Or is it not a CoEd facility?
CdmGab January 26, 2013 at 12:09 AM
There is no doubt that women of our military already contribute a great deal while putting themselves in harm's way. But the infantry is an incredibly physical job that often places men in unimaginable conditions. I admire any woman that meets the requirements willing to sign up for the scenario described in the following link. Those of you celebrating this new move as a "breakthrough" should thoughtfully consider the author's very relevant concerns. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323539804578260132111473150.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
Mostwatchedgirl January 26, 2013 at 08:31 AM
Purvis, would u prefer born from a whore? Parsing words is my specialty.

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