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POLL: Do You Support Women Serving in Combat Roles?

The Department of Defense announces on Wednesday that it will lift the ban on women serving in direct ground combat roles. Tell us: What do you think?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is removing a 19-year-old ban on women serving in direct ground combat roles, government officials announced on Wednesday. 

The decision could potentially open infantry and special operations jobs to women who can meet the strength standards of those positions. A federal lawsuit filed recently by the ACLU claims that all military jobs should be open and that women have been serving in combat roles to some extend for years anyway.

In fact, about 144 women have lost their lives and 865 have been wounded in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense.

As reported by Mother Jones, ACLU senior staff attorney Ariela Migdal said on Wednesday that the group was pleased with the lifting of the ban, 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."

Once the decision is formalized on Thursday, the branches of service will be required to develop their own plans to open military jobs previously closed to women, the Washington Post reported.  

Panetta is giving the services until January 2016 to submit special exceptions for why women must be kept out of certain jobs. 

Of the DoD's major concerns: berthing and privacy. Infantry units typically live and operate in close quarters and little privacy is sometimes afforded during combat operations. Physical demand is another concern. Ground combat units are required to quickly march long distances with more than 80 pounds of assault equipment. In addition, If the unit takes casualties, everyone is required to be able to carry the weight of a casualty, the casualty's gear and their own gear to safety. 

The 1994 "Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule" prohibited women from serving in ground combat units below the brigade level, which is typically comprised of several battalions. Because many of the jobs at the battalion level required "co-location" with smaller ground combat units more likely to engage in direct combat with the enemy, it was decided that women shouldn't serve in those jobs.

In a February 2012 report to congress, the Department of Defense said that because modern battlefields don't have clearly-defined boundaries—and women serving in support units could be exposed to front-line combat anywhere in a field of operation—they were no longer restricted from serving at the battalion level. 

The DoD would later allow women to serve in some 1,186 additional jobs across the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, but still prohibited them from serving in infantry, artillery or tank units.  

What do you think? Should women be allowed to serve in direct ground combat with America's enemies?

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Terry January 24, 2013 at 03:35 AM
Yes, Women should have the opportunity to fight in combat just like the men. They are in the line of fire everyday anyway in the convoys etc....and sometimes get killed or injured in the line of duty. If they can pass the tests ...more power to them.
ED ESCALANTE January 24, 2013 at 07:04 AM
THINK ABOUT IT SWEETHEART........
Teri Felker January 24, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Just another invitation for lawsuits of all kinds .....
Johnny Wilde January 24, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Just my wife
Lydia Plunk January 24, 2013 at 03:44 PM
What a person wants when serving in uniform is secondary to the mission. There is a job to be done and it is not one person's life at risk. What matters is if the person is qualified- including physically.
Robert Corona January 24, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Nope,,, not physically strong enough.. as we all saw with the old fire dept video of women trying to pass the fireman physical tests. Can she carry a wounded comrade out of the line of fire? And.. as noted above, sexual harrassment lawsuits galore.. Gonna hafta all sleep together and use the facilities together in the infantry.. It will get messy. (don't think General Patton woulda gone fer it)
MellowMaverick January 24, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Defense Secretary Panetta already lifted the ban on women serving in combat. This is a done deal..None of us have ANY influence on this. The point and effectiveness of further discussion eludes me.
Zelda Martin January 24, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Too bad this was not up for a vote at the polls. However, I believe that the number of women that could qualify for strength is too few to go to all this trouble and address so many problems.
shawn January 24, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Can they cary a full combat load? can they cary 6 loaded magazines,helmet,flack gear,clothes,sleeping bag sleeping gear,grenades. extra 7.62 ammo split up between the comany for the machine gunners. . Can they also cary a 240 (b) machine gun that weighs 24.6 pounds. all this and walk at a 5 to 6 mile per hour pace. or fast rope out of a hello. can they perform what a combat infantry Marine does every day in the rear run 3 miles under 23 minutes 200 sit-ups in 2 minutes 20 dead hang pull-ups????Not all Marines can hang this and if they can't they are sent to the rear. or by god that Marine is not watching my back at night. If you can do that then you can also go 20 miles behind enemy lines engage combat and by God pull your brother who is hit out of harms way with his gear and your gear..Im missing allot but this is just a start..tell me ladies if you qualify to be a infantry man in the United States Marine Corps
Robert Corona January 24, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Either Panetta says YES or they get sued by the ACLU! Very simple.
all-c-ing-eye January 24, 2013 at 10:37 PM
I think it should be left up to the men in the military if any woman qualifies, not congress or any political group. Sure there are some women that can kick a mans ass, but can they kick an enemy soldiers butt in combat? I can hear it now in the enemy camps, the sergeant is telling his men with a grin on his face " you have the right to kill the enemy or if shes looks good rape her" Now what? in our culture we would want to go in and rescue the female soldier as we would a male but somehow the impulse is different and might cause irrational thinking on those giving a command. women have been in combat zones in so many wars and bless their hearts for being there when the men needed them. In a foxhole i would want the strongest fighter watching my back, i would have enough to worry about and when your thinking in the back of your mind I also have to watch out behind me, well thats what gets you killed. Sorry to any female that wants to fulfill a duty to her country I applaud you but i also worry about you.
Vince January 24, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Combat Role for Females? Nope...at least not against The Taliban, or Muslim's in general. These soldiers will be viewed as a prime target for capture, and terror/propaganda purposes---and probably there will be a tidy bounty for them to be brought in ALIVE. Here is a little idea of what may be in store for American women in combat roles against an enemy who will view, and treat them as less than human---outfit them all with "The Black Pill", and then MAYBE I'll be on board: http://girlsjustwannahaveguns.com/2013/01/hindu-women-in-india-found-raped-and-chopped-into-pieces-by-muslims/
Vince January 24, 2013 at 11:00 PM
One hard and fast rule that most FORWARD THINKING waterfowl hunter's adhere to is quite simply, "spare the hens"...which makes sense since the females are the egg layer's, and predominantly the nurturers of the brood, and therefore the steward of potential generations to come...
Julia Nelson January 25, 2013 at 12:57 AM
Not every man is fit for a combat role, and not every woman will qualify, either. If a woman is fit for combat, let her serve.
Linda Moore January 25, 2013 at 01:31 AM
I agree with you, Julia, and I am a former Marine.
Melanie C. Johnson (Editor) January 25, 2013 at 02:37 AM
A lawsuit by women in the military was what helped prompt the change from what I understand.
pamylla January 25, 2013 at 07:14 AM
Why not...if they are fit and so desire. Just don't expect ME to join up..LOL.
T. Populus January 25, 2013 at 08:27 PM
OKAY HONEYBUN....
Ellen Carr February 19, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Yes they should be allowed in combat...but they must be able to carry their own weight and that of their fellow soldier/marine.
desertpatriot February 20, 2013 at 01:15 AM
take my wife please!
Washy February 20, 2013 at 02:13 AM
^^^^^ahahahahahaha LMAO like any sane woman would be with your hateful butt!!! Good one desert dummy I needed that laugh
leah February 20, 2013 at 02:22 AM
I agree.
jerryflores February 27, 2013 at 09:57 AM
This is outrageous! As a former Drill Instructor and Vietnam Veteran, I can tell you, allowing women into combat will tremendously increase the death rate of American soldiers; not only will they engage in battle, but in our culture, the man looks after the female. As such, they would carry the extra burden of LOOKING AFTER the female and in doing so, put themselves in harms way. Women are not capable of carrying/running with a 60 pound ruck sack, weapons and ammunition; Because some women in the military dress like a man, walk like a man and looks like a man, doesn't mean they are men. Female soldiers need to stay in jobs such as administrative, culinary and medical. I had great admiration for the nurses in Vietnam. Although, they were not sent into combat, many faced the enemy during raids, some were wounded, one was killed, but not because they were in the front lines of battle. What will the well trained infantry man do when his female counterpart starts cramping or that time of the month comes around? Yes, there are some men that are weak, but they learn to carry their load. All soldiers male and female must pass a yearly physical fitness test and qualify with their assigned weapon, but that alone does not qualify them for combat.Some women enter the military for one reason, and that is to find a husband. I know, In my platoon, four of the females made it clear that was the only reason they joined the military. No, women do not belong in combat!

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