About time we caught up with the rest of world. Now if we can only catch up with the world on cell phone plans, Internet speeds, health care, etc, etc.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is lifting the military’s ban on women in combat, which will open up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them, senior defense officials said on Wednesday.

The groundbreaking decision overturns a 1994 Pentagon rule that restricts women from artillery, armor, infantry and other such combat roles, even though in reality women have found themselves in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, where more than 20,000 have served.

  1. Ed Gurney says:

    Equality for men can’t be far behind!

  2. 5thShock says:

    “About time we caught up with the rest of world….”

    What??? Could you name some nations where women serve in the infantry? Don’t bother saying Israel, they tried that once years and years ag0. They don’t now. Think they might have learned something?

    • Rick says:

      Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, a few others I can’t remember.
      Iran also has women in its military but I don’t know if they serve in the infantry or its just a propaganda exercise on their part.

      • dave m brewer says:

        When was the last time these countries were in a conflict let-alone a war. My neighbors kids could kick butt compared to women.

        • Rick says:

          Well lets see, most of those nations participated in some way in NATO operations in former Yugoslavia. Australia invaded East Timor to stop muslim militias, France is presently in Mali, Spain was in Afghanistan, as well as Germany.

          • Martine says:

            The correct list is; Australia, Norway, Canada, Ceylon and now USA. The one that tried it and stopped is ; Israel
            The other ones you mentioned never ever had combat positions for women.

      • Martine says:

        Oh..and Nato Troops never have women in combat positions because many countries refuse to risk their troops on such action.

    • Martine says:

      Yeah, I know the Israelis don’t do it any longer, just because women CAN NOT serve as well as men.
      I can guarantee that France and Italy DO NOT have women serve in equal capacity. As for Norway…well cats could serve there. They never se action! A woman CAN NOT put a big guy over her shoulder and carry him in a fiiremans carry out of a kill box. Its impossible.

    • Women are simply not made for that! They are made for love and care!

  3. Boy, this sure has the draft-dodging Republican chickenhawks in a tizzy.

  4. Guyver says:

    If you want TRUE equality and to exemplify equal pay for equal work, then there should only be one physical fitness standard.

    The PFT is used to indicate that a particular person is fit for military duty (i.e. combat). To have two standards already overtly implies that one gender cannot do as much as the other. Why no screaming to have one unified standard? Because too many women would be found to not be fit for military duty while those men who previously weren’t are likely to now be fit enough.

    This is nothing more than a social engineering experiment.

    • pedro says:

      Experiment? Social engineering, period!

      • Rick says:

        The same thing was said about “experimenting” by putting blacks in the military.

        • pedro says:

          And this is exactly the same thing, right?

          The things one has to read

          • Rick says:

            Well we all know blacks in the military has been disastrous as the pundits have claimed.

        • Sea Lawyer says:

          False equivalences are fun.

          • Rick says:

            What makes it false, that an institution decided to discriminate based on made-up reasons.

          • Sea Lawyer says:

            Inate differences in physiology is a made up reason? Because it is a fantasy that those differences don’t have real word effects on performance capabilities.

    • Dallas says:

      Yes, whoever can take a sharp kick in the groin wins

    • deegee says:

      Guyver said: “… equal pay for equal work …”

      As soon as I see any woman doing the equal work to a man in the same position I will agree with equal pay.
      All of the whining, complaining they are having their period, more “sick days”, more time spent during office hours on facebook and social sites and the cell phone…

    • Rick says:

      The Equal Rights Amendment never passed, so women don’t even have equal rights under the law yet. Perhaps we should fix that first before we start demanding that women have to be equal to men in the military.

  5. Captain Obvious says:

    Wow, no end of bullshit from couch potatoes on this thread.

  6. Peppeddu says:

    A woman in active combat with PMS…
    The enemy has no hope, may as well preemptively surrender right now.

    Jokes aside, after all said and done, it will become a universally (USA-wise) accepted concept, just like any other profession.
    And something we can be proud of.

  7. Mextli says:

    “even though in reality women have found themselves in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan”

    WTF does this mean? They have been subjected to enemy fire, IEDs, etc. but as far as I know none have been in a combat role. If they have what’s the beef?

    Watch out what you ask for you may get it.

    • Sea Lawyer says:

      Right, there are no women involved in offensive combat operations.

      The big thing the media likes to bring up are the female engagement teams pioneered by the Marine Corps, which were essentially a couple females being escorted around by a squad of infantrymen so they can talk to the the local women and children.

      • Rick says:

        Pfc. Lori Pistiewa was attacked by iraqi soldiers in 2003 while escorting a truck convoy which went down the wrong road during the initial invasion.
        She held off iraqi attackers until she ran out of ammo and was eventually shot dead.
        Guess who she was protecting? Private Jessica Lynch, whose legs were crushed due to the truck running off the road and running into a ditch.

        • Martine says:

          Thats really not an endorsement. Whats the point of that story?

          • Rick says:

            That women have already served in combat. The military just sidesteps this fact. The thing about war is even though you may be a road engineer, a truck driver or a cook, if things are going badly you suddenly become a infantryman and the military requires you act as one, otherwise you wouldn’t have been taught to shoot in basic training.
            Scores of women have come back from Iraq with major injuries, missing limbs and many have come back feet first as well.

  8. MikeN says:

    I’m a female veteran. I deployed to Anbar Province, Iraq. When I was active duty, I was 5’6, 130 pounds, and scored nearly perfect on my PFTs. I naturally have a lot more upper body strength than the average woman: not only can I do pull-ups, I can meet the male standard. I would love to have been in the infantry. And I still think it will be an unmitigated disaster to incorporate women into combat roles. I am not interested in risking men’s lives so I can live my selfish dream.

    We’re not just talking about watering down the standards to include the politically correct number of women into the unit. This isn’t an issue of “if a woman can meet the male standard, she should be able to go into combat.” The number of women that can meet the male standard will be miniscule–I’d have a decent shot according to my PFTs, but dragging a 190-pound man in full gear for 100 yards would DESTROY me–and that miniscule number that can physically make the grade AND has the desire to go into combat will be facing an impossible situation that will ruin the combat effectiveness of the unit. First, the close quarters of combat units make for a complete lack of privacy and EVERYTHING is exposed, to include intimate details of bodily functions. Second, until we succeed in completely reprogramming every man in the military to treat women just like men, those men are going to protect a woman at the expense of the mission. Third, women have physical limitations that no amount of training or conditioning can overcome. Fourth, until the media in this country is ready to treat a captured/raped/tortured/mutilated female soldier just like a man, women will be targeted by the enemy without fail and without mercy.

    I saw the male combat units when I was in Iraq. They go outside the wire for days at a time. They eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in front of each other and often while on the move. There’s no potty break on the side of the road outside the wire. They urinate into bottles and defecate into MRE bags. I would like to hear a suggestion as to how a woman is going to urinate successfully into a bottle while cramped into a humvee wearing full body armor. And she gets to accomplish this feat with the male members of her combat unit twenty inches away. Volunteers to do that job? Do the men really want to see it? Should they be forced to?

    Everyone wants to point to the IDF as a model for gender integration in the military. No, the IDF does not put women on the front lines. They ran into the same wall the US is about to smack into: very few women can meet the standards required to serve there. The few integrated units in the IDF suffered three times the casualties of the all-male units because the Israeli men, just like almost every other group of men on the planet, try to protect the women even at the expense of the mission. Political correctness doesn’t trump thousands of years of evolution and societal norms. Do we really WANT to deprogram that instinct from men?

    Regarding physical limitations, not only will a tiny fraction of women be able to meet the male standard, the simple fact is that women tend to be shorter than men. I ran into situations when I was deployed where I simply could not reach something. I wasn’t tall enough. I had to ask a man to get it for me. I can’t train myself to be taller. Yes, there are small men…but not so nearly so many as small women. More, a military PFT doesn’t measure the ability to jump. Men, with more muscular legs and bones that carry more muscle mass than any woman can condition herself to carry, can jump higher and farther than women. That’s why we have a men’s standing jump and long jump event in the Olympics separate from women. When you’re going over a wall in Baghdad that’s ten feet high, you have to be able to be able to reach the top of it in full gear and haul yourself over. That’s not strength per se, that’s just height and the muscular explosive power to jump and reach the top. Having to get a boost from one of the men so you can get up and over could get that man killed.

    Without pharmaceutical help, women just do not carry the muscle mass men do. That muscle mass is also a shock absorber. Whether it’s the concussion of a grenade going off, an IED, or just a punch in the face, a woman is more likely to go down because she can’t absorb the concussion as well as a man can. And I don’t care how the PC forces try to slice it, in hand-to-hand combat the average man is going to destroy the average woman because the average woman is smaller, period. Muscle equals force in any kind of strike you care to perform. That’s why we don’t let female boxers face male boxers.

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    Lastly, this country and our military are NOT prepared to see what the enemy will do to female POWs. The Taliban, AQ, insurgents, jihadis, whatever you want to call them, they don’t abide by the Geneva Conventions and treat women worse than livestock. Google Thomas Tucker and Kristian Menchaca if you want to see what they do to our men (and don’t google it unless you have a strong stomach) and then imagine a woman in their hands. How is our 24/7 news cycle going to cover a captured, raped, mutilated woman? After the first one, how are the men in the military going to treat their female comrades? ONE Thomasina Tucker is going to mean the men in the military will move heaven and earth to protect women, never mind what it does to the mission. I present you with Exhibit A: Jessica Lynch. Male lives will be lost trying to protect their female comrades. And the people of the US are NOT, based on the Jessica Lynch episode, prepared to treat a female POW the same way they do a man.

    I say again, I would have loved to be in the infantry. I think I could have done it physically, I could’ve met almost all the male standards (jumping aside), and I think I’m mentally tough enough to handle whatever came. But I would never do that to the men. I would never sacrifice the mission for my own desires. And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if someone died because of me.

    – Sentry

    • So what says:

      I might believe you were female if your name wasn’t mike. Other wise I suspect you’re just full of shit.

      • Martine says:

        I doubt that he is telling his own story. But I can tell you that I have aunts that served in Israel in the six day war.They were the best of the best, and none of them could measure up to what the men do. Or do you think they are men too?

  9. dave m brewer says:

    I hear that they allow cross-dressers in now. “Make those boobs stand at attention!!!”

  10. outrageous says:

    When I first saw this post I saw the picture beside it and was simply outraged. Pictures like this are what is wrong with the portrayal as women in combat today, and as objects of sexual appeal. fishnet leggings are really the new uniform, I suppose. I’m interested in seeing what the males say to that, when they wear them themselves. I can’t even express in words my feelings of disgust for this portrayal of service women.

    • pedro says:

      C’mon, you can go way more off the rails than what you just wrote there.

      You could also blame Larry Flint & Hugh Hefner for the way people look at women in the military.

      So try again, I know you can do better.

    • pedro says:

      Or you could have said “I saw Salt and women are capable of beating the most ruthless Spetsnaz even though they weight a quarter of what men do.”

  11. Martine says:

    Well, if that picture bothers them, then I really can’t see how well they will fare when tortured by the enemy.

  12. Glenn E. says:

    The US, catching up with the rest of the world, should also mean *NOT* being the major supplier of arms and personnel, to fight wars and conflicts abroad. Even the total of European military involvement, doesn’t eclipse what the US supplies, at any one time. So if we’re gonna talk about involving female personnel in more than just supporting military rolls. Like the rest of some of the world (aka, Israel, Soviet Union, China-maybe). Then we also ought to talk about scaling back how much of its personnel, the US should be committed and sacrificed to foreign wars, conflicts, and oil pipeline defense. Not to mention, super-expensive weapons systems. That I doubt the US ever gets fully reimbursed for. More likely that’s written off as good sales promotion for Raytheon, and Lockheed.

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