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Women in Combat: Is This a Good Idea?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says it’s time to remove the combat ban on women in the military. Do you agree with the move, Tampa Bay?

Female soldiers will no longer be relegated to supporting roles in America’s military. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta plans to overturn a 1994 rule that prohibits women from taking positions in combat units.

Described as a “groundbreaking move” by The Huffington Post, Panetta’s decision opens up hundreds of thousands of front-line jobs for women in the military. It’s also possible that women will find themselves eligible for elite positions in America’s special forces.

The changes, expected to be announced more fully today, Jan. 24, won’t come quickly, however. Military branches are being asked to create plans to open the doors for women to serve. Some of the new jobs might open up later this year, but branches will have until January 2016 to make cases that some positions, such as slots in the Navy SEALS, are not suitable for women, the Post reports.

It is unclear at this time whether women who volunteer for military service would be assigned to combat positions if they didn’t seek them out.

Here’s what we’d like your take on Tampa Bay: Is it time for the military to level the playing field? Or, do you think women should be kept off the front-lines? What about the draft? Should women between the ages of 18 and 25 also have to register with the Selective Service? Share your thoughts in the comments section. 

RugglesJames February 08, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Bob Doyle: You are wrong - it is not the present reality- Presently, Women are in harms way as a consequence of serving in a non-combat unit in a combat or hostile fire environment. The new policy puts women in the role of combat arms with the specific job of intentionally seeking out the enemy to kill him/her. That requires a specific set of physical attributes God gave men. In the event women do begin to enter those units it will only be because the rigorous training methods will be modified to allow enough of them to serve in order to achieve career path punchlist items are satisified and there can no longer be a charge that women don't advance as equally as men because combat arms counts hgh in promotion consideration. The mission will suffer.
Bob Doyle SR February 08, 2013 at 10:49 PM
well Mr Ruggles, go tell Tammy Duckworth your version. In the day we were trained to be 11-B first, all else secondary. There are now two wars in which women shoulder the load, and the old timey frontlines rhetoric was proven to only exist in the minds of older war tales. Viet Nam & Korea proved the days of fixed barriers changed. The last ten years shows the use of I.E.D.s can happen anywhere. Whenever we as a nation dismiss the sexist rhetoric our outcomes are progressive.
RugglesJames February 09, 2013 at 01:44 AM
I don't know Tammy but I do know if she went to AIT after Basic and graduated as 11B10, she was assigned eventually to further training in commo or some other non combat arms MOS before she was operational. Women have different physical abilities then men and that won't change by allowing them to compete on a level playing field with men at todays rigorous standards. The bar will necessarily be lowered and missions will suffer. If she had been in my Ft. Dix AIT Infantry cycle in the summer of 1967 she would been recycled. Being in a hostile zone, although dangerous and brave women serve there with distinction, it is not the same as an infantry squad sent out for days in the field to hunt and kill the enemy. All the PC, "everybody deserves a chance crap", won't change that
Bob Doyle SR February 09, 2013 at 03:05 AM
Ruggles, here's your sign ..http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-23/news/chi-women-in-combat-tammy-duckworth-applauds-pentagons-decision-to-lift-combat-restrictions-20130123_1_women-in-combat-roles-combat-positions-female-veterans
RugglesJames February 09, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Bob Doyle: Your link confirms my comments - a helo pilot and commo person in a combat zone, though in harms way, are not the same as combat infantry squad missions in which the participants purposely search for and engage the enemy to kill them, carrying heavy gear loads and remaining in the field for extended periods. The only way women consistently meet the requirements of the training for the infantry MOS is to lower the training's physical standards.

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