Military Reportedly Will Lift Ban On Women In Combat: What Do You Think?

The move reverses a 1994 rule that prohibited women from serving in thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs. What do you think, Patch users?

On Wednesday, U.S. military officials reportedly decided to lift the country's ban on women serving in combat, reversing a 1994 rule that prohibited women from such roles.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made the decision Wednesday and will announce it Thursday, according to several media reports.

Recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, allowing women to serve on the front lines and elite positions in combat would be historic for women's rights supporters. According to USA Today, which learned of the decision from an unnamed government source:

The official said the services will develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions. Some jobs may open as soon as this year. Assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force, may take longer.


Panetta's move expands the Pentagon's action nearly a year ago to open about 14,500 combat positions to women, nearly all of them in the Army. This decision could open more than 230,000 jobs, many in Army and Marine infantry units, to women.

The tolls of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan helped propel the push to allow women in combat. Women make up 14 percent of active military personnel.

(Click here to read the full report from USA Today)

So what do you think about the decision to allow women to serve on the front lines of combat? Take our poll and tell us in the comments.


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Dona Reitenbach January 24, 2013 at 01:20 AM
Women have been in the "front lines" since Grenada. Perhaps not in "combat arms" specialties, but in "combat support" and "combat service support" units which go where they are needed. And since there really is no definitive "front line" anymore, that basis for exclusion is a mute point. One of my deepest desires was to earn a "tab". However, time and the experience of over 21 years in an Army uniform leaves me with two overriding concerns. 1. Anyone assigned to these units/roles MUST be able to meet ALL physical/mental/emotional standards and RISKS that are associated with these jobs/missions/roles. 2. The way in which many parts of our society raises male children is to protect females. This ingrained action/reaction may be very difficult to overcome, thereby putting the rest of the unit/team at risk. I am also left with a question - Will women now also be subject to the draft? Can't have it both ways...
Fair and Square January 24, 2013 at 10:08 PM
My thoughts exactly! Putting their unit's lives at risk was my first reaction. Hopefully the bar won't be lowered one bit before they are accepted.
Kurt Hahn January 25, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Secretary Leon Panetta is recognizing the reality of unconventional warefare today in which women are exposed to actualo combat in a wide variety of circumstances. Seems to me a good call.


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