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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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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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