I’ve argued for this for a very long time. Some of you disagree, but it’s time we stop limiting ourselves by shutting out such a significant segment of our talent pool. And frankly, we must reject this notion that women, no matter how highly qualified must be somehow ‘protected’ from their duty as Americans. Some women are capable of being in combat units, and some are capable of being Commander-in-Chief. I do, however, have a feeling many of you will have something to say about this :)

Panel says women should be allowed in combat units

Women should finally be allowed to serve fully in combat, a military advisory panel said Friday in a report seeking to dismantle the last major area of discrimination in the armed forces…It is time “to create a level playing field for all qualified service members,” the members said…

The new report says that keeping women out of combat posts prohibits them from serving in roughly 10 percent of Marine Corps and Army occupational specialties and thus is a barrier to advancement.

“The Armed Forces have not yet succeeded in developing leaders who are as diverse as the nation they serve,” said the report. “Minorities and women still lag behind white men in terms of number of military leadership positions.”

Women generally make up about 14 percent of the armed services. Of the roughly 2.2 million troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 255,000 have been women, said Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez. Supporters of the change say women essentially have been in combat for years, even if they are nominally removed from it.

“It’s something whose time has come,” said Lory Manning of the Women’s Research and Education Institute. She said ending the ban would be “a logical outcome of what women have been doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the Army and Marines have been essentially ducking the policy.”

She said, for example, that military officials have employed terms of art to skirt the ban, for example “attaching” women to a combat unit instead of “assigning” them.

The new report says there has been little evidence that integrating women into previously closed units or military occupations has damaged cohesion or had other ill effects. It says a previous independent report suggested that women serving in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan “had a positive impact on mission accomplishment.”

Related Links:

Stars & Stripes: Reactions mixed on women in combat arms

Military.com: Army Mulls Women in Combat Arms Units

Dept of Defense: Congressional Commission Studies Women in Combat

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46 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. lord-ruler says:

    I say NO!! Women were made for loving not fighting.

  2. LJZumpano says:

    It is such an old idea. That women, like men, should be able to do that which they desire. So much of the fight for women’s rights focused on the male notion that women had a sphere of exisitence which they had to stay within. Women, however, learned they could determine their own “sphere”, and have refused to be put into a box designed by men. Does this mean we lower our standards, no. However if a woman feels she belongs in combat, she should have the same opportunity to do so as any man would have. Women have been in combat since the founding of this nation, they mostly never had their contributions noted. Hmm, possibly because most of the history books were written by men? Exceptional Americans come in all shades and sizes, and yes, about 1/2 of them are women.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tammy Bruce, HERB JR. HERB JR said: RT @PalinPromotions: Via @HeyTammyBruce Panel: End Ban on Women in Combat http://bit.ly/fpXZ60 [...]

  4. Maynard says:

    Many arguments regarding women or gays in the military strike me as dogmatic and possibly unrealistic. The rank and file are young and probably not very mature, bursting with hormones and stupid ideas. (Think of how big a lunkhead you were at that age.) Military training injects a certain degree of uniformity into the equation. Still, you’ve got to work within the bounds of nature. Boys behave differently around girls. More reckless, more protective, more aggressive. Boys may do better thinking in terms of fighting to protect the girls at home. I’m very cautious about tampering with a working equation, knowing that if we mess it up we’re all dead. But I’m willing to be pragmatic. If a thing works, it’s okay. Does this work? This is one of those questions which is difficult to answer objectively. So much political pressure to answer one way or the other. I’m always suspicious of claims that begin with the words, “Studies show…”. What is truth? I dunno, my instinct here says we’re moving into dangerous territory.

    Maybe it doesn’t matter. At this point, I think the bright boys in Washington will destroy us economically before they manage to destroy us militarily.

  5. 1ntbtn says:

    As a woman, back in the sixties when I started working, I would and could do the same jobs as the men, and I might add, at times even better. In a factory, where we made bumpers and dash boards for cars, the women did not get the same pay as the men, doing the exact same job, and worked just a hard. As years passed, fighting for equal pay, we did get it. So if women want to be in combat and fight for their country, I don’t see any reason why they are not allowed to. It might take some time, but I think it will come to be. It’s hard to look back and see just how much this country has changed in the past 60 plus years since I was born. And lately, it does not appear to be in the best working order. That is why I’m looking forward to saying to Sarah Palin MADAM PRESIDENT!

  6. thierry says:

    one thing about being french is that you are always aware and proud of the fact that France was founded by a woman warrior, Jeanne d’Arc- a real woman, proven to have existed, who actually led armies into battle. because if you are french you are a Celt and the Celts cannot call themselves such if they forget or deny that Celtic woman have been , can be, and always will be warriors too.

    and what about boudicca ? the male Celts then were content to live as slaves of Rome- it’s only one woman who rose up and declared she would do no such thing and made a point of declaring so as an ordinary individual not as a Queen. if you really value your freedom and love your country- if you’re in a situation where your life depended on the valor of another human, would you really care what their gender was or about with whom they were romantically involved?

    France would have been another Ireland, ruthlessly subjugated and likewise pauperized, if not for Joan of Arc’s victory at Orléans. she’s our george washington and then some- even though she was put to death by the Church for being a transvestite( that was actually the charge in court. technically she was sentenced to death for wearing men’s clothing against biblical injunction.). if there was no cross dressing ‘girl’ commanded by god to lead an army against england, there might never have been an america- the revolution (also against england) of which was funded by France.

  7. dennisl59 says:

    Women assigned to a platoon or squad level combat unit is wrong and immoral. First, Women, are not, by nature Cold Blooded Killers. They can be trained to shoot a “target”, but ‘hand to hand combat’ where they must slit the throat of another human, put a bullet in the brain from 2 feet away from an enemy or machine gun them? Mow them down, blowing their heads off and cutting them in half? Our male combat solders suffer from PTSD(combat fatigue) and VA hospitals are full of them. Would you like to visit your sister, mother or wife there? Or maybe they commit suicide because they can’t handle the guilt of killing another human being? Second, Morale of the unit: How would you handle seeing a woman(mother, sister, daughter) with her guts blown out, legs blown off or decapitated by the enemy, or mortally wounded screaming to be put out of her misery. Would you do it? Shoot her in the head so she wouldn’t give away your position? Third, if captured they(your mother, sister, daughter) would be raped, tortured and killed, all video taped for mass consumption probably over days or weeks, and kept just alive enough to continue the psychological warfare. Would you call in a Cruise Missile strike to put her out of her misery? Knowing full well her family is watching the videos? War is not an equal opportunity career path or some imaginary ‘glass ceiling’. It is killing the enemy, without mercy or quarter, until they surrender or kill themselves. Finally, And don’t give me that “Patriot” or “Women love their country too”. If there aren’t enough men to kill the enemy, then we need more men, not women. That’s my opinion and position and I’m not going to change it for anyone, ever. Thank You.

    • dr4ensic says:

      “First, Women, are not, by nature Cold Blooded Killers. They can be trained to shoot a “target”, but ‘hand to hand combat’ where they must slit the throat of another human, put a bullet in the brain from 2 feet away from an enemy or machine gun them? Mow them down, blowing their heads off and cutting them in half?”

      I can assure you that for one week out of every month, we can be very potent killers and never blink an eye. I suggest a PMS brigade that rotates so that with a little calendar synchronizing we can cover every day of the month. =; o

    • lord-ruler says:

      The enemy would try to take the women alive and then use them as sexual objects. Read accounts of Japanese treatment of women in manchuria and Russian treatment of women in Prussia. It was terrible. I don’t think war will ever change in that respect.

      • Tammy says:

        What about when the enemy uses *men* as sexual objects? What do we do then? Surrender?

        • IloiloKano says:

          Answers to questions 2 and 3…
          No. We bomb their asses into the stoneage!

          I assume your question 1 was rhetorical and doesn;t call for an answer. However, please achnowlege that the point you made was not a very strong one, (though drawing a parallel is a legitimate tactic in debates), as historical cases of men being used as sexual objects by the enemy are significantly rarer than cases as presented by “lord-ruler”.

          Perhaps a stronger argument would be that any woman in combat due to her own expressed desire, who met all physical & mental qualifications, would be an exceptional sort, capable of mentally and physically handling all sort of abuses heaped upon her. And though such a situation would indeed be horrid to imagine, horrid situations of all sorts are not rare in battle, whether you are a man or woman.

          And I have no doubt that you, Tammy, could make such an argument even stronger and more effectively than I can, as my heart is not in it.

      • thierry says:

        and you somehow think males haven’t been ‘ used as sex objects’ when taken prisoner? any kind of rape is a form of exerting power and control over others- it’s for psychological warfare not for sexual gratification, a form of terror that will tend to be inflicted on any available object ,male or female, including civilian children. and males are less likely to admit to being sexually assaulted. we can’t protect civilians from it and they’re the ones most likely to be raped. the rape of Nanking was a crime of genocide against civilians not POWs.

        rape will always be a part of war- it’s even condoned in the old testament- because it always has been. men in battle will rape whether there are women in the front lines as combatants or not that’s why our country trains our soldiers to operate according to standards and codes of conduct- so they won’t be like the Red Army marching to Berlin. that’s why we’re civilized- we go after the places that have armies that rape wholesale. we punish our soldiers who do such things.

        that’s why we should encourage females to be able to defend themselves when necessary rather than viewing themselves as some sort of natural hapless victim created ‘ for ‘lovin’ ‘ whether they like it or not. women have fought back against rapists. women have even killed their would be rapists. woman have survived being raped although it seems that men are the ones who emotionally seem unable to conceptualize this, sometimes seeming as traumatized by the rape of a partner as the actual victim. if a female soldier is unable to ‘deal’ with the idea of being captured and raped one would assume she should not enlist for combat. the individual soldier being able to deal with the idea of potential capture is more important than uninvolved persons being able to stomach the very thought.

        our own civilian prisons are virtual male rape factories – and we do nothing about it. why? we do not want to talk about males being vulnerable sexually because it would affirm the fact that it happens. it’s dishonest and protects neither men nor women- and it effectively shunts male victims aside because we are profoundly uncomfortable with the idea of sexually violated males, used ‘like women’. civilian male westerners incarcerated in places like saudi arabia report being tortured and raped by their captors let alone fellow prisoners. being male did not protect them from being raped.

        when an enemy uses rape as a tool during war it should compel us all the more to want to destroy them utterly not feign false chivalry in defense of inequity among ourselves. one of the reasons Boudicca went after Rome so valiantly was because her daughters were gang raped by roman legions to punish her for being uppity. it only made her want to destroy them all the more.

    • Artgal says:

      I do not like seeing the military used as a social playground; therefore, I am thrilled to see this barrier to women finally under consideration of being torn down.

      Women have already been in combat situations and it makes no sense to deny them from performing to their full capacity. When a woman signs up, she is aware of the risks. A mother in uniform put in a combat situation will be fighting yes, for her country, but also for her children – and there is no fight as brutal as that of a mother protecting her baby. We see it in nature itself, so it’s about time the panel recognizes that which is simply natural.

      I have to take issue with some things in your comments, dennisl59. There appears to be the idea that women are delicate little flowers needing to be protected by the almighty male. I appreciate the men who have given all to protect this nation and make this world a better place; I am also very much aware of how involved women have been throughout history in protecting their homesteads, cities, nations, etc. There is no reason women cannot serve in a combat mission unless they do not meet the requirements as they currently stand. Hey, there are men who do not pass all those requirements either!

      You also stated, ‘They can be trained to shoot a “target”…’. Well, men have to be trained to shoot a target, too. Sorry, but women do not need to wait around for Prince Charming to come to their aid. Every woman in my life is fully capable of shooting her target – and not waiting until the enemy is 2 ft. in front of her either. We have more to risk than you guys do; that is why we are always hyper-aware of our surroundings and will do whatever it takes to defend ourselves – and these women will not feel one ounce of guilt for taking the life of someone who poses a threat to her or our nation.

      As for what we can stomach, listen – chicks are not the ones who faint during childbirth! We also have to deal with PMS and a monthly cycle. Guys cannot even deal with a man-cold! Not trying to make light of a serious discussion, but honestly – these archaic arguments for keeping women out of combat will be a detriment to our military.

      Women outnumber men in our society as it is. We own more small businesses than men. We are also running for more and more public offices. It only makes sense more women will wind up in our military – by choice – and need to serve a more active role. Considering women have already been in combat situations, it makes no sense to keep a ban.

    • thierry says:

      Elizabeth Bathory- allegedly a sadistic serial killer- lust/torture type- of 600 women.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Báthory

      Aileen Wuornos convicted serial murderer of 7 men, executed by the state of florida in 2002.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aileen_Wuornos

      “Out of all the interviews I have done with male and female serial killers, the only offender who ever made me uncomfortable was a female sex killer. She had a long history of violence and killed with no remorse. What made her unique is that she was very open about her love for drawing blood using knives, and she said if she ever got out of prison, she would kill again.” Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, criminal profiler.

      those are ” cold blooded killers”. serial murderers are cold blooded killers. woman who kill their children( more common than female serial killers) or become ‘ angels of mercy’( such as nurses who believe they are ‘euthanizing’ sick patients who want to die) or ‘ black widows’ are all ‘cold blooded killers’. soldiers are not cold blooded murderers killing for personal reasons and implying as such is to call our heroes depraved monsters when they defend this country. soldiers are not cold blooded murderers– they are trained disciplined warriors , professionals like cops. an army would get no place fast with a herd of ted bundys on the battle field.

      if a mother can kill her babies- and it happens sadly often enough- what makes one think that isn’t heartless and cold blooded and without mercy? emotionally some of the most difficult criminals and murderers to ‘ crack’ by authorities in interviews are female. emotionally they tend to be tougher. the vision of women as mercy filled weak vessels meant to only nurture other beings is fantasy based projection .

      we expect soldiers, yes, to be able to take lives without hesitation but it’s a focused and evolved form of self defense not homicide. our soldiers are suppose to kill a targeted enemy not everything in their sight and in their path- that’s what separates our culture and our miltary from the savages and barbarians. that’s why we have a military of Professional, Trained Soldiers not terrorists. terrorists are cold blooded killers.

      there are plenty of men who are incapable of being combat soldiers despite the ‘ fact’ that they are allegedly born to be cold blooded killers.

  8. orchid626 says:

    I read this blog daily and I learn so much; I never comment but women in combat is something that I feel strongly about. I was a female Marine 10 years ago, and at that idealistic time in my life when I enlisted right out of high school, I was of the opinion that women can and should be able to do anything a man can do. While I still believe that women should have the right and opportunity to make any decision and do anything we wish, I’m not so sure that front line combat is one of them. I love our country, our history, and our military. But I’m very tired of hearing people speak about what the military should do when they have no experience living in it or would never join. It is a completely different culture that does not compare with civilian life. The same rules do not apply and there are several factors that cannot be ignored. I’ve been to recruit training on Parris Island, and while females can and do accomplish the same things males do, we have longer time limits. Generally speaking females aren’t as physically strong (I will not say women are weaker because there are many things that men just can’t handle that women deal with all the time.) This is not to bash females, it’s a fact. In combat when you are expected to carry close to or over 100 pounds of equipment, get a fallen fellow soldier out of harms way, there probably aren’t many females who can do it. Men on the front lines live closely and I can just imagine how much fun the PC police would have making sure everything was suitable for women. Sexual harassment already runs rampant and is rarely reported. And I can’t help thinking that some of those who support this will do anything to see our military become weaker.

    I know women can fight; I am confident that we can protect our families and our homes just as well as a man and I’ve got my 38 Special next to my bed and Rifle Expert qualification from the Marine Corps to prove it. I am just afraid that putting women on the front lines is a political move that will open Pandora’s box.

    • imacat says:

      “In combat when you are expected to carry close to or over 100 pounds of equipment, get a fallen fellow soldier out of harms way, there probably aren’t many females who can do it.”

      The sensible way to handle this would be for women who seek to be in combat positions to pass a test of the physical requirements. I assume that this is already required of men.

      • Chuck says:

        A few years ago, the city of San Francisco lowered physical standards to allow women to serve as firefighters. The result? Females could not perform at the same level and were getting more injuries than men. If they kept the same standards for both genders, someone would sue for gender discrimination. It’s a no-win proposition, no matter how you put it.

        Lastly, the article says that females comprise about 14% of the military. The actual range is 6% (Marines) to about 20% (Air Force), with very little difference in percentages between enlisted personnel and officers for each service: Active Duty Servicewomen by Branch of Service and Rank, 2006. Do we really think that the number of females in the military will increase if allowed to be assigned in combat?

      • chicky says:

        As a 23 year vet myself I have to say that I agree imacat a physical requirement would be appropriate. Chicky

    • IloiloKano says:

      Semper Fi, Marine!

    • naga5 says:

      semper fi, thank you for your service!
      rick

  9. morecowbell says:

    When the results of any study end with the statement “create a level playing field” then I immediately discount the study. It’s social engineering, plain and simple. So now what? Quota’s for combat units? It won’t matter whether the soldier is competent or not, gender or color or sexual orientation will be key factors. Then there will be the law suits. This whole notion of our armed services as a reflection of our civilian norms is absurd and will end up in the end getting people killed and degrading the effectiveness our military. Competency and character, in the most dangerous of professions, should be the ONLY criteria for determining who you serve with in battle.

  10. franknitti says:

    I’m all in favor of putting women into combat. They can die for their country just as easily as men have done for all these years. /sarc

    In all seriousness here, it’s bad enough that men have to die for their country in wartime. Do we really want women to start dying in large numbers too? Is this really a sign of the progress of civilization?

  11. wastubbs says:

    So, we go from DADT to women in combat. Why not just get rid of the military? All our problems would be solved!!

    • IloiloKano says:

      Seriously, you could have made a more substantive post than that!

      You and I probably have similar beliefs on the matter, but you will not change anyone’s mind with such a post. Nor will you engender understanding of your position from those who, though they disagree with you, would be sympathetic to a logically, or even emotionally, supported argument.

      Most of those who read and post on Tammy’s web site are quite reasonable in the way they treat others with whom they may disagree. Please don’t provoke those whom I consider friends with an ineffective childish statement of opposition.

    • Tammy says:

      That’s an odd sentiment. Why, must I ask, should so many people who reap the rewards of this nation be excused from serving? I’m quite surprised that so many feel it’s just fine to demand only heterosexual men risk their lives for this country. And for those concerned about ‘requirements’ and ‘standards’ I completely agree that standards should remain the same–some men don’t make the cut and some women won;t make the cut either, but those who can should be allowed to serve this nation. To suggest we shut out Americans who are capable of doing the job simply because they’re women remind me of other countries right now who also have a different standard for females–one more reflective of the stone age than the modern age.

      • VIPER109 says:

        The odd sentiment Tammy is you keep drawing a correlation to gays in the military, and women serving in front line combat units. Women are not bared from service as openly homosexuals are. In fact in the Navy and Air force woman do serve in all fields other than in Special Operation units (see my post about how I feel about this). Women command combat ships, Women are fighter pilots, and woman are now on subs. Only the Army and Marines bar women from certain jobs and all those are ground combat. There exclusion from those field has not hindered women from achieving Flag commissions, from achieving the heights enlisted ranks. Now their exclusion would of in the past made it imposable for them become the service chief for their respected branches. As the Marines for example has always had a ground combat MOS officer in that billet, but even that has changed. The current commandant of the Marine Corps is a pilot. Looks like that last glass ceiling might brake sooner than you think. Women have and are making it to the top of the food chain in the US Military just ask Ann E. Dunwoody, that’s General, 4 stars. And the 60 or so female general/flag officers currently serving.

  12. Nativevoice says:

    I agree woman should have the right to fight for family and country, if they want. I don’t think it should be mandatory but allowed. Women have been leading and fighting since the beginning of time. I am sure you know of others but the most famous woman commander in chief mentioned in the Bible was Deborah (1316 B.C.). She led her people to victory over the powerful Canaanites (Judges 4). Jael, a woman, fought in that battle. Her greatest was sang by Deborah (Judges 5:24).
    Doesn’t Israel require both men and women to enter the military?

  13. LJZumpano says:

    Duh, women are not stupid. A woman in the military knows the risks she faces. If in her mind she is willing to accept those risks, and can fulfill the SAME requirements as her male counterpart, why must she be denied the opportunity, simply because she is a “woman”. Just as most men are not interested in the military as a career, I would guess most women would not make that choice either. The point remains, if you are denying the few who desire to follow that path, in full knowledge of the risks and responsiblities involved, the opportunity to try for it, you are creating a second class citizenship for women, and that will not be tolerated. It has been a slow and painful process for women in America to reach the point where they are no longer willing to hear the phrase, “Girls can’t do that.” and stand down. Today’s woman will take that as a challenge, just to prove the point, & say “oh yes, girls can and will do that.”
    Personally, if we are ready for a female Commander in Chief, and I think we are, then I see no reason to place an artificial barrier on a woman’s ambition. I expect a combat woman to serve this nation with the same courage and high standards of character and honor that I would demand from a military man. And if she is injured or dies serving our country, I will mourn for her, just as I would for her male counterpart.

  14. IloiloKano says:

    I have mixed feelings on this issue. From a Judeo-Christian perspective, I recall that Deborah, the prophetess and JUDGE over all Israel, had to go into battle with the cowardly Barak (what a coincidence!) before he would go himself. (Judges chapter4) For me, but not necessarily for others, that one point alone is a powerful argument in support of Tammy’s position.

    On the other hand, I believe that no matter how societies and cultures change, there will always be a significant percentage of men, like me, who would be inclined towards protecting any and all females in combat, potentially at the expense of winning a battle with the fewest causualties. So lambaste me if you will; that is my makeup. Perhaps that is a failing in my character, and if it is, then I’m sorry, but it is the way that I am.

    Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t a failure in my character, but is instead a characteristic that can under different circustances be either noble or ignoble, which would then be cause for me to recognize situations where I should control my emotional state – i.e. those situations where it would be ignoble of me to act upon my natural desire to protect women over men. However, that would be asking a very hard thing from me. Consider for yourself how hard it would be for you to overcome your own natural inclination to protect children over adults – (I assume that inclination to be practically universal).

    Hence, I cannot be dogmatic on the matter, but it is unlikely I will ever change my position.

  15. Let the ladies serve! Geez! Does no one watch Star Trek? :-) Okay…that was my attempt at humor. But, seriously, if they want to serve then let them serve. If they can get through the training and handle the rigors…then they’re a better man than I!

    Of course, I was for the repeal of DADT too. I don’t understand why everyone can’t all be held to the same standards of punishment for misconduct–if they engage in misconduct; straight, gay, man, or woman…sexual misconduct or otherwise.

    We really make things so much harder on ourselves as a society with all these divisions.

  16. alexw321 says:

    Who set up this panel? Enemies of the USA?

  17. Shifra says:

    http://www.your-krav-maga-expert.com/women-in-idf.html

    Women in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) do not participate in front line combat, but they train for it, and teach it to recruits. (By the way, the official IDF policy regarding gays in the military is: Don’t Ask, Don’t Care)

  18. VIPER109 says:

    MY opinion expressed here is my own, and in no way represents the views held by DoD, or the DoN

    First let me be clear, I am one who thinks that there are women who can physically and emotionally handle combat. Just as there are men who can not. However I do not agree that woman should be aloud in to combat arms Military Occupational Specialty code (MOS), Infantry, Artillery, and so on.

    But before I get in to that let me clear up a few assumption that have been previously expressed so far, and that are incorect.
    1- Physical standards; there is in a sense only two sets of standards, a set for men and a set for women based off the DoD standard. Each branch may develop their own standard that is at least as stringent as the DoD, but one for men and one for women. Thus a male Marine record clerk has the same physical standards as a Marine rifleman.
    2- Women are bared from combat, no they are bared from ground Combat Arm MOS’s. and from serving at certain levels in units comprised of those MOS’s. However, they do serve in and around the fighting all the time. Just not in direct action ground combat.
    3- Men and women are equal. We are, absolutely we are, but we are not the same. As a generalization each sex has its own strengths and weaknesses.

    My 2 cents.
    Lets put the physical and emotional argument aside because its mute we all know there are women who can. The whole issue of a woman’s menstrual cycle is just silly due to the fact most women will stop menstruating in the physical conditions needed to be in combat arms. The rest can be pharmaceutically controlled. Finally the “fact” that young men and women can not coexist in an intimate environment such as combat unit without giving in to their sexual desires. Please that argument plays in to the notion our military is made up of the bottom of our society and just is unacceptable and not true.

    If that was all that stood in the way of women in combat arms, shoot let them fight, but that’s not all there is. Combat, the act of pulling a trigger and killing ones enemy is at it very nature controlled by the primitive brain. The need to kill or be killed gives that part of the brain that as humans we normally suppress a little more control than normal. Do you know what else lives in that primitive brain, the need to procreate. That basic instinct is essential to the survival of the species, and that primitive brain know that a woman is generally limited to one child at a time. Where a man is limited to the number of fertile females. This drives men to protect women in that life or death situation. A male will linger over a critically wounded female longer than he should. Subconsciously avoid placing females in the most dangers position. Dead females will brake the fighting spirit of a squad in combat faster than dead males. Medics have a hard enough time surprising there instinct to run out in to a kill zone to retrieve a wounded male. Lets make it harder by makeing it a woman out there wounded and screaming for help. (not that a man wouldn’t be screaming also.) Now the medics dead, and in direct combat, you just hampered the combat capability of that platoon. Snipers have three targets to decimate the combat ability of a unit. Kill the Officer, kill the Non-commissioned Officer, and kill the medic. True snipers, trained in the art of being a sniper use the human psyche as a weapon. Lets give them one more target.

    Sorry but one can not over come basic human nature. You can refine it, you can use it and to a certain extent you can suppress it. There is however no sure way to change it. In the end a mans nature makes women on the battle field a detriment. That is true unfair. Because women can do it, it’s men how can’t tolerate it, and it just come down to numbers.

    One final point and this might blow every ones mind. I do feel that women should be aloud in to Special Operation Forces (SOF) more than they already are. Surprise women are in SOF units mostly in intelligence as both field and analyst operatives. First let me clear up some vocabulary, Special forces (SF) the term generally used and incorrectly for SOF units. SF are the Green Berets in the army an asset within the SOF community and primarily an Unconventional Warfare (UW) unit along with Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Marine Special Operation Teams (MSOT). Now the vary nature of UW limit’s the inclusion of women. Unconventional Warfare: A type of warfare that includes the interrelated fields of guerrilla warfare, evasion and escape, and subversion, in which operations are conducted within enemy or enemy-controlled territory by predominantly indigenous personnel, usually supported and directed in varying degrees by an external source. Sorry but those indigenous personnel tend to be a tad bit male centric to misogynistic. The need for their cooperation limit’s a woman’s role in that sort of unit. However the more direct action elements with in SOF such as the SEALS, USAF Pararescue, and others, are fields that if a woman can she should be aloud in to. These elements at first will pitch hole hell over it but these units are made up of people who in the end will judge a person more by their ability and are in far greater control of the baser instincts. I’m just sayin.

    • naga5 says:

      i spoke at length during yesterday’s football games to my sister-in-law. she’s a lt. colonel in the air national guard and served in iraq. she spoke of her concern with the absolute (vs. relative) physical demands placed on ground combat troops. we agreed that if a woman can perform the tasks asked of her, she should serve.
      does anyone note what viper wrote about relative physical standards being used? chuck noted that also. my son enlisted in the ANG 5 years ago and he told me of the range of physical capabilities he saw in his unit (all male). i am guessing that existed in the all female units as well. during ground combat, i want our country’s troops to not be hampered by soldiers who were passed because they were able to perform at a specified percentage of their peers. i want them all to be trained, highly skilled military fighters, regardless of gender.
      i think we can dispense with the mental readiness argument. that is what basic military training is for. there is nothing prouder to see than the discipline in our soldiers, both male and female before and after BMT.
      my sis-in-law is a great pilot. she scored exceptionally high in her military flying tests, she’s flown commercially as a civilian and she may be taking on a teaching role in the military. Her ability to serve her country hasn’t been hampered at all by her gender. my son started out as a loadmaster and has moved to the medical field. he has been able to serve and continue his education. gender is irrelevant is his career path as well, although there seem to be more women serving in the military medical field than elsewhere.
      compliments to TAMs on the theological points. i am impressed. i feel that we make mistakes in misinterpreting value and role. men and women are equal in value, but have different roles. (H/T to viper again.) in trying to explain the trinity in bible study, i try to clarify that all three persons of the trinity are equal (all are the one god), yet serve a different role (father in heaven, son god incarnate and holy spirit deposited in our hearts). maybe that’s why trinity is a mystery! to get myself further in trouble, i’ll also use marriage as an example. bride and groom are equal in value but differ in role. providing chromosomes for reproduction, gender specific. being commander in chief in 2012, not gender specific.
      good jobs TAMs
      rick

    • imacat says:

      “In the end a mans nature makes women on the battle field a detriment.”
      VIPER109, although I have the utmost respect for you as a member of our military, I must say that your main point sounds eerily similar to the irrational Islamic ideas cited by former-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her book, “Infidel”. Ali escaped an utterly horrific life in Somalia and took asylum in Holland before eventually coming to the U.S. When she first arrived in Holland and was talking to some Ethiopian girls who did not cover themselves as she did, she said, “But if men see women dressed like you are now, with your arms bare and everything naked, then they will become confused and sexually tempted. They will be blinded by desire… They won’t be able to work, and the buses will crash, and there will be a state of total fitna!” “So why is there not a state of total chaos everywhere around us, here, in Europe?” Mina [one of the Ethiopian girls] asked. It was true. All I had to do was use my eyes. Europe worked perfectly, every bus and clock of it. Not the first tremor of chaos was detectible. “I don’t know,”I said helplessly. “It must be because these are not really men.” (Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “Infidel”, pp. 194-195)
      A human is designed to think with his or her cerebral cortex and not to be ruled by “baser instincts” which originate in the lower areas of the brain. Otherwise it would be a major achievement just to sit at the dinner table and eat off our own plates!

      • imacat says:

        As I’m reading back over my comment a few hours after posting it, I realize I may not have gone far enough with the “Infidel” excerpt, and it may seem that I’m suggesting that our military men “are not really men”. To clarify, let me continue a bit further with the excerpt: “The next morning, I decided to stage an experiment. I would walk out of the door without a headscarf. I was in my long green skirt and a long tunic, and I had my scarf in a bag with me in case of trouble, but I would not cover my hair. I planned to see what would happen… Abolutely nothing happened. The gardeners kept trimming the hedges. Nobody went into a fit. Still, these were Dutch people, so perhaps not really men. I walked past Ethiopians and Zaireans, and no one paid any attention to me; but then, these people were not Muslims either. So I walked over to the group of Bosnians. Nobody looked at me. If anything, I attracted less attention than when I was covering my head. Not one man went into a frenzy.”
        My point is that the idea that our military men cannot overcome their “basic human instinct” is just as ridiculous as this Muslim nonsense.

        • VIPER109 says:

          I’m sorry that I’m going to come off a bit retort, but no.
          It is no way fair to use the view a woman who was raised in a misogynistic society. Who was suddenly thrust in to the “rational” world. As a counter point to what normally rational people will do in the completely irrational environment of combat. Tammy constantly throws out that if our troops can be trained to over come their basic instinct not to kill. They can over come the “disruptive nation” of women. Well guess what not really. I strongly suggest the book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Dave Grossman. You would be surprised at the absolutely low number of people who are able to aim and kill.
          I’m going to end with this. Women have a strong instinct to protect children much stronger than that of men. You hear women developing “super” human strength to rescue a trapped child, not of men doing the same. It’s their equal contribution to the survival of the species. You see equal but different. You tell me how women can suppress that instinct than I’ll listen to how men can suppress theirs. Because when a woman doesn’t have that instinct we normally call them sick/mentally ill, and what do we say when we hear about a man who rapes or beat women or just stands by and does nothing when he see‘s it happening. In the game of survival of the species, it simply women protect children, men protect women, and men are expendable. Even though we are not locked in a race for survival those instinct are still there.

  19. VIPER109 says:

    I just want to make a point about the correlation a lot of people draw between the repeal of DADT and women serving in ground combat. The repeal of DADT requires over coming bigotry. A tad bit disruptive and in a time of war no the best ideal, but does not play in to basic human instinct. A Gay man is still a man, and over coming bigotry is far easier than over coming basic human instinct.

  20. Southrider says:

    Let us be clear about who is driving this inside the military …

    “It is time “to create a level playing field for all qualified service members,” the members said…”

    “The new report says that keeping women out of combat posts … is a barrier to advancement.”

    It’s all about career advancement for some women inside the military – NOT about combat effectiveness of the front line troops. There is no combat capability value add commensurate with the downsides.

    Be real, combat isn’t a cartoon adventure despite the picture at the top of the story. With a lifetime in and about the service I’ve observed mixed gender units to be very well behaved – but also less aggressive. We don’t need PC on the pointy end – however that might inhibit the career aspirations for a some. I didn’t see a ‘right to be advanced to flag rank’ in the bill of rights – and the folks we need to kill don’t care how diverse our shooters and door kickers are.

    SR

  21. jimmer says:

    There were 37 posts ahead of this and I admit didn’t read them all. What I will say. If a female wants to be in combat, then let her! Meaning, if a female joins up , then she realizes she might be on the front lines., just like a male. I myself would not like to see a female on the front lines but if they want to, let them. Just like an abortion. I would never agree to an abortion but if the person involved wants one. well that is their choice. I’ve never been one to try to enforce my views on others. Just don’t want anyone to enforce their views on me.

  22. norm1111 says:

    I am mixed about this…my wife is a retiree of 2 different services…Navy and National Guard (nearly 40 years of service). She is not fond of women in combat rolls…and not for any sexual reason…simply because men generally are stronger. Men relate to men on that level and she believe women would have trouble in that area. This coming from a woman who was the only woman in a group of 6000+ men (Utah National Guard Engineers & Engineers from the 82nd Airborne) 3 weeks building an airstrip…cira..1981.

    I am an old grunt…1st Air Cav Vietnam…carried an M-60 machine gun in the jungle for 10 months…I cannot even imagine being in the situation I was in for a year with women…and I love them, but I can’t see it.

    I can, however, see women combat pilots, drone operators….possibly even artillery…rocket launchers…are these considered combat roles? I suspect they are…..

  23. stonecold2162 says:

    I am all for it. I am curious how you all feel about women now signing up for selective service? I have asked my congress critter, currently Dianne Degette when they will force women to sign up, without response. Shocking I know. It does seem only fair.

  24. Rhenna says:

    As a woman who has trained in unarmed combat, the use of edged weapons, and who has been an avid shooter since the age of eight, there is no question in my mind that at least some females are capable of the “mechanics” of combat. I also believe we are as patriotic and as willing to sacrifice, endure hardship and risk life and limb as the brave men who serve in our military.

    That being said, I think the concept of females being at the “tip of the spear” is a bad idea. There are too many compromises present in this “social experiment.” The primary purpose of the military is TO DESTROY THE ENEMY. How does having any percentage of any front-line military unit being comprised of females enhance it’s fighting ability? Yes, at best, it may do no harm. But, at worst, it could be a disaster. It is just another potential headache for a unit commander to manage.

    Hot news, people: Biology *isn’t* fair, and the military *isn’t* an equal opportunity employer. That is why we don’t have, for example, people in wheelchairs out on the battlefield.

  25. padrooga says:

    Tammy, I love ya but I’m going to disagree with you here…
    Rhenna,
    I have a similar background to you (weapons and martial arts training) along with Military Service (USAF Intelligence) . I completely agree. The military also does not take kindly to hearing “what they should do” from folks who have never served. I never felt that my career was limited because I was not assigned, or attached to a combat unit. I also do realize that women often do find themselves in combat situations now because the rules of engagement have changed over the years. There is no such thing as a “frontline” anymore. Anyone in danger should be able to defend themselves and trained and as well as permitted to utilize the force necessary. I believe that is pretty much happening now.
    That being said, I do believe that if women want full equality they should also have to sign up for selective service and/or a draft if it came to that.

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