Patterico's Pontifications


Women Now Allowed to Go Into Combat

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:26 pm

Women may go into combat:

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta plans to announce Thursday a lifting of the ban on female service members in combat roles, a watershed policy change that was informed by women’s valor in Iraq and Afghanistan and that removes the remaining barrier to a fully inclusive military, defense officials said.

Panetta made the decision “upon the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” a senior defense official said Wednesday, an assertion that stunned female veteran activists who said they assumed that the brass was still uneasy about opening the most physically arduous positions to women. The Army and the Marines, which make up the bulk of the military’s ground combat force, will present plans to open most jobs to women by May 15.

Will women start having to sign up for Selective Service, then? I’m guessing we’re not quite ready for that one . . .

149 Responses to “Women Now Allowed to Go Into Combat”

  1. sabotage.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  2. if they’re making changes I’m thinking while they’re at it maybe they can make it to where we can keep our cell phones on when we get on the airplanes

    that would have a way bigger effect on my life personally

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  3. Just when you think the lack of common sense can’t get any more outrageous, it does.

    The same society that suspends little girls for threatening to use their Hello Kitty bubble guns with each other wants to put women of child bearing age into combat.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  4. I hope they can find a way to make this practical, because the military shouldn’t be a social engineering exercise for politicians to benefit from. Any decrease in military effectiveness gets people killed.

    In my opinion, they should at least experiment with segregating combat units by sex. At least in my experience, there are some very close quarters in the military and I just don’t think you can have much privacy and the same amount of effectiveness, but in the real world, some privacy lines would be created even if policy was to truly do everything the same regardless of sex.

    Then an all female squad or platoon really needs to be certified as fully and independently mission capable before being deployable. For example, they all need to have enough upper body strength to do the most demanding task they could encounter. For example, to carry another person, or load a howitzer shell, or change track on tank, or carry a crew served weapon (or carry the ammo and radio).

    There are women who can do that. But there aren’t very many. There are more men who can, but those men who can’t shouldn’t be in units that require that kind of ability, and I think the same is true for women.

    Unfortunately, I do not think that this kind of standard, which means a reduction in capability and eventually more casualties. But the politicians can congratulate themselves.

    I also think redc1c4 is correct, and this policy will make it more difficult to wage war.

    Dustin (73fead)

  5. I think this is simply evidence that president Obama wants to do for the US military what he has done for the US economy- undermine it and replace second rate equality for first rate strength.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  6. I think the consequence will be that (absent a draft) fewer women will now sign up for military service because their families will urge them not to. Women can and do perform valuable service to their country in the military and learn leadership and many marketable skills. Not every little girl dreams of front line combat like so many young boys do, though. Girls don’t typically play pow pow games running through yards, hiding behind garbage cans and scaling garage roofs like little boys do.

    elissa (3c4b57)

  7. I’ve read a lot of insightful folks noting that women have been in ‘combat roles’ for years. That’s true as far as MPs, and of course guarding against insurgency for pretty much anything transported or potentially under attack, I suppose.

    But I really don’t agree that that’s the same as crewing a tank or being a forward observer.

    Women in our military are awesome and it’s not like they were providing a second class contribution if they weren’t in those tanks. There really are some physical differences between young adult men and women. It’s not 100%, but it’s not far from 99%.

    Those women who want to face the extra, female risks of being captured… personally I respect that bravery. I just ask that they qualify physically, which is possible but I think uncommon and possibly not practical in terms of filling units.

    I just can’t get past that a military is a thing of supreme urgency, and we need to have the sense to make it an exception to some of the nice things we enjoy as civilians because it needs to be absolutely as effective as possible.

    Dustin (73fead)

  8. In the past women were discriminated against because they were not drafted. I have an overwhelming feeling of gender guilt because I was drafted during Viet Nam and my sister
    Americans were not allowed the same privilege.

    There were few “feminists” that spoke up about this injustice then or now. Everyone should be equally entitled to an ugly drill sergeant with an I.Q of 95 on a hot day hollering obscenities at 0430.

    In order to make up for this injustice we need to set up an affirmative action version of the draft and only draft women for the next 270 years or until draft equality has been reached.

    anchovy (4e6c42)

  9. Much of the push for this comes from female officers who want a combat “ticket punch” for promotion. The vast majority of enlisted female soldiers are not interested in combat, especially infantry where they are clearly not qualified by biology.

    A couple of unqualified female pilots killed themselves, and lost expensive airplanes, but the infantry is still not a real option for women.

    Mike K (187f3b)

  10. A so-called nation that hides behind the skirts of females doesn’t deserve to survive.

    DN (7fc565)

  11. Margaret Thatcher kicked those what do you call ems asses.

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  12. Argentinians.

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  13. Oddly enough, this has failed nearly every time it has been tried. Only the Soviet Army during WW2 managed to employ significant numbers of women in combat roles, and very few of those women served in armor or infantry units.

    But the interesting fact is that most women in the service DON’T WANT TO BE IN COMBAT ARMS! Now, they may not have a choice!

    WarEagle82 (97b777)

  14. Will women start having to sign up for Selective Service, then? I’m guessing we’re not quite ready for that one . . .

    After this, I can’t see how it can be avoided. If women are allowed to be in the front lines, then what do you argue for a reason to continue to discriminate?

    This petard seems well and truly hoisted.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  15. Margaret Thatcher kicked those what do you call ems asses.

    Comment by happyfeet (ce327d) — 1/23/2013

    And I just cooked the awesome dinner I ordered at a restaurant.

    Our leaders do not deserve full credit for the blood and sweat aspects of war. Even when they are legitimately awesome leaders they do not.

    Dustin (73fead)

  16. Dustin @ 7,

    Sen. McCain shares your concerns. From the linked article,

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), another member of the panel, said he supports the decision, but he alluded to some of the thorny implementation issues that have yet to be addressed.

    “It is critical that we maintain the same high standards that have made the American military the most feared and admired fighting force in the world — particularly the rigorous physical standards for our elite special forces units,” he said.

    If the physical standards for women were lessened it would do the very thing the gender equality people never want to do: publicly acknowledge that women and men are indeed different – including their physical abilities. However, if they don’t lessen them to acomodate the biology, few women will qualify.

    It will be interesting to see how this will play out.

    Dana (292dcf)

  17. no and honestly the UK has become a very proto-fascist sad collectivist little country with a bizarre fixation on that trashy inbred royal family

    whose clothes keep falling off

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  18. for john mccain to lecture anyone on high standards for women is rip-roaringly ballsy

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  19. I don’t know, Prince Harry does party like Prince Hal, back in the day,but he hunts down Taliban, Charles is totally useless, and Cameron, is more blanc mange then even I saw possible,

    narciso (3fec35)

  20. Prince Harry isn’t actually royal though he’s an illegitimate bastard

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  21. link for #20

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  22. Really, pikachu, the lizard people guy,

    narciso (3fec35)

  23. A long time ago, I was in the artillery. There was a study being conducted to see how well a woman could do my job. The truth is that there were some who could do it to standard, but due to some physical aspects of the job, it was uncommon and even in the uncommon cases, injury was much more likely.

    I do not have the slightest hesitation to trust a woman with a gun, and I love that our country has brave women patrolling Islamfascist countries that I find so backwards in their subjugation of women (and many other things I cherish). That’s part of what America is.

    Just like Dana says, if they are fair about this, few women will qualify. Perhaps what we need are APFT scores made specific to each MOS (and none of them below the current standards). And I always thought the push up requirement for women was ridiculously light. Thirteen to graduate from Basic if I recall correctly. It was in the forties for the men, and that is really also pretty light if you think about how this was after two months of hard training.

    Dustin (73fead)

  24. Royalty is such a dumb concept, Happyfeet. I’m embarrassed for those countries that actually honor that kind of thing.

    Dustin (73fead)

  25. Just like Dana says, if they are fair about this, few women will qualify.


    If 1/2 of women do not qualify it proves the military is racist, sexist, and homophobic.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  26. I love the clarity and succinctity of #24

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  27. Since there’s hazardous duty pay, we need to make sure women qualify for it or we are unfairly discriminating against women’s pay!

    And let’s ignore the hazardous aspect and the duty thing and act like performance is optional and the stakes are low. When you absolutely must send a killing force to defend our lives, what matters is the fairness of the social policy.

    Dustin (73fead)

  28. happyfeet @ 18,

    for john mccain to lecture anyone on high standards for women is rip-roaringly ballsy

    Why do you assume he’s lecturing and what is the problem with him discussing the standards to be met?

    Dana (292dcf)

  29. Dana I was just making a gratuitous and possibly too-subtle Sarah Palin crack is all

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  30. I thought it was funny.

    Dustin (73fead)

  31. But I am very easy to please.

    Dustin (73fead)

  32. I am now much less likely to encourage my daughter from seeking an ROTC scholarship. If they can allow her to serve in combat arms, they can order her to do so. My daughter does not belong in combat arms.

    This is insanity but since it comes from crazy people it is to be expected.

    WarEagle82 (97b777)

  33. This is the best news I’ve heard all day.

    Obama may send the military after your guns, but he’s gonna render the military combat ineffective first.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  34. Now it’s not only gonna be racist to keep your guns, but sexist too!

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  35. I can’t help but wonder if this is part of a plan.

    Naah, probably not. Women warriors have a vast historical pedigree.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  36. This is insane.

    How typical of the tyrannical Obama Incorporated, to issue such an important policy change that he had never made one mention of during the recent campaign. It is like he whispered into a hot microphone to Medvedev, “After my re-election, I will have more flexibility.”

    Of course, the announcement of it today was intended to be a distraction away from Hillary’s pathetic testimony, just like Barack finally released his alleged birth certificate online on a Friday, about 36 hours prior to when he knew in advance that the Bin Laden raid would become public, thereby eliciting an instant pivot away from discussing the birth certificate.

    Can you imagine what the jihadists would do to a captured female soldier who is wearing an American uniform ?

    Elephant Stone (6e592d)

  37. Trung Sisters.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  38. An interesting, and informative, article by J.D.Johannes is linked over at Insty on this subject @ 10:30pm.
    His opinion is that physical standards need to be tightened, IQ requirements need to be raised, and that enlistees should be trained in a non-combat MOS first, and then required to volunteer for combat training with Ranger School being the minimum. He doesn’t think, what with the experience that has been noted so far in Iraq and Afghanistan, that there would be a significant portion of the ground-combat arms peopled by women because of strength and endurance issues.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  39. As we all stand by letting it happen. Ashamed and defeated we stand.

    mg (31009b)

  40. when there aren’t a sufficient number of female Soldiers in CA units for the brass and their masters to declare success, standards will be lowered or ignored, and anyone objecting will be cashiered.

    then the unqualified beneficiaries of this political correctness will get people killed, either in training or in combat.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  41. All I can think of is South Park movie and “Operation Human Shield”

    Naturally, chivalry should win the day and that first charge will be made by the Screamin Harpies of the 4th Infantry Division

    Hawkins (1fc204)

  42. When I went through Jump School there was one set of physical standards for men, and a different set for women. Why? The women could not meet the “regular” standards so they lowered them so more woman would complete the course. I really hope we don’t see them lowering the standards needed to be an infantry soldier or any other physically demanding job. That will end up costing lives.

    BobbaFet (ac9608)

  43. Seems odd that if Panetta thought this was such a great idea, he waited 4 years, and until after the election, and on his way out the door, to implement it.

    JD (4fbbe6)

  44. I hope they can find a way to make this practical, because the military shouldn’t be a social engineering exercise for politicians to benefit from. Any decrease in military effectiveness gets people killed.

    Sorry Dustin@7:32PM but we crossed that line 20 years ago as a nation and have never reversed course. We’ve had women and men serving next to each other on board every type of vessel, including submarines, and in almost type of role until now. Remarkably, none of these changes have been the result of any type of internal analysis where the military studied the issue and determined the benefits were worth pursuing. Every policy change from the role of women to our shifting position about gays has been crafted by the civilian leaders that are empowered by our constitution with the oversight of our military. When those leaders have been traditionally liberal they have used the military as their toy for social experimentation, all the while demonstrating the same contempt that Hillary articulated yesterday. “What difference does it matter?” has been the mantra for so long that it saddens me to the core to watch our volunteer heroes treated with the same disdain as lab rats in the steady advance of one political agenda after another.

    Sewer Urchin (a9af0e)

  45. “Prince Harry isn’t actually royal though he’s an illegitimate bastard

    Comment by happyfeet (ce327d) ”

    If the truth were known, the infusion of non-royal; blood is what has kept the royal family from imbecile level. Didn’t you see “Braveheart” ?

    Mike K (187f3b)

  46. There have been strong women warrior leaders, Boeadicea, who led the rebellion against the Brits, Elizabeth, Caterina Sforza, Thatcher, et al,

    narciso (3fec35)

  47. CENTCOM general pushed out.

    Remember when Presidents were supposed to defer to military opinions or they were dangerous cowboys?

    Yeah, me neither.

    SPQR (768505)

  48. Bullets and shrapnel don’t care about the gender of the person they are entering.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  49. So, I wonder if women warriors who may have actually engaged the enemy mano y mano lived to tell about it, which is the issue here.

    It’s difficult to see death as much of a resume enhancement, of course if women can manage to get assigned to combat organizations, yet escape the consequences of actual combat, it would be the yellow brick road to promotion and pay.

    ropelight (cf9068)

  50. Greetings:

    On the one hand, I see this as an example of “it takes a village to hollow out a military”.

    On the other, why should the sexual dysfunctionals have all the fun. Let those combative heteros have a chance to get some.

    And somewhere in the deep, dark depths of Indiana, which are very, very deep and really, really dark, a look of stunned shock makes its way across the face of former Pvt. Jessica Lynch (and formerly all of 5’2″ and 90 lbs)

    What’s left now ??? Anyone want to double down on the midgets/dwarfs/littler people ???

    11B40 (a358b9)

  51. Always go into bear country with a buddy, and make sure you can out-run your buddy.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  52. Instapundit has a link to JD Johannes at Outside the Wire with an article on women in combat titled Elite Infantry: As the military gets smaller, it needs to be more elite dated 1/23/13. Here’s an excerpt:

    Marine Officer Katie Petronio wrote abut the struggle of physical reslience during her deployment to Afghanistan commanding a Combat Engineering platoon in Afghanistan.

    “By the fifth month into the deployment, I had muscle atrophy in my thighs that was causing me to constantly trip and my legs to buckle with the slightest grade change. My agility during firefights and mobility on and off vehicles and perimeter walls was seriously hindering my response time and overall capability. It was evident that stress and muscular deterioration was affecting everyone regardless of gender; however, the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines…”

    Her rate of deterioration was faster because she only produced a fraction of the muscle repairing testosterone of the male Marines. Petronio, who was a varsity athlete in college and “benching 145 pounds when I graduated [college] in 2007″ was falling apart at the fifth month of her deployment. Army units deployed for 12 months until recently.

    Many elite female athletes can outperform male soldiers when the women have adequate rest, recovery time and nutrition–but rest, recovery and proper nutrition are in short supply at Combat Outpost Zerok. Combat is not like sports season where you only have one or two games a week for three months, or training for one or two big events a year. It is every day for 365 days, then a period of recovery before resuming pre-deployment training and then another 365 days. (330 days with leave and R&R).

    Many who support opening up combat arms to women so that they have equal career opportunities do not understand that to reach the top of the infantry ranks rquires incredible physical reslience. On the enlisted side, Company First Sergeants are in their late thirties and still going after years of deployments. On the officer side battalion and Brigade Commanders must maintain their prime physical conditioning into their forties–after years of deployments.

    The number of women who at the age of 40 are capable of keeping up with young men in a combat environment is very small.

    ropelight (cf9068)

  53. rope, see #38.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  54. Just heard a blurb on Prager reportedly written by a marine involved in the invasion of Iraq. In the rush to Baghdad reportedly some were in amphibious vehicles for up to 48 hrs straight in chemical warfare proof suits. Urination and defecation were into bottles or plastic bags in the middle of sardine-packed troops (sitting on each others laps, etc). Eventually they were able to “change” by all stripping (burning their old clothes) and being hosed down en mass while naked.

    Perhaps that was all made up, I wouldn’t know first hand, but I can imagine it was so.

    I can imagine women and men together putting up with those conditions, even with grace and honor, when called to when the rise to heroism requires it; but to ask it of troops for no reason other than political correctness is cruel and stupid.

    Heard (on Bennett’s show) one female marine who had been in combat situations while in close support positions say that even when female troops are physically able to perform adequately, they are a distraction as men generally have a “deep reflex reaction to protect women” (her words) which can put the mission and individual soldiers at risk.

    But then again, if you want a society and military of androgenous drones who live to do the bidding of the government it makes perfect sense.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  55. Just in time. New theatres opening up toward summer:

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  56. Mildly curious, I wonder what the lifetime expectancy will be for Egyptian F-16 pilots in dogfights over the Sinai?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  57. This probably would have worked in East Germany where female athletes had “testosterone” levels equal to men.

    Surprised that McCain would support this. I don’t want to think of potential treatment of female POW’s, or the pressure on male POW’s to divulge info, etc. at the threat of mistreatment of women POW’s.

    At what level of military readiness do soldiers go through water-boarding, etc., to prepare them for capture? (Or don’t we do that anymore in our kinder, gentler, military?)

    Should women in advanced combat assignments go through “practice gang rape”? Male soldiers watch women go through “practice gang rape”?

    Father Christmas in The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe said that women should not be involved in combat because it gets ugly. For women to be in combat and function equally with men in all phases (include capture and treatment as POWs) will require a new low in inhuman depravity.

    Isn’t this obvious?

    Of course, if the real desire is to not have a military engage anyone overseas and use drones to execute enemies on occasion then it works just fine.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  58. I wonder what the lifetime expectancy will be for Egyptian F-16 pilots in dogfights over the Sinai?
    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/24/2013

    Only slightly longer than if they refuse to get into the plane in the first place. 😉 So in one way selling as many as we want to Egypt would be a smart economic move, as long as they couldn’t use ordinance as super IED’s.

    Of course, if we built F-22’s and sold a couple to Israel it wouldn’t be even that long.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  59. “deep reflex reaction to protect women”

    Doc, this is what the Israeli’s discovered in the after-action reports from the ’48 War,
    and why they subsequently stopped putting women into front-line (tip-of-the-spear) positions.
    There were many cases in that war where unit cohesiveness and security were compromised because of that “hard-wired” reflex in men.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  60. Those are great planes we’re selling them, but the hardware (lplane) is only as good as the software (electronic systems) is maintained.
    If we don’t allow the software techs to go out and maintain/upgrade the systems, the systems will die as programmed.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  61. Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/24/2013 @ 10:33 am

    Now you are joining the ranks of those who resort to using facts in your argument!!!! That is so last millenium! 😉

    But that was a nice factual reference, thanks.

    Of course, in a culture where virtue is ignored, objectifying women as things is foundational for many industries, and the ultimate difference (bearing a child) has suffered constant attack for years (legalized abortion), perhaps some think they can exterminate the impulse in men.

    Turning men into beasts under the guise of progress, one example of the truth in Abolition of Man.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  62. I have a cousin who was an MD in the Navy. His practice was largely pregnancy, pregnancy, pregnancy.

    We can expect more of the same if we mix the genders in combat.

    I suspect also the next protest we see is that the physical standards are discriminatory ; plenty of denouncements until the feminists get their way.

    Patricia (be0117)

  63. If you can’t hump the load on an extended march, you or others may die.
    Death does not observe PC.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  64. 63….more…..
    This is from a man who wanted with all his heart to join the Corps, but couldn’t pass the eye test, and knew in his heart that he wasn’t physically up to humping that load; and if I failed, others would suffer for it.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  65. askeptic @ 59,

    There were many cases in that war where unit cohesiveness and security were compromised because of that “hard-wired” reflex in men.

    And herein lies the problem: men and women are hardwired differently. To attempt to retrain and rewire (or sidestep) the natural hardwiring of men will come at a big cost. Not just militarily, but culturally as well. Equal opportunities for all does not necessarily translate in real life for the betterment of society.

    Dana (292dcf)

  66. Dana, you’re preaching to the choir on this, I’m afraid.
    Virtually nothing that we say will sway the PC crowd, as they have been thoroughly brainwashed.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  67. Of course, we could always adopt Rush’s advice about the creation of an Amazon Battalion.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  68. If not an overtly religious issue, it is at least a Natural Law issue. Is our role in the universe defined by parameters outside of our control, or do we think we as humans can decide to do whatever we want and make it work?

    The irony is that those who say we are only living things evolved as other living things think that we somehow have the power and right to manipulate our nature and nature around us based on our own beliefs.

    Those who think we are created by a Creator actually have a more humble view of ourselves, realizing that there is a Natural Law that we need to fit into.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  69. Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

    Gee, that looks familiar.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  70. New message from the U.S. military to jihadi and terrorist foes specifically designed not to inflame the Muslim world:

    Our gay and women combat soldiers will kick your pansy butts.


    Peace out.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  71. And they’ll do it while in Purdah.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  72. The first part of telling the truth is to tell the truth to ourselves, and the truth that we need to tell ourselves is that this is nothing new. We have been “attaching” but not “assigning” women to combat units for a while now, and it has been done out of military necessity. Female medics accompany male infantry units all the time. Female helicopter pilots and crews, female truck drivers and crews, female MPs, they are all in the combat zones, and have been for a while now.

    This isn’t the work of the dastardly Barack Hussein Obama; the recruiting shortfalls of the worst part of the Iraq war led to an increase in this, when George Bush was President and Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense. We have been putting women near the front lines — back when there were such things as front lines — ever since the MASH units in Korea.

    The truth is that, with this action, Secretary Panetta is letting policy and paperwork catch up with practice.

    The Army daddy Dana (f68855)

  73. From The New York Times:

    Servicewomen have died in all of America’s wars, but usually they were support personnel such as nurses and clerks. In Afghanistan, most women who have died were killed in combat situations, as Specialist Snyder was, despite the military’s official prohibition on women in combat jobs.

    The same has been true in Iraq, where 111 female soldiers have died, according to data compiled by, an independent organization that tracks military fatalities. In both wars, 60 percent of those deaths are classified by the military as due to hostile acts.

    Wars with no clear front lines have put women in harm’s way more than ever before, blurring the boundaries between combat jobs that are outlawed for women, and support jobs that are often as dangerous and in some cases even more so.

    Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Specialist Snyder’s death, however, was how little anyone noted that there was anything unusual about it.

    “Out here, there is no male gender and no female gender,” said Staff Sgt. Vincent Vetterkind, one of her fellow platoon members. “Our gender is soldier.”

    While there is still a debate back home about the role of women in the military, here on the ground that battle seems to have been largely, if quietly, won during nine years of deployments where women have increasingly shared the same risks as men.

    “To tell you the truth, I didn’t even think about that issue,” said her platoon commander, also a woman, First Lt. Riannon Blaisdell-Black, 24, of Virginia Beach. “Out here we don’t see gender, we don’t see race.”

    If you don’t want American women in combat, then you need to advocate that the Army and Marine Corps pull all of their women out of Afghanistan, and replace them all with men. The Taliban are fighting a guerrilla war, and they are going after any American targets they can: clerks, hospitals, DFACS, motor pools, supply centers, you name it . . . and we have females in all of those places.

    The Army daddy Dana (f68855)

  74. also we can make all the women bionic to where they are better stronger faster and they will leap into battle like fearless death-dealing gazelles

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  75. Yes, where is Jaime Sommers when you need her?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  76. happy

    111 already did, nut I’m sure their families appreciate all the depricating humor from those who think that a woman who knowingly volunteers for combat is somehow putting the “unit” at risk by being easier to kill.

    got it…

    EPWJ (4380b4)

  77. Why am I hesitant to think that they all “volunteered”, and were not just “assigned”?
    Military personnel, for the most part, do not get to pick-and-choose where their next duty station will be when the Nation is at war, particularly when entire units are rotated.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  78. askeptic

    Army is army

    EPWJ (4380b4)

  79. Well, you’ll have to excuse this old AF vet; but just what the Hell do you mean by that?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  80. Then we should immediately remove all women police officers, firefighters, medics, doctors, and any other profession that may need, strength, recovery time, judging by the gist of the comment thread here


    not going to happen.

    EPWJ (4380b4)

  81. Civilian “emergency responders” have already encountered instances where women have not been able to respond satisfactorily in extreme situations because of the lowering of standards to get them into the organizations alongside men.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  82. As SPC Pico just noted, you don’t have to be in Combat Arms to go into combat.

    The Army daddy Dana (f68855)

  83. Never been in the military, and to be in the military does imply danger.

    When I think of making women equal to men in combat, I’m thinking putting a woman in an infantry unit making patrols at the greatest risk of capture, or in raids such as I described above. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think there is a difference.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  84. also we can make all the women bionic to where they are better stronger faster and they will leap into battle like fearless death-dealing gazelles

    As long as they don’t change the existing standards, I do t see a problem with this.

    JD (b63a52)

  85. thunderbirdettes are go!

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  86. The Philadelphia physician wrote:

    When I think of making women equal to men in combat, I’m thinking putting a woman in an infantry unit making patrols at the greatest risk of capture, or in raids such as I described above. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think there is a difference.

    Woman are, right now, accompanying men in infantry units. They are serving as medics, as truck drivers and crew, as helicopter pilots and crew. A female medic attached to an infantry squad has just as much chance of being killed or captured as does a female infantryman.

    This new policy has been announced with some fanfare, and heated debate on both sides, but, for the most part, this is policy and paperwork catching up with practice.

    If somehow, we persuade President Obama not to go forward with the new policy, we will still have our female soldiers in combat, just as they were the day and the week and the month and the year before the policy announcement.

    The realistic Dana (f68855)

  87. everything will work out fine I think

    people aren’t stupid they’ll figure it out

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  88. Re: prisoners

    We haven’t fought an enemy that captured ground prisoners since the Korean War, or any prisoners at all, really, since the Vietnam War (where the prisoners were all shot down over North Vietnam) so no wonder nobody’s really thinking about that.

    We have had hostage situations, where the prisoners were both male and female. Usually, for PR reasons, they tend to release the females rather readily.

    Sammy Finkelman (728434)

  89. Really Matt Maupin, Jessica Lynch, probably Bowie Berdahl, even though he sort of defected.

    narciso (3fec35)

  90. “also we can make all the women bionic to where they are better stronger faster and they will leap into battle like fearless death-dealing gazelles”

    Mr. Feets – Fine with me as long as they’re not trying to make wimmins from Wisconsin into gazelles. They can be rhinos instead.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  91. rhinos of justice!

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  92. And while we’re on the subject of combat pay:


    And they intend to charge $38K to barracks them.

    What do those people use for brains?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  93. Comment by The realistic Dana (f68855) — 1/24/2013 @ 5:17 pm

    Did you see post #52 and my posts #54 and #57? Please comment.

    I don’t know if because there are women with some infantry units that means women are in “all” combat situations equivalent to men already, or that “standard” infantry units include women already, and some tasks with marines and rangers and paratroopers,etc. are “even more dangerous” or what.

    We don’t make or allow women to compete equally with men in tennis or basketball or baseball or fencing, let alone football, and all of those are games. And a woman place kicker and Billie Jean King beating an over the hill also ran man in a farce of a match doesn’t count.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  94. people aren’t stupid they’ll figure it out
    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/24/2013 @ 5:29 pm

    Where is your evidence? Voting Obama in for a second term?

    While we’re at it, will National Guard units from CO and WA get rations of pot while in service? Units with men and women and pot (official, even), sounds like the 1960’s version of the military- they could pull security duty at Woodstock.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  95. if you’re living in NYC on 38K a year you best click here and just keep clicking til you get rid of all your dignity

    it’s a huge impediment

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  96. no Mr. Dr. I just mean if the american combat chicks start dying in unusual numbers or getting other people killed to where they are dying in unusual numbers, people will put their heads together and go oh maybe we’re doing it wrong, and then they will come up with a more better way to do it

    and they will repeat the process until the american combat chicks are honed into a formidable killing force of renowned lethality and competence

    i have every faith

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  97. Yeah, remember the rocket surgeons in charge,

    narciso (3fec35)

  98. i have enough faith for both of us Mr. narciso

    killing is what governments do best

    trust me they’ll figure it out

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  99. Mr. Dr. I just mean if the american combat chicks start dying in unusual numbers or getting other people killed to where they are dying in unusual numbers, people will put their heads together and go oh maybe we’re doing it wrong, and then they will come up with a more better way to do it

    or it could be the enemy doing the killing – there’s that…

    EPWJ (4380b4)

  100. mostly what they need to get off on the right foot is a kick-ass theme song

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  101. Also flippantly talking about people who gives their lives for their country and casually wonder if they get other people killed turns my stomach

    EPWJ (4380b4)

  102. This does not bode well

    Perhaps young men are “different” than they were in my day….however, I believe the Dr from Philly is correct. I can not imagine effective performance in my old squad by the women or the men in combat operations.
    US Army ’70-72 11Bravo RSV

    Angelo (49186e)

  103. ok this is me taking this all super seriously like it’s a big issue I care about because of it’s fraught with importance

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  104. Does this mean curtains in the foxhole?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  105. don’t be flippant just look off into the middle distance and sigh sadly

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  106. Women die in combat (at the enemy’s hand) because men treat them differently. I have first hand knowledge of such events, and will never cleanse the smell of her blood form my nose.

    Women make units less combat effective: Senior leaders and junior Soldiers of both genders taken because they couldn’t keep it behind closed doors. Their unit rendered combat ineffective for two weeks while the accusations fly and an investigation makes everyone a suspect. Two Soldiers taken out of the fight with one KIA when his death reveals their romance. I have seen all of these things.

    I’ve known some excellent, excellent female Soldiers. I’ve known Soldiers of both genders who were more interested in their next conquest than the mission at hand.

    This move is about changing the culture of an organization that is entirely testosterone-driven, by design and necessity. This decision will get Soldiers killed. For no damned good reason.

    Robert C. J. Parry (a5133c)

  107. A link at HotAir this AM…..
    Scarborough: Blood Will Be On Pentagon’s Hands If It Lowers Standards For Women

    Mika will not be pleased.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  108. The realistic Dana (f68855)

    Are you around today? I would like to see your response to #94.
    (Seriously, not being snarky. I would like to see your informed opinion in regards to the specific points raised.)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  109. Interesting take over at Blackfive:

    Some, such as Uncle Jimbo, think it is OK if standards are not changed to make it possible for women to qualify. Others don’t so much disagree with UJ on that point, but they don’t think a uniform standard will be maintained very long so let’s not get it started.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  110. Robert C. J. Parry (a5133c) @ 107,

    I appreciate your insightful comment. Can you see, in any way, how women in combat could be managed and maintained without the complications you mention? Is there any adjustment (external) that could be made on any level to alleviate that, or is the hardwiring of the genders unavoidable altogether?

    And, do you believe that those military leaders at the top see this is as the kiss of death to our military’s might and are just being ‘yes men’ to the administration, or do you believe they actually believe that this change can happen without the complications?

    Dana (292dcf)

  111. I know it would never be allowed but you could solve most of these problems by having all-female units.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  112. DRJ,

    I would think that all women units would be a petri dish of endless D-R-A-M-A. Women don’t always behave nicely toward other women, who are essence, their competitors.

    On absurd side of why women should not be permitted in combat,

    “Females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections, and they don’t have upper body strength,” The New York Times quoted Gingrich as saying in early 1995. Men, on the other hand, ”are basically little piglets; you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it.”

    Dana (292dcf)

  113. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 1/25/2013 @ 11:34 am

    Research Rush’s advocacy of The Amazon Battalion.
    He started that meme about 20-yrs or more ago.
    He may not have been wrong.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  114. Dana,

    Endless drama/hormones vs endless competition/testosterone. They both have benefits and detriments.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  115. Comment by Dana (292dcf) — 1/25/2013 @ 11:42 am

    The Metrosexual-Left had a lot of laughs at what they thought were at Newt’s expense over that remark – until they realized it was accurate FTMP.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  116. Heather McDonald has some smart observations.

    The makeover is already underway. The armed services are “now developing gender-neutral standards for all of their jobs,” reports the New York Times, replacing the less demanding physical standards for women that each branch has been using heretofore (oh, you mean you didn’t know about those lowered standards?) with a single standard for men and women. The Pentagon “has vowed” that the new gender-neutral standard will not be crafted in order to make it easier for women to join combat units.

    Why not keep the old standards?

    Here’s how you create a single gender-neutral standard: You universally apply the existing one that was developed based on a sole criterion — combat readiness. What was wrong with the standard that men had to meet? Nothing, other than the fact that an insufficient number of women can pass it.

    Equally irrelevant are the stories of individual acts of heroism by women pilots, photographers, or MPs. Without question, women can act with bravery, foresight, and tactical intelligence. The issue is their effect on maximal combat capacity when introduced wholesale into combat units. The overwhelming reason advanced for the lifting of the combat ban is to improve women’s chances of promotion within the Pentagon, by giving them the opportunity to show combat duty on their resume. That is a feminist rationale. No one has advanced the argument that all-male fighting forces have been handicapped in their war-making abilities over the millennia because they did not include women in their ranks.

    Dana (292dcf)

  117. If they want a standard that works, try the physical standards in place for the USMC during VietNam.
    Remember, in the Corps, every “man” is a rifleman!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  118. “Can you see, in any way, how women in combat could be managed and maintained without the complications you mention?”

    Dana – The people you see in this video are professional actors. Do not try this at home. Relationships based on managing and controlling women usually do not end well.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  119. Heh. I sure worded my comment poorly…especially for a woman!

    How about:“Can you see, in any way, how the change to our military by allowing women in combat could be managed and maintained without the complications you mention?”

    Dana (292dcf)

  120. The Philadelphia physician asked:

    Are you around today? I would like to see your response to #94.
    (Seriously, not being snarky. I would like to see your informed opinion in regards to the specific points raised.)

    At work right now. I might have a few minutes this evening to respond, but p’raps not until tomorrow.

    The Dana at work (3e4784)

  121. Finally! Finally!

    All that heavy damage control equipment will go by the wayside as the legacy of teh patriarchy that it is.

    Finally! Finally!

    The Taliban can be sued for a gender bias crime for not having chicks on its side. Like a softball team.

    Steve57 (a17907)

  122. Women Now Allowed to Go Into Combat

    Now, with added fiber!

    Save Soviet Jewry! Win valuable prizes!


    Steve57 (a17907)

  123. They were having a sale on exclamation points down at the gun show.


    Somehow a number one slipped in.

    Steve57 (a17907)

  124. First Powerline yesterday, now Breitbart backing Crazy Eyes:

    Pinch me.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  125. I know it would never be allowed but you could solve most of these problems by having all-female units.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 1/25/2013

    This is precisely what I have always thought.

    It’s so funny how you say exactly what I think so often.

    If there are enough exceptional female soldiers who can physically qualify to fill such units, I support that despite the remaining problems raised in the thread.

    Dustin (73fead)

  126. We do think alike.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  127. Good Allah, for one week out of the month, that would be the most ferocious fighting force on the planet. You could not pay me to be the First Sergeant of that unit. LOL

    JD (b63a52)

  128. I am gonna go ahead and denounce myself.

    JD (b63a52)

  129. this could be a great success or it could be a bad idea or it could result in a situation not discernibly different than the one we have now I think

    all we know for sure is it’s good news for michelle rodriguez cause of this will mean there will be more movies for her to be in

    she won’t be able to move to france or nothin but if she’s been putting off remodeling the kitchen she should pull the trigger

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  130. 130. It should keep us from being like the UN peacekeepers. Not that we win conflicts anymore, just keep ‘soldiers’ off the protected.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  131. UN peacekeepers are dirty and they spread diseases

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  132. Yeah, I’ll denounce myself too.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  133. The Philadelphia physician has been waiting for an answer:

    I don’t know if because there are women with some infantry units that means women are in “all” combat situations equivalent to men already, or that “standard” infantry units include women already, and some tasks with marines and rangers and paratroopers,etc. are “even more dangerous” or what.

    We don’t make or allow women to compete equally with men in tennis or basketball or baseball or fencing, let alone football, and all of those are games. And a woman place kicker and Billie Jean King beating an over the hill also ran man in a farce of a match doesn’t count.

    The objections you have made are certainly valid ones, but ones which have not made a difference. You are contemplating competition in a “fair fight.” As Drill Sergeant Gorham told my older daughter, the last thing you want is a fair fight, and if you get in a fair fight, you have already fouled up.

    The goal of the soldier is to engage the enemy under conditions which are most disadvantageous to the enemy. When our soldiers are patrolling in 70 lb of kevlar and gear, they are hauling that gear to take on an enemy with an AK-47 and woolen robes for armor.

    It’s obvious that, if our soldiers are physically stronger, that is an advantage as well. However, we have been using women in the roles they have been, which include foot patrols attached as medics and the like, because we do not have enough male soldiers to do those jobs. If we had had a sufficient number of men available for those jobs, the Army would not have been using women to do them. Our soldiers are doing three and four separate tours in Afghanistan, and Iraq before that. It’s not like we have a whole bunch of male soldiers who are tied to the bench, with a coach unwilling to let them get into the game. During the worst parts of the Iraq war, the DoD was forced to use the “stop-loss” policy to prevent soldiers whose active-duty commitments were up from leaving. We have been using Reserve and National Guard units in Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

    Your argument is, taken logically, one which would exclude many of the males currently in infantry units. If we are dependent upon the physical strength of individual soldiers in the manner in which you suggest, then I would assert that no soldier under 6 feet tall and 180 pounds should be eligible for a combat unit; we must, after all, exclude the weaker members, and such a cut-off will certainly help to do so. If it is argued that such cutoffs are arbitrary, and that many male soldiers only 5’6″ tall have demonstrated the physical ability to do the job, then the answer is that there are certainly some female soldiers who could do the job as well.

    And thus we have had the “test,” not because the military leadership wanted the test, but because conditions forced the test upon us. At least thus far, the women have passed the test.

    The arguments being made here — and not just by you — is that having women in the combat units degrades the efficiency of those units. If that were the case, the question would not be whether we should allow women to attempt to fill infantry billets, but what we have to do to get women out of the positions they are already filling: a combat medic is just as much a part of the infantry squad as is the infantryman, and he is expected to be able to return fire if the squad comes under attack. Yet (anecdotally) Army infantry units in Afghanistan seem to prefer female medics, because the women are as technically proficient as the men, and having a woman available when a female prisoner must be searched is an advantage. That might seem a small thing, but if having a female medic degraded the performance of the unit in other ways, company commanders would not request them.

    I’m a conservative, and thus I am practically expected to oppose any change like this coming from the Obama Administration. But I don’t, because this isn’t that much of a change: it is, in effect, letting paperwork and policy catch up to actual practice in the field. I very much oppose things like another stimulus plan, because the first one didn’t work. But it’s difficult for me, the father of two female soldiers, to oppose a plan which has already been tested to some degree, and has not failed.

    I am a conservative, but I am also a very practical man: I like what works. We have been slowly integrating women into front line positions ever since the creation of the MASH units in Korea, and at every stage, it has actually worked in the field.

    The realistic Dana (f68855)

  134. DRJ wrote:

    I know it would never be allowed but you could solve most of these problems by having all-female units.

    The IDF has its Caracel unit, which is 2/3 female, and serves primarily on guard on the Egyptian and Jordanian borders. Just like the males, some of the women have performed well, and some have performed poorly. And the existence of the all-women Nahshol unit was recently disclosed.

    The Israelis don’t have the luxury of playing around with things that don’t work.

    The practical Dana (f68855)

  135. Again, I have no real issues with this, right up to the point where the standards change. And they will.

    JD (b63a52)

  136. General Dempsey, has made it quite clear, the standards will change, and we’re not talking about individual units, but service wide,

    narciso (3fec35)

  137. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot… come in, Amazon One… over…

    Colonel Haiku (7073fd)

  138. amazon one… this is Midol… do you read me?… over

    Colonel Haiku (7073fd)

  139. Midol, this is Broken Nail… come in…

    Colonel Haiku (7073fd)

  140. amazon one… move cameltoe around left flank… over… roger that Midol… over…

    Colonel Haiku (7073fd)

  141. what world coming to?
    Yo Mama wears combat boots
    used to be a joke

    Colonel Haiku (7073fd)

  142. LOL Col.

    Have to change it to:
    Yo Mama’s feet too big for her combat boots.

    An excerpt from a comment at Blackfive:
    Look what Airborne units are now vs prior to the female arrival. This why the Airborne is not directly supporting Special Mission Units (Delta, DEVGRU) now. Rangers do that exclusively.

    Thank you Dana for your thoughts, and even more for your daughter’s service. I still think though there is “combat” and there is “combat”, and while female medics make sense as other things you say, the idea that women (even a few) can compete with men (not us wimps, me anyway) is just not true, and where the requirements of a mission require a certain minimal physical strength and stamina women will not be able to “pull their weight”. Does that mean a woman medic can get assigned to a SEAL unit doing extended recon because as the medic the physical requirements aren’t as rigorous? I don’t know. I’ve known a SEAL, I’ve known a DELTA, and the son of a long time friend was in airborne and did base camp work for DELTA not many years ago (I guess things have changed in the last few years already).

    As I said before, even over at Blackfive there are some who are fine with the idea, if physical requirements aren’t changed to make it easier for women to make some units. But many see that as too big of an if, and as said above, apparently there is already talk of looking at demographic metrics to make sure “enough” women get into various units, which suggests quota will be more important than maintaining standards.

    As far as “not enough soldiers”, I’m not sure what all goes into that, as minimal requirements for signing up and budget proposals for how big a force to maintain may have more to do with it than “not being able to find enough men”.

    Many women have many attributes to make a great soldier, and I’m not belittling them, but you will never find a female defensive lineman in the NFL, and you never find a woman who could hope to compare to the physical characteristics of the SEAL or DELTA people I knew.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  143. Caption: “President Obama walks his daughters down to the local Selective Service branch to ‘request’ their conscientious objector deferments.

    MarkJ (b64de3)

  144. Comment by The realistic Dana (f68855) — 1/26/2013 @ 7:44 am

    Not enough men…..
    except, men were RIFed from the force to open billets for women.
    The Army/USMC/Navy/USAF are only allowed so many personnel, and it has been documented that experienced combat trigger-pullers were refused re-enlistment due to needing billet-space for the increased presence of women desired by the civilian overlords.
    This goes back into the Clinton Admin, and has happened under Bush also.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  145. After reading this article, I’m even more doubtful that women in combat will work.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  146. Why any parent would let their kid join army obama is beyond me.
    Societal norms have decayed.

    mg (31009b)

  147. I really wish that when we grant equality, that it’s fully granted. Not phased in. If a woman meets the standing requirements for ANY position, she gets it, and all the down side that comes with it. The mission and the needs of a combat mission won’t be held up by “affirmative action” on the battlefield. There should not be any different standards. That’s how we got Obambi in the first place.
    If your son goes down in combat and there is only a woman who just made the female standard there to drag him to saftey, is your sons’ life worth the gerrymandered standard?
    Women in Combat? You betcha.
    Watered down standards for the American Warfighter? No frickin’ way.

    Paul from Fl (538de5)

  148. Oh an one more thing. Women in combat comes with manditory Selective service Registration.

    Paul from Fl (538de5)

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