What do you think of the announcement today that women will be allowed to serve in combat?
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made that announcement today, opening up thousands of frontline positions for women in infantry, armored and even elite commando units. What will be the reaction when one is captured, mistreated and even executed? It is not good for any soldier to have to go through that, but are the US citizens ready for this step? This is a big change and means more equality and I am sure some women will weclome it. What do you think?
Women have been fighting for equality for decades. I don't have a good feeling for women in combat. I would rather they wouldn't. However equality is equality - the good with the bad - that the price. But I still don't like it.
Any soldier who is captured, mistreated, or executed is horrific, man or woman. I think it is only fair if our men fight for our country, that our women do their part as well in whatever capacity they are physically able.
My biggest concern is that a woman's presence in combat does not endanger her fellow soldiers - in other words if John Doe next to her is wounded, can she carry him to safety? Those kinds of things are important and we shouldn't be so obsessed with equality that we ignore the fact the men are physically stronger than woman pound for pound.
It's a good question. Equality is equality, but I still have mixed feelings about this. Are these combat positions voluntary? There are always reservations beyond the obvious of getting killed: Endurance factors; and the unimaginable “what if they are captured?” More importantly, how do our combat soldiers – both male and female – feel about this? They’re the ones in the fighting fields.
If If they so desire to and have the training and skills, why not?!
The issue is not whether a woman is capable of being an infantry soldier. The issue is chivalry, love, rape by peers or by enemies due to enemy capture, muenstral care in the field or during deployment, pregnancy, and disrespect. All issues that involve male interactions with female soldiers regardless of whether they are a friend or a foe. Then again if there are separate male and female training, active duty, and national guard units there is less of an issue with things other than waste disposal, disrespect, and enemy capture.
It seems to me that this has been happening for some time already. The battle lines are not so clearly drawn in the types of counterinsurgency campaigns that the US is often engaged in these days. So if women are playing any type of military role, there is the chance that they will find themselves in harm's way.
If the United States is going to continue to sustain a large military with a purely volunteer army, this is one of the eventual results. There may not be enough men out there to fill all of the combat roles, so it is necessary to open up these positions to women. If people don't like it, maybe they should rethink our foreign policy.
Official or not, I certainly wasn't exempted from wartime service in the field, based on my gender or my size (90 pounds and five foot tall, at the time), or my job, but "technically" I was on a ship hundreds of miles away when in reality, I was in a war zone on the ground. Perhaps, this increases the amount of women in these positions officially and in a numbers-count but, the fact is, women were on the battlefield for at least the last 100 years or more, unofficially and in "support" capacities so I'm not sure that it's that big a change in one sense. The real negative that I see is that because the rest of the world knows that US tortures, what is to stop the enemy from torturing women the same way we have tortured our own prisoners that we keep off US soil so that we can interrogate in a means that does not conform to the agreement of the Geneva convention (including strip downs, genital injury and degradation that reminds me of an SS camp)? The other real and serious issue is that of our own male soldiers sexually abusing their fellow female soldiers. It's a serious problem that hasn't gone away since I left the military. I was in a unit that raped my fellow female soldier (nothing came of it). I was sexually harassed but not raped because some senior men stepped in and set the "boys" straight and also because I won their respect by being "kick ass" and "hard core" while my counterpart was more demure and submissive ... But what of our young girls, just teenagers, who are in this position today? These are serious and real concerns.
Although I believe that everyone has to choose for themself, I am glad that I am too old to go.
A great question.. I too have very mixed feelings. I have no problem with women in front line roles in the Navy and Airforce... Soldiers and Marines, right out in front on the ground... does make me queasy, but then it's not me who has to go.
Regarding how men in the military deal with women... this is something that could be fixed and fixed quickly if it came from the top and it was those at the top that were punished if one of their own men take advantage of their fellow military personnel. So if a grunt rapes a woman, he's out and so is the Sargent... a Sargent then the next up the line... out. Those above are 'allowing' the disrespect that leads to the rapes, and punishing them too, and rapidly, would solve that problem.
Personally I don't understand anyone wanting to be in the military except for the college tuition... but I am very glad that there are those who take on those roles. Israel has had women in the military for forever... and while they have some problems, they are an example of how a mixed military can work.
Good point about Israel and their military. There are cultural differences that make a differnce too I suspect. The "old boy" network has always been alive and well in our military in both officers and enlisted ranks, so tough new rules woud be hard.
If they want to do it, then tell them of the risks and, if they still want to go, put them out there. Women are far crueler and more ruthless than men. I know I'd hate to come up against a pack of howling females who take no prisoners were it a matter of them or me.
With the volunteer military that we have, I don't have a problem. Israel has had a bisexual military for many years. I do believe that the military needs to do something major to stop the rapes that have been happening more and more frequently. I feel for all of our soldiers; being married to a disabled veteran and believe that if they have been in any kind of combat, that they need to have counseling about PTSD. I will support our troops no matter which gender they are.
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I worry about certain soldiers acting on instinct to take care of women, and getting killed for it. My husband, brother and sons were all raised to take up for and protect girls (women). I wouldn't want a soldier to get killed because of an act of chivalry. In my world, it still exists.
Plus, as a woman, I wouldn't want to be responsible for having bad cramping, and not being able to hold my own, at certain times of the month. It's a reality, and doesn't go away just because something important is happening.
In this day and age, I think we should be able to come up with something better than actually putting people on the front line, and in harms way all together. It's barbaric, to me. I pray for soldiers all the time.
Good points, and that chivalry thing is a potential problem alright.
I've never seen it in the army. In training and combat women never get special treatment and they basically turn into "men" while they're there. I was surprised at how much men respected their female comrades and saw them as equals.
Women have been effective police officers, fire fighters and will be just as effective in combat as they are in other military functions. Being captured, mistreated and even executed are risk all soldiers take if we want equality we will all have to come to terms with that.
However I am wondering how this will play out if the draft is reinstated and if women will also to be required to register for the current selective service process like all men are now?
They certainly should. Equality implies equal treatment.
That is a question that I have been pondering too. If a draft ever becomes necessary again, I am certain that women will be equally subject to it.
The current selective service registration is still all male. If you are a man ages 18 through 25 and living in the U.S, then you must register with Selective Service, seems a bit unfair really!
I wonder if this 'lifting' of the ban on female service people serving on the front lines is ...voluntary or if you are in you are in... like the guys? I'd never given any thought to the draft... why would it be reinstated? We have plenty of troops.
They have brought it up on and off for years. Not a bad idea really. The military or those who don’t want to serve could perform civilian national service.
It's an academic question, though. The draft is obsolete in a military so technologically advanced it requires a year of intensive training just to take the first step. There is no more use for human wave combat in US wars.
War always requires cannon fodder, human wave or not. Old men start them and young men and women will fight them, as has been done forever, unfortuantely.
The point is the draft isn't coming back unless the national state decides it has to sacrifice the lives of millions of Americans to save itself. I think the Americans would tell it to go jump in the lake, so under any scenario this is a moot point.
Women won't be called into selective service because they're too valuable to a society. One woman can only bear one child at a time for population growth, while one man can impregnate thousands of women.
I thought Gen. McChrystal's view on why the draft should be reinstated was interesting and made sense. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/opini … .html?_r=0
If they want to do it, let them. If they don't, don't make them. Simple. It is everybody's choice to live their life as they see fit - assuming it does not contravene the rights of somebody else of course
I'm kind of surprised by your question, to be honest.
I'm Canadian, and to my knowledge, in the Canadian military, all jobs, positions and trades are open to women.. including front lines positions..
I guess I assumed it would've been the same for my neighbours south of me. I guess I took for granted the fact that as a Canadian woman, I didn't have any boundaries to cross as far as that was concerned.
So, suffice to say, I'm all for it... If someone wants to serve their country, they should be allowed to serve in any capacity, position, job or trade that they feel best suits their military goals.. Others are more comfortable holding support positions (likes nurses, etc) while some people want the chance to be in the thick of things..And everyone should have the right to that choice, not just men...
Yes, it's dangerous, but nobody joins the military thinking they might never have to be placed in harms way.. That is what their are trained for.
I am a little surprised to learn that the Canadian armed forces integrated women into all roles starting in 1987. According to a CBC article I googled, there are 7900 female personnel, and about 225 in regular combat force.
I googled it as well before I posted my comment.. I wanted to be sure before I stated that women have no barriers in the canadian military. We have one of the few militaries in the world with a no exclusion policy. A source of pride as a Canuck.
I'm honestly surprised because of how women seem to be looked at as below men in the military and coming from a family full of military vets, I'm a little shocked, but hopefully this proves there will be more equality between men and women in regards to military service.
Your question brings up lots of good points xstatic. I hate to admit it, but I thought women were treated equally in the service and that they already served in combat positions, now I learn they will be opening frontline positions to women?
Equality often comes with a price. War is never pretty nor is it fair. If you are soldier you are a soldier and unfortunately have to go to war.
I think it's fine. Men who want to serve in combat are getting to be hard to come by.
Canada has been 'way ahead (or behind, depending on your point of view) of the States on this issue. 31 years ago (1982) our Charter of Rights and Freedoms was entrenched in our Constitution. The Charter stipulates that discrimination of any kind for any reason under any circumstances is illegal--that included the military. In1989 our first female oldiers went into cobat division. We now have high-ranking female military officers, two females serving with our crack special forces, and we had two female soldiers KIA in Afghanistan.
As far as I can determine anecdotally from two friends in the Canadian forces, plus internet research, the performance of these women has been exemplary. They get ZERO concessions because of their gender, earn promotions , fit in, and have earned the respect of their male peers.
My personal view? I don't like the idea of women in combat roles. But the last time I checked my mail, no one at HQ was falling all over him......er/ herself to find out what they could do to win my approval.......................
It is a very scary thought for me anyways. I think that if a woman wants the opportunity to be in combat then I think that she should have the opportunity.
As a female planning to enter the Navy after College, I fully support this. I believe that when a lot of people think about women on the front lines they do not believe that they can hold their own. This is why there are regulations. If you are a five foot tall woman, or man for the reason, you not going to pass regulations for a front line position. I believe that people who have doubts about women on the front lines should take a moment of their time to look up the regulations and training that goes into these position. The military is hardly going to allow woman into a position that they cannot handle.
My question is how is the execution of a female soldier any worse then that of a male? Both are soldiers that devoted their life to defend this country, and some times, unfortunately, that means giving up their life.
Just because women now can vote hardly means that we are treated equal to men. I believe this is a great step to help women get better equality.
Rules are bent and loopholes exist about these regulations. Looking up regulations doesn't change the fact that the Navy doesn't follow them when they can justify sending someone somewhere under the guise of another reason. Happens all the time.
I think as long as the standards are the same for men and women if some women want to put themselves in harms way like that then that's their prerogative. But I think they also have no right to complain about some things they'll surely encounter on the front lines, like men letting off steam by telling dirty jokes or talking about women.
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