U.S. defense chief says women may serve in combat
January 24th, 2013
01:43 PM ET

U.S. defense chief says women may serve in combat

The U.S. military will end its longstanding policy of excluding women from combat and open front-line units to female servicemembers, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta formally announced Thursday.

"The fact is, they have become an integral part of our ability to perform our mission, and for more than a decade of war they have demonstrated courage and skill and patriotism," Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon.

Panetta said women will be integrated into combat units "expeditiously" but without hurting the effectiveness or morale of the armed forces.

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soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Jose

    i think she was lip singing.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Apartheid_DC!

    Allowing women in combat zones is a STUPID move–they need to reconsider this.

    January 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Disgruntled 11Bravo.

      very true. I agree with you 100%.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ancient Texan

    They will perform well...but will the enemy be "nice"? Or overly brutal to them?

    January 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • krehator

      The solutions is simple. Do not get taken as a pow. Go down fighting.

      January 26, 2013 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. jayakumar

    This is just great. Finally we are a completely free country. I dont see any reason at all why women who can meet all the standards that other men face should be kept out. They have all the right to be warriors as well. But if the enemy captures them and assauilt them, or otherwise treat them like some evil bigots will do to women, I hope the country will not treat these women any different from how they will treat the kidnapping and torture of a man. If that is so, This is the right thing to do.

    January 24, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • krehator

      The dirty secret is that the standards are not equal. AR 670-1 and AR 7-22 (formerly 21-20) is still NOT equal. Most Americans do not realize this. Until Mr. Panetta changes that, this whole thing is a food PR stunt, but that is about it. As-is women are still not meeting the same standards. Until they do, they will not win the respect of the men they serve with.

      January 26, 2013 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rascal Rabble

    see how dumb can american military get? just look to peanuthead panetta...

    January 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ronvan

    It is NOT that women could not perform the mission, it is WE, males, that continue to hold on to the "old traditions" of women "staying at home & raising children"! You CANNOT argue or make statements that they could not take the pressure of combat! I have seen MANY male soldiers that could NOT handle the terror and carnage of a combat situation. NO ONE knows how they will react when you get into the "real thing"! IF women want to fight, as they are ALREADY doing, they just downplay it, and as long as they MEET the STANDARDS of the job they are getting into then they are EQUAL, at that point, to any male soldier!

    January 25, 2013 at 8:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Disgruntled 11Bravo.

      First of all, PTSD and not being able to handle it are two VERY different things. As I said before.. Read Panettas article about what inspired him to allow women in combat. It was a woman siting in the gunners seat of an 1151 HMMWV. Ive been Infantry for 8 years and am currently a Staff Sergeant ( Squad Leader), this move by Panetta will create more issues than commanders and leaders will be able to handle. Not all war is as you described it Ron...

      January 28, 2013 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. krehator

    Ladies, meet the same standards if you want the same pay and respect. If you can do it, you deserve it.

    Make ALL military standards general neutral, Mr. Panetta! Have the courage to do what is right.

    January 25, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. krehator

    er *gender*

    January 25, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Scottish Mama

    I believe some of these women are already doing combat duties.

    January 26, 2013 at 12:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • krehator

      They have. I've seen women in combat units for years, but usually attached. Even SF units.

      January 26, 2013 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. Concern1

    Have the Male coward Christian American crusaders started wetting in their trousers that they have to recruit females to fight their Wars :)

    January 28, 2013 at 1:43 am | Report abuse | Reply

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