Should the military ban women from combat roles?

Two groups of women serving in the military have filed lawsuits to force the Pentagon to change its policy banning women from combat roles. The women argue that they are serving in dangerous roles already, and that the ban on combat positions hurts their careers. Today’s Question: Should the military ban women from combat roles?

  • Keith

    What a ridiculous question in this day and age. Of course not!

  • John

    No, some of the scariest people I know are women.

  • Rich in Duluth

    No, women should be allowed in combat. I would prefer, instead, that we ban wars of choice.

  • Jim G

    Yes. They are in harm’s way and they should be given credit for it. If they experience combat, they should receive combat pay. If they get wounded, they deserve the same Purple Heart.

    Punching the ticket of combat command for promotion to the general staff either needs to be removed or let the women into the club.

  • Jim G

    Ahh, that would be No. :O)

    No. They are in harm’s way and they should be given credit for it. If they experience combat, they should receive combat pay. If they get wounded, they deserve the same Purple Heart.

    Punching the ticket of combat command for promotion to the general staff either needs to be removed or let the women into the club.

  • Sue de Nim

    If the Equal Rights Amendment had been ratified 30 years ago, as it should have been, and would have been but for the fear-mongering of Phyllis Schlafly and others, this would not be an issue. It’s long past time to bring the ERA back and ratify it this time.

  • Steve the Cynic

    You have to wonder about anyone who wants to be in a “combat role.” Other than that, I can’t think of a good reason to keep qualified women from those roles. The current policy is an anachronism.

  • Robert Moffitt

    As an Army veteran, I say no.

    Did I mention that my wife is an Army veteran, too?

  • Philip

    Yes. Not in a combat arms unit. If you’ve never been in one, you won’t understand. If you have and say no, then you are reinforcing why they shouldn’t. A platoon of infantry needs to remain a bunch of well behaved killers, capable of unleashing total rage on an enemy when needed. When needed, they need to be the one eyebrow knuckle draggers, who are ready at a moments notice to kill people and break things. This is not to diminish what women have done in the service of our nation in combat, but a combat arms unit is a different “animal” altogether.

  • GregX

    Yes. If they meet the physical and psychological requirements – put them in.

    Any other decision is letting the prevailing machismo and self-agrandizing rhetoric of the current male participants win out. Their anecdotally based presumptions are both antequated and personally based.

    the military fights nearly every data based change to their system. they inculcate and indoctrinate staff, through their training and culture , against women … instead following their presumed capability to … adapt and get the job done.

    Adapt.

  • GregX

    Phillip – “A platoon of infantry needs to remain a bunch of well behaved killers, capable of unleashing total rage on an enemy when needed. When needed, they need to be the one eyebrow knuckle draggers, who are ready at a moments notice to kill people and break things.”

    Incorrect – that is not how a military runs. Emotion doesn’t make for good combat action – it makes for disorganization and self-preservation over group action, attainment of the goal and acceptance of role.

    Your example speaks of fear based action. Not something based on data, training, and leadership. That is how a disorganized gang, fearful and leaderless solves a problem.

    ANYONE can do that. ANYONE can be that.

    Teenagers are some of the best rage and mayhem killers out there. NOT a GOOD model.

  • Philip

    GregX – I did it for 20 years. I stand by what I said. Women should not be in combat arms units – period.

  • Steve the Cynic

    The Israelis have women in combat, and it doesn’t seem to be a problem for them. Likewise for most of our allies.

  • Wally

    How interesting that as I write this, the female to male comment ratio is 1:12.

    Woman are already in combat, the Pentagon semantically dances around the truth of that. In this military equality fiasco, naval ships have become floating maternity wards. Barracks have become rape labs.

    But hey, put some militant lesbians in the front lines, and the Taliban and al Qaida would turn tail and run.

  • Manuel Chávez

    From an infantry Vietnam veteran, NO… Be careful what you ask for… Remember, if we ever go back to the draft and this passes to allow women in combat positions (infantry), women will not have a choice…

  • JasonB

    If it really “hurts their careers”, which I hadn’t thought of, then I would slide towards ‘no’.

    I would think that joining the military in any capacity always means there’s the possibility of being put in harm’s way. So restricting women’s involvement in the organization that they have already been accepted into sounds like a holdover of the old school notion: ‘women do not make good (insert gender bias role here)’. In the interest of parity and letting them ‘be all that they can be’, the military should reconsider this last reservation towards women serving.

  • JasonB

    Thinking about this a little more, it also sounds like an issue of comradery, which I haven’t seen anyone really comment on yet. I know that was part of the discussions about whether gays should serve. Perhaps that discussion should be a guide for this issue.

  • GregX

    Phillip – GregX – I did it for 20 years. I stand by what I said. Women should not be in combat arms units – period.

    Thanks for the 20 years of service. I think only about 1-4% of the country actually serve.

    But … many experience your adherence to the “way it worked” for them. I too truly don’t change easy .. but I do change. And after the change… the goals are achieved. Adapt.

    What worked in your environment was due to a system that strictly taught, fostered and encouraged only that behavior. It was the brass-balls model of team building. Anyone accepting the alternative was ostracized and slowly but surely excluded from the service. Nice and neat – out on the street.

  • david

    Mixing 18 year old male and female adrenaline junks, what could possibly go wrong?

  • david

    *Junkies

  • Jim Salutz

    Women should be in combat and register for Selective Service like everyone else.

  • Linda in Plymouth

    Ever notice there are no women in fire departments after the age of 40? Few alone can make the physical demands. How many women can carry a 73 lbs back pack all day in climbing and running as my son? And men don’t get incapacitating menstrual periods_ period.

    But there will be arguments based on moving up the ranks vs. what is good for all safety. Lack of knowledge of the combat role demands will only add more banter to this dumb question. Tjisis like the argument for supporting Palestine’s rocket attacks and are pro Hamas, against our closest ally, Israel. They know no facts or history. For example, in 1947 the United Nations passed a resolution that created the state of Israel and that same resolution, also called the ‘Partition Resolution,’ created a state for the Arab Palestinians. But the Arab nations refused it and then in 1948 went to war against Israel.

    Israel needs USA support or we too, will end up as their #1 Islamic radical target even more than we are today_ Obama’s policies did not route out Al Quieda terrorists as he said so much while campaigning_ but you see, when media gives no facts, the public is fooled to believe anything and they vote with their feelings instead of facts.

  • Susan WB

    To all those (mostly men) commenting “no,” I would encourage you to remember that many other countries around the world have fully integrated combat forces, from European nations to Israel. It seems to work for them. Why wouldn’t it work for us? “We’ve always done it that way,” is not a strong reason for a policy.

  • Susan WB

    Sorry, that should be “commenting ‘yes’.”

  • Linda in Plymouth

    I vote “no” the idea of no women in combat was ensure initially, that a country can’t risk their child bearing citizens. Older women past 50 wouldn’t be in combat because of age and condition to fight.

    Why is this story even being addressed when we still have unresolved Benghazi scandal and now the DFL says nothing about their candidate for congress in Illinois, convicted sex crime with a 15 year old girl?? Even Jesse Jackson Jr’s scandal with Blogavitch was ignored.

    It seems if a scandal comes and it is a DFL progressive, then those stories are ignored. Doesn’t DFL people or MPR or NPR have any morals left so they can address these stories? Instead we waste time with small issues of women in combat_ Obama wants smaller military so why the issue anyway?