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Patch's Poll: Should Women Serve on the Front Lines?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta plans to lift the ban.

Following a recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has decided that the military will allow women to serve in combat units.

According to the New York Times, "Panetta’s decision came after he received a Jan. 9 letter from Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who stated in strong terms that the armed service chiefs all agreed that 'the time has come to rescind the direct combat exclusion rule for women and to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service.'"

The decision, which does not require action by Congress, will be implemented over several years by different branches of the military, the Times said.

How do you feel about this decision?

Take our poll and tell us in the comments.

Phyllis Johnson January 27, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Jack... I hope a draft is never again necessary... but if it does become necessary then both men AND women should be drafted. Please give women credit... they are tough cookies. It's perfectly natural to feel protective of our children... daughters and sons. But as long as females are accorded "frail" status they will forever be treated as second class citizens. If a female can not do a job, she shouldn't HAVE the job... firefighter, police, solider, CEO, president. Are you telling me that ALL men are capable of doing ALL jobs? Of course not... we all know cases of men in jobs they shouldn't have! We are all human beings with unique abilities and limitations. Let us make decisions based on individual ability and personal actions... and NOT gender (or race, religion, sexual orientation, etc). Thanks for continuing the conversation...
Phyllis Johnson January 27, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Mitch... these are valid points. (1) women (past and current) are already captured by enemy and tortured in all sorts of ways including sexual. Do you think men that are captured are not tortured including sexual torture? Why is it worse to have a women sexually tortured then a man? As far as what the govt would do if this happened... I doubt they would do anything more or less then they do right now. If female rape was seen as an untenable situation I imagine they would pull FEMALES out of the area of engagement... and that my friend would be very sexist. (2) does the avg female have the strength to drag a wounded male to safety? Does every male solider have the strength to drag any other solider out of harms way? What does he do if he can't? Get help from someone else? You bring up excellent and valid concerns Mitch... thanks!
Richard Poulton January 27, 2013 at 09:37 PM
I said my piece on this earlier and I wasn't going to make any further comments, but last night while watching the news (CNN) I heard a member of Congress (sorry can't remember his name) come out and say the main reason for allowing females to be front line combat trained members of the military, meaning Marines & Army, is so those in lower officer ranks can advance to Generals, Admirals, etc. That having this expierence is the only way they can advance to the high ranks. Excuse me Mister member of Congress, you should read before you speak, but thats right your are a politician. Currently there are a few female 4 star generals serving in the Pentagon. The Army alone has a dozen or more female General Staff officers currently leading army groups or in command leadership positions. So don't tell me women can't makes those ranks. I truly believe this decision was made for one reason & one reason only, get more votes at the next election. The current military operations are sterile in comparison to VN & Korea. Yes, during Irag 1, there were infantry units going up against there counterparts, hard core - man to man war. But now the biggest concern are the IED's, yes very bad, but we as a news watching society doesn't see what war is truly like anymore, its clean. FYI, during WWll the average infantry combat foot soldier in one year only actually expierenced 10 days of actual combat whereas in VN the foot soldier experienced 240 days of actual combat in one year.
Phyllis Johnson January 28, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Richard... Thanks for adding this information. Getting information is always good and important. Your service to this country brings a GREAT deal of weight to this discussion. My opinions on this topic are not meant to dismiss your wisdom and experience. You and all military persons have made it possible for me to voice my opinions freely... and for that I will be forever grateful. Thank you.
Richard Poulton January 28, 2013 at 01:40 AM
Thanks Ms. Johnson. I feel very strongly about this topic. Don't get me wrong, I am all for equal this and equal that, but not when it comes to having women in a field combat unit. I'm sorry. I don't think you will find anyone who has gone though such face to face action will ever say it was fun, had a good time, thank you. But what I will say is this - when I was growing up my father would talk about his "time" in Europe fighting you know who. He was one of the Rangers that scaled that wall in Normandy. He said there is no more greater adrenalin HIGH than combat, but the down side afterwords was more horrible, just thinking about what just happened. You know what, he was right. Thus I say not a place for women.

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