Parting gift? Sec. Panetta lifts ban on women in combat; Updated

The Associated Press is reporting that outgoing Defense Secretary Leon “Panther” Panetta has ended the ban on women in combat.

This is big news. It certainly took many Twitterers by surprise:

Others are concerned about the ramifications for women in the military:

We’ve got to hand it to Panetta — the man knows how to make an exit.


Update: As usual, there are mixed messages coming out of the reports on the announcement.

  • DeadBuffalo Blog

    That’s good! All you dames needs to fighting’ along wit us mens. Womens lib an all that!

    • TammyMcAbeeJay

      I think it is great if that is what the women want to do. Still…most women are not equal physically to perform this task and I believe if they are not able…and willing then you are just putting more of our own troops in harms way.

  • Cold War Grunt

    Because the Marine Corps was so successful with their recent “test” of this idea.
    Coming soon — Female Marine files lawsuit against the Corps, claiming Infantry Officer Course discriminates against women.
    Nobody should be allowed to be SecDef unless they have some serious time in one of the service branches.

    • Jeffrey Olah

      I would say they should have to be a colonal or equivelent

      • Grumpa Grumpus

        Major or lower!
        Everything higher needs political approval now…

  • Guest

    Haha!!! That 80 lb. load behind your back and the monthly visitor? That will be able to tell by just following the smell when you can’t get a shower in the middle of nowhere!!! That’s what it is in real life and confirmed by my classmate who was a vet of the first Iraq war in 1991.

    • Base Camp Hope Bch

      sooo men dont stink after five days of not washing?

      • Noelle C Campbell

        no, he’s saying men don’t have periods.

        • Base Camp Hope Bch

          And a period is going to cause me not to perform as well as my male counterpart?
          Ok I get it your one of those cry baby females that makes everyone’s life miserable just because you have your period. Get over yourself.
          I had sever cramps while I was in the service my male counterparts never knew about it, it never affected my job preformance.

        • Base Camp Hope Bch

          so a woman needs to restrict her activitys because of a period? really? are you serous?

  • carla5731

    Does that mean Selective Service registration for all 18-25 year olds now?

  • rinodino

    Why is everyone up in arms? Our “LOVERS IN ARMS” overseas, put their women in battle??

    • NachoCheese (D)

      “Why is everyone up in arms?”

      Because it has real world implications, to say nothing of the idiotic legal/political noise this will inevitably create. But when have unintended consequences ever stopped a liberal statist from pushing stupid policy?

      • rinodino

        You cons support Israel right? Then stop acting like hypocrites

        • FGCU_James

          Ah, Grand Idiot Master Travis, you’re going to have to explain this one for us dumb conservatives.

  • Tim Chedester

    One step closer to equal rights. I don’t like it myself …. however, women wanted equal rights. Well, here you go ! Be careful what you ask for you just might get it.

  • Jeffrey Olah

    I think this is bad because a man could take his eye off the ball because men are wired to protect women

    • Steven O’Connor

      I have been in combat a lot, and when you hear a woman scream it is very different from hearing a man cry out for help. VERY DIFFERENT.

  • Fred Kramer

    Vietnam vets! Remember what took place at “Graves Registration” locations in the Nam? This isn’t a matter of some few females being as strong and sturdy as their males counter-parts. This is simply more influence from the Democrats!

  • Donald Koller

    More corruption

  • Tim Hollingsworth

    Then immediately require them to register for the draft, ages 18-30, and withhold any government jobs or tuition assistance until they do, just as is required now of our sons.

    • Tim Hollingsworth

      They should have to meet every physical test currently reqired of the male brethren.

      • wwbdinct

        But many won’t be able to and then the lawsuits will begin…and then the requirements will be made to be less strenuous and then …. and then….. well, I’m sure you know how it will go.

        • Nicholas Reddy

          How is it fair for a woman of the same rank of a man in the military to
          be paid the same? The man can fight and die and the woman sits back at
          base. Woman want equal rights, equal pay, you get equal consequences.

          • docmacs

            Special pays…the woman sitting there doing admin work isn’t making the same as the Spec Ops guy on the front lines.

          • dmacleo

            depends on the theatre and combat pay setup.

          • docmacs

            I am talking other then combat pay….women aren’t (weren’t) allowed in Spec Ops so they don’t make certain special pays.

  • FGCU_James

    Not to sound sexist or anything, but there’s a reason why women stay home with regards to wars.

    Are there women out there who can be terrific soldiers? Absolutely.

    Should those women be given the chance to serve their country? Absolutely.

    Is that every woman? Absolutely not.

    • shimauma

      Well said. We ladies were designed for momma bear defense, not daddy lion offense.

    • D3LN3GRO

      make sandwiches. not war 😉

  • Edward T.

    selective service here they come.

    • TammyMcAbeeJay

      Draft the mother and the father, send the kids to foster care…oh wait they will be drafted too….oh well there are sure to be government homes to care for our youth, right? This is utterly absurd unless women want to serve in combat and have proven physically able….we are only putting other troops in harms way.

  • Leroy Whitby

    Benghazi? Gun “control?” Nah. Let’s talk about women in combat.

    The administration might as well just scream “squirrel!”

  • steven szell

    I am not to sure about the point of this, but I’m not liking it not necessary in my
    view .

  • Lynn Fisher Richter

    Brought to you by the crowd that banned dodge ball from the schools. Makes sense.

    • Amy

      So true – Luckily not all schools though – so glad my youngest is still able to play dodge ball. Except his PhyEd teacher is completely unPC and calls it… wait for it… MAN Ball! Gasp! I laugh and pray for this guy to keep his job everytime my son comes home and talks about his experiences playing man ball. LOL

      • Grumpa Grumpus

        I’ve never heard it called “man ball”, and dodge ball’s a game we played in the “roaring 20s”!

        • Amy

          We played in the 70’s too! :-) I’m not sure why they call it man ball – except that very few of the girls play with the guys so that may be why. They actually play it in the wrestlers practice room where it’s padded everywhere and it’s no holds barred and rather brutal. He lets the boys be boys and let me tell you, my boy really appreciates that!

  • Doc Kimble

    WHILE the Dog & Pony Show with Hillary is going on in DC, THIS deal from Panetta jumps up…..PANETTA LIFTS THE BAN ON WOMEN IN COMBAT !!! THIS IS WHAT I THINK OF THAT HOT MESS :
    The purpose of the Military is to win wars, not be a laboratory for social engineering. If more women in combat will enhance military abilities to win wars, we should immediately REINSTATE THE DRAFT… these many foreign wars and entanglements we’re involved in…and begin immediately to DRAFT BOTH women and men….equal rights for all in the military would then fulfil both the ability of America to win wars and produce equal results for politicians to turn to their constituents and claim a high moral purpose has been served. That is ONLY, however…..ONLY if men & women are EQUALLY CAPABLE of WINNING WARS and if men and women serve EQUAL ROLES in fulfilling the normal human happiness of all peoples everywhere. If such is not the case…..then the Military is not meant to be a laboratory for social(ist) engineering, as stated above.

  • connie

    not my daughter he ain’t…let his fat butt go if somebody has to…

  • Ashley

    If women want to be equals then they should be in all circumstances. Are women going to be able to carry my husband off the battlefield if he is hurt? Are they going to be subjected to the same physical standards and all training men have to go through? Give ya one guess.

    • Amy

      Whether they are even going to be able to carry the same load out in full battle rattle as your husband is also a valid question… No way could I carry as much weight as my hubby or son. So… Who carries that extra weight?
      :-( Bad news all around.

      • Steven O’Connor

        You have no idea how true that is, but they are lowering the standerds. Now for infantry you don’t have to do pullups in the army. That will happen soon. Trust me, I have seen it happen.

      • squareWave

        I spent over 20 years as a firefighter for a large urban department, including in the early 80s when we first had women brought into our equivalent of “front line combat”. I am here to tell you the average woman has less than 1/2 the upper body strength of even an unathletic man, and it was obvious in the physical trials. Raising a large extension ladder such as we used, not to mention carrying an incapacitated person down a flight of stairs in full gear, were just some of the physical tasks the females were incompetent at.

        Predictably, the standards were revised. It’s a huge disservice to the public trust.

    • dmacleo

      sadly no,
      and the woman that can, and I served with ones like that, will always have that cloud over their head.
      make one PT standard per age group, boot the ones that fail.
      male or female.

      • TugboatPhil

        And what about grooming standards? If there truly is no difference, buzz cuts all around. More likely they’ll go the route of Holland and let the men grow their hair out.

    • Sean Argir

      What about those females who are able to perform at the level needed? Besides, don’t forget that people have to test into the military occupational specialty they sign up for!

      • Steven O’Connor

        They lower the levels. They did it for the police forces and fire departments when that happend to them, and they have been doing that to the military, becuase they have been working their way into this.

        • RblDiver

          Indeed, they just cite that holding the same requirements, while not discrimination per say, leads to a disproportionate effect, which IS discrimination. Bunch of hooey if you ask me.

          However, I’m all for this change. Granted, I’ve been in a “let it burn” mentality since November, so this is continuing that. Maybe they’ll find that this wasn’t such a good idea after all (ah, who am I kidding, they will find a Youtube video they’ll blame instead).

  • Carol Saunders

    Wow! Hey if a woman is capable of taking care of herself then more power to her. I’ve seen some pretty strong women out there…honestly, there are women already in Afganistan that can get shot at just as easily as a man can!

    • Sean Argir

      Many people forget that women have served side by side men in Iraq and have done enough that would have been more than qualifications to be a part of the jobs now being opened to them. @Carol….you total understand. I just hope others would think twice before they posted a comments about women shouldn’t be in combat as I have been deployed twice and have seen weak men and women along with strong men and women!

      • Noelle C Campbell

        People aren’t forgetting that, but there are real world examples of women already serving in combat roles and the difficulties it presents to troop morale, to troop readiness, and to troop effectiveness as a whole. Even the Israeli’s had to push their women back to specific non-frontline roles because of all these issues. But here, we don’t even have this discussion at all. We just do it. You realize this is exactly like Obamacare and the fiscal debate. Lets just do what’s comfortable and what seems right – lets not look at real world examples or have a discussion about the real issues and consequences.

        I think we DESERVE to have the debate before the action. But thanks to the media, the Democratic Party, and a complicit Administration, we will never have to make our own decisions again.

  • WVS

    On the bright side, the only thing that would make a jihadist madder than being shot by an American, is being shot by an American woman.

    • FGCU_James

      You know, I didn’t think of that lol

    • Steven O’Connor

      The only thing the jihadist would love more then capturing and toruring a US man is a woman. Great point, because all the people that have been shot while I was in combat always asked, who was I shot by, was it a man, a child, a woman. I never once heard that dumb question.

      • WVS

        Oh it’s a terrible idea, especially to just do this for the heck of it when there was no real demand for it. Just looking for any positive to it…

      • Grumpa Grumpus

        how about “bacon-greased” bullets?
        or even bacon-wrapped bullets?

        pork chop fragmentation APs, anyone?

        What about “Brandy Gas”… atomized brandy instead of smoke or poison gas?

        Instead of flamethrowers (w/the attendant average survival time — which during WWII was about 7minutes before the enemy’d target you & your tanks) we could have “Roast Pork Gravy Throwers”. Yeah, they’d still target the user but hitting his tanks wouldn’t help… use freon as the propellant.

        For each person they’ve beheaded ship back a dead of theirs w/a pork chop in his mouth.

        I’m a nasty man, huh…

    • James Amyx

      Wow, but sooooo true…. lol

    • ThorOdinson

      Take what happened to Lara Logan and multiply it by 100.

  • Moue La Moue (D)

    I’d go for sarcasm about how this is going to end so well, and that I can’t wait to see what the result of this is …. but I’m afraid actually. I’m just very afraid. I suppose only time coupled with trial and error will tell?

  • dmacleo

    fine. then lift the reduced PT requirements too and make everyone of an age group equal and not sex based.

  • overboosted

    Let’s see what women would I like to see on the front lines……


    Nancy Pelosi

    Joy Behar

    Whoopi Goldberg

    Mrs. Bill Clinton

    Arianna Huffington

    Maxine Waters

    Oh, and Bawney Fwank!


    • ceemack

      Joy Behar wouldn’t have to fire a shot…her looks alone would probably drive the enemy away. If not, she could always open her mouth to speak. That’d do it, for sure.

      And Barney Frank could offer to buy them a drink. They’d run like hell.

    • RblDiver

      Gah, I give up. I swear there was a funny Youtube which took Nancy Pelosi’s quote (something like “I was fighting in Iraq”) and placed her head on some old war films/Hogan’s Heroes. I was going to link it, but think it was taken down. Pity.

    • Grumpa Grumpus

      We’d have to withdraw from the Geneva Convention.

      Not necessarily bad, since the bad guys have never kept to it anyway, but politically difficult…

  • Albert N. Milliron

    Now lets have all those women who now have military equality sign up for Selective Service today… interesting timing, during Hillary Clinton testimony, giving MSM something else to talk about.. I mean, What difference does it make?

  • Jerry Erb

    as long as they carry there load. including there PACK weapon and so on let them at it. but if they want to have someone else carry things for them order them then charge them under the UCMJ and boot there butts. if they can do the work like everyone else fine but do not ask for special treatment. same PT, pack loads everything.

  • Isabella1709

    My niece just returned from Afghanistan where she serves as a Predator intelligence officer. She flies it from a computer. Her best friend though is a female Wart Hog pilot. I don’t want either of them doing what they do. But that is their choice, not mine. She would much rather be at home with her husband and baby!

  • Jane

    I think if they chose to go then fine. Army nurses have been at the front for many years. If they go they need to go as a servicemember not as a female.

  • aegean1

    I think this is the right move, but the wrong timing. Too much
    political correctness in our military. If they were held to the same
    standard, then this move would be great. Women who are strong enough and
    want to, should be allowed to fight. Not all women are shrinking
    violets. BUT, as others have pointed out, standards are different for
    men and women already, they’ll probably lower the standards for combat
    readiness for the women.

  • ceemack

    To quote a Top Sergeant: “There’s no way a 110-pound female is going to do anything but sit on a 100-pound rucksack.”

    • Base Camp Hope Bch

      that sargeant had not delt with many females, we do our part and then some.

  • Base Camp Hope Bch

    I cannot believe the comments I am seeing. First a disclaimer, I am not a feminist. I AM a Veteran who is a Woman. Your comments have made me cringe; this is the same garbage that all Women face when they enlist. You’re not strong enough, you do not have the mentality (like the men) for the military, and you will cause men’s death because they are protecting you instead of themselves…… I am so tire of hearing this. We (Women in the Military) have proven ourselves! Women in the Military always have to do twice as much to get the same recognition as the men. We will and have meet whatever physical standards needed to get the job done.

    Women are currently carrying a full pack, taking fire and returning it. Women have won many of the metals the military gives, some of them combat metals. We have lost hundreds of women in combat, thousands more have been wounded.

    We have done the same work as our brother in arms for years now, without the recognition, we have saved our fellow soldiers on the battle field, we have gone without bath, despite have a period, we have walked step in step with our brothers, but are not considered combat troops because of our gender, We have proven our worth. Despite this when we are given the same status as our brothers in arms, we are told we can’t….

    Get over it, woman are already in combat.

    • Noelle C Campbell

      Yeah, men should just give up on acting like gentlemen. Women are so over that. Men should just act like the pansy asses we all wish they were. No one likes strong men that want to protect women anymore. Pft. So 2001.

      • Base Camp Hope Bch

        Was that implied in anything I said?

    • Guest

      Yeah when I was in there the women were given twice as much ammo to qualify on there rifle marksmanship. So I guess thats what you mean about doing twice as much for the same recognition.

      • Base Camp Hope Bch

        Speaking from first hand experince, I was given the same amount of rounds as my male counterparts and fired expert. You sound like a bitter little privet who has been bested by female soldiers all his military carreer

        • Base Camp Hope Bch

          oh by the way what did you fire?

          • Noelle C Campbell

            You implied just because a man treats a woman differently from a man, that he is being unfair or sexist. Maybe he’s just being classy and protective. And you also implied that a woman can be as strong as a man, pound for pound. That is just untrue. We may have lost hundreds of women in combat, but WWII vets could say the same thing–we haven’t lost thousands of women in combat because they are on the front lines. I am a woman. I believe that guns are a great equalizer, but In combat, you sometimes run out of bullets. I don’t ever pretend that I am as strong as a man. I think one day women will be able to enter into combat ‘equally’ – – but it will be a lot more like Avatar ( plugging into a artificial suit/body) than any Mila Jojovich movie.

            Even if you didn’t believe any of what I just said – to enter women into combat without having the discussion about it, without giving the public a chance to talk about it, to discuss the consequences, is down right despicable. The founders spent YEARS proving their case for America – and we can’t even spend a effin day on discussing this???

          • Base Camp Hope Bch

            “You implied just because a man treats a woman differently from a man, that he is being unfair or sexist. Maybe he’s just being classy and protective.”

            you sure do read a lot of into a statement that is not there. Nowhere did I say that if a man has manners and treat a woman with respect that he is sexist. I will try to explain what I did say by breaking it down for you in a simple example so you can understand (there will be no need to use your psychic powers to read in between the line thing that are not there). Take the example of a man and a woman who both went to the same business school took the same class
            got the same grades. Graduated at the same time, got hired at the same time, for the same position, for the same salary. A big project comes up that will result in a big promotion. Both the man and women are to offer their take on it. At the time of the presentation, it is obvious that the woman has really worked hard, her facts are spot on, her presentation is professional and she has anticipated future problems. In other words she has done everything right. Now the man gets up and gives his presentation, he has no flow charts, his facts barely exist, he has no future projections, it is an adequate report.

            Who gets the promotion?

            In my mind the one who did all the hard work no matter what gender they are. In your mind, the man, because he’s a man. The military tends to think the same way.

            If you really read what I said, you will see in my original post one of the first things I said is “I am not a feminist” I put that there so I could avoid just such a discussion as this. I have never calmed that men and women think alike, that women have the same muscle as men nor that can all women do the same job as men. I am saying that when a woman does that same job as a man and does it as well as a man, that she deserves the same recognition. If you knew me at all(instead of jumping to asinine assumptions) you would know that even though I was a Soldier, I am all women and love it when a man is a gentleman and would never ever take that from a man.

            You mention men from WWII we are comparing apples to oranges. Take a look at what modern woman are already doing in the military, she is already in combat, she is already preforming up to the standards of her male counterpart. In one of my responses
            I address that. A little research on your part would show you what the modern (not the WWII) female soldier is already doing. I am not sure what an fiction movie has to do with the current discussion, but in your mind it makes sense, good for you.

            You said that this was a sudden decision, once again you are wrong, it has been debated since the 70s (once again I know because I was there and followed the debate). So I am asking you to please, please know what you are talking about before you post.

    • FGCU_James

      I’m not trying to make light of your service, nor that of any woman (or man, for that matter) serving in the military.

      It’s simple biology, unfortunately. Women simply are not built like men are, and for every woman who can keep up with or even exceed a male soldier, there are many more who simply cannot, not unless “keeping up” is redefined by using different standards.

      • Base Camp Hope Bch

        Thank you James. you are right not every woman can keep up with a man. But then again not every man can keep up with a woman. My own personal experience, was I fell in with the top third of the men (which meant 2/3 of the men in my company could not keep up with me). Not every woman will be in combat, just as not every man will be in combat. However, we are both trained the same.

        I do not believe the training standers should be lowered to accommodate the Female Soldier, this would just get soldiers killed. Whether it be male or female if they cannot make the standards they do not belong in a combat MOS.

        In my day a woman could not go airborne. Number one excuse we could not psychically endure the training (I was disappointed, I really wanted airborne). We now have thousands of females who have gone airborne, once again it is not for every female or every male.

        I once met a Female Veteran who had been stationed in Korea on the DMV she was 99 pounds if soaking wet, she is the holder of a Bronze star for her actions on the DMV. She had single handed shot down an enemy helicopter, using an M60.

        We currently have female warriors imbedded with our infantry going door to door, because of the culture of the Middle East (there is a lot more to that story). They up to a day ago could not draw combat pay, now they can.

        The current Female Vets tell me stories of being on the front line because of their non-combat MOS, being fired on and having to fire back.

        What this has done is a recognition of what Females in the military are already doing.

        Once again not every female wants to be or is qualified for a combat MOS. But to those who can handle it the door is now open.

        • Noelle C Campbell

          The door is open, yes, but will women have a choice between combat duty or no? Or will they, like happened in Desert Storm, get the assignment and suddenly get sick, or pregnant, or mentally ill? Will this actually reduce the amount of women recruits because they are worried they WILL be sent into combat? NO one is discussing any of this, and that is the problem with these sorts of decisions done in this fashion. This deserves discussion BEFORE it is implemented, but we’ve had none, and now all we can do is watch, and pay, for the unintended consequences.

          • Base Camp Hope Bch

            Please do not judge all women in the military on a fews actions. There are just as many men that would claim a sudden illness to get out of combat (some of them wishing they could claim a pregnantcy lol), no one really wants to go to combat.

            If you knew anything about the military you would know we get to pick our jobs, if I have no wish to be in a combat job, I will not pick it.

            The subject of women in the military and in combat has been on the table since the 1970s anybody astute enough to follow the news would be aware of this.

          • Base Camp Hope Bch

            And once again please do some research and see the women who are already successfully filling combat roles and the men who work with them.


  • Noelle C Campbell

    sexist or not, you have to confront reality
    will it make us more vulnerable?
    will it put more troops in danger
    will it affect morale
    will it affect the behavior of the men in combat
    No one would disagree with any of that, sexist or not, that is the reality, but instead of talking about it at all, we’re just going to do it as if there are NO consequences – and there aren’t for the people who decide these things – you know why? because of this Dine and Dash mentality in DC: just do it at the last minute so I don’t have to be held accountable for it or pay the political price.

    Glenn Beck was right.

    • Base Camp Hope Bch

      .Women are already in combat roles, embeded with infantry troops, going door to door knocking down doors, doing what it takes to keep their fellow soldiers safe.

      • Noelle C Campbell

        The point isn’t what women can do, it’s can they do what men can do in all the same ways men can. The answer is no. A woman can’t even go 30 days without needing DIFFERENT treatment than a man–Not unless they have their ovaries removed or have a special treatment done every three months to prevent them from having a period.

        • Base Camp Hope Bch

          quit thinking with your lady parts. women are and have gone 30 day with out special treatment. the men I served with never knew when my period came up, because I did not allow it to interfer with the job.

  • Steven O’Connor

    How about asking those have been in combat many times. And to tell what we have seen when the terrorist get to a place where military woman are at. Clinton did this in Somalia, I had to kick a woman off of the 50 cal and start shooting. The attack stopped right after that. If any woman agrees with this you should have to wear a dog tag. So I know not to open doors for you. Not to pay for the date. Not to bring flowers. If you want us all to be exactly the same, then you f*$%ing pay for the dates, you open the damn door, you drop me off while it is raining and then park the car a mile away.
    We were made to be different. And I will never treat a woman like a man. This makes no sense and is part of a long agenda to get rid of sexuality. There are state colleges that have no gender showers, no gender rooms. Any two people can room together, any group of people can take showers together. WOMEN, DON’T COMPLAIN WHEN A YOUNG GUY ISN’T TURNED ON BY JUST YOU, BECAUSE HE IS USED TO SHOWERING WITH MANY WOMEN AT THE SAME TIME. FROM A 7 TIME COMBAT VET, THIS IS STUPID. THEY WILL BE F*&%ING MORE THEN FIGHTING.

  • Steven O’Connor

    I wonder if these congress idiots would be ok with their daughters on the front line, How about it obama, are your daughter to good for the front line, or are they patriotic.

  • Base Camp Hope Bch

    To those who are saying women and the military do not mix, come walk in my combat boots for a bit, as a woman who has severed, I would like you to know:

    We have done the same work as our brother in arms for years, without the recognition.
    We have saved our fellow soldiers on the battlefield.
    We have walked step in step with our brothers, but are not considered combat troops because of our gender.
    We have proven our worth.
    We have been in combat for many years now.
    We have made a difference.

  • Guest

    Pass the bread, this circus is boring. This was simply intended to distract the people from what happened in the Senate hearing
    today. A calculated political move. The administration had to deflect
    the attention of women voters away from Hillary, to play defense for her
    2016 run.

  • Jary

    What do they think would happen to women captured during combat by Middle East mentality men? Great job guys!!

  • Raye09

    Is there any way citizens can petition this? What about what congress thinks?
    Most people I know oppose this, why does it seem like the citizens no longer have any say in the law?
    I personally enjoy being female and have no desire to be exactly like a man, or compete physically with a man.