SOUND OFF: Should Women Serve in Combat?

The Pentagon lifted its ban Thursday on women serving in combat roles, including roles on the front lines of battle. What do you think about the change? Tell us below.

The Pentagon made a historic move Thursday when it lifted its ban against women serving in combat, according to USA Today. 

A 1994 restriction prevented women in the military from serving in combat, including service on the front lines. However, many argued, including the American Civil Liberties Union, that reality showed women already serving on the front lines

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a member of the Armed Services Committee who strongly supports the historic change, issued the following statement after the announcement. 

“I applaud the Secretary for formally removing the ban," Reed said. "The reality of today’s battlefield is that all who serve are in combat.”

The military's lift of the ban opens up  230,000 posts to women in the military, according to USA Today. 

I wanted to know what you thought about the military's decision to lift the ban. 

On Portsmouth Patch's Facebook page, I asked, "Do you think women should serve in combat?" Here's what a few users had to say: 

Alan Herman: Women have fought for equal rights for years. This is a major step in the right direction for all women.

Jane Wolk Wheeler: It's not just about "serving in combat". It's about it being "official" so they can advance their careers. Many women are already in what are essentially combat positions, but not officially designated as such. They need this to be able to move up in the ranks of the military as men do.

Deb Cotta Natale: Yes...if they join the military and get all the great benefits they definitely should that is part of it right?!

What do you think about the military lifting the ban? Tell us in the comment section below! 

Jack Baillargeron February 16, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Lee@; In the age of modern weapons for our military anyway, there is a far greater over whelming force in the hands of our miltary. I hate to keep saying it, but again as long as they qualify under the same rules that apply to every soldier, I see no problem. I will grant that the selection of those who can do it are probably very small. However they should not be denied that right, if they qualify. I also understand the problem of male soldiers who may make a mistake because of generations of upbringing in the way women are looked at so to speak and may take a risk to save a women that in the case of a man would be foolish to try. I am a vet also as are most of my family including My 90 year old mother. She sees no problem with it either, being Russian. As I said many modern armies use women in combat roles and the evolution of an all volenteer service was inevidably going to go this way. The clincher in this also is the end of don't ask don't tell also, though many will not admit that, but it is out there. So I see no difference in this as gays have the same stigma as women do in combat. It matters not who is next to you as you know in a firefight. What matters is the individual has your back. I still think your bayonet assumption does not matter nor size. By that assumption armed civilian women cannot protect themselves against intruders to their home or on the street. The news is replete with examples that disprove that. Also women in the olympic sports does.
Jack Baillargeron February 16, 2013 at 04:17 PM
PS; My olympic point is that many of the things they compete in there the average man could not do either as well and require enormous dedication, stamina and physical ability. I also know many women who can shoot the eye out of an eagle. Not to mention the best sooter ever "Annie Oakly" Can't think of a man who could do this back then. Annie Oakley (August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926), born Phoebe Ann Moses, was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. Oakley's amazing talent[4] and timely rise to fame led to a starring role in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, which propelled her to become the first American female superstar. Oakley's perhaps most famous trick is being able to repeatedly split a playing card, edge-on, and put several more holes in it before it could touch the ground, while using a .22 caliber rifle, at 90 feet. :-}.
Jack Baillargeron February 16, 2013 at 04:24 PM
One more thing on the sports. There is a reason for weight classes in sports as you well know. But if you have a 6' man with a gun or 5'4" women with the same gun. I fail to see the difference when they are both aiming at the same enemy. Both are just as likely to to be shot reguardless of their physical size. Size and weight have little to do with the weapons of today. Those weapons that do require the same size to handle it whether it is a woman or a man. I.E. a 120lb man and a 120lb woman have the same problem with the recoil of a 50 cal. do they not?
Jack Baillargeron February 16, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Sorry to go on lol. I do not agree with women on Submarines, do to the needs that arise with women that men are not suceptable too. Won't go into that though lol. But because we are talking about long term missions with a sub it does affect things on a sub. I will concede there are no doubt situations that can arise as they do with any human on the battlefield that can be decrimentle to the moral and accomplishment of the mission, but that cannot be predicted with women there or men. Interesting conversation this is and am sure it will be a forever one as we both have good points and counter points. But in the end,it is going to happen and time will tell the tale. ;-}
Jerry plumb March 14, 2013 at 11:51 PM


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