Panetta Allows Women in Combat Roles



women-combatFox News reports that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta just allowed women in combat roles.  Prior to this women could not serve in the military occupational skills such as infantry, special operations units, be fighter pilots, etc.  We as a nation did not want our women on the front lines.  While I’m sure there is celebration among the feminist movement over this development I don’t believe this is something we should celebrate.

This isn’t to say that women are not capable of combat roles.  Women have performed admirably under fire when the situation has called for it… being in non-combat roles does not keep female soldiers and Marines out of harms way.  This is certainly a first move in President Obama’s agenda seen in his inaugural address.

So the question that needs to be answered is not whether women can be in combat roles, but should they?  Call me old fashion, but I balk at where our culture is going.  Equality does not equal sameness, but that is what feminist groups and our current President seek to achieve.

I don’t say this to diminish women in any way.  I support women in a plethora of roles, but the one of protector I balk at.

I’m sorry I don’t want to send my wife or daughters to the front line to protect my freedom.  That goes against every instinct that I have.  I’m to protect them.  I will lay down my life, if necessary, to protect them.  We’ve raised our son to be a protector as well, to watch out for his sisters.

With a stroke of the pen we see the advancement of modern day knights quelled.  I can’t even fathom what the consequences will be for our children.

So again this isn’t a question of whether a women can perform these roles, but whether they should.

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  • GrammarNazi

    Actually, women have been combat-support pilots in many types of aircraft since 1976 and have served as fighter pilots in combat since 1993. So that’s not new. As for infantry, the military should simply set qualifications (speed, strength, etc) for what it takes to do a job, and if women can meet them, fine (and many men probably will be unable to do so).

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      Yes I realize women have served in combat support roles. I served alongside of them as a combat medic when I was in the Army. Standards would certainly be a way to address it, and totally agree with you that there are men not up to the task.

  • http://twitter.com/emheikes Emily

    I think it’s great! I don’t think it going against your ‘instinct’ is really a good enough objection. Clearly they have some pretty amazing instincts that have them allowed to train and get the point where they are.

    This decision doesn’t mean that they’re trying to be exactly like the men who they serve alongside. I’m sure they bring unique strengths to the role.

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      My instinct isn’t good enough to form a public policy, but it is to form an opinion which is what this is – an opinion. Perhaps they do bring unique strengths to the role and then perhaps not. We’ll see. I have a whole host of other problems with this as well regarding billeting, proximity, lack of privacy, etc…. I can see some problems happening. I know other countries have done this before so this certainly isn’t breaking new ground. We’ll see how positive you think it is when we start seeing more female causalities. I think public opinion could change on a dime.

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      BTW, Emily, my opinion is also based on eight years of service with the Iowa and Illinois Army National Guard.

      • Mark

        Just because your opinion is based on national service, doesn’t inherently make it a better argument, which you seem to imply.

      • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

        You have a right to your opinion, but mine is based on experience not just on feeling – though as I mention in the post it is based partly on that I’ll admit. Whether that makes it better or not, I guess you can judge. Mine at least is informed.

  • http://greghauenstein.com/ Greg Hauenstein

    They should if they want to. We have an all-volunteer army and these are adults. They make the decision to join the armed forces.

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      Greg, yes they are adults and yes we do have an all volunteer army. I would hope that they will be held to the same standards expected of men during infantry school, Ranger school, Q Course for Special Forces, SEAL Training, etc. Having served in the military I can see potential pitfalls and problems with females on the front lines. Some of these they may be able to mitigate, others not. I just don’t think we’ll see it as great when there is an uptick in female causalities. Also this begs the question – will women now have to register for selective service because, after all, that’s only “fair.”

      • http://greghauenstein.com/ Greg Hauenstein

        I think that is totally fair for women to register for the draft and it would be terrible to see ANY uptick in casualties, no matter the gender.

      • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

        I agree that it would be terrible to see any uptick in casualties regardless of the gender. I believe we should get rid of the draft however.

  • Warren Potter

    why are we danceing around the very obvious reasons for woman not being in the front lines. This is how it was explained to me when i was in the Army. If a man was to be captured there is many formes of torture and ways of him being used against the United States. Can you imagine what could be done to a female as torture? Could you imagine the propaganda that a video of an American serviceWoman being tortured or raped could do? We have all seen or at least heard of the videos of Americans being beheaded. The horror of seeing that is one thing. How about 20 Taliban rapeing one of our woman soldiers?
    Another reason is men and woman have needs (were adults so reed into that what you will) and being on a long deployment away from your spouse or significant other is hard enough without having a person of the oppisit sex in such close proximity.

    In no way am I saying a woman can not do the job. I have an xwife who would rivel any wmd the enemy could have. I am saying why make the art of war any more compkacated than it already is.