Women in combat roles?

Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Women in combat roles?
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 9:44am

Wow, how interesting that in our lifetime the ban on women in combat roles was lifted. What do you think of this? Would you encourage your daughter to serve now?

I have a son in the military now and would have been just as happy to see my daughter ,who is of age, serve but she is expecting her first baby so I don't really see that happening. It will be interesting to see how this affects my younger daughter should she decide to serve the country. 

Community Leader

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 9:50am

I think it's a great change--about time our military joined the ranks of other countries who've accepted women in all roles.  My daughter is so not suited for the military and even less so w/ combat type jobs so this wouldn't be a good fit for her.I do know some girls who are interested, in great shape, would be perfect for it so it's nice that they're no longer limited.  It takes a special type of person to be able to do that, imo coming from a military family.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2012
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 9:52am

I think it is great!  If women are allowed in the military, they should have the same access to all jobs in the military!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2012
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 11:18am

Well, this is embarrassing. I didn't even know there were certain military roles that were restricted for women. Embarassed  I'd seen and known both women and men who have been deployed so I just assumed they both could be in direct combat positions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 3:38pm
I think this is great... One more pathway open to 50plus percent of the population. I think the line between combat and non combat was getting blurred and this is great. My brother, who is in the military, always said I couldn't join the army because they don't let you start as a general...think he thinks I'm bossy?
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 4:06pm

My first reaction was like all of yours, totally for it, but this article I just read has my rethinking my position:


I never thought about the close contact and having the physical strength to save your fellow soldiers. I still think that there are front line positions that woman could fill, but maybe it's not a good idea for it to be wide open?


"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open."

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2012
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 6:06pm

I think women who are qualified to do the job should do the job. I am sure their qualifications for strategy, leadership, and physical strength will be taken into the decision on where they can fill the role.

Remember way back when women couldn't be police and fire fighters? With the right physical training women can tone their muscles pretty well. So I would hope, as with all jobs, the person is picked due to their qualifications and not their gender.

I know I am pretty strong, wouldn't have a problem being in combat to save a fellow member or guard what is needed to be guarded. Would I hesitate? I don't think so, but then none of us know, male or female, if we would until we are in that position.

I am happy with the ban being lifted.

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 7:28pm

These are my thoughts, too. There are strong women who can do it so why should they be denied the opportunity? I wonder if they deny small men the right to serve on the front lines?  I have no problems w/ there being a strict standard of strength, as long as it's not tied to chromosome.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2012
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 7:42am
I think, in general, most women are too emotional to be able to "fight". However, if it is something that individual woman wants to do (no pressure from anyone else), then fine.

Listen, Think, Respond, Rejoice-me

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 12:25pm

I've been thinking about this article because there is so much truth about the strength issue.  I do think firefighter who have to pull people from burning buildings need to have the strength to do so and there should be a strength/fitness/stamina test for those who want that position. It needs to be sex blind and strictly weight, not body weight related (like I can do unassisted pull ups but I have problems pulling some beginning skiers off the slopes).  So, as combat roles go:

1) For the strength/stamina component, I think there could be an overall test on skills needed to be combat ready. it's not just strictly strength but accuracy, balance, ability to think on your feet, Would I rather have someone by my side who can shoot accurately, think quickly on his/her feet and avoid getting into a situation where I'd need rescuing or a lunk head who gets me into an unnecessary situation and might be able to move me?  I'd choose the former.  It should be weighted towards what that position experiences.

2) Sexual desire. This is BS, imo, and could keep all women from the workforce. There is something to that expression about familiarity breeds contempt.  I think you're more likely to fall for a nicely dressed coworker you see only a few "prime" hours of the day then someone you see in close quarters, day in and day out for months/years on end.  My husband was on a ship w/ women and I wasn't worried about my marriage. If someone is, there's more to worry about in the marriage.  And, the purpose of the military is not to give potentially cheating men a place to work where they're not tempted.  They're going to encounter women everywhere they go. Petraus didn't cheat w/ one of his fellow soldiers.

3) Pregnancy--it's an aberration that a woman might go to term and not know she's pregnant. Rules shouldn't be made for the rare exception, or we'd also rule that young men shouldn't be allowed in combat near assault weapons because a few have lost it and used them against others.  

If a woman can do the job and wants to, I don't see there being a good reason not to allow women in combat.  They're already serving on ships, etc.  I do believe there needs to be standards and it shouldn't be different for men and women.  But, if a woman is capable and willing, she should.