Panetta throws open doors to combat for women

| January 23, 2013

The LA Times reports that, on his way out his own door, Leon Panetta opened the door for women to serve in combat-related jobs.

The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta’s decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.

A senior military official says the services will develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions. Some jobs may open as soon as this year. Assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALS and the Army’s Delta Force, may take longer.

Yeah, well, whatever. If history has taught anything, the services had better keep the standards for combat jobs regardless of sex. As I’ve always said, the bullet isn’t forgiving and doesn’t discriminate. I’ve also said that I’ve known women who could handle the job, but they’re not all suited for it – I’ve known men who weren’t suited for the job. I see lots of women on Facebook celebrating this ill-considered decision, but none of them are currently in the military. If we’re doing this to make the military better, fine, but if we’re doing it just to beat our collective chest and show how just we are, then that’s how a lot of body bags are going to get filled.

I’ve never subscribed to the theory that women in combat will distract from the job being done, but rather I’ve opposed this because the sociologists will force square pegs into the round holes, with a hammer, if needed. But, I’m sure between allowing the gays to serve openly and allowing women into combat jobs, the recruiters must be amazed at the target-rich environments in which they’re operating. Yeah, that’s sarcasm.

Thanks to everyone who filled my inbox with the news while I was typing this.

Category: Military issues

Comments (99)

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  1. Panetta to allow women in combat? meh « A TowDog | January 23, 2013
  1. Gina says:

    Fine then when is the Selective Service Requirement going to extend to women? Odd I didn’t see mentioned as part of this “groundbreaking move”…

  2. Stacy0311 says:

    Leon went full retard. You should never go full retard.

  3. Steve says:

    Note to Leon- GI Jane was a fantasy movie… not real

  4. Chip@NASA says:

    Well probably like Israel (I believe), if they keep the physical standard similar such that a Man can pick up a woman and drag her to safety and then a woman can do the same thing, then it’s ok.
    Just remember that we’re engineered differently and women just don’t have the same upper body strength or explosive speed that men do…and that’s a general statement against standard physiology, not athletic or fitness ability of any individual.

  5. Jonn Lilyea says:

    And the first woman through the door is never Demi Moore, it’s always Shannon Faulkner.

  6. jerry920 says:

    If they hurry they should be able to dredge up a female MOH recipient before all the good wars are gone.

  7. Chip@NASA says:

    @5 Jonn
    Or Kathy Bates.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t something like this above him? Dosen’t an order like this have to come from congress?

  9. Green Thumb says:

    Sexual assaults will rise while combat cohesion and effectiveness will decline.

    Just an observation.

  10. Green Thumb says:


    Great point.

  11. Like other elements… PC fantasies over-ride reality. The list of examples (and problems) is near endless.

    Airborne types… maybe they should make actually jumping out of aircraft depend on how far off the ground you are?

  12. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    What are they gonna do, go to co-ed barracks and everything that entails? (Do they still even have barracks?!) There are too damn many variables! Privacy issues. Promotions. Female functions. Pregnancy? Put me down as a “NO” vote!

  13. Jonn Lilyea says:

    Of course, I can’t help but think that the announcement today was to distract the media (and so, us) from Hillary’s little theater today.

  14. BohicaTwentyTwo says:

    At a time when the administration is planning to gut the military financially, why are they starting programs that will waste training resources on a group that will experience an even higher failure rate than the current group. Every woman who goes to Ranger/buds/q-course will be taking a slot away from a man who has a much higher chance of passing.

  15. nimrod says:

    Just kill me!!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    @14 dont worry. the standards will be lowered and they’ll be pushed through so they can be paraded in front of the media.

  17. Jonn #13: Paranoia strikes deep. [grin]

  18. Chip@NASA says:

    Great now we’re going to have a metric-ass load of Female Ranger, SEAL, Green Beret, CIA, Delta Force, DEVGRU wanna-bes. It’s bad enough when pussy ass guys do it. Now we’re going to have macho biatches on this page now as well.

  19. DefendUSA says:

    Jonn- I went full on spew over the Faulkner comment…guess I should tell my girls to strap on the proverbials and git’er done after this absolutely retarded move. JFC!!

  20. ohio says:

    The 0bama administration; destroying our military step by step.

  21. jerry920 says:

    Read, “The kinder, gentler military” by Stephanie Gutmann. In it she describes how the first West Point classes with women suffered terrible attrition rates until everything was “Gender Adjusted”. Don’t think for a second that someone isn’t formatting a RR/EO quota policy right now. Got to get those generals stars right?

  22. Old Trooper says:

    This is going to go the way of PC run amok, because the first woman that gets washed out of 11B is going to go whining to her congresscritter and NOW that the DI’s were big meanies and were being unfair and were screaming at her and stuff! Then, Big Daddy Leon will send down the thunder that she be pushed through and graduated.

  23. FatCircles0311 says:

    How novel of this slug going forward to appease 14% of the military when their own studies have already shown it won’t work. Female Marines already have absurd separate and unequal standards compared to males, so in order to implement this retardo policy standards will be lowered for the special group once again.

    lol @ equal opportunity officers now being native to infantry battalions. RIP combat arms culture, non effeminate males, and the ability to get rid of shitbags unable to pull their own weight.

  24. OWB says:

    Let’s see: Hillary is (alleged to be) a woman, and she proved it today by getting all weepy, and angry, and various other kinds of emotional. In front of witnesses. But some folks want to talk about the substance of what she said instead. Sooo, Leon? How’s about throwing out that women in combat red herring today?

    Yep, I can see it, Jonn.

  25. jerry920 says:

    I was over at my FB reading the WSJ feed and and everyone is “Good”. “Great” and “’bout time”. “Long as they can pass the test” is the most common thread. The thing is though, they can’t. They can only pass a “Gender Normed” PT test. I don’t want someone who passed an adjusted PT test in a fire fight with me. I want someone that took and passed the same test I had to.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Old Trooper, my money says that any woman that joins the Army on a 11,12,13 or 19 series contract (if the Army doesn’t apply to exempt those fields from women) will have a drop out and reclass option all the way through OSUT. So even if they quit or fail, they can reclass.

  27. PintoNag says:

    The only thing that won’t adjust for gender will be the battlefield. That’s going to be a very rude — and permanent — reality check.

  28. 11wannaB says:

    Leon Panetta is a mother fucking coward.

    By the way, I second the recommendation for “The kinder, gentler military” by Stephanie Gutmann. It is an excellent book about the realities of this fantasy world that “equal opportunity” retards are pushing.

  29. PigmyPuncher says:

    Just when you think how can things possibly get worse…..

  30. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I know that servicewomen have been killed but none, that I am aware of, in a direct engagement with the enemy. There is something very wrong with sending a sister, daughter, or mother into the lion’s den where the likelihood of death or serious injury is great. I wonder if this is part of the transformation of America. There is no way Pointsettia did this unilaterally. He had either the instruction or the approval to do it.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Great…I think I might cancel my enlistment now.

  32. Old Trooper says:

    @26: Yep.

    @27: A bullet doesn’t discriminate. Reality will not be kind because you are a woman.

    As an aside, I know that there are women that have performed exceptionally in firefights that they were caught up in while doing a non-frontline duty. I have never said they couldn’t handle a firefight. What I have said is that the physical requirements for day to day infantry duties are a much different animal and physiologically, women don’t have the upper body strength to do it for extended periods of time i.e months/years.

  33. Beretverde says:

    Go get em girls! I need a break!

  34. WigWam says:

    Can’t agree more with you John. God save the military, we grow smaller, more expensive, and softer every minute. Always knew Panetta was a fuck up from the beginning.

  35. Bill R. says:

    @ #8. That was my question too. Is the policy against women in combat arms a DOD policy or is it a law?

  36. Stacy0311 says:

    TCGST is going to be a bitch! “Come on sweet cheeks we don’t have all day to load the main gun” Maybe we’ll get an autoloader in the M1A3………

  37. OldCavLt says:

    They watched the barracks scene in Starship Trooper too many times.

  38. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @35. Policy cannot trump law. The law either is silent on the matter or puts the determination in the lap of the exec branch. In other words, the fact that Pointsettia is changing the policy as he walks out the door tells us there is no law either prohibiting or requiring women in the infantry.

  39. BohicaTwentyTwo says:

    For parades, the D&C (drill and ceremony) rifle for the United States Military Academy is the venerable M14, the last true battle rifle of the US Army. Contrary to a certain GI Joe episode, the rifles are neutered, having their firing pins removed long ago. The only other modification made to the rifles is that a certain number of them have had their charging springs shortened by about a third. The reason for this is because most females don’t possess the upper body strength to properly lock the bolt to the rear while performing the ‘inspection arms’ drill movement. Cutting the spring relieves the pressure allowing the weaker females to perform the move without struggling.

  40. DaveO says:

    The election is over, the POTUS sworn in. This is just the first payoff to the ladies who donated their money and time.

    Wonder when Ranger tabs will come in “Hello Kitty”

  41. Hondo says:

    #8, #35: best I can tell the former statutory restrictions went away during the Clinton Administration. They appear to have been replaced by DoD policy restricting women from assignments below Brigade HQ level in ground combat units and a statutory requirement to notify Congress NLT 30 days prior should DoD change policy. See 10 USC 652.

    2/17 Air Cav: dunno about that, amigo (30). I’d consider dying as the result of an IED or small arms attack – or from incoming IDF, for that matter – an dying due to an engagement with the enemy.

    Like bullets, IEDs and incoming IDF also don’t discriminate based on gender.

  42. Blackshoe says:

    @Hondo at 42: Which is why I’m convinced this is going to be a hi-viz announcement with little substantive change to actual operations, and am waiting to see the announcement tomorrow to weigh in further.

  43. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    So, what happens in the field, on foot patrol? Ladies to the left catholes and men to the right ones? It’s cold. You buddy up. Aw fahgettabout it. There are a million scenarios that are, shall we say, disquieting.

    Diversity, we honor you!

    LT: “How’s that rifle squad looking sarge?”

    SGT: “Great LT. We have two lesbians, two gays, and a married woman with three kids.”

    LT: “Outstanding!”

  44. Hondo says:

    Blackshoe: I hope you’re right. However, pertinent US military history and personnel practices over the past 35 years or so – much of which I’ve seen personally – argues otherwise.

  45. Stacy0311 says:

    I can just imagine what it’d be like if the Marine Corps still did the MCCRES with it lovely 25 mile hump. “Hey LCPL Buttercup, you’re carrying the baseplate.”
    Firefights suck, but being infantry sucks even more. It’s not just pulling the trigger, it’s getting to the location to pull the trigger. And before anybody starts, spare me the BS about “everything’s motorized/mechanized these days dinosaur”. Except when the MRAPs can go up the mountain or if(when) the helos are late (again)

  46. USMCE8Ret says:

    I can hear it now at the School of Infantry, while rucking up “The Microwave” and yelling at someone dropping back: “Get your sad fuckin’ ass up here!” Then the complaining is REALLY going to start, followed by sensitivity training and such.

  47. 68W58 says:

    Supported the Brigade SOY board last weekend, we had a female competitor who won the NCO portion. She is a good troop, did well on the written test, interview and land nav, but finished 3 minutes behind all the other competitors in the 2 mile run and 20 minutes behind the rest in the road march. She is in an ordnance company and I don’t doubt that she is one of their best troops and does a great job in that role and she was the best overall choice to represent our brigade at the next level, but physically she was no match for any of the males-not even close.

  48. beretverde says:

    Ok…whose turn is it to hump the four deuce baseplate? Any takers…only 10 more cross country miles to go! Come on girls…you can do it…it’s your turn and we must be fair.

  49. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @46. You can’t refer to a 25-mile “hump” anymore.