Panetta lifts ban on women in combat?

It seems so.

Senior defense officials say Pentagon chief Leon Panetta is removing the military’s ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war.

If so, American combat effectiveness starts its decline. Women have served in combat support roles for a long time. They must be talking infantry, cavalry, armor and artillery. These units currently don’t allow women to serve in them. It is the law.

There are many good reasons for this but one of the most important is that these units must serve as a team in the most trying conditions. They must live together in filth and hardship for weeks and weeks. I cannot tell you how many times I have slept in the cold rain piled up in a shelter with two or three fellow soldiers. These men were my brothers. We lived together, we showered together and we slept together.

The last unit I served in was a school unit in the USAR. I taught PLDC. For the first time in my career I served with women. Literally everything changed. There was constant talk of who was sleeping with who. Who was breaking up. Who was cheating. It was absolutely, positively NOTHING like the band of brother warriors I had experienced in the cav and infantry units I had served in. There was no way my school unit could deploy and fight effectively. It would be like going to war with the people in your civilian office.

For obvious reasons, I tend to think of the military from the perspective of a man. It is hard for me to imagine many women serving in the testosterone soaked, masculine, highly competitive combat arms units I served in as a young man. Hell, it is hard for me to imagine my current much older self in those units. They are the realm of young men who are, as is crudely stated, young, dumb and full of cum. This is the territory of heterosexual men.

Even more importantly, female soldiers have been subjected to affirmative action regarding physical ability. Women, for the most part, can’t pass the physical fitness requirements that men are required to meet. To “correct” this, they lower the standards for women. An example scorecard is below the fold. Men are drummed out of combat arms units for PT test scores that would get a female soldier a letter of commendation. Either the job requires physical standards or it does not. Separate requirements for men and women are political in nature. Would a 5’1″, 110 lb woman carry my 6’3″, 225 lb son to the aid station if he were to be wounded?

Finally, if the United States has adopted a feminist culture in which conservative men are castigated for their so-called “war on women”, in which vagina monologues are the new political discourse, in which abortion and birth control are the primary focus of national policy, in which women far outnumber men in institutions of higher education, in which heterosexual men are redundant and unnecessary as fathers and even unnecessary in marriage, is there reason to tackle the masculine heavy lifting of being an actual trigger puller in defense of the nation?

This is social experimentation and political correctness at the expense of combat effectiveness and just one more example of the collapse of common sense in America.

There is a military tradition in my family going back to the Civil War. In fact, it predates that. Using ancestry information online, I recently discovered that I have at least one ancestor who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and another who served in the Prussian Army during the War of Austrian Succession. I have grandfathers who served in World War I and my father’s father was killed in action in World War II. I served as a rifleman and paratrooper as did my son in the 1st Ranger Battalion in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That tradition has come to an end. I will strongly advise my youngest son to eschew military service.


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53 Responses to Panetta lifts ban on women in combat?

  1. Doc says:

    Off topic but on point, This from Michelle Malkin’s Blog:

    …so many are getting th’ boot that panetta has no choice?

  2. R.D. Walker says:

    So I assume, like young men, they will be required to register for the draft?

  3. RUDE JUDE says:

    I served in the Army. And as a woman totally agree with you R.D. Women have no place in combat. When I chose 63W as my MOS, it was because I wanted to learn something so that I wouldn’t be as easily taken advantage of in the civilian world. I did learn alot but in the meantime, started reconsidering my MOS. By accident, working on a duce and a half putting in a new steering gear, the hoist holding the engine up out of the way gave out and my hand happened to be supporting me on the engine mount brackets where the engine was supposed to rest. BOOM! I was so stuck with my ass end up in the air on top of the fender of the truck. While I was healing, the C.O. and 1st Sgt let me work with them in the administrative section. I was hooked! I think that is why I am such a good secretary now. I wouldn’t change learning my first MOS but the second MOS suits me much better now. I married a mechanic and so I never have to worry about being taken advantage of when I need something done on my vehicle. I know, long story, but it’s my favorite and my only “combat” story that I can tell and will ever want to have. No combat for me, no way. I hated the army training every Thursday. I just wanted to do my job. It aint for girls!!!

    • R.D. Walker says:

      I have nothing but praise for support troops and I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be an infantryman anymore either. It takes a special kind of stupid unique to young men to want to do it.

      • Ray Davies says:

        Ain’t that the truth. I don’t want to jump out of perfectally good airplanes anymore either. Run 5 miles with full gear and weapons, no way in hell.

    • Ray Davies says:

      Thank you for your service.

  4. R.D. Walker says:

    RD Walker, jungle operations… Panama.

      Feet bleeding and pruned from being wet and walking the blisters to raw hamburger.

      Insect bites over 90% of body.

      Huge bruises across shoulders from humping overloaded ALICE pack.

      Scrotum red, cracked and oozing from weapons grade case of jock itch from never getting dry for six days.

      Filth covering 100 percent of body.

      Sore ankle from bad landing during parachute insertion at start of mission.

      Sunburn on back of neck looks like a bratwurst left too long on the grill.

      Complete, abject exhaustion from lack of sleep.

      Burning, flaming asshole from two days of diarrhea.

      Huge smile because I was a testosterone dripping warrior who completed his mission!

    Go find a Britney or Kaytlyn who could do it. I challenge you to find her.

    • RUDE JUDE says:

      Not to mention, “that time of the month”. Shhhhh!! You have to whisper that so no one will be the wiser even though you feel like crap, have an attitude problem, need to stop to change your pack (the one in your panties) every couple of miles during a road march because it won’t stay in place no matter what the commercial that makes having your period such a nice experience with these new products, you cry and whine because “it’s too hotttttt!”, my feet hurt, my alice pack is too heavy, why can’t we stop for a break?, are we there yet?, and so on…You’d lose so many good men if this happens that we will become the sissiest military ever. Won’t that be fun?

    • Ray Davies says:

      God, it was fun wasn’t it. That was Viet Nam the whole damned tour.We had a choice hot steamy and wet, or cold freezing and wet. I think I went through an issue of clothing every month

  5. R.D. Walker says:

    You know what would make these guys more combat effective? Some girls with them.




  6. Mike says:

    My grandfathers fought in WW II and Korea in the army. My farther in law in Vietnam. Dad and uncle desert storm. Myself in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hell I met my wife in the Marine Corp when she served. She will be the first to say women have no business in line units. Ill tell you what my daughters will not be doing.
    I can’t get out fast enough. Until such time I am sure instead of perfecting tactics ill go sit through another diversity, equal opportunity, or feel good seminar.
    The big kicker is when the big draft comes as I am sure it will these same people fighting for all this equality will be the first to complain and dodge.

  7. R.D. Walker says:

    Hey kids! Square this circle! You know what is violent as as anything humanly imaginable? Duty in the poor, bloody infantry.

  8. R.D. Walker says:

    Not infantry…yet.

    The Pentagon on Thursday will announce it is rescinding a rule that excludes women from combat, a move that may allow women to serve for the first time alongside infantry troops as battlefield medics, special-operations pilots and in other dangerous roles.

    The announcement will mark the largest expansion yet of women in combat roles. But defense officials said they don’t expect the change to result in women being allowed to serve as infantry troops.

    • RUDE JUDE says:

      From the American Legion’s National Commander:

      American Legion calls on Congress to study women in combat exclusions
      WASHINGTON (Jan. 24, 2013) — The leader of the nation’s largest wartime veterans’ service organization has reacted cautiously to today’s announcement that the U.S. military plans to expand combat roles for women in the military.
      “Women in the military are performing magnificently in Afghanistan and in U.S. military units throughout the world,” American Legion National Commander James E. Koutz said. “Women comprise nearly 15 percent of our active forces and we simply would not be able to accomplish our missions without them. That said, we do not believe that the administration should precipitously change long-existing policies without careful review and oversight from Congress.”
      Delegates to The American Legion National Convention last August passed a resolution that called on all branches of the military services to maintain the current physical and mental requirements and qualifications for acceptance into military service that has “created the best and most respected military in the world…” It further called on all military personnel, regardless of gender or age to be held to a single standard based on their MOS and that the elimination of the combat exclusion clause for women come only after congressional approval.
      The most important aspect to consider in changing existing policy, Koutz said, is if it enhances the military’s war -fighting capability. “Political or career considerations should not enter into the equation,” he said. “The bottom line is: ‘Will it make us a more capable fighting force?’”
      Membership in The American Legion has been open to women who are serving or have served during wartime periods since the organization’s founding in 1919. Women Legionnaires were eligible to vote for their national commander before they could vote for the president of the United States.

  9. R.D. Walker says:

    On the other hand, I would like to see a few Sandra Fluke type women subjected to serious infantry training and combat. That would be a hoot. People who haven’t done it don’t have a goddamned clue.

    • Uke says:

      It’s all an academic, theoretical experiment to them, RD. They don’t actually care about what “works” or what is best in practice.

      Academic masturbation, is all it is.

  10. R.D. Walker says:

    You know, if you haven’t lived it, you just don’t get it. All over the net people are talking about marathon running women, power lifting women and that sort of thing. I would be the first to admit that there are many physically able women in the world.

    In order to be an effective combat infantryman, however, you must have all of these attributes.

    1) A high level of physical ability
    2) A very high threshold for pain
    3) A willingness to kill people… lots of people.
    4) A high tolerance for filth and sickness
    5) A strong desire to prove your worth as a warrior
    6) A good mechanical ability
    7) A high degree of fearlessness
    8) An ability to work as a member of a team

    In my experience, most male soldiers don’t make great infantrymen. I have never met a single woman in my life, no matter her athletic ability, who would make a good grunt.

    Michelle Jenneke is 100 times the athlete I ever was. If you think that means she would be a good combat infantryman, you are delusional.

    • Ray Davies says:

      I gotta say there were some Viet Cong wome who were as tough as the men,at least as dangerous. They were fighting the invaders and in their own country. That gave them the edge plus the fact Americans have a hell of a hard time shooting women,even if they are armed.

  11. Van-a-gram says:

    I don’t know — I’ve read and seen some stuff about real bad ass Israeli female combat troops. Not sure if they’re in the Infantry, but armed to teeth and ready to kick some ass.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Nope. I haven’t seen any. These Israeli “crack troops” might be able to engage in the light end of carrying a rifle around, pulling perimeter patrol and so forth.

      I haven’t seen one of those cute, rifle toting women who could load up a ruck with individual gear, a mortar base plate and six mortar rounds and hump a machine gun 22 miles to set up an anti-armor ambush, kill the enemy, get extracted by SPIE rig and then spend the next week in a stinking, filthy patrol base and neither have you.

      I have no doubt such women exist here and there but they are one in a million. This looks good, but it is an illusion.


      • notamobster says:

        Another distinct advantage for the Israeli women is they don’t traverse the globe. They are always connected to their supply chain. Their forward operating area is the other side of town. They don’t spend weeks in the mountains or jungles under extreme duress. Not one of these women could carry their injured comrade 17 miles across a mountain range, because he broke his leg.

  12. sortahwitte says:

    My wife and our two daughters are strong women, physically and mentally. But to excell in combat, never.

  13. xenicalman says:

    Panetta must have formulated that opinion after seeing the efficacy of female police officers taking down combative bad guys.
    Officer Tammy v/s Bubba = 0 &1
    Never, never once was a female officer able to hold her own w/o the back up of a testicularly endowed fellow officer.
    However, kudos to the babes wearing a badge for trying. In that, they have the balls but not the strength nor stamina.

    • notamobster says:

      My Chief was one tough woman. She put one of our cage fighter officers on his face to teach him a lesson, but she used the element of surprise. Had he begun the affair by punching her in the face, she would have been lights out. She was brave & tough, but she was still a woman.

      • xenicalman says:

        I’ve seen too many highly motivated female officers hurt in the line of duty just to prove a social experiment.
        My wife was such an officer. She turned in her badge after getting the shit pounded out of her too many times. She wore the badge pre- taser era. Now tasers help even the odds of Tammy v/s Bubba but not enough to justify the risk.
        Also, she too was a Nam era Army Veteran. She is quite a motivated person who realizes that there ARE some occupations that pose a danger to women. Combat makes her list.

        I had this conversation before and you have to be careful not to pigeon hole an entire gender. Common sense should rule.

        I would like to add reason #9 to RD’s reasons post.
        9. Men like to fart.

  14. Greg B says:

    I think so much shit is spattering all over the current admin that their perception is the more noise they make, the less likely a concerted push back.
    As far as the latest, consider this:
    No military force on the planet is on parity with ours.
    How, pray tell, can zero bring that down a notch. Women on the lines.
    Scenario: Some shithole of a dusty country. Habib leader addressing his followers. (best 7-11 clerk voice) “You see, eef the in-fee-del
    LT. geets hit, Ameerican dogs steel haf 85% combat effectiveness.
    Instead, shoot the female harlot line medic. Then sons of dogs will swarm around and lose focus because woman ees hurt”

    I know, I know, I have a tin foil hat on. Plus, I’m giving the d-bags in DC too much credit.

  15. R.D. Walker says:

    In Obama’s America, women who need the Leviathan to pay for their birth control pills are going to fix bayonets, lift and shift fire and charge into the kill zone.


  16. R.D. Walker says:

    When I was in the Army, my last assignment was as a Primary Leadership Development Instructor. The Army uses infantrymen in this role because it is easy to teach leadership in infantry scenarios.

    I was getting a briefing regarding patrol base operations. I was told the grid coordinates for the patrol base the students would use. I asked why the students wouldn’t be selecting their own patrol base as part of their training.

    Selecting a patrol base is an important part of mission planning. It needs to have several characteristics including concealment.

    I was told that was the patrol base had to be in the selected position because that is where the porta-potties were. One thing a patrol base NEVER has is a big, blue porta-potty. It is supposed to be off natural lines of movement and a concealed position. I was told since there were women in my class, there would have to be porta-potties available. Of course if there was a porta-potty there, there was a road there. It was absurd.

    Another time I was teaching PLDC in North Dakota in the winter. My squad sized class was supposed to do a link up. They were moving in a file in knee deep snow in the dark of night. They were also moving like molasses does in the ND winter. I was at the back of the file and stepped off to the side to move up to tell the man on point that there was no way that he was going to make his link up time if he didn’t pick up she pace.

    As I worked my way to the front of the barely moving file formation a woman grabbed me and said, “Sergeant, you are going to have to tell them to slow down or I won’t be able to keep up.”

    Of course the students were always “hooking up” even though it could get them ejected from the class. The couple that did get kicked out of one class I taught were making the beast with two backs in a car in the parking lot. They were both married… not to each other.

    Look, I love women but they are not cut out for infantry work.

  17. R.D. Walker says:

    Oh, what the fuck? I am a neanderthal sexist pig. What the hell do I know? It’s time I was taught a lesson. They should organize an all female infantry battalion in the 82nd Airborne division. The Pentagon can showcase the success of the infantrywomen for all the world. Hell yes, they would be shock and awe on the battlefield. I mean, there must be more to this new military order than a friggin photo op, right?


    You know these guys are worried about their jobs now that the new crack battalion will be in place.


  18. Greg B says:

    This is, I think, right hand left hand bullshit.
    Frankenstein is planning to introduce her new PDW ban on Thursday. All this is trying divert attention to it.

  19. Greg B says:

    From it. I mean.

  20. Apalmer says:

    I agree that women should not serve in combat situations and all the points above are spot on. Panetta is just another idiot in office.

  21. Rockheim says:

    You know.. I’m shocked at the knuckle dragging going on around here. We live in enlightened times. There are no threats that can’t be met by reducing standards.. Our standards were too high anyhow. It was unnescessarily keeping qualified applicants out of the pool. And besides.. We’re not the only ones…

    See.. Over in the UK they’re adjusting their standards to more realistic levels to allow more women to serve.

    Honestly.. You guys need to get over this pig headedness. There isn’t anything you can do that a woman can’t.




    Now I’m going to go and beat myself about the head and neck with a stick as penance and as a cleansing measure..

    • Rockheim says:

      I remember seeing a Discovery channel series that followed Marine recruits through basic training. It was interesting but I couldn’t help but be concerned about the presentation of some of the recruits. Specifically the women.

      I remember the focus on one girl in particular. Something had happened.. she got yelled at too much or something. The why is unimportant. But she was crying, by herself in a room and speaking to the camera.. And what she had to say was this.. “I really miss my kitty….”

      Yes. Her cat from back home. Now. I don’t doubt that basic training can be hard on people. I don’t doubt that people break down. But really? Is this the kind of image we want out there in the world? Distributed globally? Our future Marines.. the terror of the battlefield.. “I miss my kitty…:”

      Either it was a leftist plot to undermine the Marines.. Or it was a wickedly clever tactic designed to lull our enemies into a false sense of security. I haven’t decided which yet..

      • R.D. Walker says:

        My first experience with homesickness was in basic training. I had never experienced it before. It wasn’t that I had never been away from home, I just wasn’t prone to homesickness. It sucked.

        That said, I hid it. I fought it. I forced it down and told no one. Why? Because I had something to prove. I wanted to prove that I was a man and could take anything they could throw at me. Miss my kitty? Shit. I wouldn’t allow myself to think it let alone say it out loud.

        That said, we had washouts early on. Some guys started melting down at the reception station. Our DIs referred to them as “boys who’s mommies loved them too much.” If something hurt, or they were tired or sick, they wanted to rest or quit. These guys never made it through basic. They certainly never would have made it through infantry training, jump school, etc…

        Later in my career I taught infantry basic school. I was MOS 11B qualifying a bunch of drill instructors. One of them told me be had recently brought a bunch of women through basic. This was before they integrated the boys and girls. He told me that training female recruits is radically different than training male recruits.

        As everybody knows, you train male recruits by first breaking them down. You tell them they are worthless pieces of shit and you prove it to them. The reaction of the average male recruit is to think, “fuck you! I will show you what I am capable of!”

        The DI told me that doesn’t work with female platoons. When you tell them they are worthless, they tend to believe you. They melt down. You have to encourage them and build them up.

        What does it mean? I don’t know except to say that young men and women in the military are NOT the same.

        • Uke says:

          I don’t think I’ve ever heard an anecdote that so succinctly and accurately demonstrates the difference between the male and female mind.

        • JenR says:

          “What does it mean? I don’t know except to say that young men and women in the military are NOT the same.”

          Men and women in any situation are not the same. I don’t know why there are so many women who are afraid to admit to that. It doesn’t diminish the value or worth of women to recogize that we are different from men. Both genders have greater strengths and weaknesses that are supposed to complement each other. I agree that men are better suited for battle and have the necessary strength for it. At the same time, I also know our species would die out completely if men had to deal with pregnancy and childbirth. 🙂 We are both strong in different ways. As a society, we seem to have forgotten that.

  22. fubar says:

    For a species that is as technologically advanced as we are, we sure are stupid.

    Newsflash: men and women are different. Expecting women to kill and not put others in danger is going to fail. Which I’m sure is the intention.

  23. R.D. Walker says:

    Re-reading through the comments here, I think it is important that I make one thing very clear.

    Women have played a key role in the history of the United States Military. Many have served and many have bled on the battlefield to defend our way of life. I devoutly honor their service and sacrifice and have nothing but respect for their warrior spirit.

    Nothing I said above should be interpreted to detract from this truth.

  24. R.D. Walker says:

    I cannot tell you how many times, in a 35 degree rain in a patrol base, I “spooned” with a buddy to prevent hypothermia. I can’t tell you how many times I took a buddy to pull security while I took a dump in a cat hole. I can’t tell you how many times I shared a shower with a dozen other men. I can’t tell you how many times I stripped to the buff in the field to change underwear. I can’t tell you how many times I inspected the naked body of a fellow soldier for deer ticks and/or other vermin. All of this was predicated on the knowledge that we each had unblemished records as men and heterosexuals.

    Have you ever group sang AC/DC’s “Shoot to Thrill” as you rode into combat? Have you ever felt actual blood lust because the mother fuckers tried to kill you and now you are going to get to kill them? Have you ever had fungus on your scrotum that made it crack and bleed because you have been in the jungle too long? Have you ever had bruises from your shoulders to your kidneys from humping a ruck? Have you ever been scared and bored at the same time?

    If you can say yes to all of that and then really, truly, in your heart-of-hearts really want to do it all again, then you know what I am talking about and know what it means to be infantry.

    I don’t believe there are more than a handful of women on the planet that fit that description. Hell, the vast majority of men don’t.

  25. MadBrad says:

    Honestly I’m not going to get too worked up about this. This is going to be a disaster as soon as it gets underway and there won’t be any way to hide it. I take that back, many attempts will be made to hide it but they will fail. It will become a showcase of the stupidity of progressive nonsense. I hope that cameras will be on hand when the first female Infantry candidates show up at Ft. Benning and Camp Pendleton.

    Women have served with distinction in combat in roles in which they are especially suited. They are physiologically more advanced in hand and eye coordination than men, which makes them excellent pilots. Allison Black “The Angel of Death” who piloted an AC-130 over Afghanistan in the early days of the War killed HORDES of the enemy below, more than most men can count. CWO2 Thalia Ramirez from 1/17th Air Cavalry, 82nd Airborne Division was another excellent pilot who was killed in action there last year ( ). The contributions that women have made directly to ground combat are innumerable. It is my opinion that this nonsense by Sec. Pinheadda is demeaning to those women, their service and their sacrifice.

  26. MadBrad says:

    I don’t even need to point out what is required of an Airborne Infantryman who straps on his body weight in parachute and gear, then climbs a ramp into an aircraft from which he is expected to jump up 6 inches and out 36 inches, just so he can hit the prop blast just right, so that he may then hopefully actually be over the drop zone to find a spot to smash his body into the ground, load up and march all night to hit his objectives, doing this in all kinds of weather and over all kinds of terrain.

    I use the word “HE” here because “SHE” isn’t made for that kind of stuff, and I thank God for that. I love tough women but women are meant to be tough in areas where men are not and vicey-versey.

    • Ray Davies says:

      Damn, it was fun in those days long ago. I wouldn’t trade that time for all the money in the world but I sure as hell would not want to go through it again. My first real love was a little WAC, I lost her when I got shipped out with little chance of survival. Ya know what,I’m still a bit in love with that woman. I miss the men, who became closer than brothers, I can go visit them on 1W of the Wall. I still see my first confirmed kills,but that makes me more human. As a man who has done and seen more than most, I have no trouble letting the tears flow when I see a flag draped coffin pass, and I ask God to give them a final rest. To all you vets out there Thank you for your service, to all you parents of service people, thank you for your sacrifice. To the troops,we’re behind you,and thanks

  27. Rich says:


    I am humbled by all that you all have said. I served in submarines. Thankfully, I avoided war. Truth be told, the idea of drowning in a people tank scares me shitless. I had nightmares for years after leaving the Navy about being dragged back onto the boats. For me, that was bad enough. I can hardly imagine what some of you have gone through or risked. I salute you all. I am glad you lived. I sorrow for those who did not.

    As to women … on a naval vessel, under or on the water, many casualty situations necessitate closing off a compartment. Most likely those inside will die. Time is of the essence, and hesitation may cause the loss of the vessel and all hands.

    Do you want to be the person, or situationally have a person, in love with someone in the compartment to be sealed, who must seal that compartment on their loved one to save the vessel – knowing that their loved one will die?

    Not me.

    And this is why I do not support gays or women in combat roles. It is the romantic entanglements that are a major issue. Those entanglements, aside from other concerns, are those that may cause a moments hesitation, which can cost lives.

    And that is not acceptable.

  28. Rich says:

    Ryan Smith gets it – WSJ:

    And I know, he is deferring to womens’ delicate sensibilities in outlining the problems for/with women. After all, he is only talking about getting to the combat arena.

    From there on it gets worse.

    Much worse.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      I have had many similar experiences. Everyone should read that article.

      Nobody who hasn’t lived can get it through intuition alone. You have to live it or hear about from someone who did live it.

      Once you get it, you will understand that you cannot introduce women to the formula without either utterly destroying combat effectiveness or utterly destroying human beings.