News / USA

Pentagon to Allow Women in Key Combat Roles by 2016

US Military Unveils Plans to Admit Women to Combat Positionsi
X
June 19, 2013
U.S. women will soon be able to serve in many combat positions previously reserved for men. Military officials announced plans Tuesday to open thousands of combat jobs to women by 2016. Zlatica Hoke reports.

US Military Unveils Plans to Admit Women to Combat Positions

TEXT SIZE - +
Luis Ramirez
— The U.S. military says that within the next three years, it will put women in key combat roles from which they were previously excluded.  

American women have been serving in combat roles and hundreds have been killed on the front lines for years, but they have been excluded from key positions in areas including Special Operations and infantry.

In January, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced changes to regulations banning women from 237,000 positions.   

On Tuesday, officials from all four branches of the U.S. military gathered at the Pentagon to announce a timeline for those changes.  The Marines already have come up with new gender-neutral physical tests, and by the middle of 2015, the Army will have new standards that will allow women to be part of its elite Ranger regiment.

U.S. Army Major General Bennet Sacolick was among those making the announcement.  He said it is the start of a new era, and he referred to the action film series depicting a U.S. war hero who relies much on his brute strength.

“We're looking for smart, qualified operators.  You know, there's a new dynamic.  The days of Rambo are over.  We're looking for young men that can speak and learn a foreign language and understand culture, that can work with indigenous populations and culturally tuned manners.  The defining characteristic of our operators [is] intellect," said Sacolick.

The changes have prompted questions of whether changing standards will diminish military readiness. Among their concerns, critics say having women in tight-knit, high-stress situations will create privacy issues and hurt unit cohesiveness.

Officials on Tuesday said they are fine-tuning their plans before beginning the implementation and looking at models of other countries such as Israel and Canada, which have successfully integrated women into their militaries.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said he is confident the changes will not diminish the U.S. military's effectiveness.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark T
June 19, 2013 12:32 PM
to begin with, I am a veteran of 10 years in two Branches of Service (Air Force and Marine Corps) and am proud of this country and my Service to it. I have served alongside women in many capacities and have no issues with it. But it breaks my heart to know that so many women have been killed in combat, where I do not believe they should be involved. Is our respect for women in this country so low that we now have no regrets sending them in as cannon fodder onto a battlefield? I know war is messy and indiscriminate, having seen it firsthand, and I have no doubts that women can do ANY job as well as a man can, but do we HAVE to expose them to the same horrid and terrible things now just to prove they can...?

Can a man bear children? Can a man ensure the continuance of life? A woman can, and it is that, and mainly that fact, that we should protect and cherish. I am truly heartbroken. Shame on us. Other countries may have successfully integrated women into combat roles (I believe Canada was mentioned in the article), but are Canadian women serving in front line capacities around the world? Are Canadian women exposed to life-ending dangers at this moment in a foreign war? Just because other countries have done this, does not mean we Americans have to.

It has been proved, in past wars (notable WWII) casualty rates among women in combat roles were higher than in units that did not have women in combat positions. The Pentagon is letting this country down with this action, they are not protecting our Nation as they should be if they are allowing women to die alongside men in our Unpleasant Entanglements abroad.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid