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 12:27 PM
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
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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid