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SOUND OFF: Should Women Serve in Combat?

The Pentagon lifted its ban Thursday on women serving in combat roles, including roles on the front lines of battle. What do you think about the change? Tell us below.

The Pentagon made a historic move Thursday when it lifted its ban against women serving in combat, according to USA Today. 

A 1994 restriction prevented women in the military from serving in combat, including service on the front lines. However, many argued, including the American Civil Liberties Union, that reality showed women already serving on the front lines

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a member of the Armed Services Committee who strongly supports the historic change, issued the following statement after the announcement. 

“I applaud the Secretary for formally removing the ban," Reed said. "The reality of today’s battlefield is that all who serve are in combat.”

The military's lift of the ban opens up  230,000 posts to women in the military, according to USA Today. 

We wanted to know what you thought about the military's decision to lift the ban. 

On Facebook we asked, "Do you think women should serve in combat?" Here's what users had to say on Attleboro Patch's Facebook Page:

Maura McGowan: If they want to, why not?

Susan HalseyBelton Singer: Nobody's child should have to serve in combat. :( Having said that it's a personal decision of course.

Tina Ristaino Schwab: If that's what they want then yes! They are signing up to serve, so let them. I know some women who are tougher than most guys.

Briana Auclair: I wouldn't, and I'm an Army Veteran. Not out of lack of fear. I know my squad would put my safety over the mission because of my gender because they were raised gentlemen. Also, women are graded on a scale when it comes to physical tests (PT) and I believe that a woman should have to carry every pound a man does, do every push up and sit up they do and run as fast as their male counterparts. I want no special treatment. Simply fact, there are few women who can carry 300lbs (The average soldier is roughly 210-225lbs with 70 to 80lbs of gear.) If I can't dead lift my Battle in full battle rattle than I don't deserve to stand next to him. Do I think we can be snipers? Most definitely. I served with 10 Expert marksmen (36 or more out of 40, 40/40 being a perfect score.) Only 2 were male and only one of the females scored lower than 38/40. Three were perfect scores.

John Cobbett-Walden: They already do. This is a simply a formal recognition that will allow for equal promotion.

Jennifer Vincent-Scott: My husband is in the Army and has done 3 tours...As stated above Woman (some not all) already serve in combat it is just not formally recognized. And I agree let woman serve in combat and it should be equal, however if were going to say allowing this to formally happen will make men and woman equal in the armed forces then we are wrong...Starting with fitness standards. If they are aloowed to serve on the front line and in combat, woman should be held to the same fitness standards as the men they will serve right along side with!

And here's what folks said on the Seekonk Patch Facebook Page:

Michael Leary: I dont think anyone should serve in combat. A full drone army!

Mike Tucker: Yes. Only women- they are much more fierce;)

What do you think about the military lifting the ban? Tell us in the comment section below! 

deb of see-attleboro January 25, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Be careful what you wish for, sisters! Around the bend: 1) selective service registration. 2) Sign up, combat will not be a choice. They'll get rid of us one way or another;)
Gretchen Robinson January 26, 2013 at 08:08 PM
the argument is made that if captured the enemy will rape women soldiers well, statistically American women soldiers are raped by American male soldiers in appalling numbers.
deb of see-attleboro January 26, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Yeah. I know. It is appalling.
Carol Bragg January 27, 2013 at 05:16 AM
A retired police officer who teaches criminology said he's disappointed in this decision. Yes, it will increase opportunities for promotion. But it also lends more legitimacy to the use of violence by women. Although the rate of violent crime has diminished, it has increased for women. Women have typically been the peacekeepers in the home. I'd prefer to see the military create a special forces of peacekeepers, with language training, to deploy to unstable situations. There ought to be something between the diplomatic corps and combat that might serve to prevent war.
paul January 27, 2013 at 08:24 AM
As a veteran, I don't like the decision. I think the main reason it was done was for promotion and to attract new recruits. It goes both ways, for years men suffered when they came up for new orders because many of the shore duty positions were flooded with females that couldn't serve on the front lines.
Dave Abbott January 27, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Also being a veteran, I applaud the decision. If you can accomplish the mission under extreme pressure then I know you have my back, which is the only real requirement someone in a combat theater should have. All due respect Carol, we are talking combat, not keeping the peace. I served with women in a combat theater and always considered them equals.
Jerry Chase January 27, 2013 at 06:51 PM
May I remind one and all that it was under Bill Clinton that a POLICY of "no women in combat" was installed, around 1994. I know of nothing that warrants this change.
Amy January 28, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Is this now law with no discussion, debate or anything? Another wave of the hand and the decision is final? I guess our daughters will need to register for the draft. I don't like the idea of any of our children going off to war.
Brandy G. January 28, 2013 at 10:31 PM
lol what draft though sweetie?
deb of see-attleboro January 28, 2013 at 10:34 PM
I think Amy is referring to the fact the men between the ages of 18-25 years old are mandated to register for selective service. Young women will soon be required to do the same. And I don't think it LOL!!

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