Last Wednesday Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted a longstanding ban on women serving in combat after a long debate.
Women have been officially banned from taking part in combat since a 1994 rule that banned them from serving in ground combat units. Now all branches of the military have until this May to come up with a plan to implement the change.
Women have been allowed to take part in aerial combat albeit limited by flying combat sorties since 1993. In 2010, the Navy allowed them on submarines. But by doing away with restrictions on frontline ground combat will break a key barrier in the military and allow women to fight on the front lines for the first time.
Even though the banned has been lifted, all military branches will have until January 2016 to seek waivers for certain jobs, but those waivers will need approval from the secretary of defense.
As you can imagine reactions and opinions are varied, no one can deny that this is a big change for the military, a military that while adapting on the battle field is slow to change everywhere else.
People like Steve Harvey have debated whether or not women should be allowed to fight on the front lines, it should be noted that he teased one of his female callers who is in the military because “she had a squeaky voice”, and in case of an attack no one would be able to hear her yell take cover, as if she wouldn’t have been trained on what to do in the event an attack happens.
Some people including some women in uniform that wants no part of frontline fighting argue that the physical requirements alone could be too demanding on women.
But those that are in favor think that placing women in combat roles would help equalize the services and actually cut down on sexual assaults, which has become a huge problem for the military. And it would go along way for women soldiers to gain the respect from their male counterparts that they normally wouldn’t get.
In my opinion this is just like the debate on whether or not gays should be allowed to serve openly in the service, what does it matter? If someone loves this country enough to lay down their life if need be to fight for this country’s freedom and my civil liberties then I say let them. What’s the worse that can happened women will be killed or hurt?
Well those that aren’t even in combat and have served in support positions on and off the frontlines in Iraq and Afghanistan, where war is waged on street corners and in markets, are still at risk, so that argument holds not weight since no one man or woman is safe while being on the frontlines.
So what do you think, are you for or against women being allowed to fight on the frontlines of war?