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Military to lift ban that kept women from combat positions

News Editor

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013

Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 00:01

Women in combat

AP Photo/US Army, Spc. Micah E. Clare

This Thursday, March 20, 2008, photo provided by the US Army shows Army Spc. Monica Brown, a medic from the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, who received a silver star at an award ceremony at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Brown is the second female since World War II to earn the Silver Star award for her actions while in combat.

According to CNN Defense Secretary Leon Panetta plans to lift the ban on women that have kept them from combat positions in the past. Panetta is doing this as one of his last big moves before leaving office.

"We will eliminate the policy of 'no women in units that are tasked with direct combat,'" a senior defense official said.

Kingsley Browne, professor at Wayne State University Law School thinks that opening up combat positions to women is a bad idea.


Kingsley Browne, professor at Wayne State University Law School and author of Co-ed Combat: The New Evidence That Women Shouldn’t Fight the Nation’s Wars, calls the decision “misguided.” “The fact that the decision precedes the assessment phase is putting the cart before horse,” he says. “The Marine Corps has done rigorous testing but haven’t gotten very far because they haven’t gotten many women volunteers.”

The Marine Corps‘ Infantry Officer Course, a grueling three-month regimen that many men fail, was opened to women in September. However, only two out of 80 eligible women volunteered and neither completed it.

Browne argues that because women are not physically built like men, attempts to integrate them may lead to lowered standards overall. Additionally, he believes women in combat units may negatively change the dynamics, creating conditions of sexual competition and sexual harassment.

This is an unfair evaluation. Women have not had a chance to be trained like men have, so it will take them a while to get up to the standards to be able to fight in combat positions. Women are strong enough to fight in combat, and can be just as strong as the men.

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