Opinion

Women in combat

The military leaders of the United States formally lifted the ban on women serving in combat positions on Jan. 24. Leon Panetta, the current United States Secretary of Defense, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey approved this decision. They feel as if women have greatly demonstrated their willingness to fight during the wars in the last decades, and therefore have earned the right to be in combat, according to foxnews.com.

We at the Threefold Advocate agree with the decision and the fact that women have the right to serve in combat if they choose to do so.

The change opens up thousands of front-line positions as well as possible elite commando jobs to women. However, Panetta is giving the military services two deadlines: The first is in May and the services must have their plans for opening units up to women. The second deadline is January 2015. Until this time, the services have the right to “seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.”

Women already make up 15 percent of the force. In Iraq and Afghanistan, they have increasingly found themselves right in the middle of battle. And even though the military requires rigorous physical standards, the senator has urged the military to maintain these standards.

We at the Threefold also believe that women should not be drafted or forced in any way to be a soldier in combat. Being a woman in combat is a choice that only a woman herself can make. Because women already volunteer to play such a large role in the military, we see no reason to to force active duty upon them.

To us it is clear: If a woman feels the need to be a soldier in combat, the military should not prohibit them from doing so. We know that not everyone meets the qualifications to be a combat soldier, however, everyone should be entitled the opportunity to try. As a result, we agree with the decision that the military leaders of the United States have made.