Women in Combat Arm's Units


This group has a very unique perspective in that the majority of military nurses are women and also that, well your women. Males nurses as well have a unique perspective in that you already service members.

Very curious on any strong thoughts on the pro's and con's of this new regulation that is being put in place. Thoughts?


14,633 Posts

It's not a new regulation; it's simply a lifting of the arbitrary ban that has been in place for many years, and opening the discussion about this. The different branches of the service have time and leeway to decide how to implement changes.

Cursed Irishman

471 Posts

Having been an infantryman, forward observer, and military policeman prior to being a nurse, I've come to the conclusion that the quality of "hard working" cannot be limited based on sex. I've seen two hundred pound men, made of pure muscle, who lacked the mental toughness of sub-hundred pound women. If the military is a meritocracy, then everyone should be given the chance.

In all reality, the number of women who will seek out combat arms will be very small. I foresee, just like the lifting of segregation and DADT, that the overall impact will be neglible.

nurse2033, MSN, RN

3 Articles; 2,133 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU.

I'm all for it.


55 Posts

Having been an infantryman, forward observer, and military policeman prior to being a nurse.

That's a bit of a journey leading to becoming a nurse. With that background, what inspired you to become a nurse?

Cursed Irishman

471 Posts

I graduated with a BS in criminal justice and discovered that guys with my qualifications are a dime a dozen. I then saw my sister's paycheck as a nurse and recognized that I could make a decent living and have an exceptional quality of life by entering healthcare.

I think it will be a far bigger deal to the media than those who are in uniform....just like DADT.


263 Posts

I have seen plenty of females in combat/99% were MP's. They always seemed to pull their weight, and many have been in heavy combat. That being said, I can definitely see it being a problem. Not only in a sexual nature of course. Though that will definitely be a problem. I was a 13F during the invasion, and after and served with many females who were outstanding. Just like the male side of things there were dirtbags too though. Some of the problems I see could be, pregnancy while deployed. What if your unit has for example 2 female platoon sergeants in an infantry unit, they become pregnant. That can become a problem. Of course one that could be fixed by covering down, but I hope you see my point. With all that being said, I am still 100% percent for the barrier to be broken down and for females to have their fair shake. The most disciplined meanest NCO I ever met was a chow hall NCO, she was literally the meanest person I have met. lol.

Specializes in Anesthesia, ICU, OR, Med-Surg. Has 25 years experience.

The only issue I see if in a fire fight and a male gets shot, how would the female be able to drag him out of harms way? When you're out there, you are wearing a ton of gear. I would rather know the person I am with will be able to get me out of harms way if I get injured.

Also, since the military is making things equal amongst the sexes, some people have commented that females should have the same physical fitness test requirements as the men to make things really equal. I know this would be a tough sale since we know women are not made like men but the overal gist is that men don't want standards lowered to make things easier for females.

I have been here in Afghanistan for 5 months now with 1 more month left and I can say, many of the females here have been a distraction for most of the men here. There have been instances of sexual relations amongst members that are both married while their spouses are back at home. Females have been sent home due to becoming pregnant here, which means they have to be sent home and another person in their unit has to be tasked to deploy. It messes up a lot of things here and delays the mission from getting accomplished because you are now short of a key member of the team. Rapes and sexual assaults have occurred. I think when you put men and women together in an environment for 6 months and you are not allowed to have sex while you are deployed, things sometimes happen.

I am all for women serving in the military but opening up combat roles for them I don't think is a good idea.

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns. Has 38 years experience.

Still talking about double standards....so if two people "fool around" notwithstanding General Order # 1 et all, why is it that just the female is sent home in your unit? On my 2nd deployment (Iraq) I saw both sexes sent home r/t "conduct unbecoming". I guess it is ultimately up to the CDR.

Some of the women have been a distraction for some of the men in the unit? That tells me that those men in question are not professional soldiers.

From what I have been reading in the Army Times, the standards would not be lowered. In fact, in order to even think about the SORT, the woman in question must pass her PT with a minimum score of 270. (90 in each), and be able to drag a 180 lb dummy x number of feet, and - of course, be able to live in an asture environment.

Would I go out for something like that if I were younger? Hells Bells, yeah...


69 Posts

Not being a woman and after my OB class I think of prolonged periods of time living out of rucks with no sanitation. Maybe a female can assure me otherwise but I'm not sure if that would be a problem with UTI's and such??? Again, I DON'T know so I am not stating that as a problem but more of a question.

Definitely agree with the physical standard changing, if your going combat arms then yes you need to demonstrate that you can pull a heavy person out of harms way just as well as the next Soldier/Marine next to you. I am Army but doesn't the Marine Corps have the same physical standards for PT tests cross genders?

This of course brings up the issue of selective service mandated for all 18yr old males. Should this be evaluated as well? I'm thinking not just because the "average" woman, even one who is fit might have a challenge on doing some of the requirements. I think the overall question to keep as a standard is "does this improve the combat effectiveness of the unit?"

If she can make it through infantry AIT, Airborne, Air Assault, and any other combat school with the same standards as their fellow infantryman then yes, absolutely.