Majority of Voters Favor Full Combat Roles For Women

Katie Pavlich

1/28/2013 12:00:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

Last week as a last hoorah, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted the ban on women serving combat even though women have been serving in combat for quite some time. Now, a new Rasmussen Report shows 59 percent of voters favor women serving in full combat positions.

Most voters think women in the military should be able to fight in combat just like men do. But they still believe overwhelmingly that women need to pass the same physical tests as men if they’re in special forces like the Green Berets and Navy SEALs.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters now feel that women in the military should be allowed to fight on the front lines and perform all the combat roles that men do. That’s up five points from February of last year when we first asked the question.

The key here is "women need to pass the same physical tests as men." As former Air Force pilot and Congressional candidate Colonel Martha McSally said on Fox News Sunday yesterday, a standard should be set. McSally was the first female combat pilot and has completed an Iron Man triathlon.

Let me just say I realize flying combat aircraft and being on the ground in combat are two very different missions. However, the same flawed arguments were used against allowing women to fly in combat and now allowing them to be on ground combat, like what General Boykin has said.

These are flawed arguments the battle line is we need to treat people like individuals. What are the capabilities they bring to the fight? Which includes physical strength, plus courage, plus aptitude, plus leadership and, all the other things we need to have the most effective fighting force.

So, we are a country that sets standards and then allows people to compete as individuals and if they bring the better soldier to the fight, then women should be able to compete on equal ground. I’m not talking about changing standards; I’m talking about allowing people to be considered for what they bring to the fight.

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