Poll: Majority Don't Support Women in Combat Roles

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The majority of people in an al.com poll are opposed to women serving in combat roles but think if they are, they should be required to register with Selective Service when they turn 18.

Some 63 percent said they opposed combat roles being open to women in an al.com poll. Thirty percent said they supported the change and 7 percent weren't sure.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the end to the Combat Exclusion Policy yesterday. The move opens up as many as 230,000 positions to female soldiers.

The change isn't a positive one, according to most al.com commenters, who said the change unnecessarily puts women in harm's way.

Commenter erniedoonie said "this policy does not make common sense. It is nonsensical to place a member of the 'weaker sex' in jeopardy... and they are obviously weaker. A fighting unit depends on each individual carrying his own weight and responsibility. It's not that the women don't want to carry out the part but that they just can't physically handle the job. What'll happen to the doctrine of 'no man left behind'?"

The physical requirements of serving in combat were a concern echoed by user DC.

"I welcome the fact that women will enjoy their new role, and physical standard on testing. It's about time their lower standards caught up to their role. My guess is 75 percent of the women will fail their physical training test under new standards, will they be banned from promotion and be kicked out as the males are? If Panetta is declaring "every person is equal" then women must meet the current physical standards for men. If they are not held to the same standard, or given different treatment for failure, then this is all hypocrisy, plain and simple. If Panetta is not a hypocrite, then the PT standards will go up, 75 percent will fail, and the new feel good rule just got 3/4 of the military's women kicked out."

Some, however, felt the change was long overdue.

User BoAlawine said "Excellent. If women want to serve in combat roles, then they should be allowed to do so."

The opinion on whether women should have to register with Selective Service when they turn 18, a requirement of their male counterparts, was clear cut. Eighty percent of al.com voters thought women should now be required to register with Selective Service when they turn 18, compared to 16 percent that didn't think they should and 3 percent undecided.

User ua4ever summed it up like this: "0 (is the) number of women who have signed draft cards. If women can serve (in any manner just not combat) they should have to sign up for the draft."

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