Majority of survey respondents question decision to put women in combat roles

Opening the door to women in combat would be “disastrous,” say some, and it’s long overdue, say others who joined in a torrent of responses to the announcement that the Army isn’t just “brothers” in arms anymore.

The Defense Department in January announced its decision to allow women to serve in direct combat roles.

In more than 100 letters to Army Times, nearly 20 percent voiced unconditional support for the move. In comments from those who offered a definite opinion for or against, women were 2 to 1 against it and men about 4 to 1 against.

See how readers reacted in the latest issue of Army Times, on sale now.

Army arms divisions with massive drone

The Army is setting 15 companies up with huge Gray Eagle drones, a move that will give divisions new theater-level long-range, high-endurance reconnaissance and extended standoff attack capabilities.

The massive MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone can fly for 24 hours, as high as 25,000 feet, and it can carry four Hellfire missiles. Soldiers in the cockpit of the new Apache AH-6 4E will have the ability to use its sensors to observe the battlefield and fire those missiles — all while safe and far away.

The companies will go to every active-duty division, plus two each for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and the military intelligence aerial exploitation battalions. The National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., will get one, too.

Get all the details in this week’s Army Times.

Handbook reminds soldiers, families not to spill information online

Soldiers know they shouldn’t update their Facebook pages about last week’s ambush or tomorrow’s patrol, but the rules about operational security on social media can still be unclear for troops and their families.

“I’ve seen not only soldiers but also their spouses posting exact dates, times and locations of their soldiers while deployed,” said a woman whose husband is with the 574th Quartermaster Support Company at Grafenwoehr, Germany. “A few guys even posted when and where they were moving all of them to the next (combat outpost/forward operating base)!”

The woman, who asked that her name not be used, told Army Times she was referring to her husband’s 2011-12 deployment with the 172nd Infantry Brigade.

Read the full story in the new issue of Army Times.

— Special to the Herald

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