What’s Wrong With Coed Boot Camp?

Published at Laura Ingraham’s Lifezette.com January 13, 2016

CaptureOn January 1st Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus ordered the Marines to provide plans by January 15th for boot camp to go coed.  ABC.com reports that “Mabus also warned Marine Corps leaders not to use any concerns about integrating women into combat jobs as ways to delay the process.”  The problems with integrating boot camp are the same as those of integrating the combat arms, so the Marines are not allowed to talk about it.  Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter used this tactic when, ahead of his Dec. 3 decision, he put a gag rule on discussing women in combat and the Marines’ 9 month integration study which showed that compared to males in combat tasks, female Marines were slower, couldn’t lift as much weight, were less accurate shooters and retained more than twice the injuries.  Now the Marines must comply not only with integration of the combat arms but, suddenly, integration of boot camp, post-haste.  Any problems with either will be blamed on leadership and training.  That leadership will be purged and purged again until everyone is singing the right tune.  If you were interested in what Soviet-style dictatorship looks like, this is it.

As a nation, we already compared separate-sex and coed boot camps and found the Marine Corps’ methods far superior.  In the 1999 Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues, the commission’s chairman, Anita Blair said, “gender-integrated training entails special problems that simply do not arise in gender-separate training. These problems revolve around the difficulties of providing appropriate privacy for both sexes, accommodating fundamental physiological differences, and controlling sexual conduct.”

Sexual Dynamics & a Myriad of (Expensive) Consequences

imageThe Army knows intimately what can go wrong combining young end-of-teen-aged kids together in the formative period of boot camp.  Remember Aberdeen?  Multiple Army drill sergeants were abusing their authority and having sex with or raping females under their charge.  Even when relationships are consensual the damage can be just as great.  The expenses are high in time, money and effort to shuffle personnel due to relationships, fraternizing, pregnancy, misconduct and the litigation thereof, let alone the destructive impacts to the personnel themselves and their units.  That we’ve come to tolerate this mess in the fleet and other branches’ boot camps hardly justifies doing more of it by forcing the Marines to follow suit.

If there’s one thing that’s primal and unchanging, it’s that men and women are distracted by each other.  The second you throw them together they’re checking how they look and competing for each other’s attention.  The fallout can run the spectrum from marriage and/or babies to serving in the brig for rape.  It’s as predictable as the sun rising in the east, and all the ripples created detract from the objective: training to become the nation’s enemy-killers.  Advocates for total integration insist “we’re professionals,” as if professionals don’t hook up and mess up their lives and jobs.  Regardless, new recruits are hardly professionals, and boot camp is not an office job.  Harassment?  That’s boot camp: you can’t train young kids to attack and defend without some touching.  A drill instructor’s simple correction or instruction can be construed as harassment when done by the opposite sex.

 (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

(Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink c/o popularmilitary.com)

Having separate boot camps allowed the Marines to postpone or at least greatly minimize the opportunity for all these problems until after recruits had finished their training and earned the title.  (The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has worked to sexualize areas that were once neutral, worsening these negative impacts.  Same-sex sexual assaults are on the rise since its repeal.)

Quotas & Lowered Standards

Double standards for women have been in place since their full integration into the military in 1948 because every time they tested against men’s standards, they didn’t perform as well as the men and retained more injuries.  Also, men and women don’t like being treated the same.  What’s neutral between men can be considered harassment to a woman and vice versa, and what’s tough for women tends not to be challenging enough for men.

When West Point was integrated and 61% of female plebes failed the men’s physical fitness test (PFT) compared to less than 5% of men, separate lower standards were created for women.  It was the same in the Air Force’s Cadet Wing when they couldn’t perform the pull-ups or complete most of the men’s other standard tests.  In every branch’s PFT, women have more time to run and don’t have to do as much or the same requirements as men.  In 2013 the Marine Corps tried to get female recruits to achieve the men’s minimum three pull-ups and gave active duty females the option to do pull-ups instead of the arm-hang.  They dropped the requirement when, in over a year of boot camp cycles training for the goal, less than half of female recruits (compared to 98% of males) could make the standard and only 15% of active duty females elected to do them at all.

Marine General John Kelly is right in saying “There will be great pressure” to lower the standards to accommodate women and fulfill the Obama administration’s destructive policy.  While claiming there will be no quotas, Mabus has already demanded an increase to 25% female representation in the ranks.  The only way to satisfy that requirement is to lower those standards.  They will call them gender-normed “new” standards, and “equal” will be equally lower for all.

Recruiters now have an impossible task to perform.  Women are already five times harder and more expensive to recruit because very few women want to join the military and fewer are qualified.  While having to pull in much greater numbers to reach that 25%, the young women who can make combat standards is a yet smaller pool even in the age of Crossfit.  Now that women’s combat exemption is to be fully repealed, the potential for involuntary assignment to combat jobs and competing with men in those jobs are all deterrents for young women thinking of enlisting.

Conclusion

The Marines have been the last hold-outs on integrating training just as they have been for the combat arms because the Marines are in the business of killing.  Gen. Kelly had it right when he said the question is whether or not this policy makes us more lethal: “If the answer to that is no, clearly don’t do it…”

Recruits graduating coed boot camp will be a lower-caliber breed of Marine, Guinea pigs required to follow orders and “prove” integration a success.   Injuries and misconduct will increase even as standards are “gender-normed” lower, but as long as everyone delivers their lines correctly: “Women in combat is a great idea! Women are the same as men in the infantry!” that’s all that matters. That we’re supposed to be training them to fight and win against the likes of ISIS with the fewest casualties possible is irrelevant.  Ain’t modernity grand?  Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes.


Women in Combat: No, Most Military Women Didn’t Ask For This

As published at Stream.org December 22, 2015.

The author before heading out on convoy to checkpoint duty, Fallujah, 2005.

The author before heading out on convoy to checkpoint duty, Fallujah, 2005.

Don’t confuse most military women with the tiny feminist cabal comprised of a few officers and a lot of political groups who’ve been pushing for complete integration of the combat arms.

There is a vindictive refrain accompanying Ashton Carter’s recent dictat that the combat arms be opened to women without exception. “You women asked for this,” some seem to be saying, “now suck it up.” No, most military women did not ask for it, but the few times they’ve been asked, their voices have been ignored in favor of a teeny tiny group dishonestly claiming, “This is equality.” Some 92.5% of enlisted women surveyed by the Army in 2014 said they didn’t want to be assigned to combat units. Surveys by the Army Research Institute have yielded similar results. This colossal majority matters because it is they who will pay the price for this asinine policy pushed by a small few.

That some men who join the military may also be unwilling is irrelevant. Men are uniquely suited to the demands of combat and we will always need them to fight. We don’t need women in direct ground combat and, in fact, evidence shows they hinder success and incur greater harm than men.

More than anyone, military women know how much harder the physical demands are on our bodies compared with men. Our military training makes us tougher, but it doesn’t make us interchangeable with male peers, let alone men at the infantry level.

There is zero evidence showing that women strengthen combat units and plenty of evidence to the contrary. That’s why the administration and its mouthpieces, Ray Mabus and Ashton Carter, ignored the Marine Corps’ 9-month integration study that showed all-male teams outperformed coed teams on 69% of combat tasks and women suffered over twice the injuries. The study was heavy on oversight and engaged the best personnel. Its results echoed what we already know from decades of testing and injury stats. In other words, the results were nothing new. After saying they would consider exemption requests upon serious review of data, the administration ignored all of it.

Many women who fail to make infantry standards think it’s only they individually who cannot prove to be the equal of infantrymen, but that some women out there might. But we never seem to see the amazon women materialize in real life. Women are finding they cannot overcome Nature but they’re being told it’s men’s attitudes holding them back. What cruelty.

Women want to serve their country with dignity and honor. They want to be successful where they serve. They don’t want the standards lowered, to be quota fillers or to hinder the units that require the best of the very best, the most skilled at direct violence on behalf of our national defense. The decision to fully integrate the combat arms without exception puts women in the worst place of all, at far greater risk than their male peers and on the receiving end of undeserved resentment.

When making military policy that has sweeping ramifications for all America’s women, responsible stewards would base the decision on the 99.9% who don’t volunteer for such service, not on the tiny feminist element of the tiny fraction who do volunteer.

The blame for soon-to-be lowered standards, weakened combat effectiveness, increased injuries, greater expense, lost battles and higher rates of attrition lies with the feminist harpies who’ve been pushing this for the better part of 45 years and the men who’ve surrendered to them without a fight. These men are spineless politicians in uniform who’ve stood up neither for combat readiness nor for the welfare of men and women alike serving in uniform, and spineless members of Congress who have been derelict in their oversight duties.

They’ve had all the facts on their side — a mountain of them — for both effectiveness in battle and troop welfare. Yet they have been unwilling to claim their responsibility or make the case. Our enlisted men and women will pay with heavier loses of life and limb, the country with weakened national defense.

The Obama administration has been undermining and dismantling the military since Obama took office. That he would impose a reckless and destructive policy on a group that has no choice but to obey orders is no surprise. That the supposed opposition would capitulate so abjectly is inexcusable.


Thanks, Ashton – Women Now Subject to Involuntary Assignment to Combat Units, Selective Service

As published at Breitbart, December 10, 2015.

AP_353703431946-640x480

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

This morning I had an intense conversation with a mother of a new female Marine. Mutual friends had messaged us about yesterday’s announcement by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter that all units without exception would be opened to women. This marine’s mother thought that only women who want to will be assigned to combat units.

She was understandably upset at being informed that repealing women’s combat exemption removes choice from the equation for recruits and active-duty women and subjects all young American women to Selective Service obligations. Before the House of Armed Services Committee Marine Lt. General Robert Milstead was asked about this directly and confirmed: “That’s why they call them ‘orders.’” That was 2013, and earlier this month Ashton Carter re-emphasized the same:

Q:  Mr. Secretary, will the women’s desire to enter combat roles or missions be entirely voluntary? Or will there be a time to — where they could, like many of their male counterparts, be required to go into combat missions?

SEC. CARTER: Absolutely. If you’re a service member, you have some choices, but you don’t have absolute — absolute choice. People are assigned to missions, tasks, and functions according to need as well as their capabilities. And women will be subject to the same standard and rules that men will.

That mother’s shock and distress is something I knew would come and will never leave me. I have seen it over and over again. Most people don’t understand that this is not a matter of what a couple of willing and able women want. A 2013 New York Times poll and others like it would have us believe that Americans generally support putting women in combat units. However, the questioning always includes the critical and false caveat if women want to. In the military we’re all under orders and women are no different. With exemption fully repealed, top-performing women can be plucked from their units and placed along with highly athletic female recruits at the very front to wage offensive action at point blank range whether they want to or not. Where the idea that military men and women are interchangeable is being pushed and our unchanging biological differences are ignored, there will be even less consideration to women’s unique concerns. If you think assignment against consent is unlikely, consider the case of Army Pfc Stephanie Filus. Promised she wouldn’t be sent to the front lines by her recruiter precisely because Department of Defense policy prohibited it, the light wheeled vehicle mechanic was later told by officers of her 101st Airborne unit that she would be deployed to Iraq in a forward support company (FSC) with an infantry unit:

“Filus was aware, however, that the FSC would be physically attached and collocated with an infantry maneuver battalion, despite the collocation rule. Her attempts to obtain a discharge prior to that deployment were denied, and she was sent to Fort Polk, Lousiana, for pre-deployment training. Filus finally obtained her discharge from the Army in May 2005, but only after she took the desperate and dangerous step of attempting suicide with pills in front of the commanding officer at Fort Polk.”

One shudders to think what unwilling women might do to avoid being placed at the very tip of America’s spear.

The combat exemption was also the only thing constitutionally standing between women and the draft. Some think drafting women is only fair, and that might be true if the risks among men and women were equal. But they are far from it — rendering combat a very unequal opportunity in which women are at a severe disadvantage. Imagine your daughter in a one-on-one cage fight with a member of ISIS. No rules, no ref. Hand-to-hand combat is not a relic of Vietnam and prior wars. Get to know those who’ve been there and what they went through in direct combat missions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Read their accounts which chronicle having to bludgeon fanatics on methamphetamines with their bare hands or whatever they could grab. This is what direct ground combat means despite our technological advancements. How is this an equal opportunity when women don’t have the same chance of survival?

This policy will destroy more women than it will help, and more men and missions in the process. When viewed along with Obama’s refusal to name our radical Islamic enemies or even acknowledge that we are at war with them, it’s clear this is all of a piece: the fundamental transformation of America is nothing but destruction. The repeal of women’s combat exemption is nothing to celebrate. It’s more appropriate to mourn.


Combat Harms Women & Combat Effectiveness

As published at Laura Ingraham’s LifeZette, December 7, 2015.

Capture3Many are not surprised that Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter chose to fully repeal the women’s combat exemption, especially those who’ve been pushing for it.  But many regular Americans are surprised at what it actually means.

The mother of a new female Marine I spoke with last week was understandably upset to find out women can now be involuntarily assigned to these units, just like men.

Carter confirmed this when he said, “People are assigned to missions, tasks, and functions according to need as well as their capabilities. And women will be subject to the same standard and rules that men will.” Women may also now be subject to selective service obligations.

These may be classified as decisions in the name of “equality,” except that women don’t have an equal opportunity for survival and success in the violence of real combat at point-blank range. For many Americans, the reality is only now starting to sink in.

The tiny few who are willing and maybe able still bring much higher risk of injury, lesser performance and are higher value targets to our enemies, all of which unnecessarily adds risk and weakness for everyone involved. The Marine Corps’ recent 9-month integration study showed that all-male teams outperformed coed teams in 69 percent of combat tasks.

Women — top performers who had made men’s minimum fitness standards and passed enlisted infantry training — were slower, were less accurate shooters, struggled with tasks requiring upper body strength, and suffered more than double the injuries of men.

These factors can’t be ignored when speed is a weapon and brute strength is at a premium, but that’s exactly what Carter did in his decision.

Women are also at a significant disadvantage in hand-to-hand combat against men who want to kill them. Technology has not changed the violence of close quarters combat, as the accounts of infantry veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan amply show. They have been using their knives and bare hands face to face when required. No, this is not equal opportunity.

The secretary assured us that women will have to meet the same high standards as men, but how is that really possible when, for example, none of the 29 women who attempted the Marine’s Officer Infantry Course were able to pass? In the initial announcement of repeal, Gen. Martin Dempsey called for the standards to be “re-evaluated,” putting the onus on the combat units to prove why their standards are so high if women can’t make them, while also requiring “that there are a sufficient number of females entering the career field and already assigned to the related commands and leadership positions.”

Where will these women come from? We couldn’t even get a solid 30 to try for OIC. Most who did dropped due to injury, and none were able to show they could match the men’s physical ability.

The only way to achieve “sufficient numbers” and make up for both higher injuries and weaker performance is to lower the standards. Not formally, of course, but the standards have been lowered every time more military jobs have been opened to women.

This policy decision also won’t really help women’s military careers, the entire foundation of the argument for putting women in combat. The real effect will more likely be to handicap them. Take a woman at the top of her field in a noncombat military occupational specialty and drop her in a combat unit with the highest performing males and you’ve just killed her career prospects. No matter the standards, men especially at this level will always outperform women, permanently relegating them at best to the bottom half of their units.

Carter’s decision will also likely result in less female representation in the ranks over time, presumably the opposite of what advocates for repeal want. Since the colossal majority of active-duty women say they don’t want to be assigned to these units — 92.5 percent of enlisted Army women according to a 2014 Army survey, with similar results in other branches surveyed — the female talent we’re told is so critical is likely to walk out the door. Young women considering joining, already five times harder and more expensive to recruit, are likely to be more deterred by the possibility of involuntary assignment.

There are star performers who can and have been used effectively and recognized for their achievements without integrating all-male units thus far. But you don’t make a policy with such broad negative consequences based on the performance of an unusual few who, no matter the standards, are at far higher risk.

The averages matter, and military women tending not to be able to perform at infantry standards and to be injured at more than twice the rate of men means that women in combat units are likely to have to be replaced at far higher rates. They will not be competitive with their male peers, and will leave the military sooner and with more life-long disabilities. Not to mention, we have to break hundreds of women just to get to one who can make the men’s minimums.

The story isn’t over. This was never Carter’s decision. It was and is the American people’s. Congress has it in its power to defund this effort through the next defense authorization bill, and the next president can reinstate exemption just as it was repealed, administratively. But not before much disruption is inflicted on our men and women in uniform who are now preparing to face ISIS in Syria.


Ashton Carter Betrays Military Women and Combat Effectiveness

As published at The Stream December 4, 2015

Yesterday Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter broke his promise to weigh the decision on opening combat units to women “based on the analytic underpinnings and the data supporting them” and “rigorous analysis of factual data.” His somber announcement, greeted with no fanfare and the noticeable absence of now head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, will be celebrated by none but ISIS. America can take no pride in the decision that forces active duty women into a very unequal opportunity, subjects all young women to Selective Service obligations and puts all those serving in combat at greater danger and risk. They are set up for no less than failure, increased disability and death by those who completely disregard both women and combat effectiveness in favor of fake diversity that does nothing but weaken us against our enemies.

Carter ignored the overwhelming majority of active duty women who don’t want this, as, for example, a 2014 Army survey showed that 92.5% of its enlisted women don’t want to be assigned to combat units. Opponents of women’s exemption would have us believe that almost all military women are sexists against themselves. Not only absurd, it’s insulting to all military women who know how much harder military life is on our bodies and the many additional high risks we face in combat that men don’t. Stellar performance by an unusual few women is irrelevant to establishing a policy with such far-reaching consequences.

Once integration begins the military must not only prove it has a few superstars who are willing and able, it must guarantee the steady flow of them. As it is, not nearly enough women are willing and even fewer are able. Regardless, women are now subject to involuntary assignment to combat units just like men. “That’s why they’re called ‘orders.’” as Lt. Gen. Robert Milstead said before the House of Armed Services committee.

Secretary Carter ignored the data showing military women — not just average civilians but top athletes — are injured at more than twice the rate of their male counterparts. Would he deploy our military with gear or transport that broke twice as often as the alternative? Would he have us believe more than twice the risk of injury is an equal opportunity for advancement? We have to break hundreds to get one who can make the men’s minimum standards, and they will likely have to be replaced far more frequently.

Star athletes who may make men’s minimums are not likely to last long enough to achieve the high ranks and long military careers coveted by the teeny tiny minority who’ve pushed so hard for repeal. Their athleticism will undoubtedly be cut short by the strains of training for and engaging in combat, then to be left with lifelong debilitating injuries. Disabling hundreds of women who might otherwise serve successfully is just the cost of doing business to get the demographic diversity Obama demands.

Carter also ignored the critical fact that women are at a disadvantage physically against men in hand-to-hand ground combat, especially men of the savage nature we’re fighting today who are often amped up on methamphetamines, making them much harder to kill. Wars as recent as Iraq and Afghanistan are filled with accounts of our men struggling to kill these drugged-up psychopaths, regularly face-to-face and with their hands, rocks, knives or whatever is at hand when the gun jams or the ammo runs out. Women are also higher value targets for capture and torture to an enemy that treats its own women with brutality that makes us shudder.

Obama’s recent refusal (at first) to put “boots on the ground” is precisely why pilots were denied permission to bomb their targets in recent missions in Syria. Infantrymen, in addition to executing offensive combat missions, are the eyes and ears on the ground, ensuring the fewest possible innocent casualties for bomber pilots. No, the need for and the violence of direct ground combat hasn’t changed with technology and is no equal opportunity for women. To cast it as such is nothing short of barbaric, but Carter apparently couldn’t care less.

Carter ignored the fact that quotas for women in combat were already established by Gen. Martin Dempsey in the announcement of the repeal when he said the branches “must make sure that there are a sufficient number of females entering the career field and already assigned to the related commands and leadership positions.” Active-duty women will be resented as standards are lowered to fulfill these quotas, putting everyone and their missions in severe peril.

The secretary also ignored the Marines’ 9-month integration study, which showed that in addition to getting injured more than twice as often, women cannot perform at the level of infantrymen. Marines did their study right and with outside oversight because they knew leftists across America would try to discredit and undermine the results. As I noted previously, all-male units outperformed coed units in 69 percent of the 134 combat tasks. Women were slower, were less accurate shooters, struggled with tasks requiring upper body strength such as climbing over walls and lifting a 200-pound dummy off the field, and retained more than double the injuries of men.

If the figure had been even a mere five percent difference it would have been ample reason to maintain women’s exemption, since five percent is easily and frequently the difference between life and death in offensive ground combat. But in fact the figure was 69 percent! Ignoring that makes no sense! It’s catastrophic for the combat arms, but Secretary Carter will not be the one paying the price.

He says we must pull from the other 50 percent of society simply because they’re half the population. If representation of general society is the paramount goal, ranks should include the blind, old and obese, an obviously disastrous prospect. The point isn’t that women are as ineffective as the blind in combat, but simply that clearly there are other important criteria than simply casting the net as wide as possible.

Carter said, “Always putting the mission and our people first [is what] we will do today.” Hardly. The next president can and should reinstate the exemption in the same administrative way it was repealed, but he or she won’t be able to before much destruction and disruption is inflicted on our military, who this very moment are preparing to engage on the ground in Syria against the Islamic State. God help them.


There Is Nothing Compassionate About Making People Helpless

Rpae of the Sabine Women, Loggia dei LanziThere is nothing compassionate about making people helpless.  Where laws are unenforced and our rights are impeded, we’re reduced to survival of the fittest where the weak are at the mercy of the strong.  This is true from unrestricted illegal immigration to gun control.  There is nothing compassionate about letting people flow through our borders unchecked and unvetted.  It endangers both citizens and immigrants alike.  We know neither the motivations nor backgrounds nor health of those coming in unless they go through the process, a process my husband went through to earn citizenship.  There is nothing compassionate about disarming us.  It only puts us at the mercy of criminals and results in more innocents killed.  That our immigration laws and border have been ignored is the very reason we are now faced with the need for a moratorium on immigration entirely, both in light of the Paris massacre Friday and because ISIS is already here having come through our porous borders.  Had we been enforcing our laws all this time we would be in a better position to take in genuine refugees if we wanted to – and to guarantee protection from the oppression and violence they’re fleeing.  Enforcing these laws has nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with the preservation of the very things that make people want to come here.  So too the right to self-defense has nothing to do with “gun culture” and everything to do with self-preservation which covers people of all colors.  It is the weak who have the greatest need for protection that benefit the most from enforced law and the right to self-defense.  Where these are lacking, we’re all at the mercy of force.


A Tale of Two Combat Integration Tests: Army v. Marines

As published at The Stream November 8, 2015.

Integrated_Task_Force_infantry_Marines_conduct_squad_attacks_in_Final_Field_Exercise_at_Camp_Lejeune-cropped-compressedWith the January deadline approaching for Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s decision on opening all combat units to women, the contrast between the Marines integration testing and the Army’s Ranger training is telling.

The Marines set out to answer a question: Can women perform at the same level as men in the infantry? While adversaries of the women’s combat exemption have been hard at work trying to discredit the testing and the results, the Marines’ gender integration study was executed according to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) required methodology. It had buy-in and observation from the Center for Strategic & International Studies, the University of Pittsburgh, Michigan State University and Rand Corp. Contrary to the claim that the Marines were biased against the females, participants and overseers say the opposite was true.

The Marines’ Ground Combat Element-Integrated Task Force (GCEITF) was directed “to test the hypothesis that an integrated ground combat arms unit under gender neutral standards will perform just as well as a similar all male unit.” The results disproved the hypothesis. All-male units outperformed coed units in 69 percent of the 134 combat tasks. Women were slower, were less accurate shooters, struggled with tasks requiring upper body strength such as climbing over walls and lifting a 200-pound dummy off the field, and retained more than double the injuries of men, among other things:

“The assessment across all occupational specialties revealed that gender integrated teams, squads or crews demonstrated, with very few exceptions, degraded performance in the time to complete tasks, move under load and achieve timely effects on target as compared to all-male teams, squads or crews.”

The results even showed where standards should be raised for infantry men. This is vital information for a branch whose sole purpose is killing the enemy. We can be proud of the service the participants did by hashing out the details of what direct ground combat really requires and what the limits are for women’s contributions.

Army Ranger school seems to have been a different story. Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were lauded as having “made history” when they graduated on August 22 this year. But shortly after, whistleblowers said that the women got extra training, special treatment, were held to lower standards and the graduation planned in advance. Worse, they’ve said success was the predetermined outcome whether women were successful or not. As People reported on September 25:

“A woman will graduate Ranger School,” a general told shocked subordinates this year while preparing for the first females to attend a “gender integrated assessment” of the grueling combat leadership course starting April 20, sources tell PEOPLE. “At least one will get through. [Emphasis mine]

That directive set the tone for what was to follow, sources say.

“It had a ripple effect” at Fort Benning, where Ranger School is based, says a source with knowledge of events at the sprawling Georgia Army post. “Even though this was supposed to be just an assessment, everyone knew. The results were planned in advance.”

Giving even more credence to the whistleblowers, one of the graduates herself acknowledged special treatment, People also reported:

“I thought we were going to be dropped after we failed Darby [part of Benning] the second time,” Griest said at a press conference before graduation. “We were offered a Day One Recycle.”
The report came just after congressman Steve Russell (R-OK), a former Army Ranger and career military man himself, asked the Army for proof of standards to include the women’s training records. After stalling for a couple of weeks, the Army informed him that the records were destroyed. The supposed living proof that women are just as combat-capable as infantry men and their records were destroyed? It stinks to high heaven.

The Army denies it, but unfortunately lying and concealing data concerning combat-related jobs to women is nothing new for the military (except the Marines). In the 1990s, eager to prove their diversity and women-friendliness post-Tailgate, the Navy and Air Force were competing to be the first to open combat aircraft jobs to women. The Navy gave the same directive to their pilot instructors that the Rangers allegedly got: A woman will pass. And so they did.

And then a female pilot, Kara Hultgreen, killed herself when she crashed her plane into the water doing a routine landing maneuver she’d failed at before. Previously touted as proof that women are just as capable combat pilots, the training records revealed that both Hultgreen and the female she went through training with were passed where men would have failed. They were put in positions for which they didn’t qualify and when it resulted in the death of the female pilot, the Navy lied about it and tried to hide the evidence. All so they could show the administration how diverse and not sexist they supposedly were.

What if Hultgreen been deployed during the Gulf war? How many lives might she have cost in combat action when the pressure was really on? We have no idea how many more women have been “passed” in this way over the years, but we’re expected to see the female Rangers’ graduation as evidence that women strengthen combat readiness.

This is what the Army has done to pass women in their Ranger program. To lie to the American people about these women’s ability to wage combat with and against men is gross deceit, a deceit then used to justify opening all combat units to women. It’s already horrible for the women involved, since it set them up for humiliation when the truth inevitably surfaced, and for future failure on the battlefield. ISIS won’t give those women a day-one recycle.

It doesn’t help active duty women to be pushed through and given something they didn’t earn. Frankly, it’s insulting to our intelligence and dignity. It will degrade American ability to fight war on the ground. It will get more men and women killed. And it will inflate costs — the human and the financial — for disabilities upon return from war.

It also diminishes the real achievements of women in both the Army and the Marines. Women that want to push their boundaries and charge hard are exactly the women we want in our military and on deployments. We’ll retain and recruit far fewer of them if the combat units are fully integrated.

While the female Marines were set up for success, the female Rangers were set up for disaster. The female Marines didn’t fail at anything. They helped determine whether women strengthen combat readiness. They helped us to identify standards that needed adjusting and the limits of top-performing female Marines. This, like the data on rates of injury and other results, is information we need.

The Rangers, in contrast, were pawns in a scheme that treats the Army as a laboratory for social engineering. Those tough, high-performing female Marines will go on to do great things and can be proud of what they’ve done. The female Rangers can’t take any pride in their tab and will never be able to assuage doubts in their abilities.

The Army’s deceit is even more reason for congressional scrutiny over the repeal of women’s combat exemption. A decision that affects all active duty women, all draft-age women, all infantrymen and our national security belongs not to one man, not to a political appointee, and not even with the military itself. The decision belongs to the American people whose sons and daughters risk their lives to protect us from our most vicious foreign enemies.


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