Tag Archives: military

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.


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.


Shut Up, You! SecDef Gags Military on Women In Combat Discussion

Tape-Over-MouthThe results of the Marine Corps’ 9-month “Gender Integration” study for the combat arms are barely out and already the Secretary of the Navy declares he’ll ignore them and the Secretary of Defense releases a gag order on discussing women in combat units until  he makes his decision on the matter.  There’s only a need to stifle debate and hide data: when the facts aren’t in your favor.  If the data supported the case for women in combat units, its supporters would be shouting it from the rooftops instead of hiding it from view.  Congress needs to pull oversight back with them where it rightly belongs so the people have an honest picture of the costs of sending our active duty females into direct ground combat with ISIS.  With speculation about whether the females were passed through Ranger school with special treatment and lowered standards, there’s even more need for investigation and oversight.  Steve Russell (R-OK) has asked the Army for proof of standards to include the training records only to be told they were destroyed.  The supposed living proof that women are just as combat-capable as infantry men and their records were destroyed?  And we’re not supposed to talk about the Marine combat testing showing that male teams outperform coed teams on 69% of tasks and are injured half as much?  How very totalitarian.

On October 15 The Hill reported on a memo from Ashton Carter:

“Until I make the final decision, further public discussion of the [Women in Service Review (WISR)] process is neither helpful or prudent,” said an Oct. 2 memo signed by Carter and obtained by The Hill.

“External communication by any official within the Department of Defense regarding specific WISR deliberations and deliberative documents must be coordinated and approved in advance with the Deputy Secretary of Defense,” the memo said.

The dictum comes after Congress in the latest NDAA abdicated oversight on the women in combat decision by letting Lorretta Sanchez (D-CA) gut the 30-day notification law by changing it from 30 legislative to 30 calendar days.  According to some HASC staffers I spoke to last week, we’re supposed to be glad the notification period wasn’t “vacated” completely per Sanchez’s original amendment.  This is typical Washington cartel corruption: Hide the data, kill discussion, remove time for proper legislative oversight. Push it through over the holidays and New Year’s they’re moving females into direct ground combat units preparing to fight ISIS.

Congress must have the same opportunity as the SecDef  to examine the Marines’ 900 page study in its entirety.  The people must be able to get a clear picture of what this administration is getting our women and men into by fully repealing the combat exemption, especially as we face ISIS abroad and, increasingly, at home.  The study and participants are being attacked even though they did everything according to the DOD’s required methodology, and wanted to show success.  They had buy-in and observation by the Center for Strategic & International Studies, the University of Pittsburgh, Michigan State University and Rand Corp.  We can be very proud of the service the Marines provided by hashing out the details of what direct ground combat really requires.  The results even showed where standards should be raised for infantry men.  Not as eager as the Army to be first in Diversity Metrics, the Marines take combat and the prospect of putting females there very seriously.  They have to.

Photo c/o Marines.Mil

Photo c/o Marines.Mil

When average male Marines outperform top-performing female Marines on nearly 70% of combat tasks, there’s no way one can argue women strengthen combat units.  When strong, athletic, female Marines are still injured at more than twice the men’s rate, there’s no way to argue this adds strength.  Being a bit smarter and more well-behaved (two amongst the five tasks of 134 where coed teams outperformed the men) can never mitigate for the stack of other negatives from significantly higher rates of injury to the extra (and expensive) accommodations needed, to degraded combat readinees and added risk to all.  The study’s findings echo all similar testing from each decade since 1948, every time opening more military jobs and schools to women has come up.  The cons far outweigh the pros, they always have and always will because biology is unchanging.

SethMoultonNajaf_09It’s no surprise that representatives from both parties with real combat experience are the ones demanding oversight and action.  Challenging Sanchez’s amendment to vacate the notification law were Ryan Zinke (R-MT, former Navy SEAL and multi-tour Iraq war veteran) and Steve Russell (Army Ranger and infantry veteran of Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan).  Seth Moulton (D-MA, a 4-tour Marine Infantry Officer and recipient of the Medal of Valor) has called for the release of the study so that the results can be evaluated by the people.  Duncan Hunter (R-CA, a 3-tour Marine Infantry Officer) has called for SecNav Ray Mabus’ resignation over his refusal to even look at the Marine study results and his announced refusal of their exemption request.  John Kline (R-MN) has accused Carter of withholding information on the women in combat studies.  Just as Russell made his request for the Rangers’ training records, People reported that according to sources the women got extra training, special treatment, were held to lower standards and the graduation planned in advance.  Ray Mabus accused the Marines of being biased for women to fail, but by all accounts the opposite was true.  Now those behind the scenes at Ranger school are saying success was the predetermined outcome whether women were successful or not:

“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.”

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.” [Emphasis mine]

The Army denies it, but unfortunately lying and concealing data when it comes to opening combat-related jobs to women is nothing new for the military.  In the 1990’s, anxious to prove their diversity and women-friendliness in the 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.[1]  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.  We’re just supposed to trust Ashton Carter with this and stop talking.

ranger-school-packs-600Side note: If this what the Army has done with regard to the recently graduated females, what a horrendous thing to do on so many levels.  To essentially lie to the American people about these women’s real ability to wage combat with and against men is gross deceit.  And what a horrible position to put those women in.  It was setting them up for humiliation when the truth inevitably surfaced.  What the women did was actually amazing.  A positive result of the Marines’ approach by testing the hypothesis that coed teams would perform just as well as all-male teams, the female Marines didn’t fail at anything.  They helped us to identify standards that needed adjusting and what the limits are on what top-performing female Marines.  This is, like the data on rates of injury, distractions to men and the other discoveries, this information we need.  The Rangers on the other hand were set up as proving women are interchangeable with infantry men so that more women can follow.

Military women most of all have to be able to rely on a high standard on their training and abilities when positioned at the front.  It doesn’t help them or set them up for success in their coveted direct combat jobs – to be pushed through and given something they didn’t earn.  It will cost them their lives later, and the lives of sons working with them.  It will cost us our ability to fight war on the ground.  There will be no extra hand up when your mission is to go kill ISIS in their home turf.  Presenting women as having met the same standards when they haven’t is an insult to our intelligence and brutish in its disregard for women’s unique concerns.  Passing them on lower standards because the Army’s so anxious to shove through a leftist political policy is absolutely outrageous.  It will get more men and women killed, hamper our fighting ability and skyrocket our costs – the human and the financial – for disabilities upon return from war.

This is not the SecDef’s decision, and certainly not his to make behind closed doors without discussion.  Support the Marines who, in their execution of the integration study remained always faithful to their two top priorities of combat readiness and troop welfare.  Their study yielded important data vital to women and the combat arms.  Support Seth Moulton’s call to make the results of the study public and grant congress the time they need to conduct oversight.  It’s ISIS we’re next sending our sons and daughters to fight in direct ground combat.  This is not one man’s decision, this is America’s decision.

[1] As covered by Brian Mitchell in Women in the Military: Flirting With Disaster; Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998. (223). instructors were ordered to lie:

“ Delivering a statement signed by twenty-one out of twenty-three [Navy] Top Gun instructors opposing women in combat aviation, Lieutenant John Clagett…revealed that in some areas female students were simply “not allowed to fail.”  The word from the top was that the Navy needed more female pilots…instructor pilots were under pressure to go easy on women.  Clagett recalled his experience with a female student at Beeville, Texas:  “She didn’t perform her mission what I considered up to standards.  I chose at that time to try to give her an unsatisfactory for the flight and was told in private quarters that that wasn’t what you did in this situation, that ‘she not only will pass the flight, but it will be an average grading.’” Clagett challenged the commission to ask the Navy for statistics on women attrited from flight training involuntarily, “the ones that are told, ‘You are not good enough to fly this airplane or any airplane from this point on…’…quite frankly, they were zero when I was at Beevile.  It was zero.  And we attrited male candidates left and right.”  Attrition of women was allowed only when there were many women in training and instructors felt safe in saying that not every women performed up to standard…Air Force pilots were [also] under pressure to make women succeed.  As one Air Force captain told David Hackworth, writing for Newsweek, “We are told to evaluate women on a different scale than men.  A woman who is adequate is rated as outstanding, or who is unacceptable is rated as acceptable.” “


What Repealing the Combat Exclusion Means for Our Military

As published at Stream.org October 2, 2015

This week was the deadline for the leaders of the armed services to issue their recommendation for opening all combat units to women, though these have not yet been made public and the major media have hardly mentioned it. Repealing the combat ban will not only harm women but weaken our effectiveness in combat.

Photo c/o Stripes.com

Photo c/o Stripes.com

You may think women are already serving in these roles; but there’s a world of difference between the combat zone and direct ground combat. Women have served honorably and well on deployments, but none who has been injured or died was in direct ground combat or on a combat mission. Performing well and bravely when engaged by the enemy is not the same as qualifying for the infantry. Returning fire isn’t combat, nor is surviving an IED on convoy. Combat is the ferocious, dirty and bloody destruction of the enemy at close quarters, often face to face and hand to hand.

Think about our foreign enemies from al Qaeda to the Taliban to ISIS raping and beheading their way across Iraq. Imagine your daughter there, not in support, but going after these bad guys where they live: hard, fast, with the greatest possible violence.

For infantry to achieve their top priority — victory with the fewest casualties — the combat arms require the best of the best, the toughest, strongest and fastest. When speaking of rates of injury or performance, we’re not comparing civilian averages, or military women to civilian men. We’re talking about trained and fit military women compared with not just military men, but the top one percent of military men.

Photo c/o Marines.Mil

Photo c/o Marines.Mil

This is the reality. The Marine Corps’ recent 9-month combat integration testing showed that the female participants had less strength, speed and shooting accuracy, and were injured more than twice as much as men. Coed teams underperformed on nearly 70% of tasks. Since close combat fights are often won on the margins, such disparity could be catastrophic for the units fighting our bloodiest battles at the front. We should be giving them everything they need, and clearing any hindrances from their path, not hobbling them with egalitarian social experiments.

Military women, as tough, smart and able as they are, are not interchangeable with the men at the infantry level. Before even attempting men’s or infantry standards, military women are already experiencing two to ten times the rate of injury as men: feet, ankles, knees, hips, lower back, just to name a few.

What does it matter if one or two women can make the lowest men’s standards if they’re prone to more than twice the injuries and we have to break hundreds just to get those two? That means they’ll need to be replaced much more frequently than men, at great expense to both women and taxpayers. With quotas already demanded by General Dempsey, the military has to ensure not just that a few willing women can get the chance. They must guarantee a steady supply of such women.

A U.S. soldier from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment is watched as he fires a squad automatic weapon during a training mission near forward operating base Gamberi, in the Laghman province of Afghanistan December 15, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson.

Photo c/o REUTERS/Lucas Jackson.

Military service is not a right. No one “deserves” to be able to fight. The combat arms’ raison d’être is not to provide career opportunities, but to fight and win wars. The feminist politicians and military brass pushing this policy frame it as an equality issue because they can’t show that women truly benefit and enhance combat readiness. And because they can’t possibly prove that women can do whatever men can do, they dismiss the empirical data as inherently discriminatory. They want us to believe that women are strong enough for combat units, but too weak to pass men’s standards because of men’s (alleged) attitudes.

Their argument is basically this: we just need more leadership, and then women won’t suffer more than twice the injuries, underperform at 70% of tasks, and distract men. They say that men get passed “just because they’re men,” and women are excluded “just because they’re women.” Nonsense. Replace “men” and “women” with the physical ability each represents. Denser, larger bones, greater strength, stamina, speed and accuracy, much greater muscle-building potential vs. smaller, lighter skeletons, less aerobic capacity, upper body strength, speed, accuracy and stiff limits on the ability to build muscle. There’s no amount of leadership or attitude adjustment in the world that can change biology.

Even if it weren’t so, repealing the ban would still be expensive, untenable and deadly. Women on the front lines are at higher risk of capture and torture as high-value targets. They’re more susceptible to infection, need more accommodations to maintain hygiene, and, to state what ought to be obvious, are uniquely capable of getting pregnant.

Sexual tension and dynamics also dramatically weaken unit cohesion. Consensual or not, the spectrum from flirtation to rape is destructive and expensive enough in non-combat units. They spell calamity for the infantry. It’s not that men and women can’t work together. We can, but we’re not robots. Where the sexes are mixed, those dynamics are always in our faces. Relationships, jealousies, favoritism, fraternization, wanted attention, unwanted attention, sex and all its ramifications: these create emotional roller-coasters to units that are often isolated in remote areas with no privacy and no doors to lock. The combat units need this stuff like a hole in the head.

IMG_1150

Photo by Jude Eden, 2004.

War is cruel, demanding and catastrophically dangerous. Women are not excluded out of some arbitrary patriarchal misogyny. It is nature who discriminates. While there may be a few highly atypical women who could pass the elite training, you don’t make policy that affects our national security and the entire population of young females based on the short-term performance of a few individuals.

Military leaders have to make decisions based on the facts on the ground, not on an ideological view of how they would like things to be. There is no job in the combat units that men can’t do, while there are plenty that women can’t do, or can’t do well enough and without lots of injury and other high risks. Where women are needed in the combat zone they are already being utilized and recognized.

Until now, a willingness to face combat reality has kept the combat exclusion in place. In the past the issue has been publicly debated, subject to presidential commissions and congressional oversight. Whenever put to a vote, America has vehemently rejected repeal. Yet all Leon Panetta had to do to enact this policy was to sign a memo. Where’s the outcry in Congress? Our representatives, who have apparently been rolled by political correctness, need to know that we will hold them accountable for subjecting women to conscription and weakening our military in the process.

 


Star “News” Blackout on NC Veterans Initiative

On Thursday, April 17th in Raleigh, Governor Pat McCrory announced an initiative to provide in-state tuition to veterans living in North Carolina, regardless of their state of residence. This is big news for North Carolina’s huge military and veteran populations. Yet the Star News doesn’t seem to think it worth covering.

The initiative was announced at the NC Women Veterans Summit & Expo, the first event of its kind for the state, yet this too has been markedly absent from the Star News’ pages. The tuition program, which is being proposed in the FY15 budget, will help young service members to further their education at a significantly reduced cost. This in turn enhances their employment prospects and encourages them to stay and join the work force or start a business in our beautiful state. Why would the editors at the Star “News” go out of their way to ignore such a huge tuition program announcement and keep this very newsworthy story from their readers? The silence is deafening, and it is a slap in the face to NC’s veterans.

I was there. Yes, in Iraq, but also at an event that just about every media outlet in the state deemed newsworthy, except ours.

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=9507237

http://www.wnct.com/story/25271772/gov-mccrory-to-make-big-jobs-announcement-for-veterans

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/17/3792225/mccrory-asks-for-in-state-community.html


Women Fail to Achieve Male Marines’ Lowest Standard

Earlier this month the Marine Corps decided to delay the low 3 pull-up requirement for women that they had hoped to apply in 2014.  The measure was set in preparation for compliance with the Pentagon’s intent to open combat units to women in 2016.  Since less than half of female recruits could make the minimum requirement by the end of 2013, this implementation is being delayed.

pullupsAdvocates for women in combat have mouthed the words: If women can make the standards, they should be able to serve in the combat units and Special Forces.  If they are telling the truth, why don’t they insist women be tested on the men’s unaltered standards?  Three pull-ups is the bare minimum, it would put a man at the bottom of his unit.  Women get 100% for eight pull-ups where men have to do twenty for 100%.  Is that equality?

The tiny cabal of feminist officers and NCOs who sued to be able to join the combat units and their far-left backers like DACOWITS and SWAN have been telling America not only that women can do anything men can do, but that they already are.  “Women are fighting and dying with men in the combat zone,” they claim.  This is lying by omission: Dying in the combat zone does not mean one qualified for the combat units or Special Forces, whose standards are now being “re-evaluated” to justify why they are so high that women can’t achieve them.  For women, dying in the combat zone doesn’t even mean they qualified in their support (non-combat) units to the standards their brothers have to meet.

If, as these advocates say, women can do everything men can do, why can’t women succeed by the men’s standard naturally, or even with result-specific training?  This is where WIC advocates cut to commercial and cry discrimination.  That’s their playbook.  The feminists and their lackeys have been doing it since women were fully integrated into the military branches and academies, resulting in overall lower standards and reduced combat readiness.  Doing the same to put women into the combat units on a false narrative of equality will have even more disastrous results.

If they were serious about equality, they would demand that no standards be “re-evaluated” and insist that women perform on the men’s standard.  That will never happen because on those standards most women wouldn’t be qualified for the military in the first place.  Women already have an equal opportunity to compete against men in the military, but every time they are tested, they fail to measure up.  It is Nature herself who discriminates.  Women were built for something more important than combat.

Even on the lower standard, women have a much higher rate of injury, non-availability, non-deployability, and attrition (separating from the military before fulfilling their contract) than men.  These are among the plethora of eternal truths making it impractical to put women into combat, even if they do train like Cross-fitters to improve their performance.  When women were integrated fully into the forces and the academies, the same type of feminist cadre said that exposing these facts would hurt morale.  Indeed.  “Equalizing” standards, “leveling the playing field,” even “providing women the best opportunity to succeed” actually means lowering the standards and discriminating against more capable men.

This issue is not about equality or even equal opportunity.  The WIC advocates don’t care about equality, let alone combat readiness.  They don’t care that they are subjecting the entire population of able-bodied young women to the possibility of the draft.  They care about themselves and their own power, and they don’t care if they have to destroy women, men, the military and by extension the country, to get it.


Capitol Hill Scrooge to Veterans…Again

Shame over the disgraceful treatment of Veterans during and after Vietnam resulted in a societal shift by the general population in how it treats its men women in uniform over the last forty years.  Regardless of individual views on war and the military, the majority of our culture respects and wants to help those who volunteered to defend us against all enemies both foreign and domestic.  Not so on Capitol Hill.  The administration and our politicians are determined to put illegal aliens above Veterans, time and time again; rewarding those who take from America and break her laws and punishing those who work and sacrifice to protect her.

During the September government shutdown the Obama administration had privately owned and operated war memorials shut down, barricaded and staffed with law enforcement to bar Veterans.  And who could forget Nancy Pelosi speaking at an illegal immigration rally facilitated by the erstwhile shutdown government, while 90-year-old WWII veterans in wheelchairs were threatened with arrest for visiting their memorials.  As House Republicans passed bill after bill to fund all aspects of government except Obamacare, Senate Democrats kept the government shut down for political theater, and continued to target and punish Veterans.

After passing military Sequestration (while non-essentials like the National Endowment for the Arts remain fully funded), Veterans have been struck yet another undeserved blow by politicians on both Left and (supposedly) Right.  The budget “deal” passed this week not only fattens government with vastly increased spending and economy-killing tax hikes – the opposite of what we should be doing – it does so at the expense of those who dedicated their best years to a military career.  Military pensions and retirement benefits are on the chopping block, cutting $6 billion over ten years.  Even disabled retirees are not exempt from pension cuts, and item Paul Ryan knew about two days before the bill was passed but did nothing to fix.  An amendment proposed by Jeff Sessions to correct this grievous “mistake” was blocked by Democrats because it would recoup the money lost from fraud by requiring applicants for particular child tax credits to submit their social security numbers.   Far be it from Democrats and many Republicans to enforce American law and refuse government benefits to illegal immigrants.

Leave it to the crooks in Washington to pass a deal no one wants that increases spending, further damages the economy, and sticks it to our dedicated military while indulging illegal immigrants.  Whatever Paul Ryan was thinking before the budget passed, he should now be thinking about what he wants to do once we kick him out of office.  With Republicans like this, who needs Democrats?


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