Tag Archives: Navy Seals

Women in Combat: The Question of Standards

As published in Military Review, the Professional Journal of the U.S. Army, March-April 2015 edition.

Are women in the military discouraged from training to meet the men’s standards? Is this why all women have washed out of the Marine Corps’ Officer Infantry Course? That is one of the charges female Marine 1st Lt. Sage Santangello makes in a March 2014 article for The Washington Post. One of the 29 women, as of this writing, who have failed the course, she says,

I believe that I could pass, and that other women could pass, if the standards for men and women were equal from the beginning of their time with the Marines, if endurance and strength training started earlier than the current practice for people interested in going into the infantry, and if women were allowed a second try, as men are. …

Women aren’t encouraged to establish the same mental toughness as men—rather, they’re told that they can’t compete. Men, meanwhile, are encouraged to perceive women as weak.1

This always seems to happen. As traditionally male military occupational specialties (MOSs) are opened to women, the standards are questioned and maligned as unfairly discriminatory as women’s inability to achieve them is exposed.

Development of Double Standards

Double standards were developed because every time women are tested they prove that they cannot consistently achieve men’s standards, and that they suffer many more injuries than men in the attempt. Proponents pushing more military opportunities for women have never insisted women achieve the men’s standards because their lack of qualification would mean fewer women in the ranks. They could not achieve the standards when the military academies first were integrated. In his 1998 book Women in the Military: Flirting with Disaster, Army veteran Brian Mitchell cites results for physical testing at West Point and Annapolis:

When 61 percent [of female West Point plebes] failed a complete physical test, compared to 4.8 percent of male plebes, separate standards where devised for the women. Similar adjustments were made to other standards. At Annapolis, a two-foot stepping stool was added to an indoor obstacle course to enable women to surmount an eight-foot wall.2

Mitchell also reports that when women were integrated into the Air Force’s Cadet Wing,

the [Air Force] academy’s physical fitness test included push-ups, pull-ups, a standing broad jump, and six hundred-yard run, but since very few of the women could perform one pull-up or complete any of the other events, different standards were devised for them. They were allowed more time for the run, less distance on the jump, and fewer pushups. Instead of pull-ups, female cadets were given points for the length of time they could hang on the bar … . They fell out of group runs, lagged behind on road marches, failed to negotiate obstacles on the assault courses (later modified to make them easier), could not climb a rope … . The women averaged eight visits to the medical clinic; the men averaged only 2.5 visits … . On the average, women suffered nine times as many shin splints as men, five times as many stress fractures, and more than five times as many cases of tendinitis.3

By this time the Army was further along with integrating women but was faced with a problem. There were no standards based on MOS requirements so recruits were assigned to jobs based only on passing the physical fitness test in basic training. The Army had the right number of females allotted to newly opened heavy-lifting jobs. However, the women could not do the heavy lifting, they suffered higher rates of injury, and their numbers attrited at higher rates. Therefore, the Army developed an objective standard to test recruits and “match the physical capacity of its soldiers with Military Occupational Specialty requirements.”4 Introduced in 1981, the Military Entrance Physical Strength Capacity Test (MEPSCAT) tested lifting capabilities based on MOS demands as light, medium, moderately heavy, heavy (over 50lbs) and very heavy (100lbs). “In the heavy lifting category, 82 percent of men and 8 percent of women qualified.”5

This is catastrophic in terms of mission readiness. According to a 1985 Army report entitled Evaluation of the Military Entrance Physical Strength Capacity Test, “if MEPSCAT had been a mandatory selection requirement during 1984, the Army would have created a substantial shortfall in the moderately heavy category (required lift is 80 pounds) by rejecting 32 percent of the female accessions.”6

In her 2000 book The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America’s Gender-Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars? Stephanie Gutmann reports that a member of the Defense Advisory Committee for Women in The Services responded to this data by casting the familiar pall of unfair discrimination and sexism: “The Army is a male-oriented institution and officials are resistant to changes that will allow women to be fully utilized. … Those [strength] standards reeked of that resistance.”7 The MEPSCAT testing standard was never adopted because it exposed women’s lack of qualification for the jobs newly opened to them and to which they were already being assigned. Using that standard would have resulted in significantly less female representation in newly opened MOSs, so MEPSCAT was derided and summarily dispatched.

Those pushing women into combat today are no more able than their predecessors to show that women can meet the men’s standards, let alone the men’s combat standards. The Center for Military Readiness, an independent public policy organization, published a report in October 2014 analyzing data collected by the U.S. Marine Corps Training and Education Command (TECOM).8 The command tested 409 male and 379 female Marine volunteers in several combat-related tasks in 2013.9 Examples of the test data highlighted in the Center’s report include the clean-and-press, the 155 mm artillery lift-and-carry, and the obstacle course wall-with-assist-box.10

According to the center, “the clean-and-press event involves single lifts of progressively heavier weights from the ground to above the head (70, 80, 95, [and] 115 lb.), plus 6 rep[etition]s with a 65 lb. weight. In this event, the center reports that 80% of the men passed the 115 lb. test, but only 8.7 percent of the women passed.”11

The Center reports that

in the 155 mm artillery lift-and-carry, a test simulating ordnance stowing, volunteers had to pick up a 95 lb. artillery round and carry it 50 meters in under 2 minutes. Noted the [Marine Corps] report, ‘Less than 1 percent of men, compared to 28.2 percent of women, could not complete the 155 mm artillery round lift-and-carry in the allotted time.’ If trainees had to ‘shoulder the round and/or carry multiple rounds, the 28.2 percent failure rate would increase.’12

 Moreover,

on the obstacle course wall-with-assist-box test, a 20-inch high box (used to simulate a helping hand) essentially reduced the height of the 7 ft. foot wall to approximately 5’4.” Quoting the [Marine Corps] report, ‘Less than 1.2% of the men could not get over the obstacle course wall using an assist box, while wearing [protective equipment] … [compared to] 21.32% of women who could not get over the obstacle course wall.13

 Natural Differences

There is a reason to this rhyme and her name is Nature. She has given us decades of data for a track record. It’s not changing even though women are participating in more sports and body building than ever.  To complete the same physically demanding task, a woman expends much more effort than a man (no fair!). A man’s bones are denser, his heart is bigger making his aerobic capacity greater, and he is able to develop much more lean muscle mass. He can carry more weight and run farther and faster with it. His units of work effort are worth many of hers, and he will be able to maintain a demanding, arduous level of performance for far longer than she in both the short and long term. Double standards did not create this reality; they are response to it (and to political pressure to open more jobs to women). Kingsley Browne writes in his 2007 book Co-ed Combat: The New Evidence That Women Shouldn’t Fight the Nation’s Wars,

When males and females both start out in good physical condition, women gain less than men from further conditioning, so that the gap between the sexes actually increases. A study of male and female cadets at West Point, who all started out in relatively good condition, found that although women’s upper body strength was initially 66 percent of men’s, by the end of their first two years, it had dropped below 60 percent … .14

 Moreover, Browne writes,

Sex differences in physical performance are here to stay. As Constance Holden observed in Science magazine, the male advantage in athletics will endure, due to men’s ‘steady supply of a performance-enhancing drug that will never be banned: endogenous testosterone.’15

In other words, a platoon of the top female CrossFitters  is still no match for a platoon of the top male CrossFitters. It does not matter that one individual female CrossFitter may be stronger and faster than one particular male.  The idea that one woman somewhere might someday be able to make the infantry standard is totally inadequate to justify putting women in the units. Women have to be able to consistently and predictably make and maintain the men’s standards in order to demonstrate equal ability and be useful in combat.

Even on a lower general standard, women break at far higher rates than men, with longer-term injuries. More women leave the military, when or before their contracts are up. Women are regularly unavailable for duty for female issues. Chicago Tribune correspondent Kirsten Scharnberg reports in a 2005 article that women suffer post-traumatic stress disorder more acutely.16 The combat “opportunity” is sounding less and less equal all the time.

In his 2013 book Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women Into Combat, retired Army col. Robert Maginnis describes several studies showing the physical suffering of women in combat:

  1. A U.S. Navy study found the risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury associated with military training is almost ten times higher for women than for men. 2. A sex-blind study by the British military found that women were injured 7.5 times more often than men while training to the same standards. … 5. Women suffer twice as many lower-extremity injuries as men, an Army study found, and they fatigue much more quickly because of the difference in ‘size of muscle,’ which makes them more vulnerable to non-battle injury.17

Marine Cpt. Katie Petronio writes of Officer Candidate School, “of candidates who were dropped from training because they were injured or not physically qualified, females were breaking at a much higher rate than males, 14 percent versus 4 percent. The same trends were seen at TBS [the Basic School] in 2011; the attrition rate for females was 13 percent versus 5 percent for males, and 5 percent of females were found not physically qualified compared with 1 percent of males.”18

We females can train as hard as we like, and we may increase strength, stamina, and fitness. But our increased fitness still will not put us on par with that of the men who are training to their utmost, like men in combat units and the Special Forces. They are the top ten percent of the top ten percent. We also bear too many other risks to be cost effective.  No matter how widespread feminism becomes, our bones will always be lighter, more vulnerable to breaks and fractures. Our aerobic capacity will still be 20 to 40 percent less, and we will still be less able to bear heavy gear at a hard-pounding run. It is not for lack of training. Throughout 2013, the female recruits going through Marine Corps boot camp were being trained to achieve the men’s minimum pull-up standard. They were trained to pass the test, yet 55 percent of them could not make that minimum, according to an Associated Press report.19 Ninety-nine percent of male recruits can, whether or not they were particularly athletic before shipping off to boot camp.

Can women scale the eight-foot wall in full combat load without steps? No steps are provided to give women a boost in the heat of battle, as they are in coed military boot camps (and even the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidate School). Santangello boasts that she performed 16 pull-ups on her last physical fitness test. That is excellent, but the test is done in a t-shirt and shorts, it is a test only of general fitness, and it is far less strenuous than infantry training, let alone combat. Can women do a dozen pull-ups in full combat gear? That is just one of many requirements in the Combat Endurance Test (CET). Can women carry another man on their backs with a full 80 lb. combat load? These differences in ability are deal breakers in combat—that is why these standards are not arbitrary. The military has yet to see the so-called “push-button war” that activists cite as mitigating for women’s lesser physical strength. Our combat units have often been on foot with their heavy loads in the rough mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. The high infantry standards are designed to keep the weak out because accommodating the weak means lives lost and mission failure. The standards of the Officer Infantry Course are high because infantry officers must not only be educated, brave, and highly athletic. They also must be better at everything than the members of their units because Marine officers lead from the front. Hence their motto: Ductus Exemplo, leadership by example.

In the Pentagon briefing to announce the repeal of the combat exclusion, Leon Panetta stated that women are “serving in a growing number of critical roles on and off the battlefield,” and that men and women are “fighting and dying together.” However, serving in critical roles and dying in the combat zone do not equate to proving equal infantry capabilities.  Noticeably omitted by advocates for women in combat is that the women who have been injured or died in Iraq and Afghanistan were not in the combat zone having passed the infantry’s standards. We honor their sacrifice, but we acknowledge that they were part of support units who went through whatever pre-deployment workups their leadership gave them (and these can vary greatly). Being in the combat zone, dangerous as it is, is still worlds away from the door-kicking offensive missions of our combat units. Yet, advocates for women in combat are willing to keep women on a lower standard as they push for re-evaluation. USA Today correspondent Jim Michaels reports, “Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the National Women’s Law center, says the Marines should re-evaluate the standards before putting women through.”20 In a recent article, U.S. Army Reserve Col. Ellen Haring opines that the CET, which women routinely find impossible to pass, is merely an initiation rite, not comparable measurement for infantry suitability, and therefore passing it should be abandoned as a formal standard.21

Claims of Discrimination

Lt. Santangello wants us to believe that something other than women’s ability is the reason they are not making the infantry’s standards. It is not women’s fault that 92 percent of them cannot do the 115-lb clean-and-press; it is because men are victimizing brutes. If only this sexism and discrimination did not exist, women would be able to carry heavier loads for long distances over rough terrains at a fast clip without getting four times the injuries. She claims that not offering women a second try through Officer Infantry Course equals discrimination. That is not true. The only officers, male or female, who get a chance to remediate and try the course again are those slated for an infantry unit, as Marine Lt. Emma Stokein explains in a piece called “The Mission Goes First: Female Marines and the Infantry.”22 Since combat units are still closed to women, they do not get a second try because this delays their job training and pushes back Marines waiting their first turn.  She and all the other non-infantry men who are not allowed a second try are discriminated against based on their MOS, not their sex. Letting her try the course again, which then Commandant Gen. James F. Amos did after Santangello published her article, was applying a double standard. She asks that the rules and standards be ignored and that she get special treatment because she is a woman. That is quite a start for an officer claiming to want equal treatment, and wanting to lead men in combat. Does she want men to follow her example? Once she is head of a platoon, will she expect the men and women she leads to follow her example?

Another claim she makes is the Marine Corps’ deliberate discouragement of women to train hard. This one does not ring true to me because it is so antithetical to my own experience and observations as a female Marine. In my four year enlistment, 2004 to 2008, no one ever told me (or anyone around me whom I knew of) that I could not compete because I was a woman, nor anything like it. They would not have dared. They were too worried about being politically correct since an off-color joke overheard by a third party is enough for a sexual harassment claim. Maybe I just had an exceptional experience to have made it through four years from Parris Island to Iraq unscathed by all those Neanderthals. No one ever discouraged me from training enough, and they did not have to encourage me to train more. I already pushed myself the hardest, including plenty of supplementary training so that I would not be the weakest link. Proving the feminist’s lie that men and women are interchangeable takes a lot of extra work. When I was at Camp Lejeune’s gym most days a week, I never noticed any shortage of women. Women compete in sports at the highest levels, and today CrossFit, mud runs, and Iron Man (Iron Woman!) triathlons are all the rage. Was Santangello powerless in 2013 to shore up her own weaknesses if additional conditioning was all it took? Why does a strong, young college hockey player with the guts to join the Marines, the ability to become an officer, and such a strong desire to see women in combat that she would try out for the infantry then wilt at (alleged) discouragement from anyone? How was she able to get so far? Herein lies the usual riddle of feminist dogma shared by nearly all those pushing women into combat: Women are as strong as men, but women are victims of men. They are not strong enough to prevent rape stateside, but they are sure-as-hell ready to go hand-to-hand with members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

I also reject Santangello’s charge that men in the military are encouraged to perceive women as weak. If anything, they are encouraged, at peril of ending their careers, to make themselves believe that women and men are interchangeable. Those who do not sing that tune are charged with waging the “war on women.” In my experience, feminism and political correctness are so prevalent in the military that men trip over themselves trying to ensure they do not offend. Military leaders cannot afford to even think the truth: Women are not as strong and athletic as strong, athletic men. It is biology and physics. It is Nature. Most important, it is consistent and predictable. Women’s biology makes them a deficit in combat. Those who insist combat units should be opened to women can never prove it’s a real benefit because of all the persistent issues.  They can only institute a mandatory double-think.

For the sake of women’s career opportunities, the old tougher standards have already been lowered or abandoned over the decades. Gone are the long jump and the 40-yard man-carry. Training tasks are long-since team-oriented, where individual weaknesses are camouflaged by the group, so the two-person (one dare not call it “two-man”) stretcher-carry is now a four-person stretcher-carry. Between lower standards for women and political correctness that sees making war-fighting men out of boys as abuse, the results are a lower standard of performance overall. Panetta and Dempsey continued this decades-old tradition at the January 2013 Pentagon briefing to discuss ending the combat exclusion. Dempsey said “if we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?”23

That seems a fantastically obtuse question for a military leader to ask, especially in a time of war. Yet it makes complete sense through the lens of feminist activism because Dempsey also said the military “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.”24 The decree demands that the testing and implementation are done simultaneously by January 2016. The burden should be on supporters of women in combat to prove women can make and maintain the infantry and Special Forces standards as they are, and only after that should they proceed to discuss the parameters in which women might be effectively used more in combat operations. Instead, the Department of Defense has put the onus on the units, who are also under pressure to prove they are diverse and not sexist by having the correct number of women. Next year’s budget may depend on it. And what happens in this kind of climate as military budgets are being slashed? The Army recently cut 20,000 from its ranks. Where everything is measured against Diversity and “equal career opportunity for women” over mission readiness, we can assume quotas of women will continue to be filled while more qualified men are cut.

The Need for High Standards

Of the myriad of superb reasons to maintain the combat exclusion—such as additional hygiene needs and risks, sex, rape, risk of capture, pregnancy, unit cohesion, broken homes, and abandoned children to name a few—women’s inability to make the infantry standards is simply the first and most obvious. It is the wall women-in-combat activists cannot scale without a step box, if you will.

Meanwhile, the argument to maintain the combat exclusion makes itself easily in every aspect. Including women in combat units is bad for combat, bad for women, bad for men, bad for children, bad for the country. The argument for the combat exclusion is provable all the time, every time. Political correctness has no chance against Nature. Her victories are staring us in the face at all times. The men just keep being able to lift more and to run faster, harder, longer with more weight on their backs while suffering fewer injuries. They just keep never getting pregnant. The combat units have needs that women cannot meet. Women have needs that life in a combat unit cannot accommodate without accepting significant disadvantage and much greater expense. Where 99 percent of men can do the heavy-lifting tasks typical of gunners, but 85 percent of women cannot, there is no gap women need to fill. Women are already utilized where they are needed in the combat zone, such as for intelligence gathering, or what I did, frisking women for explosives. There is nothing going on in the infantry that men cannot do and for which they need women. Panetta said women are “serving in a growing number of critical roles on and off the battlefield. The fact is that they have become an integral part of our ability to perform our mission.”25 Women have honorably served in the combat zone, but not on the infantry’s standards, on door-kicking missions. Let us be honest. Panetta’s words are spin, not exactly the stuff combat commanders’ dreams are made of when it comes to building the tip of the spear.

Military women are strong, tough, and dedicated in their own right. We do not need to be in the combat units to prove we are important or to serve honorably and well, and we do not need to be there to gain career opportunities. Women have achieved some of the highest levels of military leadership without entering combat units. The United States is at war with child-raping, honor-killing, suicide-bombing, amputation-happy savages that are beheading and raping their way across Iraq and Afghanistan, not limited by rules of engagement or Diversity metrics. The high male standards of U.S. military forces exist so that the Nation can be victorious against its enemies with the fewest casualties possible. We should see attempts to jettison high standards as detrimental to all, and we should soundly reject them.

Notes

  1. Sage Santangello, “Fourteen women have tried, and failed, the Marines’ Infantry Officer Course. Here’s why.” The Washington Post, (March 2014), http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fourteen-women-have-tried-and-failed-the-marines-infantry-officer-course-heres-why/2014/03/28/24a83ea0-b145-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html.
  2. Brian Mitchell, Women in the Military: Flirting With Disaster, (Washington D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998), 58. Mitchell is referencing Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, Project Athena: Report on the Admission of Women to the U.S. Military Academy, vols. I-IV (West Point, N.Y.: U.S. Military Academy, 1 June 1979)
  3. Mitchell, 42. Mitchell also cites Lois B. DeFleur, David Gillman, and William Marshak,

“The Development of Military Professionalism Among Male and Female Air Force Academy Cadets,” 168. Upon entry, cadets were given physical aptitude tests. Males averaged eleven pull-ups. Females averaged 24.1 seconds on the “flexed arm hang.”  Mitchell also cites Lois B. DeFleur, David Gillman, and William Marshak, “Sex Integration of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Changing Roles for Women,” Armed Forces and Society, August 1978, 615.

  1. Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Women in the Army Policy Review (Washington, D.C., 12 November 1982) 9.
  2. Ibid, 2-16.
  3. Force Systems Directorate, Evaluation of the Military Entrance Physical Strength Capacity Test (Bethesda, MD, 1985) v.
  4. Stephanie Gutmann, The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America’s Gender-Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars? (New York: Scribner, 2000) 254.
  5. Center for Military Readiness, “U.S. Marine Corps Research Findings: Where is the Case for Co-Ed Ground Combat?” Center for Military Readiness, Livonia, MI, (October 2014) vi, http://cmrlink.org/data/sites/85/CMRDocuments/InterimCMRSpecRpt-100314.pdf.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Kingsley Browne, Co-ed Combat: The New Evidence That Women Shouldn’t Fight the Nation’s Wars, (New York, New York: Penguin Group, 2007) 24. Browne cites Phillip Bishop, Kirk Cureton, and Mitchell Collins, “Sex Difference in Muscular Strength in Equally Trained Women,” Ergonomics 30, no. 4 (1987):675-687.
  12. Browne, 26. Browne cites Constance Holden, “An Everlasting Gender Gap?” Science 305, no. 5684 (July 2004): 639–640.
  13. Kirsten Scharnberg, “Stresses of Battle Hit Female GIs Hard,” Chicago Tribune, 20 March 2005,

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2005-03-20/news/0503200512_1_ptsd-female-veterans-female-troops. Scharnberg writes, “And studies indicate that many of these women suffer from more pronounced and debilitating forms of PTSD [post-traumatic stress] than men.”

  1. Robert L. Maginnis, Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women Into Combat, (Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2013) 122.
  2. Katie Petronio, “Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal,” Marine Corps Gazette 97:3, March 2013, https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/2013/03/get-over-it-we-are-not-all-created-equal.
  3. Associated Press, “Half of Female Marines Fail 3-Pullup Requirement,” 2 January 2014, available at CBSNews.com, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-female-soldiers-fail-3-pullup-requirement/ .
  4. Jim Michaels, “First Marine Ladies Head To Infantry Training in Quantico,” Business Insider.com 3 October 2012, http://www.businessinsider.com/first-marine-ladies-head-to-infantry-training-in-quantico-2012-10.
  5. Ellen Haring, “Can Women Be Infantry Marines?”, Charlie Mike blog, War on the Rocks.com, entry posted 29 May 2014 at War On the Rocks.com, http://warontherocks.com/2014/05/can-women-be-infantry-marines/#_. Haring writes, “the Combat Endurance Test serves as an initiation rite and not a test of occupational qualification. Do initiation rites have a place in our military? … Let’s call it what it is—a challenging initiation into an elite group that prides itself on being tough, resilient, and loyal to the foundational beliefs of this country.”
  6. Emma Stokien, “The Mission Goes First: Female Marines And The Infantry,” Charlie Mike blog, War on the Rocks.com, entry posted 3 June 2014, http://warontherocks.com/2014/06/the-mission-goes-first-female-marines-and-the-infantry/#_. Stokien writes, “Women still cannot be assigned as 0302 infantry officers even if they pass the course. … eventually marines not bound for the infantry must be trained for and perform the jobs they have been assigned to fulfill the needs of the Marine Corps. Attempting and reattempting IOC [Infantry Officer Course] can take the better part of a year on top of an already long training pipeline.”
  7. Former Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey, quoted in Claudette Roulo, “Defense Department Expands Women’s Combat Role,” news transcript of press briefing from the Pentagon, 24 January 2013 http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=5183.
  1. Ibid.
  2. Ibid.

Operation 300 Camp Teaches The Kids of Fallen Warriors What Their Fathers Would Have

Operation300imagesIt is said that from the darkest clouds come the brightest lightning.  After Aaron Vaughn, a Navy SEAL on SEAL Team 6, was killed when the team’s helicopter Extortion 17 was shot down in Afghanistan, the Vaughn family was absolutely devastated.  Yet out of the family’s grief has developed a bright light of healing for the children of fallen American war-fighters.

Tara, Aaron’s oldest sister, was trying to come up with a way to honor her brother’s life and make a difference.  Karen Vaughn, Aaron’s mother, says, “One thing we kept hearing everyone say was how difficult is was going to be to teach the children to be like their father without a male influence in their life.”  Thus Operation 300 was conceived as a camp for kids whose fathers have died in combat defending our freedom and way of life.  The camp brings together volunteers and families to teach the surviving children the kinds of things their fathers would have.  From their website:

Operation3002“Operation 300 is a non-profit foundation designed to create a week long experience for children who have lost their fathers as a result of service to our country.  The camp will provide an opportunity to participate in activities that embody the spirit of adventure that characterized the lives of their absent fathers while fostering a culture of courage, strength, freedom, endurance, honor and godly morality embodied by fearless patriots throughout the history of our American Republic.”

Kids come from all over the country to enjoy activities from fishing, archery, horseback-riding and much more.  Mothers are put up at a nearby hotel so that they can have a relaxing weekend themselves and also remain close by in case they are needed.  The first camp last April was a tremendous success and consisted of just ten little boys.  The next one, the foundation’s third, begins on November 22nd will have 21 boys and 7 girls.  The Gator Boys will spend the weekend with the kids for some “full-out crazy-time fun for the kids,” as Karen puts it.

Operation300The Operation 300 camp is a beautiful and healing experience provided to the families of those who gave all in service to liberty.  But with so many fallen men and women to our over-ten year wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, now the challenge for the Vaughns is to meet the high demand.  They are actually having to turn families away because they don’t have the resources to support the demand.  “We need resources, facilities and land to keep the camp running, to keep providing this experience for these kids.”

Please help us to spread the word about Operation 300 and go to their website and donate as generously as you can.  Find them at Operation300.com, on Twitter at @Op300 and on Facebook.com/Operation300.


Extortion 17: Were American Servicemen in Afghanistan Set Up For Sacrifice?

“Before there was Benghazi, there was Extortion 17.”  These are the chilling opening words spoken by Billy Vaughn, the broken-hearted father of Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn.  Aaron was one of 17 Navy SEALs, almost 30 American servicemen in total, killed when their archaic Chinook helicopter was shot down over a raging battle in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011.  To have lost their sons in war is tragic enough, but as they discovered the very dubious circumstances surrounding the operation and the subsequent deception and cover-up by the military under the Obama administration, a truly gut-wrenching and highly suspicious picture emerged.  Several families of the fallen, military experts, elected representatives and concerned others gave a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on May 9th, 2013.

Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch calls Extortion 17 “perhaps the biggest disaster since 9-11 as far as Naval and Special Ops operations.”  Before the dust had even settled on the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, President Obama and Vice President Biden revealed the classified identities of SEAL Team 6 and other servicemen and as a result these men “literally had targets on their backs.”  Three months later these men and others were sent in on archaic outdated equipment without support and ambushed.

“We demand to know who sent our sons into hostile territory where evidence proves a shoot-down attempt had been in full force for weeks, in less than adequate, antiquated airframes documented to be in very poor condition,” declares Karen Vaughn, Aaron’s mother.  “We also demand to know who made the call to mix conventional aircraft and forces with Special Warfare Operations.”

Charles Strange, father of fallen Navy SEAL Michael Strange says, “Michael knew what he was getting into.  Michael knew what he was fighting for.  Michael knew that someday he might have to give the ultimate sacrifice.  But not like this.  To put my son and the most elite SEAL team in the world in a Chinook helicopter over an active battle that’s going on for three and a half hours?  Unacceptable! Somebody has to answer for this.”

Here are the heart-wrenching details of the labyrinth that is Extortion 17:

  • The servicemen were put in a slow helicopter that is never used for combat operations, built in the early 1960s and last retrofitted in 1985, with no answer as to who made that decision.
  • The helicopters they would normally have used and that they had trained with their entire careers were not available because under Obama the pace of Special Operations aviation climbed from an average of 56 per month in 2009 to a break-neck 334 per month in 2011.
  • The mission was considered to be so dangerous that the decision had to be made from a commander out of theater.  Yet still it is not known, even after an investigation that yielded a 1200 page report, what commander made the call or why.
  • The Tangeen Valley in Afghanistan was known to be a hotbed of insurgent forces and U.S. Intelligence knew that there were one hundred or more enemy forces gathering there that night intending to shoot down American forces.  As early as May 11 they knew that SEAL Team 6 was going to be targeted, but did not share this information with the appropriate people.
  • The flight manifest was changed at the last minute, removing seven Afghani security force members who had been slated to fly.  In fact there is still some uncertainty as to who was on the flight.
  • The men were flown in unescorted and dropped into a battle that had already been going on for over three hours, without any suppressive fire support.
  • Even in the pitch black, General Colt told the families they could see two men on the rooftop.  “They call up the Afghan administration to find out at two o’clock in the morning what these guys are doing on the building,” Charles Strange explains.  “You know what they told them?  ‘They’re hanging crops.’” At 2am on a rooftop?
  • The Chinook was shot down by Afghanis who were waiting for it in the perfect position and at the perfect time to strike when the aircraft was its most vulnerable, during landing.
  • “Perhaps the most disturbing piece of evidence that Billy and I came across in our search for truth was uncovering the fact that the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police, and the Afghan Security Ministry have been and still are involved in the planning of every single stage of every single Special Operation that takes place in that country.  And yes, these plans include flight routes and landing zones,” says Karen Vaughn.
  • The “eye-in-the-sky” predator feed over the area was turned off.  It took the military ten minutes to figure out which aircraft had been shot down.
  • American forces were not permitted to take out the attackers.  The families were told new Rules of Engagement which dictated that we couldn’t shoot down any attacker even after being attacked because, as one high-ranking admiral put it to Billy Vaughn, “We want to win their hearts and minds.”  Karen says, “We were recently told by a Special Forces operator that under the current ROE’s if the enemy fires on you, then runs back behind a rock, when he pops his head up from behind the rock you’re not allowed to engage him unless you can verify that he has not laid his gun down.  In other words, you must be fired on twice now or your actions will be questioned by your government when you try to defend yourself or the lives of your teammates.”
  • To add desecration to injury, the standard ramp ceremony at Bagram Air Base was presided over by an imam who gave a prayer damning the fallen to hell before their remains were sent home.  No priest, pastor, or rabbi gave any prayer or said any words.  Klayman says, “The funeral that was held in Kabul where you couldn’t even mention the name of our lord and savior Jesus Christ, but yet a Muslim cleric gets up and damns these fallen heroes to hell as infidels.  Unbelievable that our military brass would allow this to happen!”  And whereas it is standard practice that all parents of the fallen are given a transcript from the military of that ceremony, the families of Extortion 17 were not.
  • In classified meetings elected officials were lied to about Extortion 17 by top military brass.  The families were lied to by these and other military officials.  “When we were first visited by one of the highest level admirals in our nation [Admiral William McCraven] on January 4th…the most shocking thing we experienced is that he lied to us so continuously that if we had not studied our documentation and known the truth he would have made a mockery of everything our sons died to represent.  It got to be actually embarrassing.”
  • The families were told the chopper’s “black box” was “blown away in the flood,” and was supposedly never recovered.  A flood? “In Afghanistan?” Charles Strange asks, exasperated.
  • “They told me my son had to be cremated, everybody had to be cremated,” Charles says, weeping.  “I called the commander: ‘Why did you cremate my son?  My son didn’t want to be cremated!  I’ve got pictures of him.  When I asked for the autopsy report from Dover they sent me a disc with pictures.  He’s sitting there fighting! ‘Everybody was burned beyond recognition.’  No, everybody wasn’t burned beyond recognition!  Another lie!”
  • No Afghani officials were involved in the investigation of the shoot-down even though they are involved in the planning of every mission and were consulted during the mission.
  • When asked how they assessed the crash, our military revealed that all sorts of support materialized.  They told the families, “We had 30 planes to assess the crash.  We had Black Hawks, we had Pathfinders, we had 140 men go in.”  Yet there had been no air or other support for the men as they flew in.

“As we searched we became tragically aware that perhaps the cruelest, most deceitful acts of this administration have been perpetrated against the very ones fighting and dying to protect and defend it,” Karen says. 

Charles recalls the day Obama greeted the families at Dover where the remains of the fallen were brought home.  “He went to give me a hug and I whispered in his ear, ‘Mr. President, is there going to be a congressional inquiry?’ And Mr. President whispered in my ear, he said, ‘Mr. Strange, we’re gonna look into this very, very, very deep.’  Well, I haven’t heard nothing.”  It is now nearly two years since Extortion 17.

Watch the video of the press conference below and please share it with others.  Read the transcript of Billy Vaughn’s testimony.  Each unanswered question, each deception that was revealed, each reckless – if not outright sinister – decision that was uncovered is a stab in the heart for these families.  They deserve answers.

But more, we should take each as a stab to our own hearts and demand those answers as if these sons were our very own.  Indeed, they are America’s brave sons.  If Benghazi and Extortion 17 are any indication, our servicemen today face just as much treachery from the Obama administration and our military under his command as from America’s enemies on the battlefields in faraway countries.  In Benghazi our personnel’s pleas for support while under terrorist attack went deliberately unheeded and then the truth was and continues to be covered up.  In Extortion17, our servicemen were sent into a battle not to win, but to be deliberately sacrificed to our enemies.  These words of Karen’s should serve as a dire warning: “The hearts and minds of the enemy are more important to this government than my son’s blood.”

Doug Hamburger, father of fallen SEAL Patrick Hamburger says, “It’s a shame that we have to ask for a congressional investigation to find out answers…We’re pleading with the American people to put the pressure on your congressmen and senators to make sure that that investigation does get started up and we do get some answers as to what was going on – not so much that we can do anything for our families or our boys.  But we want to make sure that our military is taken care of in the future.  We love our military…We want to make sure that their sons and daughters are protected and allowed to fight at the top of their abilities.”

These are more than just scandals, they are high treason.  Nothing like Benghazi or Extortion 17 has happened in America’s history, military or otherwise, but we’re seeing that atrocities like these are common for the Obama administration.  Treachery doesn’t begin to cover it.  This is a betrayal of the highest order.  It is a betrayal of our brave servicemen who gave everything for America, the very men who killed Osama bin Laden.  It is a betrayal of America’s sons and daughters fighting for her today, and of their families who raised these heroic warriors and who now survive them as parents should never survive their children.

In the words of Billy Vaughn, “We must change the hearts and minds of the leaders in Washington and the high-ups in the military, or we must see that they are removed.  Those responsible must be brought to justice.”

 

The following was transcribed from the above video press conference.  These are the words of Billy Vaughn.

Before Benghazi there was Extortion 17.  Saturday August 6th 2011 was a day that changed the lives of my family forever.  It was the day we learned our son Aaron and other American warriors had lost their lives in a helo crash in Afghanistan.  It would quickly become known as the largest loss in the history of Naval Special Warfare, and the largest one-day loss in our now eleven-and-a-half-year-old war against Islamic Jihad.  What is strange is that the military was allowed to do an in-house investigation with few questions asked by the media.  We learned two very important things that day:  Spec-Op forces were flying that night on a CH47D Chinook chopper.  And let me say, by the way, when Aaron was a SEAL, he said, ‘Dad, you won’t believe the choppers we fly in.  They’re like nothing I’ve ever seen.’

“But do you know what?  My son wasn’t on that chopper that night.  You know why?  Because president Barak Obama had increased the Special Op missions an average in 2009 – this is straight from the military, it’s straight from the information we were given.  In 2009 an average of 56 per month increased in 2010 to an average of 186 Special Op missions per month.  From August of 2010 until July of 2011 – one month before the shoot-down of Extortion 17 – the number of Spec-Op missions in Afghanistan according to our military was an average of 334 per month.  I know that’s hard to believe.  Check it and make sure I’m telling you the truth.  And Brigadier General Jeffrey Colt, who oversaw the investigation of the shoot-down of Extortion 17 made this statement in his report: ‘While the number of strike forces was increased to accommodate the operations, the number of Spec-Ops aviation was not.’  You know why it was not?  Because it is not available.  We have 61 MH47s available to us – and yes I said that to the military that day and he said that ‘Sir, your numbers are correct.’  And according to a high-ranking admiral: ‘Billy, if we have 60 MH47s, we’re only allowed 20 in theatre at one time.  20 must be down for maintenance and 20 for training.’

“Let me tell you something, if my son had gone in on an MH47 that night with guns blazing and they’d been shot out of the sky, it’d be a whole lot easier to live with.  If the air weapons teams overhead were offering suppressive fire because a three-and-a-half hour operation was already under way in the valley, it’d be a whole lot easier to live with.  But you know why we [sic] were not? Because according to a [high-ranking official] we want to win the hearts and minds of the enemyAaron Vaughn did not become a Navy SEAL, Team 6, Gold squad to win the hearts and the minds of the Islamic Jihadists.  He became a Navy SEAL to fight for this republic and defeat the enemy, and I’ll tell you right now: Any American flag officer who does not want to defeat the enemy needs to find another job.  Any man who sits in that White House who does not want to defeat the enemy of this republic needs to step down.  And any vice president who goes around speaking gaffs time after time needs to be accountable just like the man who played the video [before] Benghazi.  Where’s that guy today?

“That day at the debriefing we left with two questions.  Why were they not on the right chopper and why did they not shoot down the enemy when the RPG was fired? …After the shoot-down I called numerous congressmen.  Congressman Boehner: no response.  Senator Reid: no response.  Congressman Allen West: response, immediately, and help.  Congressman Steven Spencer from Tennessee: response immediately and help.  Congressman Tom Rooney who was then our congressman in our district and help.  Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee…I called him.  I called him numerous times, told them who I was, who my son was, what had happened.  They told me to ‘Quit harassing the senator.’  Thank you, Senator Levin.

“Congressman Rooney, many weeks later his office called and said, ‘The Congressman is going to a… visit with some high-ranking military officials in Washington in a classified meeting to get your questions on why they were on the wrong chopper and why they did not take out the people who fired the RPGs at them.’  We were told at the debriefing that they did not…because of the Rules of Engagement, they were not allowed to do that.  We were told that, the families were, several times that day.  I told that to Congressman Rooney, I told that to Congressman West.  Congressman Rooney wrote me a letter back after he went to that meeting that stated: ‘Mr. Vaughn, I was told at the classified meeting that it was not because of the Rules of Engagement we didn’t take out the men who fired the RPG’s.  It was because we didn’t know where the shots came from.’  That crushed me because I knew it was a lie.  I knew it was a lie…

“For several days I thought, what do I do next?  What do I do next?  I let the letter lay there.  Finally, I called SO-Comm.  A JAG officer who had been over the investigation, who had told us, the families more than once it was because of the Rules of Engagement.  I asked him again to tell me about the night.  He described it in detail – in fact, in more detail.  The shots came from a tower, a turret, above a building.  We did not fire back because of the Rules of Engagement and because there may be friendlies in the building.  I called a high-ranking admiral, told him what Congressman Rooney had been told.  I said, ‘Sir, were we told the truth at the debriefing?’ He said, ‘You heard it, Billy, just like I did.  I don’t know why they would say that.’

When you hide the truth, you become part of the lie…Many steps and actions were necessary for the loss of Extortion 17, just as they were for the failure at Benghazi.  The record will show that the Islamists are responsible for the deaths of the Americans.  But I submit to you today that the US government and many high-ranking military people own more credit for the shoot-down than the Taliban.  Political correctness, building the esteem of the Afghans, leveling of the playing field, and failure of the Obama administration to name the enemy and to accurately identify the savage ideology our warriors are up against has made an otherwise primitive foe formidable.  You saw the video.  A ceremony [of] honor for our warriors made wretched and despicable as their bodies were desecrated by an imam.  If someone lets a fox into a chicken house and he kills all the chickens, is the fox to blame?  I say no.  We know what a fox will do in a chicken house.  We know what an imam will do.  So I do not blame the imam today.  The imam is the imam.  I blame the American [government] and the high-ranking military officials who let this man speak and mock Jehovah God, the God of my son and of my family.

Those responsible for this must be brought to justice.  This administration apparently went to extreme efforts to make sure that the enemy, Osama bin Laden, had a proper burial.  Our president was outraged when the Korans were burned.  But then those who die for the republic, this is allowed to go on.  To steal their first amendment rights, to steal their religious rights, to be violated by Islam… General Votel, it is sad – it is sad! – that our troops are under your command.  It is sad, General.  After the imam damned our American warriors you stood and talked about how we’re one, about how we’re brothers.  General Votel, it is sad if you know.  It is even more sad if you’re still ignorant about what the imam is and what Islamist Jihadists are doing to us.

Mr. Obama, President Obama, you need to step up or step downYou must step up, President Obama, and defend our warriors.  You must step up and show the outrage that you have shown when the religion of Islam is disrespected.  You must step up and defend our warriors.  President Obama, your silence will be your consent.

“I’ll tell you, today we have sheep and wolves in high places and they are getting our sheepdogs killed unnecessarily.  But I will also tell you today that no plan of hell or scheme of man can separate Aaron Vaughn from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Not the imam, or Washington D.C.  Aaron’s God is the God in the Bible who is referred to as the Lord of Host[s].  He is the God of all gods.  That is the God that my son [believed in], and by the way, my son lives today with that God because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

“Five terror attacks have happened under President Obama’s watch.  Five terror attacks on US soil.  All five had one thing in common.  Islamists… [After the operation that killed Osama bin Laden and the subsequent release by Obama and Biden of the identities of SEAL team 6 and other servicemen, Aaron told us] get everything off your social media, Mom.  Our families are in danger because of what has happened.  Then, in the military testimony that we have by May 11, by May 11 the military says Intel knew that over one hundred Taliban fighters were moving into the Tangeen River Valley to shoot down, to give an extraordinary effort to shoot down an American helicopter loaded with American warriors.  Still our military did nothing extra to stop this.  By the time that Aaron deployed in June, Karen and I knew, knew that Aaron and these men would be working in the Tangeen River Valley…

“We knew.  Apparently it’s very possible that the Taliban knew.  As Larry told you in the military testimony, seven Afghans that night [were changed at the last minute.  Some of the men who actually got on the chopper]…are not the same names who were on the manifest.  In a meeting with a high-ranking admiral I said something about this, said ‘It must not be a big deal.’  The man with him said, ‘Mr. Vaughn, it’s a very big deal, ‘cause it was passed over.’  He said ‘It’s a very big deal.  That should never happen.  In fact after the crash we had to notify the family’s of the men we thought were on the chopper, re-notify them to tell them that their sons were okay.’  He said the reason why they were not on the chopper is that at the last moment a commander changed his mind about the Afghans he wanted on the chopper.

“I didn’t think to ask the right questions that day, but a few days later as it weighed in my mind: ‘What commander? What commander?  Was this a commander that was on the chopper with Aaron?  Was this a commander on the ground?  Was it an Afghan commander?  Was it a commander out of theatre?  Where was the commander?’  I called SO-Comm again, talked to the same guy.  I asked him those questions, the man who was there a month over the investigation.  He said, ‘Mr. Vaughn, we didn’t know about the swapNobody told us.’  It’s very puzzling to me, very puzzling.

“…What is wrong with our leaders?  Why do they still withhold information?  Why do they still withhold the truth about this enemy, making us, the citizens, at risk?  We must change the hearts and minds of the leaders in Washington and the high-ups in the military, or we must see that they are removed.  And by the way, we are not here today – we are not here today to tear down the military.  If a patient has a tumor, you want to remove the tumor to save the patient.  I am not the man to remove the tumor, the disease from the military.  But I’ll tell you who is: The American citizens.  We as Americans can do this and it’s going to be up to us to save our military.

“And we’ve heard Mrs. Clinton’s statement about Benghazi: ‘What difference, at this point, does it make?’ 

“Well, on 9-11, 2001 there were forty Americans on Flight 93 who gave their lives.  What difference at this point does it really make?  Well I’ll tell you what difference it makes:  The Capital Building is still standing because forty American citizens gave their lives.

“In the 1950s Americans, tens of thousands of Americans went overseas to fight Communism.  What difference does it make at this point?  I’ll tell you what difference it makes.  Men and women all over the world in places where our men have shed their blood for this republic are not living under Communism today.

“WWI and WWII hundreds of thousands of Americans went abroad and around the world to fight for freedom.  What difference at this point does it make?  Because Europe, Japan and many places in Asia are free today because Americans have shed their blood, Mrs. Clinton!

“In the Civil War hundreds of thousands of Americans killed each other, shed their blood on American soil.  Today, Mrs. Clinton, at this point what difference does it make?  Because by the end of the war there were no more slaves in the United States of America.

“Washington crossed the Potomac, a General who had not yet won a war against British tyranny.  A General who knew that in a few weeks his troops would all desert and go back home at the beginning of the year – took a gigantic risk at night with a rag-tag army, who, many of them didn’t have guns, many of them didn’t have shoes – and surprised the German Hessians across the river and won a battle.  What difference at this point does it make?  Well I’ll tell you what it makes.  It did three things, first of all.  First of all, his army didn’t desert.  Thousands more reenlisted.  Great Britain recognized that they had a foe on their hands with the American patriots.  And the French, who had not given the American patriots any credit before joined the Americans and helped the Americans run out a tyrant and become the greatest nation that this world has ever seen.

“And the Mayflower?  What difference at this point does it make that American [sic] men and women gathered up what little they had with their little boys and their little girls and sailed into the dark for a land they had heard about, where they could worship and practice their worship of almighty God…What difference at this point does it make?  Because today all of us still are able to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob freely.
“My son had this on his arm [refers to Molon Labe tattoo], this on his arm.  It’s Greek, but if you look it up it is the spirit of America, right here.  The spirit of American citizens, the spirit of American warriors, what it says to the enemy and what it says to those who would take these freedoms from us.  We as Americans must stand.  We must stand, we must reclaim the Republic that has been given to us by others.

– Billy Vaughn, National Press Conference May 9, 2013.


Those Who Gave All

I have always thought that everyone who joins the military is noble in some way.  It doesn’t matter the reason for signing up, and there are so many.  Some join to fight for America, some follow in their military family’s footsteps, some for an education, some to turn their lives around, some to escape poverty and gain skills and opportunity.  Some even join because they like the uniform.  In all cases, look at what we are willing to do, to risk in order to educate ourselves, turn our lives around, to earn that uniform, to fight for America.  We promise to defend her against all enemies foreign and domestic, and we sign that blank check knowing that really, no matter our particular military occupational specialty or whether we signed up in peacetime or during war, we may be called to the front, that check endorsed.  We promise to pay in full if we must, no matter why we signed up.  Hopefully we appreciate our American military every day, especially our infantry and Special Forces who take the greatest risks.  On Veteran’s day we acknowledge and honor those who served in the war zones.  Today we honor those who paid in full and reflect on how very special it is that they were willing to give their lives for us.

I think about the families who go on with an empty place at their table that was once full of life and love.  No matter who they were, no matter why they joined, they made good on their promise and they gave all in order that our American freedoms be preserved, that our American way of life could be enjoyed for another day.  Truly we cannot be reminded too often that our right to say what we please, to do what we please and to make whatever we want of our free lives does not come for free.  It is paid for with the blood of our heroes.  Our rights and freedoms are protected at a very, very high price, a price the families of the fallen are reminded of every day that they must live without their loved one.  America has always been so blessed to have so many men and women willing to make that sacrifice to preserve her.  We are truly the home of the free because of the brave.

In America’s infancy they fought under the worst of conditions – limited or no supplies, food, shoes, weapons and ammunition – with the worst of odds against a far greater military enemy.  They had no modern conveniences and little protection except each other.  And still they fought and died for the idea of America that didn’t yet exist.  The gruesome Civil War pitted even brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, yet they were willing to lay down their lives for America, and in so doing preserved the Union and abolished slavery.  Through their sacrifice, American heroes saved the world from Fascism, Tyranny and genocide in World Wars I and II.  They fought Communism in awful jungle conditions against a vicious enemy in Vietnam and in the austere and freezing terrain of Korea.  We have fought the homicidal Jihadists from Iraq to Afghanistan so that those who so love death and subjugation will not prevail against freedom-loving peoples.  So many empty places at the table…

Those who have laid down their lives for us are from every place in the nation, from every walk of life.  They are religious, or somewhat religious, or not religious at all. They are the spectrum of political affiliation or none, and each fallen hero fought and died so that all of us could have ours – whatever we chose.  America, the most exceptional and diverse country in the world, has the most exceptional and diverse fighting force in the world.  We fight together no matter what because nowhere else in the world has such diversity been free to flourish.

As we remember these fallen heroes today, our liberty has never been at more risk.  We continue to face vicious enemies, both foreign and domestic.  We must not let our heroes’ sacrifice be in vain.  In fact, we must work with constant vigilance to ensure that it is not.  While men are willing to die on battlefields the world over for the sake of our freedoms, it is incumbent upon us to be involved in our country’s political processes at home – for the sake of those same freedoms.  We cannot tune out because we are busy, we have our own lives to worry about, or because we find politics distasteful.  Politics have always been and will always be distasteful.  But this distaste is nothing compared to what our military heroes have faced on the battle field to ensure that American liberty would endure.  We cannot sit idly by while our “representatives” lose the country our men died protecting.

To those souls who died for me, I offer my undying gratitude and the promise that I, for one, will not let that sacrifice be in vain.  THANK YOU FOR MY FREEDOM!

FreedomIsn'tFree

 

 

 

 


Let The Men Be Heroes – Because They Are

This is Part IV and the conclusion of my series on The Problems of Women in Combat

On Thursday January 31,  2012 I had the pleasure of participating in a roundtable discussion on the subject of women in combat roles on the Glenn Beck show (members can view the show in full in the website’s archives).  I didn’t know Green Beret Greg Stube or Navy Seal Pete Scobell before that day, but we got to know each other well over the course of the show and afterward.  I was blown away by their level of sacrifice, what they had endured and overcome, and how they are still serving our country in their current endeavors.  “Heroes” doesn’t begin to cover it, but this is not unusual for men in units like these who have seen action again and again.   As I listened I was reminded once again of the truth about the male bond in these elite units, and the superhuman things they do.

Watch the series “Surviving the Cut” which shows the rigorous training men go through to make it into the elite Special Forces.  They’ll start off with a hundred men who are already the top performers in their branches, but only ten will make it to graduation.  The only example we have of women even attempting such training are two women who attempted the Marines Infantry Officer Course.  One washed out after a day, the other after a week.

The decision to open the combat units to women was done without any testing because testing shows that women can’t cut it.  To be brutally honest, we can’t even approach cutting it, as anyone who watches this series will be able to see.  The truth is that the top 25% of women performers in any branch is equivalent to the bottom 50% of men.  The top woman is no comparison to the top man.  Some pundits like to say get the best man for the job, “even if the best man is a woman.”  The best man in combat is never ever a woman (and women prove it).  The best man is always a man.  Let’s give them credit where credit is due.  Each one that makes it into a combat unit or Special Forces trumps the best woman, and by a large margin.  The caliber of man that a high-performing woman could compete with doesn’t make it into the Special Forces.  He washes out.  Comparing these potential (fictional) women (who was it that found that brass ceiling anyway?) to the men in these units is not just comparing apples to oranges.  It’s comparing apples to steak, and the result is to demoralize our country’s strongest, bravest and most capable men who risk and sacrifice their lives for us doing things that no woman really wants to do.

Another interesting facet of these men as I’ve gotten to know them is that they shun recognition, even refusing their hard-earned benefits from the VA.  Compare that to the Feminist officers pushing women into combat (anyone notice that enlisted women, who will bear the brunt of this experiment, are not being asked for their opinion?).  If you watch their interviews, it’s all about recognition and recognition and recognition.  They will get it thanks to Leon Panetta, but just as the standards are “gender-normed” to show false equal results of current training standards, they will get the same recognition for doing a fraction of what the men in combat units do.

We already know women in the military has lowered its overall standards as I point out in my earlier articles in this series.  Adding women to the combat units will destroy the Bands of Brothers and with them our ability to fight our savage enemies.  But that is the intent.  Under pressure from Washington politicians, the military’s paramount mandate is no longer combat effectiveness.  It is diversity.  The fact that Leon Panetta gave this authoritarian order (and likely unconstitutional, since the power to make such decisions is supposed to rest with Congress) on his way out the door shows his abundant spinelessness, for he will not have to answer for the destruction this foolish decision will cause.

The men in these units are our supermen, and that does not take anything away from women.  They are doing heroic things that women can’t do, and they do it because they love women: their mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives. We want to protect women from participating in the ravages of war, not throw them into the front so they can be ravaged themselves.  The bond of men in combat is something that women cannot share even when they are present.  We serve together in many important military capacities and enjoy our own strong bonds because of some shared training and experience, but the connection that the men have is something very special, different and hard-won.  We should let them have it without disparaging it as brutish and discriminatory.  It not only enhances combat effectiveness, it is a part of our societal moral fabric as a country.  It is frankly vital to our survival, not something passé from a bygone patriarchal age that we should abandon for phony “equality.”

Let us love and laud our Bands of Brothers, not demoralize and destroy them.  They are the only thing really standing between us and slavery.

Read Part 1: The Problem(s) of Women in Combat

Read Part 2: Careerists V. Mother Nature

Read Part 3: Women in Combat Units Vs. the Military’s Sexual Assault Problem

Part 4: Let the Men Be Heroes, Because They Are


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