Something about the story of the first two women ever to graduate from the Army’s prestigious Ranger course seemed hokey. I guess I’m always suspicious of “firsts.” Our society is so fixated on them that it creates an incentive to fudge facts and lower standards.
Liberals will of course contest my assertion, though these are the same people who don’t really object to lowering standards in academia to get more minorities in the door, lowering them again to get them to graduate, then lowering them a third time to hire them as faculty members. Liberals don’t really oppose lowering the bar in order to create “firsts.” They just don’t like to call it “lowering the bar” because that tarnishes the accomplishment. As it should.
General Martin Dempsey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed his doublethink in 2013 when announcing long-term plans to open combat positions to women. In the vey same press conference in which he stated that women would be allowed the opportunity to prove themselves under the same standards as the men, he also 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 to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?
So the standard will remain the same… unless women can’t reach it. Then elite units will have to justify their standards to the service secretaries, who will probably not be swayed. So why even debate with the service secretaries if disagreement itself signals a career-killing reluctance to get with the program?
In any case, isn’t “we like being awesome” justification enough? Apparently not. General Dempsey’s pronouncement set the tone — the military is going full speed ahead with women in combat. There’s nothing you can do to stop it and you will only be crushed if you try.
It should come as no surprise then that some Ranger instructors now say that the first women ever awarded the Ranger tab, Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver, received plenty of assistance. The two women started their quest in January when all prospective female Rangers began a special introductory course designed for guardsmen, regardless of their actual service component. The course was intended to weed out weekend warriors who weren’t tough enough, though neither Haver nor Griest belongs to the National Guard. Unlike the male guardsmen, however, the women were allowed to repeat the course as many times as necessary. In April, nineteen women including Haver and Griest began an experimental sex-integrated Ranger class. All nineteen failed phase one. The washouts, both male and female, were given the opportunity to begin the course again at day one. A group of eight elected to give a second try and again they failed. In the end, a group of three women, including Haver and Griest, agreed to be recycled back to day one.
When it was all over, several anonymous Ranger instructors contacted Congressman Steve Russell (R-Okla.), a combat veteran and former Army Ranger, to tell him that they had been pressured to go easy on the women. They “got special treatment and played by different rules.” The instructors also say that the women were sent to a special females-only intensive training course after their initial washout to give them a leg up. Other examples of special treatment include women not carrying as much gear — particularly the heavy M240B machine gun — and being allowed to reattempt combat tasks that men were simply eliminated for failing. Sources say that the women were allowed to familiarize themselves with the timed land navigation course before attempting it, an opportunity not afforded to men. One source says that the women were actually eliminated from the course before Major General Scott Miller, who oversees Ranger school, used his influence to reinstate them.
The instructors said that they feared reprisal for speaking out. “We were under huge pressure to comply,” one Ranger instructor said. “It was very much politicized.” Army spokespeople have denied any special treatment.
According to the instructors, an unnamed general said earlier this year that “a woman will graduate from Ranger school” and “at least one will get through.” The general’s pronouncement had a “ripple effect” according the instructors. Obviously this “first,” like most “firsts,” was a foregone conclusion. The military was not going to allow the women to fail. Even when they did fail, they were dragged across the finish line.
This is all par for the course in Obama’s military. Everything in his administration is make-believe and everything is subordinated to the agenda, even truth. Especially truth. Just think of the Solyndra and “shovel ready jobs.”
Congressman Russell has requested to see the women’s training reports, though I doubt very much that he will find anything there. No one would be stupid enough to document the women’s failures and then graduate them. If the course was fixed, so were the records.
The inquisitive congressman is encountering resistance from Sue Fulton, a lesbian feminist and chairwoman of the West Point Board of Visitors. Fulton has filed a FOIA request to see Russell’s Ranger school records. “A lot of us were upset that he did this,” said Fulton. “We said, ‘Let’s get his records.’” No one, not even Fulton, is alleging that Russell didn’t earn his tab. She just wants Russell to know how it feels to have someone doubt his accomplishment. Of course, Russell was afforded no special favors and no general ever decreed that he would pass the course before he even attempted it, so where’s the comparison?
“He like too many older men have biases about what women are capable of,” said Fulton. Oh, I see — Russell can’t accept the results because of ingrained sexism. It can’t be because multiple sources have told him the same thing.
“Ranger instructors and their leaders are known for their integrity but somehow when women pass the standard that integrity is no longer respected,” she continued. Yeah, that would make a lot more sense if it weren’t the instructors themselves who told Russell and People Magazine that the game was rigged.
In the grand scheme of things, an instructor at Ranger school is a nobody. There’s very little the instructors could have done when political pressure was raining down from above to push the women through. Their only recourse was to contact the media and perhaps a congressman, which is exactly what these instructors did.
Fulton’s insinuation is that anyone who charges the instructors with failing to uphold standards is impugning the instructors’ integrity. Ironically, it’s Fulton who is calling the instructors liars. If everything they told People Magazine and Congressman Russell was false, what other conclusion can be drawn?
But liars would have kept quiet about the whole thing. These Ranger instructors cared enough about the truth to speak out through the only channels available to them. The real crooks in this sordid tale are the Pentagon brass, the Secretaries of Defense and the Army, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the president. They’re the ones who pressured people beneath them to graduate at least one woman. Am I calling them liars? You betcha! As an Army veteran myself, I’ll tell you that general officers are very much political animals. They lie as much or more than politicians and they’re lying now.
Army Rangers are highly respected because Ranger school has always been a test of fortitude and combat skills. It shouldn’t be watered down for anybody. Unfortunately, in the mad dash to achieve another stupid “first,” some people were willing to lower the bar.
Cross-posted at Patriot Update