Archive for the ‘Marine Corps’ Category

Cpl. Clifford Wooldridge

Posted: December 31, 2013 by ShortTimer in Afghanistan, Badass, Heroes, Marine Corps

His Navy Cross citation (breaks and highlights added):

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Corporal Clifford M. Wooldridge, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Vehicle Commander, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon White, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, FIRST Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 18 June 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

When their mounted patrol came under intense enemy fire, Corporal Wooldridge and his squad dismounted and maneuvered on the suspected enemy location. Spotting a group of fifteen enemy fighters preparing an ambush, Corporal Wooldridge led one of his fire teams across open ground to flank the enemy, killing or wounding at least eight and forcing the rest to scatter. As he held security alone to cover his fire team’s withdrawal, he heard voices from behind an adjacent wall. Boldly rushing around the corner, he came face-to-face with two enemy fighters at close range, killing both of them with his M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

As he crouched back behind the wall to reload, he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall. Without hesitation, he dropped his empty weapon and seized the machine gun barrel. He overwhelmed the enemy fighter in hand-to-hand combat, killing him with several blows to the head with the enemy’s own machine gun.

His audacious and fearless actions thwarted the enemy attack on his platoon. By his bold and decisive leadership, undaunted courage under fire, and total dedication to duty, Corporal Wooldridge reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

KILL!

wooldridge

One mind, any weapon… even the enemy’s… as a club.

An older piece, but one worth bringing up.  Marine Captain Katie Petronio explains:

As a combat-experienced Marine officer, and a female, I am here to tell you that we are not all created equal, and attempting to place females in the infantry will not improve the Marine Corps as the Nation’s force-in-readiness or improve our national security.

It’s something I’ve been saying for a long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.  It’s something combat veterans and male Marines and army combat arms people have been saying for a long time.

captain katie petronio

She lists her experience in combat zones, and it’s pretty extensive.  She was attached to combat units for a long time.  She earned that middle ribbon in the top row.

This combat experience, in particular, compelled me to raise concern over the direction and overall reasoning behind opening the 03XX field.

03 being infantry in the Marine Corps.  There’s also no reason women should be in the 08 field (artillery) or the 18 field (armor).

Who is driving this agenda? I am not personally hearing female Marines, enlisted or officer, pounding on the doors of Congress claiming that their inability to serve in the infantry violates their right to equality. Shockingly, this isn’t even a congressional agenda. This issue is being pushed by several groups, one of which is a small committee of civilians appointed by the Secretary of Defense called the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS). Their mission is to advise the Department of Defense (DoD) on recommendations, as well as matters of policy, pertaining to the well-being of women in the Armed Services from recruiting to employment. Members are selected based on their prior military experience or experience with women’s workforce issues. I certainly applaud and appreciate DACOWITS’ mission; however, as it pertains to the issue of women in the infantry, it’s very surprising to see that none of the committee members are on active duty or have any recent combat or relevant operational experience relating to the issue they are attempting to change. I say this because, at the end of the day, it’s the active duty servicemember who will ultimately deal with the results of their initiatives, not those on the outside looking in.

Thank you, ma’am.

Can women endure the physical and physiological rigors of sustained combat operations, and are we willing to accept the attrition and medical issues that go along with integration?

As a young lieutenant, I fit the mold of a female who would have had a shot at completing IOC, and I am sure there was a time in my life where I would have volunteered to be an infantryman.  …

She lists her bonafides and background, and she would have been the kind of candidate that do-gooder political correctness social engineers would’ve loved.

She sadly ran into the unfeeling, uncaring thing that is reality.

I can say from firsthand experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not just emotion, that we haven’t even begun to analyze and comprehend the gender-specific medical issues and overall physical toll continuous combat operations will have on females.

I was a motivated, resilient second lieutenant when I deployed to Iraq for 10 months, traveling across the Marine area of operations (AO) and participating in numerous combat operations. Yet, due to the excessive amount of time I spent in full combat load, I was diagnosed with a severe case of restless leg syndrome. My spine had compressed on nerves in my lower back causing neuropathy which compounded the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. While this injury has certainly not been enjoyable, Iraq was a pleasant experience compared to the experiences I endured during my deployment to Afghanistan. At the beginning of my tour in Helmand Province, I was physically capable of conducting combat operations for weeks at a time, remaining in my gear for days if necessary and averaging 16-hour days of engineering operations in the heart of Sangin, one of the most kinetic and challenging AOs in the country.

Again, this is all from a woman who’s been there and done that, explaining how physically the task is simply incompatible.

By the fifth month into the deployment, I had muscle atrophy in my thighs that was causing me to constantly trip and my legs to buckle with the slightest grade change. My agility during firefights and mobility on and off vehicles and perimeter walls was seriously hindering my response time and overall capability. It was evident that stress and muscular deterioration was affecting everyone regardless of gender; however, the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines and further compounded by gender-specific medical conditions. At the end of the 7-month deployment, and the construction of 18 PBs later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility, but is not a genetic trend in my family), which was brought on by the chemical and physical changes endured during deployment. Regardless of my deteriorating physical stature, I was extremely successful during both of my combat tours, serving beside my infantry brethren and gaining the respect of every unit I supported.

Regardless, I can say with 100 percent assurance that despite my accomplishments, there is no way I could endure the physical demands of the infantrymen whom I worked beside as their combat load and constant deployment cycle would leave me facing medical separation long before the option of retirement. I understand that everyone is affected differently; however, I am confident that should the Marine Corps attempt to fully integrate women into the infantry, we as an institution are going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females.

If you don’t have the time to read her whole column, she has plenty more reasons to explain her points if you’re still unconvinced.

Which once again leads me, as a ground combat-experienced female Marine Corps officer, to ask, what are we trying to accomplish by attempting to fully integrate women into the infantry?

For those who dictate policy, changing the current restrictions associated with women in the infantry may not seem significant to the way the Marine Corps operates. I vehemently disagree; this potential change will rock the foundation of our Corps for the worse and will weaken what has been since 1775 the world’s most lethal fighting force. In the end, for DACOWITS and any other individual or organization looking to increase opportunities for female Marines, I applaud your efforts and say thank you. However, for the long-term health of our female Marines, the Marine Corps, and U.S. national security, steer clear of the Marine infantry community when calling for more opportunities for females. Let’s embrace our differences to further hone in on the Corps’ success instead of dismantling who we are to achieve a political agenda. Regardless of the outcome, we will be “Semper Fidelis” and remain focused on our mission to protect and defend the United States of America.

Unlike Captain Petronio, I don’t applaud any organization that seeks to put substandard candidates into roles they aren’t fit for.  She’s polite enough to give them credit for “meaning well”.  But as I’ve said every time, it’s not a measure of character or of value of the individual’s desire to serve or their individual bravery.

It’s simply that if you aren’t biologically set up for success in a grueling environment and it’s a necessity that you succeed, then you shouldn’t be put in that position just so some ideologue politically-correct social engineers can congratulate themselves at cocktail parties and say how wonderful they are for giving you the “opportunity” to have your bones ground down in the mud because you never should have been there.

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But there are still hard-leftist groups who advocate for “equality” where there is none and actively want women in combat.   Noteworthy that their counterpoint speaker to Petronio is a man.

And their board of directors is awash in leftists, none of whom will ever have to answer for the failures they wish to create.

From the Gannett-owned MarineCorpsTimes:

QUANTICO, VA. — Fifteen female Marines began enlisted infantry training this week as part of the Marine Corps’ ongoing research into which additional jobs it should open to female personnel, officials said.

The women will attend the Infantry Training Battalion course at Camp Geiger, N.C., on an experimental basis, focusing on the 0311 infantry rifleman program of instruction after the first few weeks of training, said Leon Pappa, a retired lieutenant colonel with Training and Education Command who oversees the research. They will not receive the 0311 military occupational specialty if they graduate, but Marine officials will note it in their record for tracking purposes.

“We’re not changing the standards on how we track performance,” Pappa told reporters in a meeting here Wednesday. “We’re doing it the same way we do it for the males.”

I’ve already explained how women in combat MOSes is a bad idea, in Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six.  One of the biggest consistent arguments, not just from me, but from plenty of other combat vets, is that not only is there no real benefit to adding women in combat-specific roles for a variety of physical and social reasons, but also that when they invariably fail, some social engineer will change it so that women will succeed.  2+2 will be made to equal 5.

Combat is a heartless monster, and while training can be gender-normed to uselessness by political correctness, combat will not accede to social planners’ designs.

mountain infantry

Someone will have to carry a substandard troop’s weight.  There are already substandard men who sneak by.  That there will be a whole category of substandard women, protected by politics, will help no one, and will harm the mission, the men who have to carry the extra weight, and the women who should never have been put there to begin with.  It will also hurt the superhuman amazon who might have been able to pass an unchanged standard and do the job with a waiver – she won’t be challenged to meet a grueling standard, she’ll be able to pass the weaker one.

Retiree-who-doesn’t-have-to-fight-with-them Pappa says that there’s no change in standards on how they track performance.  That doesn’t mean the requirements are necessarily the same, just the tracking is the same.  Because buried in the bottom of the story is this, about women who failed the Infantry Officer Course:

The research is similar to work that began here last year at the Infantry Officer Course. Female volunteers have been allowed to try the grueling course, but none has passed. The next version of IOC begins next week, and the Corps expects four female volunteers to participate, Pappa said.  (ST: Emphasis mine.)

Note those few words there – “the next version of IOC“.  Not “the next session”, not “the next class”, not “the next group of candidates”.  The “next version of Infantry Officer Course”.

If you were going to buy a new car and had to order it from the factory to specific specs just how you wanted it, and you asked “when will it be here?” and they said “the next group of cars comes off the line next month”, you’d probably be thinking your car was on the way pretty soon, built to exacty what you wanted.  If you asked “when will it be here?” and they said “the next version of cars comes off the line next month”, you’d be wondering what changed.  What happened to the car you ordered, that you wanted built to your specifications?  You’re not getting “the next order of cars” or “the next allotment” or “the next run”, you’re getting “the next version“.

The behind-the-scenes is most likely what has played out every time.  Retiree Pappa is tasked with making sure women pass the course.  Instructors at the IOC are told “the women will pass the course”.  Their jobs, their careers, their futures are on the line.  Politics will order a lowered standard, and failures will be passed.

Everyone in the military has seen it in one form or another already (what immediately comes to mind is one male academic failure who failed his MOS school final, but was passed anyway because he was well-liked… he went on to show himself to be a coward in Iraq).

No one in the military will benefit, everyone will be hurt.  The only benefit is in the cocktail party leftist political correctness social engineer circles, politicians and elite snots who will pride themselves on creating a more equal military, patting themselves on the back with false comparisons to righting historical wrongs that their own progressive party inflicted on others.  They’ll say how wonderful and progressive they are, and good men and women will die for their desire to see “progress” where such a thing is a physical impossibility.

From Washington Free Beacon:

The only two women to participate in the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course (IOC) failed ongoing tests to determine which infantry positions should be available to women …

The two women both volunteered to participate in the IOC. Two other women had previously volunteered in September but also failed.

Looks like the standards still exist to some degree.  12 men and 2 women out of the most recent class washed out.

Just like I said the first time, it’s still a social experiment that doesn’t belong.  It’s a task very, few men can do.  The desire to have women in combat has already resulted in lawsuits against reality, and it will result in further dropped standards and both women and men who aren’t up to the task being sent into situations that set them up for failure.

10 Years Ago

Posted: March 19, 2013 by ShortTimer in Iraq, Marine Corps, Veterans

We crossed the LOD.

68 - ShortTimer 2003 Iraq

I think JBH was a few miles to the east of me.

Air Force Chaplain Awarded Bronze Star for Powerpoint Presentation:

After the accidental burning last year of Qurans by U.S. troops in Afghanistan sparked deadly rioting, an Air National Guard chaplain from Springfield stepped in and potentially saved countless American lives.

For his effort, Lt. Col. Jon Trainer received the prestigious Bronze Star — a medal given for heroic or meritorious achievement in connection with operations against an armed enemy.

And he did it with a PowerPoint presentation

Pentagon Planning Combat Medals For Drone Pilots Nowhere Close To Battle:

The blue, red and white Distinguished Warfare Medal will be given to servicemembers that demonstrate “extraordinary achievement” related to a military operation after 9/11. But unlike every other combat award, it does not require the recipient to risk her or her life…

An official speaking on condition of anonymity prior to the announcement from the Pentagon has indicated that the award will be higher ranking than a Bronze Star, but lower than the Silver Star — the nation’s third-highest award, the Army Times reports.

US Military Begins Annual Exercise “Enduring Freedom”:

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – With tensions in the Middle East rising over Iran’s nuclear program and the Syrian civil war, the United States and NATO began their largest annual joint-exercise this week, Operation Enduring Freedom. …

“In an uncertain world, we believe that Enduring Freedom shows that the NATO alliance is still a relevant force,” said International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesman Colonel Nick Page.

Marines Told To Save Every Round:

United States Marines are being told to preserve ammunition and gasoline as a deal softening the impact of automatic spending cuts continues to elude leaders in Washington.

Marine Corps Commandant James Amos urged personnel in a video posted online Friday to “save every round, every gallon of gas,” and to “take every single aspect or opportunity in training to get the most bang for the buck,” a reminder of the cuts’ immediate effect on the U.S. military.

Good luck.

Because it had rifles on it.

An Illinois father wants a school district to reconsider its dress code after his son was asked to remove a U.S. Marines T-shirt or be suspended, FoxNews.com has learned.

Daniel McIntyre, 44, of Genoa, told FoxNews.com that his 14-year-old son, Michael, was asked to remove the T-shirt by eighth-grade teacher Karen Deverell during reading class at Genoa-Kingston Middle School on Monday. Deverell, citing the school’s dress code, said the garment’s interlocking rifles was problematic and had to be removed from sight, McIntyre said.

If that’s the case, most Marines in uniform above the rank of PFC wouldn’t be allowed in.

usmc rank structure

I’m sure his school administrators would’ve loved one like this:

black peace shirt

And there are plenty of military-themed shirts that are far more aggressively styled.