Archive for the ‘United States Army’ Category

From Breitbart:

Playboy, Penthouse and other sex-themed magazines will no longer be sold at Army and Air Force exchanges _ a move described by the stores’ operators as a business decision based on falling sales, and not a result of recent pressure from anti-pornography activists.

The 48 “adult sophisticate” magazines being dropped are among a total of 891 periodicals that will no longer be offered by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service at its stores on U.S. military bases worldwide.

Good news is the Navy and Marine Corps haven’t dropped anything yet.  With different deployment schedules and different institutional cultures, hopefully they don’t.

 

Remember, though, Hagel already declared war on pinups and is out to make the military into something else.

Morality in Media, a Washington-based anti-pornography group, called the decision “a great victory” in its campaign against sexual exploitation in the military, and said it would continue to urge operators of Navy and Marine Corps exchanges to follow suit.

Ah, yes, morality enforced by government, in this case, removal of products by a government-run store.

Hopefully the first part of the story is correct and this is an economic decision and not a morality one.  Given Hagel’s declared war on pinups, I’m very skeptical of the explanation.  If falling sales dictate removal of titles, that’s the market making a decision.  If it’s Morality in Media and other anti-freedom groups pushing for further restriction on morale-improving leisure materials (I won’t say reading) and being successful as it dovetails with Hagel’s politically correct agenda, they fall in the same category as any other group that wants more state control.

They’re just going to “nudge” people into proper behavior with coercive paternalism.  Government orders you to eat your vegetables.  Government orders you to work harder.  And government says put a coat on, it’s chilly out.

Penelope Jiminez

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As usual, Col Kurtz had this to say:

brando-apocalypse-now

We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!

I’m in the process of reading Michael Lee Lanning’s “Inside the LRRPs – Rangers in Vietnam”.  It’s a good book, and nestled in the middle of Chapter 6: The Men With Painted Faces, where he discusses how LRRPs recruited their men and officers, is this quote:

While colleges and universities were a prime source of officers for all of the services, they also were a haven for those more interested in maintaining their draft-exempt status than in education itself.  The length of the Vietnam War and this draft loophole produced America’s most-educated generation, as students stayed in college past undergraduate level to earn masters, doctorates, law degrees, or anything to remain deferred until the magical age of twenty-six, when a young man was no longer draft eligible.

It’s stated so succinctly that it encapsulates and explains a major leftist swing in academia.

Those who stayed on for years and years in college were often those who sought to elude the draft, who hated the war (though many were fine with war for their own causes), and who thought they were more intelligent than those around them.  Certainly years and years in academia resulted in increased knowledge, even if it was devoid of wisdom or experience necessary to frame that knowledge.  They hated the war, yet they would ultimately side with LBJ and his “Great Society” social experiments as they became the educated ruling class.   They decided they knew, and now know, what’s best for everyone else.

With degrees and experience, they could get into government jobs, with their education – a luxury just a few decades before, they could now take the lead in society with their papered cleverness.  Those who stayed in academia then set the tone for future generations of leftist academics.

It becomes crystal clear in retrospect that so many of our nation’s current problems and things that make traditionalists’, conservatives’, and libertarians’ eyes roll – like a toy gun buyback in California – stem from the fact that our nation’s education system was demographically remade in the late 1960s and early 1970s by people whose defining trait was cowardice.

While it may not be a new revelation, and of course exceptions existed and remain, that trait has stayed dominant into the present day, and permeated education, society and culture.

D-Day

Posted: June 6, 2013 by ShortTimer in Music, Navy, United States Army, US Military

69 years ago.

Some fascinating pictures from the Normandy landings in the video (a few somewhat graphic), though there are a few modern film stills tossed in as well (a few graphic, but fake).

I’ve got a lot of stories saved up to blog about, but like a lot of folks, have things to do besides blog.  As such, I’ve got a large number of those news stories that are still worthy of comment, but not timely enough any more for full posts.  So here goes with a few of those:

NY Post: Occupy Wall Street Mob Steals Sacred Chalice From Church

There’s no longer room at the inn at a Manhattan church that’s sheltering Occupy Wall Streeters after a holy vessel disappeared from the altar last week.

When the Rev. Bob Brashear prepared for Sunday services at West Park Presbyterian Church on West 86th Street, he noticed parts of the bronze baptismal font were gone.

In a fire-and-brimstone message to occupiers later that day, he thundered, “It was like pissing on the 99 percent.”

In Brooklyn, at another church housing OWS protesters, an occupier urinated on a cross, according to Rabbi Chaim Gruber, who has angrily abandoned the OWS movement.

The artifact vanished just three weeks after a $2,400 Apple MacBook vanished from Brashear’s office. He told the occupiers that even when the 100-year-old Upper West Side church extended help to addicts during the 1980s drug scourge, no visitors touched its $12,500 sacramental instrument.

“Not even crackheads messed with that,” he said.

Occupy Wall Street: Piss-spraying desecrating thieves that are worse than crackheads.

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NY Post: JFK’s Teen Mistress.   The UK Daily Mail’s version of intern Mimi Alford’s story it is directly from the book:

‘This is a very private room,’ he said. The next thing I knew, he was standing in front of me, his face inches away, his eyes staring directly into mine.

He placed both hands on my shoulders and guided me toward the edge of the bed. I landed on my elbows, frozen halfway between sitting up and lying on my back.

Slowly, he unbuttoned the top of my shirtdress and…

presidential casting couch

Morally objectionable is an understatement, but at least the guy understood free markets a bit and how reduced taxes help the economy.

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And from SadHill news, and sadly, it looks like it’s not parody – US Army Troops Forced to Wear Fake Belly And Empathy Breasts To Understand Pregnant Troops’ Concerns:

And if you don’t believe it, notice the video is from Stars and Stripes.  And so is this story:

This week, 14 noncommissioned officers at Camp Zama took turns wearing the “pregnancy simulators” as they stretched, twisted and exercised during a three-day class that teaches them to serve as fitness instructors for pregnant soldiers and new mothers.

Army enlisted leaders all over the world are being ordered to take the Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Exercise Leaders Course, or PPPT, according to U.S. Army Medical Activity Japan health promotion educator Jana York.

Somewhere, there is a balance to be struck on gender issues between having a Democrat president exploit his position to overwhelm and overpower a 19 year-old girl and the PC-gone-totally-weirdo idea of strapping a “pregnancy simulator” on Army Sergeants.

(Yes, technically field daying the folder would mean cleaning it into nothingness, but I’m just going to use it as a term to title & tag these clean-up posts.)

From SOFREP:

The following letter was disseminated and signed by over 1,000 current and former Army Special Forces soldiers (Green Berets) in support of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, specifically as a defensive measure against tyranny. The letter was compiled through the joint efforts of current and former Special Forces personnel over at www.ProfessionalSoldiers.com, and quietly disseminated for signatures among secure, vetted circles.

Protecting the Second Amendment – Why all Americans Should Be Concerned

We are current or former Army Reserve, National Guard, and active duty US Army Special Forces soldiers (Green Berets). We have all taken an oath to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.…” The Constitution of the United States is without a doubt the single greatest document in the history of mankind, codifying the fundamental principle of governmental power and authority being derived from and granted through the consent of the governed. Our Constitution established a system of governance that preserves, protects, and holds sacrosanct the individual rights and primacy of the governed as well as providing for the explicit protection of the governed from governmental tyranny and/or oppression. We have witnessed the insidious and iniquitous effects of tyranny and oppression on people all over the world. We and our forebears have embodied and personified our organizational motto, De Oppresso Liber [To Free the Oppressed], for more than a half century as we have fought, shed blood, and died in the pursuit of freedom for the oppressed.

They note the Battle of Athens partway through.

So why should non-gun owners, a majority of Americans, care about maintaining the 2nd Amendment right for citizens to bear arms of any kind? The answer is “The Battle of Athens, TN”.

They finish with this:

This is our country, these are our rights. We believe that it is time that we take personal responsibility for our choices and actions rather than abdicate that responsibility to someone else under the illusion that we have done something that will make us all safer. We have a responsibility to stand by our principles and act in accordance with them. Our children are watching and they will follow the example we set.

The undersigned Quiet Professionals hereby humbly stand ever present, ever ready, and ever vigilant.

This is a sharp contrast to the kind of things said by retired generals.

I recommend reading the whole thing at SOFREP.

bawidamann green beret girl

Motivational Green Beret Girl by Andrew Bawidamann

When military units do exercises, somebody has to be the good guy, somebody has to be the bad guy.  The bad guys are the opposition force, or OPFOR.  A Red Cell functions much the same, acting as a dedicated enemy element for purposes of exercises.  Going up from the tactical level to the strategic,  you have Red Teams.  Basically, people who come up with scenarios for enemy forces.

Unfortunately, sometimes you have ignorant leftist political ignoramuses put in a position to do some of that Red Team work.

I’m not sure there is a strategic facepalm yet.

Sipsey Street Irregulars has a long, very informative piece here, about the scenario some idiots came up with, proving once again that military intelligence is quite often an oxymoron.  Here’s the crux of the scenario, from some idiots (Retired Col. Kevin Benson and Associate Professor Jennifer Weber) at the Small Wars Journal:

The Scenario (2016)

The Great Recession of the early twenty-first century lasts far longer than anyone anticipated. After a change in control of the White House and Congress in 2012, the governing party cuts off all funding that had been dedicated to boosting the economy or toward relief. The United States economy has flatlined, much like Japan’s in the 1990s, for the better part of a decade. By 2016, the economy shows signs of reawakening, but the middle and lower-middle classes have yet to experience much in the way of job growth or pay raises. Unemployment continues to hover perilously close to double digits, small businesses cannot meet bankers’ terms to borrow money, and taxes on the middle class remain relatively high. A high-profile and vocal minority has directed the public’s fear and frustration at nonwhites and immigrants. After almost ten years of race-baiting and immigrant-bashing by right-wing demagogues, nearly one in five Americans reports being vehemently opposed to immigration, legal or illegal, and even U.S.-born nonwhites have become occasional targets for mobs of angry whites.

In May 2016 an extremist militia motivated by the goals of the “tea party” movement takes over the government of Darlington, South Carolina, occupying City Hall, disbanding the city council, and placing the mayor under house arrest. Activists remove the chief of police and either disarm local police and county sheriff departments or discourage them from interfering. In truth, this is hardly necessary. Many law enforcement officials already are sympathetic to the tea party’s agenda, know many of the people involved, and have made clear they will not challenge the takeover. The militia members are organized and have a relatively well thought-out plan of action.

With Darlington under their control, militia members quickly move beyond the city limits to establish “check points” – in reality, something more like choke points — on major transportation lines. Traffic on I-95, the East Coast’s main north-south artery; I-20; and commercial and passenger rail lines are stopped and searched, allegedly for “illegal aliens.” Citizens who complain are immediately detained. Activists also collect “tolls” from drivers, ostensibly to maintain public schools and various city and county programs, but evidence suggests the money is actually going toward quickly increasing stores of heavy weapons and ammunition. They also take over the town web site and use social media sites to get their message out unrestricted.

When the leaders of the group hold a press conference to announce their goals, they invoke the Declaration of Independence and argue that the current form of the federal government is not deriving its “just powers from the consent of the governed” but is actually “destructive to these ends.” Therefore, they say, the people can alter or abolish the existing government and replace it with another that, in the words of the Declaration, “shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” While mainstream politicians and citizens react with alarm, the “tea party” insurrectionists in South Carolina enjoy a groundswell of support from other tea party groups, militias, racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, anti-immigrant associations such as the Minutemen, and other right-wing groups. At the press conference the masked militia members’ uniforms sport a unit seal with a man wearing a tricorn hat and carrying a musket over the motto “Today’s Minutemen.” When a reporter asked the leaders who are the “red coats” the spokesman answered, “I don’t know who the redcoats are…it could be federal troops.” Experts warn that while these groups heretofore have been considered weak and marginal, the rapid coalescence among them poses a genuine national threat.

The mayor of Darlington calls the governor and his congressman. He cannot act to counter the efforts of the local tea party because he is confined to his home and under guard. The governor, who ran on a platform that professed sympathy with tea party goals, is reluctant to confront the militia directly. He refuses to call out the National Guard. He has the State Police monitor the roadblocks and checkpoints on the interstate and state roads but does not order the authorities to take further action. In public the governor calls for calm and proposes talks with the local tea party to resolve issues. Privately, he sends word through aides asking the federal government to act to restore order. Due to his previous stance and the appearance of being “pro” tea party goals the governor has little political room to maneuver.

Yup.  That’s what they came up with.  Tea Party are terrorists.  Anyone quoting the Constitution must be destroyed, because the regime and order must reign, and the Constitution is just a piece of paper.  When they quote it, it’s because they’re terrorists.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

Mike at Sipsey Street notes that the comments are almost all in stark contrast to the article.  The responses, from the kind of intelligent thinkers who read things like the Small Wars Journal, are by a great majority articulate, eloquent, and offended.

One of the sharpest is this one, by “Obvious Moniker” that criticizes the failed methodology of the scenario.  He starts off by pointing out that not only is it as offensive to Constitutionalist Tea Party folks as it seems, it also fails from the start as a utility to develop strategies.

by Obvious Moniker| August 5, 2012 – 11:48am

I’ll admit to being one of the many offended by the choice of parameters; however, for the sake of discussion, I’ll try to minimize repeating what previous commenters have said.

First, it has been claimed that any group could be substituted for the Tea Party types in the scenario.  While this claim is undoubtably true on its face, from the detail in the scenario given and the current political climate, I cannot help but wonder if said claim has not been made disengenuously.  Several other commenters have wondered how many axes are being ground with the setup used, and I must echo that feeling.

Having been stationed at a 3-star level staff command for 5 years, there’s a reason why our J5/J7 guys had all the local powers in each scenario represented by Pineland, Treeland, et.al.   That methodology avoids accusations that the setup may be politically tainted or skewed along ideological lines that would otherwise be unnecessarily detract from the training and potentially make sharing said scenario with our allies unwise.

One untrained in military planning might get the impression from the universal application of said naming obfuscation by such a wide variety of planners whose scenarios truly did not depend on taking place in a location that such a principle was something those planners were taught in their training.  In that light, I hope you can understand my skepticism of your claim to being unbiased, as it seems so woefully poor form as to stretch credibility with such denials.  (ST: Much more to this comment, worth reading through them at the link.)

For those who don’t follow the Moniker’s jive, he’s saying you train for scenarios, not for specific enemies.  You can’t share your playbook if you have one place you’re planning on fighting; and you can’t reapply the scenario when it’s too specific.  If you get it in your head that you’re going to fight X and you end up fighting Y, then you’ve set yourself up for failure.

Another:

by Antylyzyk| August 6, 2012 – 7:44am

This is a chilling article—it has shocked me to the core.

The Army has been perfecting its counter-insurgency for decades in foreign lands. Terrorism has now become the function of the Department of Homeland Security—only Europeans had this type of machinery, we have always relied on being a people numerous and armed. Our police forces have become para-military forces in a perpetual War on Drugs. Recently, General Ralph E Eberhart expressed the view “that Posse Comitatus will constantly be under review as we mature this command, as we do our exercises, as we interact with FEMA, F.B.I., and those lead federal agencies out there”. Now Col Benson and Ms Weber posture the “Tea Party”, a movement that has never advocated violence, as the culprits in a future insurrection? Connecting the dots leads to a coordinated intelligence, police, and military system directed at controlling American citizens.

It is little wonder our Founding Fathers feared a standing Army. If this is the line of thinking that is emanating from Leavenworth and our generals, then the inevitable result will be the dissolution of the Republic and the establishment of a military dictatorship.

Another:

by RobJohnson| August 7, 2012 – 1:57am

Interesting choice of descriptors by the authors of this article. The Tea Party has proven to be one of the most peaceful and civilized of any political party in the country, proclaiming only a desire to unify the country around the Constitution and the rule of law. Why did they authors choose an actual, existing party to use in their “Wargames” article? Have they been to a Tea Party meeting? Where most of the members are middle class, middle aged working people? Did they really wish to spit in the face of tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of their fellow citizens? Their neighbors, friends, countrymen? Are they that full of hatred, ready to slap the face of fellow Americans they disagree politically with? Is this how Goebbels and Saddams and Stalins are created? What breath taking arrogance on the part of the authors. Have they been sitting too long behind their desks? If the “Tea Party”, made up of their fellow citizens, deserve to be mass murdered by American troops, what does that say about the authors state of mind? Are they so naive of history? Are they so ignorant and arrogant they think such an event will be a fun little bloody cake walk? Do they look forward to hearing about the hundreds, perhaps thousands killed in the streets, in front of their own homes? Why the Tea Party? Why not about a Marxist stealth coup by a Manchurian candidate president and the military coup to retake the republic? They are so sure of their own rightness? What if the US Army crushes the revolt in the little town but then finds out that it faces not one town but 150,000 across the country? What will they do when they, like the Redcoats marching for Lexington, find themselves surrounded on all sides, their supplies cut off, water cut off, electricity cut off, sabotage every where, even by their own troops and officers, who refuse to fire on their own people, even as many Chinese soldiers did during Tianamen Square? The average rural, heavily wooded county in America has tens of thousands of hunters of all ages. Hunters. Men with scoped rifles, camo gear, who know how to disappear into the forests and hunt things down. Imagine that multiplied across the entire United States. An irregular guerrilla force of millions of snipers. Millions. Blood would run in rivers. Is this what these Armchair Army officers want? Is this how they spend tax payer money? To sit at their computers and type out hate screeds against peaceful citizens? Despicable. Sickening. Twisted.

Another:

by MAJ_John_Pitcairn| August 5, 2012 – 6:04pm

A solid plan for unrivaled Success! However, if the rebels are to be suppressed sufficiently, I have it on good word that to their powder and rifle stores at Lexington and Concord you must go. Rest assured! Vigorous measures at present would soon put an end to this paltry rebellion. The deluded subjects are made to believe that they are invincible. When this glorious Fifth Army is ordered to act against them, they will soon be convinced that they are very insignificant indeed when opposed to regular troops. Once these rebels have been dealt a smart blow, they will fall to their knees and submit. Once disarmament is complete, effective resistance to the Crown will cease and policies of reestablishing order will proceed. God save his excellency King George.

Another:

by nfzgrld| August 5, 2012 – 5:17pm

This article is based almost entirely on false premises. The idea that the tea party would do what is described in the way and for the reasons described is laughable. If the American people act on behalf of their own constitutionally protected freedom then they are within their right. For the military to act in opposition to any effort to protect, defend or restore the veracity and force of the constitution would be, by definition, treason.

In addition, the idea that The Klu Klus Klan and other racist and Democratic party developed organizations would side with the tea party, or that the tea party would even associate with them, indicates either a complete lack of understanding of who and what the tea party is, or is purposeful disinformation disseminated in an effort to further deflect the left’s own goal to the right. Progressives, Marxists, fascists, and other government centered and racist organizations and ideologies are all LEFT. This is America, not Europe. Left and right mean something different here. Left is govt, right is freedom. The more you have of one, the less you will have of the other.

This is OUR country. It is OUR constitution. The govt, including the military, works for US. Aside from the LIMITED powers given the federal government in article one section eight of the constitution, We The People, and the States, have and are the authority. The authors of this article are fomenting an environment of discord and distrust between the people and our military. That needs to stop right now, because WE are the military. I don’t think it’s going to work the way they think it will.

Another:

by Carlos Perera| August 5, 2012 – 2:11pm

I must join the many other commenters who have taken exception to this article’s depiction of the Tea Party as a sort of neo-Klan, a band of lilly-white racists who can barely wait to wrap their ax handles around the heads of people of color. I myself–and, yes, I post under my real name–am a Hispanic Tea Partier, one of many in my area (Jacksonville, Florida). I have _never_ been made to feel unwelcome at any Tea Party event, nor have I ever heard the use of racist/xenophobic invective or seen any literature of that ilk at any Tea Party meeting or demonstration (except in signs wielded by outside _agents provocateurs_ trying to discredit the organization: they are quickly surrounded by Tea Partiers holding signs saying, “not with us). Do many Tea Partiers object to the near non-enforcement of U. S. immigration laws? Yes–I do!–but we simply ask that the federal government enforce those laws (as it is Constitutionally obligated to do), and seek electoral, not insurrectional, solutions to the problem on non-enforcement.

As other have already noted, Tea Party demonstrations are models of civil, orderly behavior. Not only do we not indulge in violence–though on some occasions counter-demonstrators have physically attacked Tea Partiers–we usually leave the public areas we use cleaner than before we arrived. Compare and contrast with left-wing groups’ violence, vandalism, and utter disregard for the public order when they demonstrate: think OWS!

In using the Tea Party as the fictional bad guys of their scenario, the authors of this article have truly–and unjustifiably–derogated a model group of citizen-activists, using their Constitutionally protected right of free assembly, by innuendo. Isn’t there a Commandment against bearing false witness against your neighbor?

I’d add some more commentary, but these folks have pretty much nailed it.

It’s worth it to revisit the history of the infamous 29 Palms Survey of 1994.

Firing on U.S. Citizens?

While all of the questions in this survey should have stimulated concern, the survey’s final question has generated an enormous amount of attention:

The U.S. government declares a ban on the possession, sale, transportation, and transfer of all non-sporting firearms. A thirty (30) day amnesty period is permitted for these firearms to be turned over to the local authorities. At the end of this period, a number of citizen groups refuse to turn over their firearms. Consider the following statement: I would fire upon U.S. citizens who refuse or resist confiscation of firearms banned by the U.S. government.

The survey results: 42.3 percent strongly disagreed with this statement; 19.3 percent disagreed; 18.6 percent agreed; 7.6 percent strongly agreed; and 12.0 percent had no opinion. In one of the footnotes appearing in his thesis, Cunningham quotes comments placed by some of the Marines next to their answers to this question: “What about the damn Second Amendment? … I feel this is a first in communism! … Read the book None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen.” “I would not even consider it. The reason we have guns is so that the people can overthrow the gov’t when or if the people think the gov’t is too powerful.” “Freedom to bear arms is our Second Amendment. If you take our Amendments away then you can take this job and stick it where the sun don’t shine! … It is a right to own firearms for defense (2nd Amendment); I would fight for that right!”

Based on the disagreement expressed by 61 percent of the Marines, Cunningham concluded that “a complete unit breakdown would occur in a unit tasked to execute this mission.”

From Bloomberg News:

Two female soldiers asked a federal judge to throw out the U.S. military’s restrictions on women in combat, claiming the policy violates their constitutional rights.

U.S. Army reservists Jane Baldwin and Ellen Haring, in a lawsuit filed today in Washington, said policies excluding them from assignments “solely because they are women” violate their right to equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution’s 5th Amendment. The complaint names Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Army Secretary John McHugh as defendants.

“This limitation on plaintiffs’ careers restricts their current and future earnings, their potential for promotion and advancement, and their future retirement benefits,” the women said in the complaint filed by Christopher Sipes of Covington & Burling LLP in Washington.

As expected, there are women and lawyers suing to fight reality.

Rifle: 8 pounds
Boots: 4 pounds
Helmet: 4 pounds
Vest with SAPI plates: 15+ pounds
NVGS: 2 pounds
Gas Mask: 3 pounds
Water: 10 pounds
Ammo: 10 pounds
Pack: 50 pounds (sleeping system, medkit, clothing, socks, hygiene gear, etc.)

I’m just ballparking there – some items weigh more or less.  The Interceptor with SAPI plates always felt like 25, but I’m sure that’s just because it crushes the breath out of you, too.  Grunts also strap stuff more stuff to their vests than armor crews.  Plus there’s 782 gear/FLIC to wear.  Kneepads are worn because it hurts when you put 300 pounds plus down on hard ground.  It’s almost like resting, except you know you have to stand again, and it hurts on the way up.

This limitation on plaintiffs’ careers restricts their current and future earnings, their potential for promotion and advancement, and their future retirement benefits

Reality places limitations on the plaintiff’s ability to survive combat, their potential existence, and the possibility of them receiving any future promotions other than posthumous, and giving their retirement benefits to anyone but their family as life insurance.  Lawsuits will not make the rigors of combat easy.  It will force trainers and instructors to place objectively inferior women and men into infantry situations they should never be placed in just to make some cocktail party political general and leftist politician happy.

More stupidity:

“The linear battlefield no longer exists,” the women said in the complaint, describing as “arbitrary and irrational” the combat restrictions for women.

“Woman are currently engaged in direct combat, even when it is not part of their formally assigned role,” the reservists said. Furthermore, the Army has “deliberately circumvented” its own policies by “attaching” women to ground combat units.

“There is no practical difference, in terms of the work that servicewomen do, between ‘assigning’ women to a ground combat unit and ‘attaching’ women to a ground combat unit,” the women said in the complaint.

There is a huge difference between a motor-T truck driver chick being attached to a combat unit and the same chick being crushed with 150 pounds of gear as an M240 gunner, or the A-gunner, who gets to carry his own rifle, plus extra barrels and ammunition for the M240.  There is a huge difference between a radio maintenance chick who carries the crypto unit to update a vehicle’s radio and an armor crewman who has to break track.

This is just an MLRS track.  Assuming it uses Bradley tracks, those blocks are something like 25 pounds each, times 82-85 per side.  Lots of weight.  Knocking the pins out takes a sledge and a special tool, and knocking the pins out from underneath the vehicle requires swinging a sledge in the prone sideways.  It’s very hard work.

Knocking out torsion bars is done with a post driver level with the ground.  It’s another thing that’s incredibly difficult (and the body motion required to pound something out at waist-level would probably result in EEO complaints anyway.)  With actual tanks, the track blocks weigh something like 60 pounds each, the shells the loader moves weigh 50something pounds and have to be manipulated inside the vehicle.  And that’s not even getting into towing and how much tank bars weigh.

Over at The Soldier’s Load, there’s an excellent piece on how Women Do Not Belong In The Infantry.

Women do not belong in the infantry.

It’s a simple statement and one that, until recently, nearly every civilized culture seemed to accept as a truism. For reasons as multitudinous as they are apparent and profound, in time of war men have shouldered arms and marched to the clash of legions or the sound of the guns. Women as a rule have not. Even in those scattered and wretched societies whose women prowled the battlefields to torture the wounded and desecrate the dead, no woman was thrown into offensive action against the massed ranks of the enemy. Show me an exception and I’ll show you savages.

I’ll note that the exceptions aren’t necessarily savages.  They’re also last-ditch forces, partisans, and nations surrounded on all sides by genocidal enemies.

Of course, IDF girls aren’t as known for looking like this:

As they’re known for this:

And make no mistake, the tough-looking chick in the top picture still looks like the four in towels below underneath.  She’s probably 5’8″ and 150 pounds or so if she’s big.  And still, she’s not going to carry another 150 pound load-out.  She’s not going to tack up and hump for miles and miles.  She’s not going to carry a mortar base plate or a Javelin for 10 hours, or load 155 shells or change a final drive (a gear in tracked vehicles that weighs slightly more than Mount Rushmore).  She’s not going to drag another troop who weighs 250 pounds loaded out of the line of fire.

Soldier’s Load goes on:

Most service members will admit that conditioning hikes are grueling exercises in physical and mental endurance. I personally despised them, especially when it was my turn to shoulder a 25 pound machine gun or a 45 pound, .50-caliber receiver. Each hike took all of my effort and physical fitness to complete. Unsurprisingly, during my time at The Basic School no female lieutenant completed a hike of greater than 6 miles with the rest of the 180 or so male lieutenants. Not one. And that’s with the male lieutenants carrying all of the radios and heavy weapons.

His whole post is very articulate, and worth reading here.  He also hits on cultural, physiological, and other reasons that have been touched on here.

But this will be decided in the courts, and in the halls of government bureaucracies now run by leftist politicians who are out to make their political points and, as Evan Sayet says, elevate failed, evil, and wrong at every turn.  Standards will be dropped, instructors who maintain the old standards will be accused of sex discrimination and driven out (never mind that reality discriminates), and the institutions will become weaker, and people will die for what some politically correct academic lawyer nitwit got into his addled little brain to impose on institutions that are light years away from his fantasy world.  Women will die, men will die, conflicts will be lost, morality will be displaced, and the few who choose to nobly serve will suffer for the institutions made by the academic leftists.

Via Weaponsman:

It was clear that nobody’s opinion was being solicited. The message came from the Chief of Staff of the Army, and the order seems to have come from echelons above him: Ranger School will admit women within a few months. And the women will pass, whatever it takes.

Female officers have complained that the lack of the school credential disadvantages them for promotions and commands, and in an election year their complaints have found champions among the political appointees in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In a Department whose highest priority is the Secretary’s million-dollar Gulfstream commute, and that has lost interest in two ongoing wars and a dozen other flashpoints where soldiers risk their lives daily, a stroke of a pen can upend a 60-year-old course that embodies a tradition with roots in the 18th Century.

And it just did.

The Ranger Training Brigade has been told to roll the welcome mat and the first class could be 03/13 but will definitely be 05/13 at the latest. Each class in the remainder of FY 13 will receive five to eight women, and the treatment, mentoring, nurturing and ultimate success of those female candidates will be intensively managed by the Chief of Staff and the Sergeant Major of the Army, not to mention civilian appointees. The male candidates in the same courses are not of interest to the command, as long as they don’t interfere with or criticize the women. Even the timing of the feminized classes was established for political reasons: to ensure that a fait accompli of female Ranger attendees, if not graduates is presented to the incoming SecDef and Secretary of the Army if, as the current leaders think likely, their patron is defeated in November. They did not want to put women in class 1/13, which starts in October, to prevent Congress from intervening before the elections, but 2/13 is an outside possibility.

Totally not a surprise.

More info here:

Almost immediately lower-ranking generals and colonels went to work on the implementation. Here’s some of what they’ve worked out:

  • The initial group will be a hand-selected pilot class.
  • They will all be West Pointers from the Class of 2012.
  • They will attend the Infantry Basic Officers’ Leadership Course and Ranger School.
  • And they will pass. While the mask the public sees will say “there has been no change in the standards,” these are the first Ranger School students in the sixty-plus-year history of the school who start off knowing that whatever they do, they can’t fail. If they stumble, the suits and stars will be there to catch them, and to crush anyone who made note of it.

As expected, as already noted.

Also an interesting link to a piece by Dr. Keith Ablow titled Why I don’t ever want to see women in combat, on the front lines:

In my opinion, I do not believe women should serve as combat soldiers. I know they are fully able to do so. I know they would acquit themselves spectacularly well. But I can’t deny that I value the special place of women in society as a protected gender.

I can’t deny my core feeling that women–by virtue of their anatomy and physiology and whatever God-given ability to nurture they possess–would be impacted more negatively by mortal combat than men.

I can’t deny that I think it would bleed out some wonderful chivalrous quality in men were we to collectively send women to the front lines to bleed out as Marines shot up taking hills.

I can’t deny that, were my wife or I to have to leave our children to defend this nation in hand-to-hand combat, that I would hold myself in the most vile contempt for letting my wife be the one to go.

It is the truth making itself evident: When I was told as a boy to never hit a girl, it seemed entirely obvious to me. A given. What sort of boy would strike a female, anyhow? A liberated boy?

Weaponsman also asks what’s driving the push for co-ed rangers?

See, we’ve discovered that, contrary to what we w the Chief of Staff did not send a written operations order to Ft. Benning, which used to be the Infantry Center and School, and is now the infantry-ectomied Maneuver Center of Excellence. (Hey, didn’t GM start badging their cars with the “GM Mark of Excellence” during the period that the cars started rusting on dealer lots, Vega pistons seizing in alloy cylinders, and Corvairs flipping like a family of acrobats? Yeah, they did. Does this mean that self-bestowed recognitions of “Excellence” are often a mark of institutional flailing and self-deception? You be the judge). The Chief of Staff phoned MG Robert B. Brown to give him the women in Ranger School (and not just Ranger School) FRAGO verbally — no incriminating paperwork that way, just MG Brown’s notes, which are certainly deniable on GEN Odierno’s end of the phone.

Now that’s a stand-up guy. It’s not like he’s betting his Ranger tab! (Heck, it’s not like he has one to bet).

Him not having a Ranger tab makes perfect sense.  He didn’t earn it, he doesn’t now its value, so it has no value to him at all.  To him, it’s a status symbol and a check in the box for officers to achieve.  So giving it away probably isn’t a big deal.  You’d think with the recognizable decorations that he does have, he’d have a clue.  But apparently not.

Another clue in GEN Odierno’s statement to the press is his frequent and seemingly reflexive recourse to buzz words that come not from the Army’s own very plush lexicon of bullshit, which has a buzzword for everything a general could possibly need and thousands of unnecessary ones besides, but from politics and specifically the Obama campaign. You can’t listen to the general for long without hearing “progressive,” “progress,” and specifically, about women in Ranger school (and in the other shoe we’re still about to drop) “the progressive way forward.” This is not to say that the General has any politics of his own at all, he has been properly reticent on that score as anyone in uniform should be. It merely indicates that he knows the words and concepts that induce Pavlovian responses in his bosses.

So welcome to the new dawn, building a Novy Sovietskiy Chelovek, military style: an interchangeable unit without obsolete individual differences like sex. It is not an experiment, because the experiment’s Stakhanovite success has been decreed ab initio. It worked great last time. No word on whether implementation will measured according to five-year plans.

It’s worth reading all of Weaponsman’s posts about the Rangers/Rangerettes controversy.  He seems to have the inside scoop.

Oh well, one of the nation’s most storied units is about to be destroyed by political correctness and the desire by progressive leftists to make the world into what they think it should be, ignoring completely what it is.  And the people that die for the cocktail party generals’ and politicians’ hubris are meaningless to them anyway, probably reactionary counterrevolutionaries who needed to be liquidated.  Omelettes, eggs, all that.  As long as the bureaucrats rule, they will dictate what reality will be, regardless of what reality has to say about it.

Rangers Lead The Way!

The Army is addressing the specifics of the plan to allow female soldiers to join infantry battalions and – associated with that move – to make the prestigious Ranger School co-ed, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Wednesday.

The Army’s top leader said he wants to give women every opportunity to succeed in infantry battalions since the military reversed the policy barring them from infantry duty earlier this year.

Odierno noted that nine out of ten senior infantry officers have graduated from Ranger school and wear the Ranger tab on their uniforms. Not allowing women to earn their own tab could hinder their infantry careers, Odierno said.

Ranger school is made to be difficult.  It is not easy.  Many men fail out of it.  There’s a reason most dogfaces are legs, and not airborne.  Now there’s the push for women in ranger school because not going might “hinder their careers”.  Oh, the tribulations of the lifer.

Women in infantry roles makes sense if you’re a nation with it’s back against the wall, on it’s last legs… moreso if you’re a dictatorial regime that doesn’t care for human life whether female or male.  Women in infantry roles otherwise is idealistic foolishness at best, dreamed up in think tanks and well away from the pointy end of the spear.

In this case, Ranger school is now being viewed as a resume-building experience, rather than a formative one that creates a special breed of warriors.  Ranger school already has a substantial washout rate.  Since women are going to be sent there so they can check a box off on their way to becoming Pentagon bureaucrat officers, Ranger school will be forced to be toned down so that women pass – because women are going to be sent to the school in order to pass.  The standard isn’t important – the tab so they can become senior officers is now what’s important.  The earned value, the substance, will be taken away in order to create the appearance.

For those who’ve forgotten, the army didn’t used to wear berets.  Elite units, like Rangers and Special Forces wore berets.  It made them stand apart, because they are elite units.  It displayed the espirit de corps of their units.  So then the army brass decided that the whole army didn’t feel happy enough, and didn’t feel elite enough.  So they gave everyone the beret.  It was the “everyone’s a winner” participation ribbon.  It did nothing except make elite units resentful of the brass, and make a lot of line units equally resentful – because they didn’t earn it.

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As this topic seems to be getting bounced back and forth with No One Of Any Import – most recently on Import here and Patriot Perspective here, I notice there are a couple things worth revisiting.

Even more important than all of that, Short Timer says that the Marines will use something called “gender neutral” tests, and that quotas will be imposed.

The gender neutral PT test was mentioned by Gannet’s MC Times:

Additionally, new functional fitness tests are being developed to help Marine Corps leaders determine how women and men perform in, and cope with, various combat tasks. The goal is to establish “gender-neutral” physical fitness standards.

The current PFT is noted here:

The Marine Corps defines gender-neutral physical standards as being identical for men and women, rather than weighted — or “gender-normed” — like those applied in the service’s annual Physical Fitness Test. During the PFT, women can earn a minimum or maximum score with fewer repetitions and a slower run times than their male counterparts.

The “gender-normed” test involves men doing pull-ups, at 5 points per pull-up, maximum 20 pull-ups, or 100 points, minimum is only 3 pull-ups, or 15.  The women’s PFT has the “flexed arm hang” which is basically pulling almost to the “up” position and holding there for a number of seconds.  Minimum for the event is 15 seconds, max is 70.  Crunches are the same, as many as you can do in 2 min, max 100, 1 point per.  The women’s run maximum is 3 miles in 21 minutes for 100 points.  For men, it’s 3 miles in 18 minutes.  On the men’s you lose 1 point per 10 seconds, same thing on the women’s.  Last time I ran a PFT (a while back) I did 21:30 on the run.  On the men’s (obviously), it was 79 points.  A woman running the same time would have 97 points.  Pretty big shift.

The flexed-arm hang, while it sounds easy, is quite physically taxing.  Women’s muscles are built different, and they tend to do it better.  In boot camp, we were made to do it – our DI said our platoon was acting like girls, so we’d do their part of the PFT.  We had only one guy, who could normally only do 3 or 4 pull-ups, able to do the full 70 second hang time.  Guys who could knock out 20 pull-ups were shaking and falling before then.  Different musculature, but the guy who could do the flex-hang would get pummeled in a brawl with the big guys.  (Except for the 90-pound tiny guys who could do 20 pull-ups but couldn’t carry a pack.)  The day-to-day humps with full packs, the quarterdeck sessions, etc., showed that the guys who could knock out the 20 pull-ups were far better athletes.  There’s plenty that can be looked at with regards to how PFTs and other PT requirements are done, but the difference in musculature and endurance which varies by gender (and within gender, as noted) means that you’ll have a lot more women who can’t meet the standard (and some men who don’t, either).

A gender-neutral PT test is going to end up dropping the standard to let in more physically weaker people, because women are in generally physically not as strong.  Just how it is.

To put it another way, consider the difficulty in doing a fireman’s carry of a comrade of fighting weight (neither scrawny nor fat) who’s carrying another 20-30 pounds of gear, and consider who can do that better.  I can think of many men who can do this (and plenty who can’t), but I find it difficult to think of more than a rare few women who can.

As for quotas, there probably won’t be a list next to each MOS saying “we need 12.5% women in the 0800 field”.  They may be behind-the-scenes, or they may be kept quiet, but there will be a push to make sure women get into the new jobs.  There will be a political push for the actual candidates just like there’s a political push for the program itself.  That’s what’s happened every time before, and that’s what will happen again.  It happens in the military, it happens in law enforcement, it famously happened with firefighters in the 1990s – where members of the LA fire department released videos of women failing miserably at training.

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If the standards are kept as high, women won’t pass.  If there’s a 75% pass rate for men, and a 10% pass rate for women, the bureaucrat social-engineer leftist political-correct hack who came up with this idea will, as always, refuse to accept that men and women are different.  And the test will be changed.  Ranger school will be changed.  The instructors will be viewed as sexists good ol’ boys and face retribution at the hands of the social engineers.  The loss will be to the country, to security (one of the few legitimate functions of government), to the Marines and Rangers, to the men who pass, and to the women who actually could pass without the standard being lowered.

The way this will work out (as it almost always does) is that the first few women through will be hand-picked all-stars.  They won’t be first in their graduating class, they won’t be the most capable of the class, but they’ll be capable – they’ll be the kind of women who could’ve applied for waivers and gotten in without a service-wide push as highly motivated individuals.  But even in their initial class, there will be some favoritism.  There will also be the fear of EEO and career destruction on the part of instructors, who would rather get the problem the hell away from them than deal with it.  A man who stands up against bureaucrats and says “women aren’t fit for this” will find himself the target of plenty of political retribution.

The subsequent groups with horrible attrition rates are what will result in a modified course curriculum, modified PT tests, and modified MOS schools.  The subsequent fears of EEO and sexual harassment complaints will result in destroyed morale, more distant instructors, and good people who don’t want to deal with the hassles that go along with being in that environment.

Look at it from the POV of the instructor, as well.  No one wants to teach a class of students that starts making EEO complaints.  Nobody wants to be in a situation where they have to deal with it.  It disrupts the class, and means the instructor has to walk on eggshells.  A good instructor won’t want to be there – he can’t make the course difficult enough to prepare the candidates for their careers as Rangers or Marine combat arms MOSes.  He can’t ask for the same level of performance when someone can’t give it – and washing someone out who has a (as a horribly politically incorrect coworker once said) “career enhancement device” – isn’t much of an option without facing retribution from higher-ups, bureaucrats, EEO, and harassment charges.  There are plenty of people when faced with difficulty who will take the easy way out, and claiming harassment or unfair treatment is an easy way to pass.  It’s hell for the instructors and dissuades good instructors from ever signing on.  The knowledge base there is lost.  The instructors who will join up will be those with the same political agenda, who will pass everyone at a lower standard in order to get the 100 points on their cutting score, or whatever other incentives they have for promotion.

Who will be the more popular instructor – the Ranger school instructor who had a 95% washout rate for the females in his class, or the Marine MOS school instructor who had a 95% passing rate for the females in his class?  To the bureaucrat leftist political-correctness social engineer, clearly the Ranger is a reactionary throwback and the Marine is an enlightened New Man who knows how things should be.  Never mind the Ranger sees them as they are.  Reverse roles as necessary, wash, rinse, repeat.  The instructor who makes a class that prepares his students or candidates for combat will improve their survivability and their ability to end a conflict; and that instructor will do so at the risk of retaliation.  The instructor who doesn’t prepare his class and sends them off weak will be rewarded for supporting diversity and Pentagon initiatives, even if his students are unprepared and die because of it.

Again, one could write a book.

Fred does not care that you need something on your resume.  He only cares that he is carried or dragged across the line to safety.

>Lt. Colonel Allen West, U.S. Army (Ret.) is running for office in Florida’s 22nd congressional district. Lt. Colonel West has a masters degree in political science. You can learn more about Lt. Colonel West at his campaign website. The following is an excerpt form a speech he made at the American Freedom tour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

America, this man is the type of people we need running for office.

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