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.