Category Archives: Rangers and Rangerettes

Some Small Arms Ranger History from American Rifleman

ranger lozengeThis past Monday, there was a great American Rifleman article by Martin Morgan, whom we don’t know but respect already based on this one article, on The Forgotten Guns of D-Day. We expected these guns to be obvious ones, because AR is a magazine for the widest possible range of gunny interests, and sure, some of them were, like the FG42 carried by counterattacking German Fallschirmjäger. But others were not (how did a John Browning design with a jawbreaker Polish name…? You’re going to have to Read The Whole Thing™).

Morgan even taught us Ragnar history that we didn’t even know that we didn’t know, including a truly bizarre use of an oddball gun that we tend to associate only with the LRDG and SAS in the Western Desert, and a critical use of the butt end of an M1 Thompson. A taste:

On D-Day, a force of 225 men from the U.S. Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion was given the special D-Day mission of landing four miles west of Omaha Beach at a place called Pointe Du Hoc. After coming ashore, the Rangers would have to scale 100-ft. tall cliffs to conduct an assault against one of the most threatening German gun batteries in lower Normandy. Established in May 1942, Heeres-Küsten-Batterie Pointe Du Hoc was a position armed with six French-made 155 mm breechloading rifles. The guns had been captured in 1940 and subsequently placed in German service with the designation 15.5 cm K 418(f). At Pointe Du Hoc, they were mounted on concrete traversing tables that extended their maximum effective range, improved their already impressive accuracy, and transformed them into formidable anti-ship weapons. The Ranger mission on D-Day, which was commanded by Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder, had the objective of preventing the guns from firing on the fleet.

At 7:10 a.m., Rudder’s force landed, scaled the cliffs, and swiftly pushed the enemy back from the battery area. That is when the Rangers discovered that no guns were mounted at the point. Instead, timbers had been placed on each of the six concrete traversing tables to present the false appearance that the battery remained armed. The Rangers also found two casemates for heavy artillery at Pointe Du Hoc, but they were still under construction and their guns had not yet been mounted. In late April, the Germans removed the guns from the point to a position almost a mile to the south, but the Rangers did not know that at the time. After they secured the battery position at the point, the Rangers moved on to the next phase of their mission, which was to set up a roadblock on the Vierville/Grandcamp road. While doing this, they put out flank security for the roadblock and quickly stumbled across the guns concealed along a hedgerow-enclosed lane. First Sergeant Leonard “Bud” Lomell and S/Sgt. Jack Kuhn then used thermite grenades to destroy each gun’s traversing and elevation mechanisms. After that, Lomell used the buttstock of his M1A1 Thompson to smash the sights for each gun. Although not designed for such a purpose, the Thompson nevertheless proved effective. Those 155 mm guns-among the deadliest guns of D-Day-never fired a shot in opposition to the Normandy invasion.

M1A1 Thompson from RIA

Overnight on June 6 and 7, the Germans launched a series of powerful counterattacks that pushed the Rangers back to the point. By the time vehicles from Omaha Beach linked up with Rudder’s force at Pointe Du Hoc on June 7, the Rangers had suffered 135 casualties, mostly during the German counterattacks on the night of June 6. In the aftermath of the intense battle, one particular memorial to a fallen Ranger was raised amid the craters and debris at Pointe Du Hoc. A U.S. M1 helmet was placed on top of the handgrip of a Vickers K Gun, the muzzle of which was stuck into the soil. Although a British design chambered for the .303 British cartridge, K Gunswere mounted on the ends of extending ladders that were, in turn, mounted on DUKW amphibious trucks. The plan was that the DUKWs would swim up to the beach, then roll up to the base of the cliff at Pointe Du Hoc and extend the ladders so that the K Gunscould provide suppressing fire while the Rangers conducted their assault on the battery. Because of its blended hand grip/trigger and 60-round pan magazine, the K Gunwas anatomically well-suited for the mission in ways that the M1918A2 BAR and the M1919A4 .30-cal. machine gun were not. Of course, the Rangers could not expect to be resupplied with .303 cartridges, but they were not planning to use their K Gunsbeyond the morning of June 6, anyway. When the ammunition ran out, it would be all over and the K Gunswere to be discarded as the battle pushed inland. That is why a British automatic weapon can be found among the spent shell casings and exhausted smoke grenades at Pointe Du Hoc in the American sector of the invasion area.

We already told  you, but we’ll tell you again, go Read The Whole Thing™. In fact, read anything by Martin K.A. Morgan there. We don’t know his background, or anything about the guy, but he’s great at presenting historical guns in human context and that’s rare and worthwhile.

We enjoy writing about guns (and in previous lives, computers, cars, and aircraft), but in the end every story is a people story. Morgan gets that and his story isn’t the usual dry Guns of This Event one that’s all about the engineering with scant attention to their human masters.

 

Everyone Was Equal for Two Days

rangerette-benjaminBLUF: A new commander decided he was going to really get his MI company out of the rut they were in, and he was going to start with PT’ing them into the dust.

After two runs, female sniveling was approaching breakdown level. He got accused of humiliating his women officers, and fell all over himself in a Cultural Revolution style self-criticism session.

He considers this to have been a valuable leadership lesson, in communications specifically, and  if he can sustain this level of groveling to his subordinates — particularly the distaff ones — he’ll go far in the game of “Army 2.0: My Career is Everything.” Fortunately, he’s branched MI already, so it’s not like he can do much damage to a performing branch of the Army. Let’s pick up Captain Clueless’s story:

As the new commander of a Military Intelligence Company, I determined to change the culture within my organization. In my estimation, the unit needed to shift more to mental and physical toughness, and move on from a year of reset. To do this, I placed a heavy emphasis on soldiering first, and being an Intelligence professional second.

One of the first actions I took to shake things up was a plan to “smoke” the unit during a Company run. I told the Platoon Leaders and Platoon Sergeants that I would be implementing a Physical Training policy for individuals who fell out of any unit run. Those individuals would be put into the remedial PT program until they completed the same echelon run. I instructed the leaders to pass the word and emphasize the impact of falling out of a Battalion or Brigade run.

When the big day finally came, I took the Company down Battalion Avenue for our first run together. We ran the first mile in seven minutes, and then slowed the run down to allow everyone to catch up. As I looked back on the formation I saw the majority of the formation struggling to keep up, but was pleased that everyone was still pushing.

At the conclusion of the run I addressed the Company. I told them how proud I was that no one quit, and re-emphasized my policy on falling out of runs. I spoke of the importance of physical and mental toughness, and challenged the view that MI professionals needed to be technically proficient more than they needed to be physically tough.

At this point I incorrectly assumed that I had successfully set a new standard for the unit, and that I had adequately articulated my intent.

So he did it again. And what happened?

I ended the PT session with the game of ultimate frisbee, with me on the losing team and my Soldiers seemingly in high spirits after the short run and impromptu sports PT session.

snowflake 2I believed all was right with the world, and it was not until I released the Company that I noticed a talented Platoon Leader visibly upset. I asked her if everything was okay, and thankfully she had the courage to answer.

The Platoon Leader asked me if my intent that morning was “to humiliate every female leader in the Company?” I was floored. She then pointed out that every female Officer and NCO in the Company fell back during the run, and according to my stated policy, would now be part of the remedial PT program.

After an explanation and what certainly sounds like some groveling in response to that ancient all-purpose Leatherman of the manipulative woman’s toolkit, to wit, tears, he realized that he couldn’t just do a Personal Presidential Apology Tour for Little Lieutenant You Go Grrl; instead he had to publicly abase himself before all the unit women, validating their belief that they are all Unique and Special Snowflakes®.

So he did.

I explained this to the Platoon Leader, but immediately realized it was not enough. I gathered all the female leaders later that morning and apologized to them for my carelessness and shortsightedness. I followed this up during the closeout formation by clearly explaining my intent and end state to the Company, and formally apologized to those who I had set up for failure by running at that pace.

And, of course, he never did that again. Because more important than challenging the unit to elevate its game and raise its standards, is the Unwritten Army Law that one must never, ever, inconvenience or bother the sacred Feels of Lieutenant You Go Grrl and her entire playset. When it comes down to unit readiness or Unique and Special Snowflake® Self-Esteems™, you know what’s going to win. Every time.

Update: Four Thoughts

First, leadership of MI troops is a particular challenge because they tend to be intelligent, sarcastic, and profoundly narcissistic. Bradley Manning is not as much of an outlier as you might think. Their training, which often reinforces their belief that they are Incredibly Special, only amplifies the narcissism.

But there is a problem of soldier skills and soldier ethos in these isupport units and the underlying problem is unlikely to be solved by the well-meaning but weak officer’s decision to use PT as a threat and a punishment (which is exactly how the prospect of extra PT was perceived by Lieutenant You Go Grrl). No matter where you serve, some of your troops will love PT and do it extensively on their own, and some will hate it and do as little as possible. Even the fitness fanatics may not enjoy running in formation. Generally, that’s only fun for the ego leading the pack, not for the rest of the sled dogs. Threatening your Joes and Janes with more PT if you don’t like their PT performance just moves soldiers from the “enjoys PT” to the “avoids PT” bin.

Third, one is amazed that Captain Clueless here and Lieutenant You Go Grrl and her peers thought that everyone in the unit didn’t know the women couldn’t run a seven minute pace. An eight-minute pace on an it-counts two-minute run gets women within a few points of a max 100 PT score. But it is possible they didn’t know because the pop culture, the academic feminist movement, and careerist Army women officers are all in deep denial about sexual dimorphism in homo sapiens. 

Finally, there are some that insist that standards are not lowered for women. Read this article and the source with a critical eye.

Breaking: Diversity is Our Vibrancy

Army LogoAs the slogan etched on the blade of every Obama Youth dagger says, Diversity is Our Vibrancy, and Friday was a red-letter day for both of the motivating principles of the modern United States as the Army announced, in a Friday data dump, that they were commissioning 22 women as Infantry and Armor officers. A large percentage of them are West Pointers; a few are ROTC scholarship foundlings.

They have not yet passed any of the requirements, but what’s most important is how everybody feels about it, unless they don’t feel totally awesome about it, in which case they will be punished suitably. Of the 22 greatest 2nd lieutenants ever, 13 will bring their light to the dank of the tank, as operated by the Armor Branch; and nine will be the only officers that ever mattered in the previously unfashionable Infantry Branch.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has now checked one of his highest priority boxes.

Absolute Harrison Bergeron equality-of-results is not upon us yet, unfortunately. True, the women need to pass their courses, but having announced their success already makes that a mere formality. But still, some problems remain.

To start with, the women will have no subordinate women to command, at least, not yet. So far, exactly one woman has volunteered to serve as an enlisted infantry entity, and none has signed up for enlisted armor duty. Of course, neither the cat pack of officers nor the one female infantry entity has passed and been Distinguished Honor Graduates of their respective courses, yet, but today’s announcement makes it clear it’s the merest of formalities.

All right-thinking people know that the only reason women haven’t been infantrymen everywhere, taken over the offensive line of the Seattle Seahawks, and broken all the mens’ Olympic records, is because of false consciousness, and because they don’t have incredibly awesome female officers yet to show them the way.

If enlisted women don’t start signing up in larger numbers, the pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Combat, that is, self-actualization of the upper class female officers, will require them to be drafted. Self-actualization of upper class female officers is, after all, the reason we have an Army in the first place. But drafting women would require that reactionary sausage-fest, Congress, to change the law.

Therefore, now that he can take pride that the Iraq War has been lost, the Afghanistan War has been lost, but the Battle of Feminist Feels has been won, Secretary of Self-Actualization and a Little Defense Ash Carter is considering the mandatory gender reassignment of gender-overstrength riflemen and tankers into understrength genders, until everything balances out even: 51-49 female.

Because they will still serve in units with men, at least until scientists with Turkey Baster Laboratories in Smith College in Northampton, MA, can parthenogenically produce the superior race of Amazons that Hollywood has made famous, or until Carter can run enough troops through the field orchiectomy clinic, the women officers will be able to concentrate on higher order activities, or browse online for shoes, while the men in their tank crews break track. As far as having an enlisted infantryman carry some privileged West Point Unique And Special Snowflake’s hundred pounds of lightweight gear, careful study (at West Point, naturally) has shown that having a junior enlisted guy carry the officer’s pack has long been the practice in armies like Bolivia’s, which has a won-lost record unmatched in world history.

That adopting aspects of such a forward-looking and dominant military culture as Bolivia’s just happens to make life easier for ringknockers does not guarantee this will happen, but one is reminded of Hognose’s Law of Rucksacks:

If a guy can’t tote a ruck, he won’t.

It’s no less true if the guys are girls.

 

The Services’ Women-in-Combat-Specialties Plans are Out…

rangerette-benjamin…and as you might expect, they’re hopped up on Hopium, and square the circle as everyone expected, by insisting that the standards being lowered aren’t actually being lowered.

The Army is rather up-front about its constituency for this change: careerist female officers. Initially, the only women invited to the specialties will be career officers. They’re calling this “leader first,” because women can’t be led by men or something. From the press release:

Initially, the Army will manage the assignments of women through a “leader first” approach. Beginning this year, women will be able to branch as Infantry and Armor officers, followed then by female enlisted soldiers to ensure they are assigned to operational units with integrated women leaders.

Standards will be adjusted to fit the available women.

Army flack Peter Cook has a further press release here, emphasizing that the services can open all specialties “right away.” More of the social justice bullshit barrage:

  • Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s memo (.pdf)
  • The Army plan (.pdf) (HQDA Order 097-16)
  • The Navy’s Female Integration Implementation Plan (.pdf). This turns out to be specifically for those specialties in Naval Special Warfare that were previously closed to women.
  • The Marine Corps Plan (.pdf). This demonstrates that SJW jargon can indeed be pressed into an operations-order format. Reading between the lines, it seems to have been written with the enthusiasm Bart Simpson brings to writing corrective sentences on the chalkboard.
  • The Air Force Plan (.pdf). Of the services this seems to be the one that not only drank, but is trying to breathe the Kool-Aid.
  • The USSOCOM plan(.pdf) signed by Gen. Joseph Votel

We found some interesting things in (or between the lines of) the special operations plan. First, GEN Votel notes that the command has successfully defended their existing standards as mission-related, and therefore will continue to hold the standards, women be damned. (We’ll see how that holds up when Princess calls Daddy in tears because it’s not faaaiir in SFAS, BUD/S, green platoon or what have you). Second, we notice that Votel didn’t hang onto the implementation grenade for a minute longer than he had to, but dropped it in the lap of MG Chris Haas.

We wouldn’t want to be among Haas’s direct reports right now… ’cause we think that grenade isn’t done being tossed just yet.

As to standards, here’s some of the clues in the USSOCOM memo that suggest that standards are not moving an inch for the Amazons. Emphasis ours.

USSOCOM executed a rigorous third party review process resulting in the validation of our existing assessment, training, and occupational standards as operationally relevant and gender-neutral. Established standards are key to the selection, training, operational readiness, and continued performance of Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel. Adherence to these rigorous standards is crucial to our combat effectiveness and the preservation of unit readiness, cohesion, and morale.

That’s a shot across Ash Carter’s bow, but Carter’s probably not culturally oriented enough to recognize it. When he and whichever empty suit is sitting at the Secretary of the Army desk start pushing to drop the standards, they’ll be reminded — possibly publicly — that they signed off on this document.

acu-powerpoint-ranger-tabThe Army plan, conversely, is the usual buzzword bingo card, plus, because it’s Big Green, it wouldn’t be complete if it weren’t full of gaudy graphics with badly mismatched colors, documenting some optically-challenged lieutenant colonel’s struggles with the illustration module in PowerPoint.

army_women_plan_graphics

For crying out loud, we’ve had official gays in the Army for ages now, can’t we get one of them to color-coordinate the jeezly slides?

The Navy, for its part, notes that females have not been beating down the doors for a chance to try out for previously opened physically challenging specialties, and those that have tried have qualified at much lower rates than men.

Population Size: NSW acknowledges that equal opportunity may not produce equal results as seen in other U.S. Navy Special Operations programs. While completely open to females, the Navy Diver community is 0.6% female, Navy enlisted EOD is 0.9% female. and EOD officers are 2.5% female. Statistically, females have lower assessment, selection, and qualification program success rates within these communities. Enlisted EOD females have a 13% success rate as compared to 31% for males; Navy Diver females have an 18% success rate as compared to 47% for males.

NSW, as USSSOCOM suggests,, is going to hold the previous standards:

All standards for accession, training, qualification, advancement, retention, and assignment were reviewed and will remain the same.

We’ll see how long that bold intention lasts after a couple years of 0.9% of this and 1/3 the pass rate of that keeps crossing desks in the E Ring.

And the Navy has one particular objection that ought to be stapled to Ash Carter’s forehead (emphasis ours again):

Increasing opportunity in direct ground combat units in support of integration objectives is not anticipated to increase combat readiness or effectiveness. Physical performance is not the only measure of a sailor/soldier, but it is a key measure of a primary requirement for ground combat – fighting men at close quarters. In the near term, achieving integration, and evolving existing cultures will channel focus and energy away from core combat readiness and effectiveness efforts. This is a critical risk concern as SOF combat operations run on carefully calculated but thin margins. Additional risk factors include anticipated adjustment of standards, disruption of social cohesion, partnering compatibility, medical concerns to female, media attention, and the longevity and retention of expertise.

This puts it in black and white. “Do this if you will, Carter, but stop lying that there are no costs associated with these intangible, feel-good, virtue-signalling benefits.”

Update

As this was prepared to go to press, on 17 March 2014, Ash Carter released his 2017 strategy document: “2017 Defense Posture Statement: Taking the Long View, Investing for the Future” (.pdf, naturally). No surprises here. He does lead with the strategy stuff — hinting that the giant sucking sound you hear is the Administration pulling its head out about ISIL, which the short-lived Russian intervention did more to harm that the years of Pentagon and White House dithering — and even says bad things about Iran at one point. But you can see he’s phoning it in. All the stuff about the war he really cares about — the Social Justice War — is tacked on towards the end, perhaps hoping people won’t read that far.

Update II

Received from a retired senior field grade Special Forces officer, this Army Times article lists the requirements for women in Special Forces. As he comments, the physical is no problem for any healthy young person… doing 150 miles in a week under a 65-100 lb. pack is an equine of another hue entirely.

http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/careers/army/enlisted/2016/03/16/army-special-forces-gender-neutral-women-qualifications/81852684/

Weaponsman comment: the lower you set the initial entry bar relative to the graduation requirement, the more candidates you break when their ambition commits them to a course of action their musculoskeletal system can’t support. That’s a pity, as these candidates would never have graduated anyway, and now they can’t return to their previous best-case job, either. But it’s where not telling the truth gets you, and for a couple of decades we haven’t been telling the truth (culturally) about women and combat.

Women in Combat Update

rangerette-benjaminDavid Gelernter, in an article on the degree to which popular antipathy to Beltway “political correctness” fuels the Trump candidacy, notes en passant that the whole women-in-combat thing is PC at Shock And Awe levels:

Political correctness means that when the Marines discover that combat units are less effective if they include women, a hack overrules them. What’s more important, guys, combat effectiveness or leftist dogma? No contest! Nor is it hard to notice that putting women in combat is not exactly the kind of issue that most American women are losing sleep over. It matters only to a small, powerful clique of delusional ideologues. (The insinuation that our p.c. military is upholding the rights of women everywhere, that your average American woman values feminist dogma over the strongest-possible fighting force—as if women were just too ditzy to care about boring things like winning battles—is rage-making.)

The mainstream press largely ignored the Marines story. Mainstream reporters can’t see the crucial importance of political correctness because they are wholly immersed in it, can’t conceive of questioning it; it is the very stuff of their thinking, their heart’s blood. Most have been raised in this faith and have no other. Can you blame them if they take it for granted?

via The Elephant in the Room | The Weekly Standard.

What, reporters don’t see PC slant any more than fish perceive wetness? You think? Meanwhile, here are a few other things that are going on:

  • Women are being recruited for direct combat specialties now. This is a bonanza for recruiters, as they can plug 5’0″ females into hard-to-fill MOS slots, get credit towards their quotas, and be well clear of the backblast area when Ashley and Alexandra bork out of training months later. Naturally, we’re seeing celebratory press coverage, as if volunteering == qualification. When the Unique And Special Snowflakes™ getting fawning press coverage like this start flunking schools, expect lots of downward pressure on standards from social engineers like Ash Carter, and their stooges in the press. Although maybe the press is the actual causative agent, and Carter’s the stooge? Ah, “What difference does it make?”
  • Women shouldn’t have to follow icky military regulations — not when it interferes with following their bliss, or their feels in general. And they get Congressional cover for that (emphasis ours): “Congresswoman Chellie Pingree has asked the U.S. Marine Corps top official to review rules she feels discriminates against female recruits who have tattoos.” The girl in question has a gaudy “collar” containing an insipid aphorism, and even though tattoos that show in uniform are banned, and even though the girl got the tattoo after she knew she wanted to join up, Pingree (D-ME) and this Unique and Special Snowflake™ believe that the USMC should adjust to them. (She could get the tattoo removed but that would cost her money, and anyway, the downsizing Marines should be glad to bump another kid for her, because she’s special).
  • The Israeli example is often misquoted, even by people who ought to know better. Israel, initially a nation predominantly leftist and irreligious in orientation, experimented with women in combat in 1948. While many roles are open to Israeli women, the IDF today is careful to stick to assigning women where they can do Israel, not just their own careers, some good. French (again) at National Review sets the record straight. He relies in that on this 1992-vintage theoretical/historical paper on women in combat (including with Soviet forces and the IDF).
  • Writing in a brief letter to Navy Times, Norman Polmar (who probably needs no introduction to this audience) succinctly dismisses the Israeli woman-warrior legend:

Rarely mentioned, if at all, as some U.S. military leaders, mostly civilians, advocate putting women in front-line, ground combat units, is that for the foreseeable future our ground and special forces will be fighting militant Muslims. As I learned from my work with the Israeli Navy, the Israelis are reluctant to have women engage in tactical operations because: 1) Muslim men do not surrender to women; 2) men get killed trying to save women; and 3) the “treatment” of women combatants captured by Muslims.

Unfortunately, many of our political leaders have no understanding of the “real world.”

  • Meanwhile, the draft for women continues — not in the USA, but in Bernie Sanders’s lodestar, North Korea. So many politically unconnected Nork men are so weak and stunted from endemic malnutrition, that the Socialist Workers’ Paradise has to draft girls from the better-fed nomenklatura. A young North Korean (of either sex) must be 142 cm (4’8″) to be accepted, down from 145 cm  (4′ 9″) in 2009. Nork female draftees must serve from three to six years; Nork male draftees must serve from 10 to 13 years depending on specialty. The average Nork is 9 or so cm shorter than his or her southern cousin: “bad luck” made manifest. It’s so exciting that the USA may follow such enlightened provinces as North Korea and Lopez-era Paraguay down the bright sunlit path to a female draft.
  • russian_rangerettesFor the “You Go Grrrll!” angle you can look in just about any paper, but this dog’s breakfast of an article at Mother Jones collects most of the feminist dogma into one place. That women can’t pick up wounded men the way they can each other? Doesn’t matter because “standards will not be changed.” That women will get pregnant and drop out to the mommy track at critical points in train-up? Doesn’t matter because “time lost by women to pregnancy is the same or less than time lost by men to discipline problems.” Eh, honey, combat units (especially SOF units) don’t lose significant soldier time to discipline problems; you’re comparing two dissimilar things, due to ignorance, bias, or (most likely) both. The writer also cites the opinion of CST members that the CSTs were a great success. Tip for reporters: ask the actual combatants saddled with those CSTs what they think.
  • The Washington Post’s Michelle You Go Grrrl! Lee wrote a tendentious “fact-check” claiming that the USMC study of women in combat didn’t find that their use in a long and thorough experiment “increased casualties.” True insofar that the experiment was conducted in training, not actually in combat. Hey, nobody died in the whole study, so casualties are totally over. She also quibbles that since the wounded would still be wounded whether they were evacuated by male Marines or abandoned by female Marines, there was “no change” in the number of casualties. Technically, perhaps, that’s true. What the study did find is that the typical male Marine who had to rely on the typical female Marine to evacuate his wounded body was not going anywhere. It was an inference from that that he was going to die. (You can’t expect Michelle You Go Grrl! Lee to understand logic and inferences. After all, she’s only a girl!) The study is here.
  • And it’s not related to women, per se, but it’s a close cousin, as the social engineering is strong in this one: the right of gay people to serve in the military being a done deal, an appeals court is considering granting them the right to pass on AIDS without telling their partners they’re HIV positive. After all, some fine, progressive military lawyers don’t want to harsh some gay guy’s fabulous for him. The case is less about the specific facts and about the specific accused, than it is about the social engineering: even if the guy in this instance “wins,” he’s out on his ear with a Bad Conduct Discharge for other misconduct, so it will make no material difference to the appellant. It’s just a chance for some military lawyers and judges (who are, but shouldn’t be, lawyers) to do some social justice virtue signaling in the service of their one true aspect of godhead, the Great Buggernaut.

Why, in the darkest days of the US military, say, as the British assault crested the earthwork at Bunker Hill, no doubt the defenders’ last thoughts as they were bayoneted were: if only we had some women here! As the Texans’ very bones were chilled by the deguello sounding across the San Antonio scrubland, they realized that they were doomed because they didn’t have a couple of female narcissistic careerist West Pointers (but we threepeat ourselves) to stack up against the thousands of Mexican regulars. And in the arduous retreat from the Chosin Reservoir in 1950, the lack of womens’ collaborative touch really made it hell.  (Collaborative touch? You know, the one seen in every all-female workplace, and the kind you hear about when your lady friends and relatives tell you about their women bosses).

Why, beats there a military heart in the land that has never uttered this bald plea to Fate: “Can you not deliver unto me and my small unit, greater social engineering and more intense micromanagement”? Will no one rid us of this dread and dreary deficiency of female intuition and “collaborative touch”?

Into that great, vast chasm of yearning steps Ash Carter, but we can imagine, in our mind’s eye, his followers: just what we needed. Thousands, nay millions, of suffragettes and feminists, marching in step.

In sensible shoes.

Ray Mabus: No More Riflemen in the USMC

Mabus MemoRay Mabus, a career politician whose entire life and every action signals contempt for the United States Marine Corps, is hitting the Corps where it lives: there will no longer be any Riflemen in the Corps. Oh, sure, there’ll still be 0311s and the other Infantry MOSes, but the Corps is going full-retard-gender-neutral. So they’re going to be Riflepersons, Infantrypersons, or maybe Rifle Operators. Rifle-ists? Small-Caliber Projectile Launch Technicians? You’re welcome to enter your best guess in the comments, but whatever he’s gonna be after (fittingly enough), April Fool’s Day, it isn’t going to be a Rifleman. Or Infantryman. Or Recon Man.

This is an opportunity to update the position titles and descriptions themselves to demonstrate through this language that women are included in these MOSs. Please review the position titles throughout the Marine Corps and ensure that they are gender-integrated as well, removing”man” from their titles and provide a report to me as soon as practicable and no later than April 1, 2016…

Put some windings and brushes on him, and Chesty Puller spinning in his grave would be a dependable source of non-fossil-fuel energy. (Well, Chesty’s been dead long enough maybe he is a fossil now, which would make him fossil fuel and therefore haram in what Mabus has in place of a religion).

Congrats, if you’re a Marine Recon Man. You went to the last hard Indoc. It’s official now.

In the memo, which we’ll attach here: (SecNav.pdf), Wesley Mouch Ray Mabus (pardon the error, we got our weasels crossed) makes it clear he wants name, rank and serial number of any looters and wreckers who fight the E Ring on this:

In the submitted Marine Corps Implementation Integration Plan, the Marine Corps highlights the Commander’s Critical Information Requirements: (1) indications of decreased combat readiness or effectiveness; (2) indications of an increased risk to Marines in previously closed units, to include risk of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment and hazing; (3) indications of a lack of career viability for female Marines in ground combat arms MOSs or units; (4) indications that Marine Corps command climates and/or culture is unreceptive to qualified female Marines in ground combat arms units and MLSs; (5) indications that morale and/or cohesion is degraded in integrated ground combat arms units; and provided expansion of these indications and their respective measures of effectiveness in the Assessment Plan Synchronization Matrix.

Notice what’s missing: he doesn’t want to hear about poor performance, the sort that used to get women officers flunked out of infantry officer school. He doesn’t want to hear about UCMJ problems, he doesn’t want to hear about fraternization, injuries, deployment rates… he absolutely, positively does not want to hear about how the women are doing relative to the men who were doing it before. He only wants to hear about the wreckers and looters standing athwart Progress, hindering our pilgrimage to the bright sunlit uplands where Vibrancy is Our Diversity.

Hey, the Marines have been on pilgrimages like this before, one in the Philippines for example, and that long last walk to the beach on Wake Island in ’43.

Also, what do you think Mabus will do with information like that, based on our experience with him already? Adjust his plan to fit the data,? Or conduct a few ritual executions of “defeatists” who weren’t sufficiently “with the program” to bend their data to please him?

Nothing personal, Admiral Byng, just pour encourager les autres.

And it’s his highest priority:

I commend you for prioritizing this implementation and requiring quarterly leadership updates at your monthly Executive Off-Sites. Please provide a copy of these quarterly updates to me on a regular basis.

Big Brother Sister Sibling is watching you.

Because, Valor Medals Deserve Quotas Too…

in a related venture, the services are reviewing well over 1,000 awards for possible upgrade to the Medal of Honor, including all Army DSCs and Silver Stars. (So far what’s left of a Marine Corps has opted out). The cover story is that this is an initiative of Ash Carter’s to recognize overlooked valor; in fact, it stems from the President’s desire to see more MoH awards to minority service members, and particularly to award a Medal of Honor to at least one woman and at least one gay soldier (and maybe a bonus gay woman!) before the President is term-limited out of office. The bar will be lowered to meet the available women and gays, and a few ordinary guys will also see upgrades — the better to camouflage the political intent of the awards review.

In the spirit of the thing, we may see the first ever upgrade of an Army Commendation Medal with “V” device to the MOH. Because valor awards, too, are something the Ray Mabuses of the world, who can’t see past skin color, think are just one more Federal benefit that ought to be “fairly” distributed on a racial quota spoils system.

When We’re Handing Out Gongs, Don’t Forget Combat Playstation

Additionally, drone operators based Stateside will finally get the combat awards they’ve long whinged about not having, but will have to wear an “R” device (for “remote,” as in, “their duty is remotely related to military service.” Serving and retired service members, particularly the ones that have earned the rewards that will now be basic issue, see this as a dilution of the value of the awards, but Carter, Mabus and the generals and admirals that serve them are Participation Trophy Tee Ball guys, and to them the only thing important is the trophy, not the game.

Being military types themselves, they don’t understand the trophies and baubles are only as coveted as they are, because of the risks that were taken and blood that was shed by those that have earned them before. An E-Ring full of people who, asked to name a “hero,” would likely come up with Bruce Jenner or some other random celebrity, is unlikely to “get” combat valor.

The Navy, and more particularly the Marine Corps, has now been given the Party Line. Deviate from it at your own peril! Do you think there’s a Sophie Scholl remaining in there somewhere? Or has any such independent thinker already been purged?

How’s that Women in the Service Thing Working?

In the Navy, not so good. Especially in submarines, last year’s (well, 2011’s) Triumph of the Sisterhood. Color us shocked: the lady officers (1) don’t stick with it; (2) often expect assignment to where Hubby is even if they have to create a make-work job for her; (3) caused disruption to the culture and undermined the command climate on at least one boat, through no fault or failing of their own, but because horny, immature sailors acted like horny, immature sailors; (4) neither join nor stay in sustainable numbers; and, (5) are the beneficiaries of an (unsought, we believe) culture of impunity which guarantees the advancement of any toxic leaders in their ranks.

USS Wyoming, SSBN-742. Aka The Perv Boat.

USS Wyoming, SSBN-742. Aka The Perv Boat.

These outcomes are not only predictable, they were predicted at the time by various sharp-eyed kids who were shouted down by Acela Corridor admirers of the Emperor’s New Clothes Girls.

Diversity is Our Vibrancy®!

Item: Train Two Dozen, Keep Three.

exit signThe women who pushed their way in to submarine officer slots are pushing their way out — of subs, and of the Navy.

Most of them are punching out because they met and married a guy, almost always another Naval officer (and usually of higher rank), and they want to be closer to him. That would really frost the balls of the lesbo-feminists, such as DACOWITS, who pushed for this — if they had any balls. Navy Times:

For the first women to earn the coveted dolphin pin, it’s decision time about whether to stay in the Navy. And so far, only three of the original 24 have signed up.

That’s twelve and a half percent. (As we’ll see, it’s eighteen percent in Navy Diversity New Math). Of supposedly career-bound Academy graduates. What will happen when they open this opportunity to the proletariat, and not the supposedly monastically dedicated order (and certainly careerist ticket-punch collectors) of national defense?

And why are they leaving?

The reasons span the work-life spectrum. The demands on a nuclear engineering trained submarine officer. The strain of balancing careers with a spouse who’s also a military officer. A lingering sense of disgust after the submarine video scandal.

We’ll get to the video scandal in a minute — the disgust there was well earned. But a Unique And Special Snowflake™ who would quit over “a lingering sense of disgust” is probably not someone you can count on for steady leadership when you’re being hunted by a couple of Kilos and an Admiral Gorshkov or two.

“I would probably expect that most of the women are going to get out,” Lt. Jennifer Carroll told Navy Times. “I don’t know exactly what everyone’s personal reasons are for it, but I think a lot of it has to do with co-location.”

Carroll, 28, was one of the first women to earn her dolphins in 2012 as a junior officer aboard the ballistic missile sub Maine, and today works with the Submarine Force’s integration office in Norfolk.

Carroll’s job progression is typical of those women who do stay in — they migrate from the point-of-the-spear jobs they demanded for a career boost, to a 9-to-5 (or less) headquarters office job with no hardships attached or heavy lifting. In other words, they go onto the mommy track. But even she isn’t sure she’s going to stay in.

If she does, it probably won’t be in subs, as her hard-won husband’s an aviator and she, reasonably for a newlywed, wants a compatible deployment schedule and location. The Navy’s air bases are near their fleet bases, but the sub bases are not.

Item: OFTPOT

We’re up against the married-couple problem that old Agency hands cynically call OFTPOT — One For The Price of Two. Other government and government-funded fields have long had this problem: whee do you put the spouse of the member you need, when he or she’s a member, too? The answer, whether in CIA, the military, or academia, is usually to create a do-nothing surplus position to make work for the surplus spousal unit. Harvard famously did this for the dullard husband of US Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, when all-Anglo paleface Warren was selling herself as a unicorn-rare (if fraudulent) American Indian law professor. The Agency, which has long encouraged marriages in-house for the convenience of Security, does the same thing almost daily. In the military, more of a shrinking headcount is employed at make-work spousal jobs all the time. OFTPOT, it’s a real thing. The spooks just named it first.

Item: The Sub Scandal, or, A Boat Full of Pervs

You probably didn’t hear about this, because it flies directly in the face of Diversity is Our Vibrancy®, the current US Navy motto.

The Village People made a whole career out of the idea that almost anything looks pretty cute after 150 days at sea, and everyone wondered just what would happen when something that actually does look cute got added to the mix. We knew from surface ships and ground forces’ deployments that fraternization, misconduct, pregnancies, and the heightened emotions of relationships rejected, initiated, and terminated were all going to be problems. The military with its uneven and inconsistent response to these issues (for instance, punishing only the male in pregnancy and fraternization cases, which is the de facto norm) doesn’t have moral high ground to stand on, but what happened in subs was worse, to the point of being creepy.

navy_video_pervs_chartAnd the Navy, which could have made a big deal out of standards here, botched it. Navy Times again (a different article):

The filming wasn’t a one-off or a prank. It was a sophisticated and repeated invasion of privacy, where male Wyoming sailors acted as lookouts while a friend filmed female shipmates undressing with cell phones or an iPod Touch — both of which are banned aboard the sub.

The sub’s missile technicians discovered a hole in a bulkhead that gave them a view in to the female changing and shower area. Which they then exploited. MT’s that weren’t comfortable with the idea of filming their shipmates weren’t comfortable with turning in the other shipmates who were doing it, either. In the end all were swept up in a muti-million-dollar investigation, which produced the lovely chart you see here (via Navy Times, reconstructed into a single document by WeaponsMan.com). At least, all the junior ones. One of the guilty sailors’ lawyers charges that the Navy did not investigate senior personnel (yet another Navy Times article):

[O]ne sailor’s attorney contends that the Navy has so far failed to punish others in the alleged ring, based on information provided by his client. This includes allegations that two chiefs watched the videos but have not been charged.

“We gave them a barrel full of information,” Jim Stein, a Georgia-based civilian attorney, told Navy Times on Wednesday. “There was no way in this world that they followed up on it.” ….

All four female officers who were assigned to Wyoming testified at the court-martial. Stein said he thinks the Navy is dropping the ball in holding every party responsible.

“On cross-examination, I said, ‘Do you want each and every person held responsible?’ ” he said, talking about the female officers. “They all said yes.” ….

Greaves contends that two of his chiefs asked to see the videos and did not report them, his lawyer said.

“I feel sorry for those ladies. What happened to them was unbelievable,” Stein said. “But to not follow up on it is letting down these ladies and the ones to follow.”

Ah, but were the immunized Chiefs and their officers valuable diversity beans themselves? There’s nothing simple about the bean-counting tournament, not at this level of competition.

Original Wyoming Perv article again:

One sailor admitted that he and a male peer rushed to secretly record each female midshipman while she was in the shower changing room. They filmed every woman each time she took a shower during the three-month patrol, he said — several times a day, according to a new report.

Peer pressure allowed this ring to persist for 10 months on the Wyoming, recording and sharing videos of dozens of women they served alongside every day.

The scandal has dismayed the sub force and some of the trailblazing officers who made history as the first women submariners.

The Navy, which is usually quick to fire commanding officers, was in a quandary. The CO had no knowledge of the misconduct of lower-ranking personnel, and he was a certified Social Justice Warrior himself. In the end, the investigation was curtailed at the PO2 level and senior personnel got a bye from the investigators.

By the way, those warrior women who were so ill done by, by these creepy shipmates? One of them, asked how she reacted, said, quote, “I broke down.” Fortunately, nothing in combat is as stressful as some perv taking nekkid pictures of you.

Oh yeah, Diversity is Our Vibrancy®!

Item: The Numbers Aren’t There

Back to the first Navy Times article again, we l earn some interesting facts about women officers in the Navy. In the first case, their uptake rate to stay in beyond initial obligated service is very low: 18%. (This is far lower than their male peers, and we’re told the delta is even bigger among Academy grads, even though male and female Canoe U grads are more likely to make a career of it).

Five officers have washed out of the program for medical issues, academic failures and other reasons. Something as simple as a shellfish allergy could disqualify a person from submarine service. The service also only counts those who have reached three years of commissioned service.

Factoring in those unplanned losses leaves the retention rate at 16 percent for the first submarine officers, Crosby [a PR droid] said.

By which he’s saying, if they are out for some reason other than saying they quit, we can’t count them in the denominator of the equation. It’s a thumb on the scale. The zero-intgrity spokesman follows up with a tu quoque logical fallacy:

Crosby noted that retention for nuclear-trained women in surface warfare stands at 14 percent, and pointed out that one women from the 2011 year group has already committed to being a submarine department head.

One! One! She’s Our Diverse Vibrancy in action, personified. No pressure.

And hey, it’s okay for retention in the sub service to suck, because female officer retention in this other career sucks too.

Keeping women officers serving is a challenge across the force. In the surface and aviation communities, 36 and 39 percent of officers take the department head bonus, according to statistics.

But within those communities is a great disparity. While 41 percent of male SWOs stick around, about 22 percent of their female colleagues do.

And for aviators, the numbers show a 48 percent take rate for men and just 18 percent for women. Women make up less than 20 percent of the Navy and are much less likely to stay past an initial contract regardless of their specialty.

The priests of the Cult of Diverse Vibrancy® explain this as not enough women to serve as examples. See if you required half the Navy to be women, you might get half of every single specialty to be women.

And if through some miracle you did not, you would enjoy guaranteed job security for the acolytes of the Cult of Diverse Vibrancy® for all time, or at least, until the Republic fell.

Item: A Culture of Impunity

Another problem that sits, unaddressed, is that lady officers are such Unique and Special Snowflakes™ that they are not subject to the sanctions and correctives males would be, and therefore a disproportionate number of them evolve into toxic leaders, continually screwing up and moving up until some cataclysmic failure of leadership is so large that even the Navy has to react (c.f.  Holly Graf).

You can go too far with that — for instance, some have suggested the innocent officers and midshipmen filmed by the gang of creeps on Wyoming were somehow to blame, and we reject that idea utterly — but if the Navy, and the other services, want their female leaders to be respected, they need to hold them throughout to the same standard as the men, and the effect on numbers, which currently hovers in the background of every discussion of a standards breach, needs to be absolutely disregarded.

And they’ll never, ever do that. They’re too committed to an a priori position that Diversity is Our Vibrancy®! Which is why you have a culture of impunity. Which is why you have a female Marine officer crucified for trying to lead lady Marines to meet the same Marine standards the gentlemen do. Which is why you end up with Holly Graf, instead of the lady Marine who set a positive example for her Marines male and female alike.

And That’s How We Wind Up Here

So, bottom line, the Navy is struggling with the only metric that’s of concern to the current SecNav and CNO, Holy Diversity. You had One Job, Mabus….

Keeping subs pierside while NCIS flatfeet systematically grill everybody may be having an impact on stuff like readiness, but that’s not something those worthies value, which is why they’ve let the Navy decline to this point. Any day, we expect the British will  be able to impress sailors again. But they have not yet begun to fight their war, the Social Justice War, with its real casualties and ever-shifting victory conditions.

Sure, our subs have 1990s technology, crews who never know who’s a shipmate, who’s a careerist, and who’s an informer, and Russian boomers (and even Chinese diesels) can hear ’em coming miles off. But hey, the crews that will drown inside them in wartime will have perfect racial and sexual balance, and will have boosted female Academy graduates along their ladder of ambition. Isn’t that why we have a Navy?

The Army’s Highest Priority

Is “readiness,” three politically-correct liars say in a memo about what’s really the Army’s highest priority, namely, social engineering, that, “Readiness is our top priority.”

They also say, and we quote, “[I]ntegration of women into all MOSs will improve combat readiness.”

Uh… how?

From where we sit, this begins with bullshit, ends with bullshit, and is all bullshit in between.

Here’s a picture of the document, followed by the actual .pdf as distributed to all hands, and an OCR’d version, because SECARM Eric “Aching Fanny” Fanning, Chief of Staff GEN “Courney Massengale” Mark Milley Vanilli, and Command Sergeant Major of the Army in Charge of Reflector Belts and Participation Trophies “Docile” Danny Dailey don’t trust PFC Skippy to copy and paste their words.

full_integration_of_women_in_the_army

Sheesh. Did you read that Newspeak? Talk about Social Justice Warrior entryism.

The PDF versions:

Full Integration of Women in the Army.pdf

Full Integration of Women in the Army OCR.pdf

Yep, they think Private Skippy can’t be trusted with these words in editable format. Who knows what he might put on a t-shirt, or graffito upside a Stryker All you PFC Skippies out there, is that a challenge or what?

Returning to the statement they are making that integration of women in all MOSes will improve combat readiness, again, where’s the evidence? Every objective test has shown the opposite. The subtext, then, is that these three men are deeply beholden to an inchoate and inexplicable ideology that comes packaged as illogical rhetoric from the lesbo-feminist academy, so deeply indoctrinated that they either (1) can’t imagine the combat consequences of their policy; (2) have a ridiculously out of line mental image of it; or, (3) most likely, absolutely don’t care.

They got theirs. Juniors? Sucks to be you.

No one has proposed a mechanism by which adding women to any specific unit improves combat readiness, they just declared that the Emperor’s new clothes are so beautiful we mere mortals oughtn’t look on his (or her, because empires are more effective if half or more of the emperors are women, it says here) radiance.

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Maybe it’s better compared to another schema from the popular culture:

Phase I: Mo' Wimmens! Phase 2: ??? Phase 3: Improved Readiness!

Phase I: Mo’ Wimmens!
Phase 2: ???
Phase 3: Improved Readiness!

These three stooges are the Bubba the Gunsmite of military leadership, and the end product of an Army culture that sucks up and $#!+s down, with the general and sergeant major demonstrating what happens to the reasoning powers of a uniformed Narcissus after thirty years of ass-kissing by advancement-seeking subordinates.

Panty Gnomes, l-r: Aching Fanny Fanning, GEN Milley Vanilli, CSMA Dull, Docile Dailey.

Panty Gnomes, l-r: Aching Fanny Fanning, GEN Milley Vanilli, CSMA Dull, Docile Dailey.

Again, how? Leaving apart all your bullshit about maintaining standards, please explain to us doubting Thomases the mechanism by which adding women (by which we know, and you know we know, you mean the entitled princesses from the Military Academy who will hold their breath until they turn blue unless they get All The Ticket Punches They Waahnt) will improve combat readiness. You have given us the Underpants Gnome slide version of this, but we’re calling you out: fill in the question marks on the slide. What about part 2?

If you can. And our money says you can’t.

 

Breaking: Careers Over Readiness, All Slots Open to Women

rangerette-benjaminThe Rangerette debacle train pulled into its ultimate station today. Seeking to distract the public from the free-falling strength and readiness their craven management has produced, the Secretary of Defense and the President announced on 3 December that all slots were now open to women in all branches of all services. Dan Lamothe at the Washington Post:

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Thursday that he is opening all jobs in combat units to women, a landmark decision that ends a three-year period of research with a number of firsts for female service members and bitter debate at times about how women should be integrated.

The decision opens the military’s most elite units to women who can meet the rigorous requirements for the positions for the first time, including in the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations Units. It also opens the Marine Corps infantry, a battle-hardened force that many service officials had openly advocated keeping closed to female service members.

“There will be no exceptions,” Carter said. “This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before.”

Does “contribute in ways they could not” mean they can now carry a mortar baseplate? Have we repealed the laws of physics? Who’s the new Surgeon in Chief, Trofim Lysenko?

The biggest victory of Carter, Obama and their suited social engineers may be that they managed to emplace uniformed social engineers willing to go along with the experiment atop all four services. (The Coast Guard has no combat positions, and therefore nothing was closed to women in the fifth service).

Carter said that top leaders in the Army, Navy, Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command all recommended that all jobs be opened to women. The Marine Corps recommended that certain jobs such as machine gunner be kept closed, but the secretary said that the military is a joint force, and his decision will apply to everyone. The top Marine officer who made that recommendation, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September, and did not appear alongside Carter on Thursday.

The President, whose relationship with the military has been difficult, appeared to delight in sticking it to the one branch of government he has been willing to neglect, abuse, and above all. cut.

As Commander in Chief, I know that this change, like others before it, will again make our military even stronger. Our armed forces will draw on an even wider pool of talent.

Women who can meet the high standards required will have new opportunities to serve. I know that, under the leadership of Secretary Carter and Chairman Dunford, our men and women in uniform will implement this transition — as they have others — in a responsible manner that maintains military readiness and the unparalleled professionalism and strength of our armed forces.

via In historic decision, Pentagon chief opens all jobs in combat units to women – The Washington Post.

Yeah, that’s the problem. That’s why we lost Iraq — not a political bugout, not a deliberate decision to throw victory away by an Administration that’s ever pleased to see Islamists advance, but because we lacked the woman’s touch in every rifle squad.

That’s why the Taliban are back in Konduz, where SF, AFSOC and the payback of General Dostum’s Uzbeks and Daoud’s Tajiks of the Northern Alliance got rid of them in November 2001, and they stayed out until the current kinder, gentler social engineers took charge and ushered them back in.

That’s why we not only don’t have the subs to shadow Russian boomers, we don’t have the sonobuoy network that we had in 1985, because we sank (no pun intended) the money into social engineering and a gossamer “peace dividend”.

But hey, careers for chicks, because if you have an Army you won’t let fight you might as well make it an alternative to AFDC for fat single moms.

The Marines were the only service to actually test the hypotheses that sexual dimorphism in homo sapiens has no military application, and that women could therefore perform as well as men. The Marine tests found that they couldn’t keep up or pack their weight. This set career politician and Secretary of the Navy to screaming like a girl.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus took issue with a Marine Corps study that found that the average woman struggled to keep up with men, according to a number of metrics.

When the data doesn’t fit the theory, a good social engineer adjusts the data. Mabus simply denied the results of the study:

Our process and studies showed that as long as someone can meet operationally relevant, occupation-specific, gender-neutral individual standards, that person is qualified to serve.

And, under Mabus’s reasoning, if there were disparate results by sex, the standards ipso facto were not sex-neutral. Therefore, let’s drop the standards to meet the applicants!

You may recognize the sentiment, if you’re of a certain age. A previous iteration of it gave us Macnamara’s 100,0001.

The primary beneficiaries of this policy will be, as intended, women graduates of the service academies. The theory is, any loss of combat effectiveness in a military “led” by civilian and general-officer leaders who have been comfortable with policies of global surrender, withdrawal unilateral disarmament, and just plain “bugging out,” will be marginal.

Notes

  1. Which was actually 100,000 a year, so it was more like Macnamara’s half million. At a time when a male high school graduate needed to score in the sixteenth percentile, an IQ of about 84, to get into the service, Mac waived that requirement for up to 100,000 recruits or draftees who were classified (at the time) as Borderline Mentally Retarded and Educable Mentally Retarded. (This is the truth undelying the comic Army scenes in Forrest Gump). Their NCOs would probably have disputed the “Educable” bit. It’s unlikely any of these soldiers was a net add to the combat power of the Army or Marines (the USAF and NAvy didn’t have to take them). Now that we’ve got gays, and trannies, and women, we need Mac’s Morons back. After all, it’s not fair that the retarded can’t have their share of West Point careers.

Publishers: Unpublished Grenada Book in Our Book Budget

Steve is the Ranger in the picture, with two people who are not Rangers. Can anyone ID them?

Steve is the Ranger in the picture, with two people who are not Rangers. Can anyone ID them?

Estéban Trujillo de Guitiérrez — “Steve” or “Doc T” to most of us — remembers little of the ceremony in Washington, but he remembers where he was when they put the habeas grabbas on him to attend.

I had just gotten off a Huey somewhere in the South Ranier Training Area with a class of Rippies1, when SFC Conrad pulled up in a jeep. He said, “Doc, you got to go to DC.” We were in the woods. I have no idea how long that it took Conrad to drive to the infil point.

I said, “I am walking this patrol.”

He replied, “You are going to DC. Get in.” So I did. No one asked me, “Would you like to go to Washington DC?” I was told to go, given a packing list, and dropped off at Sea-Tac airport.

via Magic Kingdom Dispatch: Rose Garden ceremony..

The event that got Steve sent to the White House Rose Garden, a rarefied place indeed for a Ranger E-5 (how many F-bombs got inadvertently dropped on genteel ears during that visit) was Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada. Steve has written a book on his experiences; that that book is unpublished is a crime against nature. He is a writer of skill and power, and well known to all in the Army SOF community from his service in Rangers, SF, and elsewhere. Here’s another example of his Grenada recollections, published at the usually anti-soldier Daily Beast, of all places:

We are over water, the door-gunners firing furiously, and the Lieutenant stands peeking around the frame of the helicopter waiting for the bird to hover over sand. We see that we are mere feet away from the beach, and Andy kicks the Lieutenant out of the chopper as we jump into the surf under fire. The Lieutenant moves too slowly and the air is electric with bullets as the helicopter takes hits with that sledgehammer sound.

I am right behind Andy and I step squarely on the Lieutenant’s back, leaving a jungle boot print on his fatigue jacket as he sprawls in six inches of water. Then we run for our lives, run for the sanctuary of the sea wall, sheltering there shaking from the nearness of death. Scott, Andy and the others drop their rucksacks and look for targets. Slater is laughing again. We see no enemy. I notice in a slow-motion dream-state the beauty of the beach, quaint hotels with curtains over their windows, glass shattering with machine-gun bursts fired by the helicopter door-gunners. I am numb, on automatic pilot, and function despite my fear.

At the risk of riling Steve up, we'll use a DOD file photo of Rangers in Grenada that is C/1/75, not his 2nd Bat guys....

At the risk of riling Steve up, we’ll use a DOD file photo of Rangers in Grenada that is C/1/75, not his 2nd Bat guys… the left-handed RTO looks pretty miserable, huh?

Earlier, a Soviet diplomat stood trembling in our gunsights while we searched him and his car. He drove alone to Point Salines to deliver an official message from his government to the senior American commander. He looked like he expected to be nailed to a wall and shot. We must have seemed like cutthroats to him, bloodied American Rangers with black faces. He was stunned when we finished our search, handed back his watch and credentials, and led him away to deliver his message. He was treated firmly, but with formality. Courtesy did not come easily. Squatting behind the sea wall, Andy and I wonder if he is in the Soviet Embassy hiding beneath his desk while Cubans lie dead in the debris of the burning roof, their broken mortar beside them.

….

Scott is lecturing an anti-tank gunner, “do not fire unless I tell you.” The gunner wants to kill something, he wants to fire his cannon, but Scott will not permit it unless he has a worthy target. I am proud of Scott, he is a fine Ranger sergeant in combat, and amongst ourselves, there is no higher accolade. Behind us, pandemonium rules on the beach as the students that we came to rescue are herded in groups onto the helicopters.

Our turn to go. We blow the claymores as we pull out, and we cover each other as we return to the shoreline. Andy tells me, “someday we should come back here on vacation.” I look at him in outrage, but he is right. It is a beautiful place, or it was, until we blew the shit out of it. The students are gone and we are nearly left behind, but we wade into the surf and we pull each other into an overloaded helicopter hovering over the water, the door gunners heedlessly firing into beachfront homes. The copilot turns and yells at us to hurry. The chopper shudders beneath our weight and vibrates with the intermittent dings of bullets. In the confusion, another bird is hit and abandoned, and the crew runs to ours. Their helicopter squats in the surf with its rotors drooping. Scott, Big Ed, Andy and I make it out on the last bird to leave Grand Anse Beach. It was not planned that way.

Planning imagery for the drop was based on satellite photos or the Point Salines airstrip, like this one.

Planning imagery for the drop was based on satellite photos or the Point Salines airstrip, like this one.

Until some history publisher gets a dose of smelling salts and contracts Steve’s book, you can read some excerpts at his website, Magic Kingdom2 Dispatch, along with his musings on current events, the surveillance state, etc.. Doc posts Grenada stories most often around the anniversary of the invasion, which fell in late October, 1983 (we were in Phase II, Light Weapons, at SFQC, with some very, very frustrated Rangers).

The post that reminded us to write about Doc T and his book was this one, about fallen Ranger, 60 gunner Mark Yamane. That post recounts Yamane’s fate, as one of the Rangers whose everyday courage got him singled out for death. It also describes in detail the jump’s success, a triumph of improvisation in the face of military chaos.

We didn’t know Yamane. The only Grenada KIA we knew was Phil Grenier, from Ranger School Class 1-83. We didn’t know him well, just had one conversation about a hometown we were born in and left behind in early childhood, but he grew up in. You don’t have a lot of time to talk in Ranger School.

Incidentally, the world is missing a really good (i.e., not lightweight re-popped journalism) overview history on Urgent Fury. That book is sitting on the desk of former Marine GySgt. Joe Muccia. Doc T can put you in touch with Joe, too. Castalia House, are you listening? Presidio? Naval Institute Press?

Notes

  1. “Rippies” are Ranger (then Battalion, now Regiment) volunteers experiencing the myriad joys of RIP, the Ranger Indoctrination Program  (which has been replaced by RASP; the acronyms bark but the Rangers patrol on). If you made it through RIP, you could become a real Ranger like Doc, and wear the scroll on your shoulder, as long as you could keep it.
  2. “Magic Kingdom”? Steve lives in the earthly paradise of savory women and beautiful food that is Thailand. We’d call him a lucky bleep, but he seems to have made his own luck. Napoleon would approve.