Category Archives: Rangers and Rangerettes

Combatives — They’re doing it wrong

Here’s a video for all you fans of women in the infantry. Female combatives! Alas, we can’t tell which one is Sage Santangelo. But that’s just our cismale gendernormative cryptofascism coming out, wise young people (like the ones in the video) tell us.

Should probably give you a pair of warnings: (1), foul language; and (2), overweening stupidity.

Sorry about the video being eight plus minutes of full retard, but that’s what it is.

The only surprise is that one of these two young, er, “ladies,” thinks to use a weapon. (When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have shovels!) It’s no surprise that the other one survives a shovel upside the head — it’s not clear that neither the duellists, nor the seconds, nor the Pajama Boy who’s method-acting the Gay Friend role, has anything in a head that can be damaged. Except maybe hair follicles.


Well, intercourse. YouTube has ganked the video (believe it or not, we didn’t understand what Miles meant at first until Samuel commented. Per YouTube:

This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube’s Terms of Service.

And yes, Jim, it was the one with several pathetic fights starting and then a full-handled shovel launched like a javelin and whacking one of the belligerents upside the head with a resounding clank. Shovel-victim, whose last several minutes of behavior have left us bereft of any sympathy for her, lies on the ground crying while the coterie of Mean Girls and Gay Friend circle in voyeuristic shock.

It leaves you wishing they could all be gobsmacked with shovels, or better yet, do it to one another unto death and save us the cost of incarcerating the ill-bred children they will soon spawn.

There are several shorter versions of the shovel-bonk video online, but you really needed the full 8 or 9 minutes of interpersonal relations failure to appreciate what losers these kits are (shoveler, shovelee, and eggers-on alike).

A Rangerette Roundup

rangerette-benjaminPut down the ropes, pard. Not that kind of roundup. We’re going to round up a few Rangerette stories about how our military is doing, marching off into the bright sunlit uplands of the Future with the New Soviet Non-Gendered Person in the vanguard of the proletariat.

Or something.

Navy: Chick Stands Watch. Man Dies For It

First, you all did catch the quixotic attack on the US Navy by a guy who was apparently a common-and-garden-variety ex-con with, quite possibly, some mental illness. The Navy’s in the deepest of deep denial, but the reason there’s a good sailor dead, MA2 Mark Mayo, is because the Petty Officer of the Watch on USS Mahan was a slight woman who was overpowered by, and gave up her sidearm to, the intruding ex-convict.

You all know about NCIS? No, not the one on TV with the hot chicks and all, the one in the real world, with a bunch of wannabe detectives in polyester doubleknit pants? That one. It has the responsibility for the investigation. The head of NCIS is not some grizzled old admiral or even a Naval officer, but he’s a gun-control ideologue, Andrew Traver, who was unable to get confirmed to his dream job as head of ATF, even by the Democratic Senate. Traver’s a politician, not an investigator, and the most interesting story that’s going to come out of this is what he buries and how he tries to bury it.

MA2 Mark Mayo 2The first fact they’re burying is the identity and even the sex of the overpowered Petty Officer of the Watch. If you look at news stories, like this one, they focus on the heroism of Mayo, who was forced to such an extreme by the failure of his shipmate. They don’t mention that shipmate’s name, and are careful even not to use a pronoun that might let the news leak that our she-sailors are not all Gorgonic Amazons.

The events occured in this order, according to preliminary reports (usual warnings about preliminary reports apply). These events took place on Monday, 24 March 2014, late at night.

  1. Jeffery Tyrone Savage, who’d done time for, among other things, voluntary manslaughter, had no authorization to be on base, but he had a standard transport worker’s pass, a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, and the gate guards passed him through. (This was not itself sufficient documentation, but the guards accepted it). He was driving a 2002 Freightliner tractor.
  2. He also had no authorization to be on Pier 1 where Mahan was berthed, but his pass and his patter got him through there, too.
  3. The last line of defense for a berthed ship is the ship’s own quarterdeck watch. On Mahan, the watchstanders were armed. Several (two? three?) of the ship’s watch approached Savage, suspicious of his behavior.
  4. Savage attacked and disarmed the Petty Officer of the Watch.
  5. Mayo reportedly dived in front of the PO. Savage fatally wounded Mayo with more than one shot fired from the Petty Officer of the Watch’s issue sidearm.
  6. Another armed Mahan watchstander, firing from aboard the ship, shot and killed Savage.

And… we are not making this up… the Navy called in grief counselors for the crew of USS Mahan. But there’s really only one person on that crew who should need grief counseling. Or, to be more precise, survivor’s-guilt counseling.

Might she have held on to the gun, if she knew the strange intruder was already a multi-time and a multi-time con? She might have tried harder, anyway. And she might still have failed.

A Side Note of Non-Rangerette Fail

Who issued Savage (aptly named guy) his credential? Who else, but the very Fortress of FAIL itself, the Transportation Security Administration. No one good, decent, moral, honest, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed by the TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

Go Army, Beat Navy… at Academy Beancounting

That was then...

That was then…

Once, Army was a football powerhouse. Of course, that was around 1950. Since then, you’d think the annual Little Big Horn that the Army-Navy game has become would inspire a new resolve in the Army that almost beat the North Koreans, that nearly defeated the People’s Republic of Vietnam, and that almost won Afghanistan and Iraq. And that, after all, did eke out wins over Grenada and Panama. You’d think that the new Commandant would be determined his Academy would win… at something. 

And you’d be right. Because LTG Robert Caslen is determined to beat Navy where they’re clobbering Army right now — in beancounting of women and minorities. Right now, the Navy is ahead in the very biggest statistic in Caslen’s crabbed little world — they have 22% female cadets, and West Point has only 16%.

West Point’s new superintendent said the moves — which include more outreach and the cultivation of competitive candidates — will help keep the storied academy ahead of the curve now that the Pentagon is lifting restrictions for women in combat jobs.

This is now.

…and this is now.

Translation: “more outreach” means dropping standards, and “cultivation of competitive candidates” means quotas and incentives. And dropping standards.

“We obviously have to increase the female population for a number of reasons. One is because there are more opportunities in the branches for the females,” Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr. said.

Explain how they help the US beat a Russian or Chinese army in, say Poland or Burma or Taiwan. Explain how they help the US beat Iran, should we have to fight there. Explain why the Russians, Chinese and Iranians will lose because their military academies waste time focusing on excellence instead of “diversity.”

Women have been a presence at the nation’s military academies since 1976. Female cadets here can grow their hair longer than the standard military buzz-cut and can wear stud earrings. But they carry the same heavy packs, march the same miles and graduate with the same second lieutenant bars the men here do.

They’ve let up on the male cadets that much, eh? Maybe Caslen can argue that he might have only 16% women, but he’s way over 22% pussies. Of course, the womyn cadets don’t see it that way:

“I carry the heavy weapons whenever we do field training exercises,” said Cadet Austen Boroff, a woman who refuses to be out-soldiered by her male peers. “I’ll take the machine guns, so I’m taking more weight.”

Austen! Daddy wanted a boy, huh? Reminds us of the character Larry Correia named for an australian submachine gun, but Larry’s character was named after the good one.

[D]irector of admissions Col. Deborah McDonald said there has been an increase in the number of female nominees.

Col McDonald 2

Col. Deborah McDonald, USMA Beancounter-in-Chief Director of Admissions

McDonald is a sometime speaker at “diversity” events. Sisters gotta look out for themselves….

And the academy has begun targeting top-tier female candidates and guiding them through the demanding application process. They already do that for standout scholars, soldiers, athletes and minorities.

OK, so it is a hand-coddling affirmative action program. What did we tell you? Now they will say there are no quotas…

Caslen said there’s no long-term goal yet for a percentage of female cadets. Also, final numbers on the incoming Class of 2018 won’t be known until the new group arrives for cadet basic training July 2.

What did we just tell you? But there really are quotas…

But West Point, as of this week, has admitted 229 female applicants and as many as 36 other females from the academy’s prep school will be considered.

“I have no concerns at all that we won’t actually move right beyond the 20 percent mark,” McDonald said. “It might even be as high as 22 percent.”

So what’s the quota, Deb? Just coincidentally, Navy’s 22 percent?

Any other admissions secret weapons?

West Point women’s lacrosse team is moving up to Division I in 2015, which also is expected to draw more interest from top female athletes who now choose other schools.

Ah yeah. Women’s lacrosse. What will West Point do with its share of the TV sponsorship money? Put on The Vagina Monologues? 

In a 2012-13 affirmative action Supreme Court case, a group of “diversity” (of the bean-counting kind) -desiring generals and admirals submitted a brief for racial discrimination in college admissions.

While the Marines have had a lot of publicity for their publicity-hound female LTs who flunk out of Infantry officer basic school, females in the class that entered West Point last year, and all subsequent classes, will be allowed to go infantry if they choose, and they will still only be held to the lower sex-normed fitness standards.

What’s more likely to succeed, counting beans or promoting merit? Everyone knows the answer to this, which is why the proponents are trying to redefine beancount (“diversity”) as a form of merit, valuable for its own sake.

Exit question: Academy graduates incur a five-year obligation, unless they make a commitment (such as flight school) that extends it. Women can escape the obligation at their option if pregnant, but otherwise must complete it like men, unless injured. The most recent class that has passed their basic obligation date, then, will be the Class of 2008 (2009 is coming up). So the question is: excluding officers who extended their obligation, what percentage of the West Point women of the Class of 2008 are still serving? What percentage of the West Point men?

And How Do Non-Careerist Women Feel About Combat?

Well, nobody asks them, because this is a big project of the lesbo-feminist Official Sisterhood and is underway for the benefit of careerist ticket-punchers, who are attracted to the military for the power and the ability to inflict their passive-aggressive or just plain aggressive personalities on lower ranks who have to sit and take it. (Don’t believe us? Meet Holly Graf. Let us Google that for you. The abominable Graf, by the way, got a break a man wouldn’t get for assault and other crimes: full retirement at O-6).

The vast majority of female soldiers/sailors/airmen/Marines, who do vital jobs every day for reasons susprisingly similar, to you old-timers, to that of their male brothers and cousins who are also in uniform, don’t want any part of it. Consider these lines from a non-military story that interviewed a female Army vet whose boyfriend pressed her to take a gun for defense:

What Jewell was trying to do, she said, was convince her to keep a gun for her own protection. He meant to show her that guns are safe.

Jackson, a U.S. Army veteran, said she’s always felt uncomfortable around firearms.

“I don’t like just the uncertainty of whether or not it’s going to go off,” she said.

That gal is the sort of female trooper who’s not being interviewed. In the service, we saw lots of them (and men who were afraid of firearms, too, although the men tried to mask it). No doubt she served honorably and well, and did something useful while in uniform.

But the sisterhood thinks she needs to shup up, ruck up, and accept the Holly Graf level of leadership that comes from some of our ambitious academy women.

Lady Marine Weaponizes the Whining

2LT Sage Santangelo (she's the one with the baby fat)

2LT Sage Santangelo (she’s the one with the baby fat)

We’ve covered again and again the whole sad dynamic of women (by which we pretty much mean careerist officers and women who’d rather be men) demanding equal access to combat leadership slots for career reasons, while expecting the heteronormative male patriarchy (that’s Feminist for “men”) to (1) lower the standards to meet the women wherever they are, and (2) do it all while denying they’ve lowered the standards.

The senior leaders of all the services, generals and admirals, empty chests who’ve sold their souls for that fourth star, are certainly willing to play along. Hell, there’s no limit to the casualties they’ll send their men to take for “lip service to diversity,” the organizing principle of the American political class.

But their vision of the Bright Shining Uplands of the future with the New Soviet Man New Combat Barbie™ is struggling to make headway. As we’ve recounted, the Marines’ aggressive attempts to push carefully selected and prepared Marine women through Infantry officer training has produced three things: officers who quit, officers who flunked, and officers who injured themselves in the effort (badly enough to fail the course). This is because the New Combat Barbie™ plan is up against biological, behavioral, and psychological facts that altogether could be called “sexual dimorphism in homo sapiens

But that’s not the way at least one of these failures sees it. See, Lieutenant Sage Santangelo wuz robbed. In the real physical world, as opposed to in the fevered brain of a Unique And Special Snowflake™, she failed miserably — a first-day failure, along with the other three female LTs in her class, and 24 of 100 male ones. At some level she realizes she just could not do it: 

[T]here came a point when I could not persuade my body to perform. It wasn’t a matter of will but of pure physical strength. My mind wanted more, but my muscles quivered in failure after multiple attempts. I began to shiver as I got cold. I was told I could not continue.

But that tiny admission of failure was buried deep within a Washington Post opinion piece by Santangelo in which she excused her failure and demanded another chance.

I’ve always been taught that failure provides the greatest learning opportunities. My failed effort at Quantico has helped me better understand the needs of the Marines on the ground and will allow me to better support them in the future. At the same time, I love the Marine Corps philosophy that failure should never be viewed as permanent or representative; it is an opportunity to remediate. Marines cannot meet standards all the time. What do we do? We train until every Marine is competent. “No Marine joins the Corps to be a failure,” Gen. James F. Amos has said. “We don’t raise them up that way.”

She went on to argue that, essentially, the standards be dropped to meet her:

[I]nstead of passively evaluating their performance, we need to figure out how to set women up to excel in infantry roles.

We know what those code phrases (“set women up to excel”) mean. And, sure enough, it did. She wanted a do-over at Infantry school, which some male officers have received; but she didn’t want it to interfere with her plum flight school billet which she’d already secured.

Her whining was extremely irritating, but given the politicians in Washington these days, worked; on April 4th Marine Commandant Amos offered future women a do-over, and Santangelo a tour in Afghanistan — an offer extended to no other officer who failed out of basic branch school, as far as we know — while she waits for flight school. She’s not needed to do anything in particular in Afghanistan; it’s just a ticket-punch for someone the brass wants to smile on. She’s so special the rest of the 2LTs in the Corps have to wear shades and face away from her.

Naturally, this school failure is far more celebrated in the media than any of the Marines’ successful officers. This week, she went on ABC News and told them that she didn’t actually fail: the Marines robbed her by putting her in all-female training units that didn’t challenge her enough, physically.

[S]he was segregated into female-only training units and as a woman, was relegated to less strenuous physical training than her male counterparts. And that’s why, Santangelo told “On the Radar,” she didn’t have a fair shot at passing the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course.

Why, those mean old men Marines, they expected her to get in shape on her own. Why, like she was a male Marine or something. Call that girl the Waaahmbulance!

That’s kind of like all the BUD/S, 18X SFAS and SFQC failures saying that basic training PT wasn’t hard enough to get them ready for the big gut check. Seriously, everybody that ever succeeded at anything like this got into shape on their own — doing the minimum standard in training PT won’t prepare you, and if you’re fit enough to go to any elite unit or to infantry training, it’s because you prepared yourself, and if you rely only on unit PT in basic training units you’ll fail. QED.

Likewise, anybody in any military elite unit has passed through a crucible including “muscle failure PT.” Yes, there’s a number of reps and sets that anybody can’t do, and the instructors will make sure you do “go there.” It’s what you do after your quivering, twitching skeletal muscles have hit the wall that exposes your charachter.

Santangelo went back to the billets and ordered pizza.

“The standards have to change,” she says, and we all know what that means to Jim Amos and the other DC timeservers. But then she goes on to say, “The standards cannot change.” In pretty much the next sentence. La donna è mobile, eh. 

This person is a piss-poor officer and a pretty lousy human being. But the fix was in, according to Jonn Lilyea at milblog This Ain’t Hell:

As it turns out, the commandant of the Marine Corps, James Amos, ghost wrote the piece with the young 2LT, because, for some reason the issue was important to him. …

Santangelo still won’t accept responsibility for her own unpreparedness for participation in the course. She says that the Marine Corps set her up for failure by making initial training different for men and women.

Yeah, Waahmbulance enroute for the podgy little thing. It’s hard to top Jonn’s coda:

But, as we’ve all known since we read Santangelo’s Washington Post piece, this has been about LT Santangelo, not the Marine Corps or even women in combat. I wonder what her excuse will be when she fails next time.

Whatever it is, we’re as confident as Jonn that she will have one.

All women meet new Marine recruit pull-up standards!

Pull-ups? Never mind! C'mon down, girls.

Pull-ups? Never mind! C’mon down, girls.

But before you all celebrate, the way it was done is this: the Marines dropped the standard for the convenience of the majority of women, who could not meet it.

The old standard? Three pull-ups. The new? None. That’s because even with extra training, most Marine women couldn’t do three pull-ups by the end of recruit training. This was much lower than the requirement for men, but only 45% of women Marines could achieve this goal.

So, the USMC has erased the goalposts — quietly, without a press release to the outside world.

Meanwhile, 14 enlisted women entered Marine infantry training. Ten of them failed, three passed. The Marines’ propaganda machine described four as passing, for example in this video report, but was forced to admit that one of the four passed, except for “the combat fitness and the physical fitness tests.” Oh, that kind of “pass”.

Comrades, the chocolate ration has been raised from 30 grams to 20 grams a week! And all women Marines have passed their pull-up test.

Army Flips over Ugly Women, PR Flacks Hardest Hit

All she asked was a little more publicity for the ugly ones. Col. Lynette Arnhart, one of the paper-shufflers managing the Army’s shuffle to the bright sunlit uplands of True Gender Equity® (however the Womyn define that at any given moment), took exception to a picture supplied by Army flacks to an Army-related publication: the female soldier was “too pretty.” It wasn’t fair to the Ugly Sisterhood.  Arnhart bitched (no pun intended) that the soldier, CPL Kristine Tejada, was, “a pretty woman, wearing makeup while on deployed duty.” She snarked that such a photo “may even make people ask if breaking a nail is considered hazardous duty.” Tough talk from Arnhardt, whose Army career in the ever-demanding Adjutant General’s Corps has threatened her with such hardships as a copier out of toner, and having to work with an outdated version of PowerPoint. She’s an over-the-hill PR dolly herself, and bitter about it.

Now, we would never put such a story before our readers, male and female alike, without answering the question: what do these two soldiers look like? So, here is a scan of the article, with the very picture of CPL Tejada that brought out COL Arnhart’s claws:

CPL Kristine Tejada

The article, as you can see, is ironically enough about the Army leadership’s plan to ram through women in direct combat arms units. Now, women like CPL Tejada make an important contribution to the Army. We don’t know what her unit or MOS is, but we look at that picture and don’t think, wow, she’s pretty. Maybe she isn’t, and you’d have to be a pushing-fifty menopausal broad to be threatened by her (not naming any names, but if the shoe fits). Maybe she is. You can’t tell from an unsmiling picture in full battle rattle. What you can tell is that, despite Col Arnhart’s vapors about her nails, CPL Tejada looks like she’s competent. She has a good hold on her well-worn M4. Her unit has troops’ names on the guns, which may be suboptimal OPSEC but probably instills a degree of pride and supports weapons maintenance. Her gear seems to be on right and sqaured away. She’s also a hard-stripe corporal rather than a soft-stripe specialist, so someone thought she was NCO leadership material and put her in charge of somebody. The picture inclines us to think well of her on a purely professional basis. What’s the problem, Colonel?

“In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead,” Arnhart wrote.

Wow. This is after she’s identified CPL Tejada, whom we doubt she knows from Adam Eve, as one of those “pretty women.” Is she saying this kid used her looks to get, where? Onto some convoy in Paktika where she can get her pretty (or whatever) ass blown off? That sounds like a lot less desirable an assignment than, say, writing waspish emails criticizing the PR flacks, which seems to be what some soldiers do. Not naming any names.

Of course, given Arnhart’s optically Manichean view of Army women, we probably ought to have a look at her visage. Turnabout is fair play, no?

COL Arnhart Lynette

Two chins… check… turkey neck… check… butch hairdo… check… smoker’s teeth… oh yeah, Lynette babes, call us… not. She was probably alright, 25 years ago.

That was just gratuitously cruel and we apologize. Those responsible have been sacked. But we bet she does think she was Ranger material, back in the day, before her butt was two axe handles wide.

OK, we’re not going to ask you to rate them on “pretty.” This is, not “Hot or Not?”, after all. We will ask you — which one would you rather have in one of the seats of your RG-31 or whatever as it rolled into Paktika?

Yeah, that’s not fair either. Anyway, Politico got hold of the “ugly women are perceived as competent” email and things rather predictably got, well, ugly. It went particularly ugly for Arnhart, and for some homunculus named COL Christian Kubik, another overpaid flack who apparently added a “you go, girl” and forwarded Arnhart’s email, thereby labeling himself as a Wrecker, Saboteur, Diversionist or something. Arnhardt had been leading a team scheming to jam women into combat-arms units, and she got the sack, although they’re spinning it as a resignation from the position. (Sounds to us like: “Ask for a transfer and we won’t have to write a relief-for-cause OER”). Kubik is “suspended,” which is Army-speak for “will soon be spending more time with his family.”

The one Unforgiveable Act in the Army’s vast PR machinery is to get into the press Off Message. Politico, again:

Col. Lynette Arnhart had agreed to step aside from the Training and Doctrine Command study she was leading.

In addition, [Army spox George] Wright said, Col. Christian Kubik, a public affairs officer at TRADOC, was suspended for his involvement in the email chain.

“In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing work on gender integration in the Army, Col. Lynette Arnhart agreed to step down as the gender integration study director,” Wright said in a statement. “Concurrently, TRADOC suspended Col. Christian Kubik from his position as the public affairs officer pending the outcome of an investigation.”

Now, the Army will survive without the talents of Lynette Arnhart and Christian Kubik. (Indeed, the part of the Army that does the actual fighting — a part that the abused CPL Tejada has been at least in proximity to, unlike Arnhart and Kubik —  has survived without them for two-hundred-thirty-something years), and the only tragedy in their removal is that there are still legions more of desk-bound assclowns to slide into those positions.

By the way, “The TRADOC experts who are studying gender integration,” as Arnhart describes her late coven, kept meeting and spending throughout the Sequester and the Government Shutdown, which indicates its priority: combat aviators had their flight hours cut, for example in the Navy to 11 hours a month, and combat soldiers saw training schedules disrupted and range time cancelled. But like rust and viruses, the forces of True Gender Equity® never sleep.

What this illustrates is the degree to which the women-in-combat-regardless push has become a violent juggernaut, which serving officers and soldiers defy at their peril. It is blind, unreasoning, animal force. It not only cannot be swayed by reason, argument, or example, it treats any of those as hostile acts to be met with devastating violence. Even those who would serve it, as Robespierre served the Revolution, are liable to take their own ride in the tumbrils and wind up minus one head, as the case of Arnhart and Kubik illustrates.

In the Politico story two legislators, Rep. Jackie Speier and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, are quoted demanding the Army and the military move faster yet, and give a higher priority yet, to subordinating the needs of combat units to the career ambitions of female officers. Neither has been in the service. Neither has had a spouse in the sevice (Gillibrand’s husband, a Wall Street manipulator, is British, not American; Speier’s current husband is also a financier. Her previous husband, a doctor, died in a 1994 accident). Neither has had a son in the service. They’re from that segment of society that raises their kids to think it’s beneath them.

Both are also extremists on gun control, which is hardly surprising. Apart from lowering combat-arms standards till the standards meet the available women, Jackie Speier’s signature issue is lowering the national speed limit to 60 miles per hour. There would be an exemption for Congresswomen. Of course.

Army Occupies Beauty Pageant

Theresa Vail is a somewhat unconventional beauty-pageant contestant.

First, she’s a sergeant in the US Army. (Indeed, her CO told her to try out for the pageant).

Second, she’s tattoed, not quite all over, but enough to make old NCOs shake their heads at the generation gap. Looking at Miss Vail, one wonders what she was trying to improve with bluish tattoo ink:

teresa vail reuters 660

She looks damn good underneath that tattooed message (which is the AA Serenity Prayer, it says here):

First off, Miss Kansas Theresa Vail is a sergeant in the U.S. Army, only the second contestant ever to be on active duty.

“Nobody expects a soldier to be a beauty queen,” Vail told People magazine. “But I’m all about breaking stereotypes.”

“My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers. What a hypocrite I would be if I covered my ink,” Vail said. “How can I tell other women to be fearless and true to themselves if I can’t do the same? I am who I am, tattoos and all.”

Sgt. Vail is also an M16 marksman, a bow hunter, and a mechanic. Only recently did she add beauty queen to her resume, when she entered her first pageant just nine months ago on the advice of her commanding officer. When she was told she wouldn’t be able to use archery as her talent, she had to pick another one and quick.

She chose to sing opera.

She sounds like an interesting character. For all of her stereotype-breaking, though, her specialty is one that’s been open to women for many, many years, even in the days of the long-disbanded Women’s Army Corps: dental assistant.

No word on whether she’s being lined up for Ranger School.

Here at WeaponsMan, we are old and barnacled enough that we prefer our women without barnacles: no tattoos, no in-your-face (figuratively and literally both) piercings. And we kind of expect the pageant bureaucracy is Hollywood enough to find a deer-stalking Army sergeant haram. But we would be churlish indeed if we didn’t offer Miss Vail our most sincere best wishes for the competition. Our eyes may be drawn elsewhere, but our cultural affinity dictates that we’re rooting for Kansas in this year’s Miss America pageant.

(Come to think of it, she’s not the only would-be beauty queen in the Army in Kansas. Bradley Manning is in Leavenworth! Bradley, old boy, this is a real woman: can you stop pretending now?)

The Rangerette Reckoning Comes

rangerette-benjaminIf you can get through all the bullshit and personnel-weenie talk, the Army G1, a weaselly guy named Bromberg looking like he’s the Very Model of a Modern Major-General, lays out his plan for integrating women in combat positions. (To be sure, it’s the suits’ and the four-stars’ plan, but the G1 — the Army’s top personnel clerk — is the guy who puts the flesh on the bare bones).

BLUF: the standards are going to be the same for both sexes, but pace CJCS GEN Dempsey, they’ll be lowered until the women start passing. It’s still a criterion-referenced test, mind you: it’s just that the criterion is political, not combat-related.

Unlike the Marines, who will require women to meet the existing standards, full stop, the Army has scheduled the integration of women, standards be damned. They’ll also dispense with qualifications and transfer female NCOs and officers right in so that the little dears skipping out of the lowered-standard schools have “role models”:

Additionally, the Army will open positions to women with the Armor Branch and the Infantry Branch. Positions there are numerous. Enlisted women will for the first time have the opportunity to serve as cavalry scouts, armor crewmen, infantrymen, and indirect-fire artillery. As a result of this change, about 90,640 positions will open for women in the Army.

Within the Armor Branch and the Infantry Branch, the Army will also offer junior officers and junior NCOs the opportunity to transfer branches or reclassify into these occupations as a way to build a cadre of experienced female Soldiers prior to the arrival of Soldiers who are new to the Army.

Welcome to the Army of You Go, Girl.

One criterion nobody is looking at is how women are performing currently — in combat theaters, but not in direct ground combat jobs. Let’s see what a report about women and medevacs in Afghanistan says, shall we? Note that this is not a study of field medevacs, but of theater medevacs — that’s the one where you’re jacked up enough to be flown to somewhere out of the rock garden, like Landstuhl, or back to the USA. Women were medevaced at a higher rate, but not that much higher: 22%. But what’s interesting is why soldiers get medevaced.

Top five reasons for men to get a ride out of theater, in order (and rounded to integer percentages): battle injuries (27%), non-battle injuries (15%), musculoskeletal disorders (15%), and mental disorders (11%). That accounts for most injuries (78%, roughly).

Top five reasons for women: mental disorders (17%), “signs, symptoms, and ill-defined conditions” (15%), musculoskeletal disorders (13%), non-battle injuries (9%), and “genitourinary system disorders” (9%) which they specify does not include breast disorders. (We were unaware that was part of the genitourinary system, but defer to the quacks that wrote the report. Anyway, that would be next, if we were going over five — at 6%… and the one after that? Pregnancy, at 4%). The top five here account for 63% of medevac conditions; without the high level of battle injuries, women’s injuries are more spread out across many lower-rate causes.

There’s a lot to pick over in this study, and Time magazine has a typically dishonest report (for example, they memory-holed the “genitourinary disorders” cause of medevac) but was good enough to post the underlying study, from which we recovered the airbrushed numbers.

Here's a graph by the study authors. Note that they didn't pick the largest categories here, just ones they thought were interesting. Guys left, Gals right.

Here’s a graph by the study authors. Note that they didn’t pick the largest categories here, just ones they thought were interesting. Guys left, Gals right. Military women have some powerful crazy going on.

On the plus side, more than half of the women medevaced weren’t crazy (“mental disorders”) or malingerers (“signs, symptoms…”). So there is that. And also, we should probably note that the women left in theater after these medevacs were presumably the ones who weren’t crazy. Or at least, not medevac-strength crazy.

The Marines, meanwhile, continue trying to find a Roller Derby type who will pass their Infantry Officers Course at the previous standards. A new group of five were selected as the storm petrels of the Amazon Era, following on two pairs that tried, and failed, in earlier classes. The USMC public-affairs functionaries were so sure of this group’s success that they allowed a reporter for the anti-military Gannett Corporation to embed with the would be infantrywomen.

Things got off on the wrong foot right away when three of the five didn’t even show up. The two survivors both boloed the Combat Endurance Test on the first day. One struggled on to the end of the course, underperforming all the way, to be dropped with six underperforming men. The other didn’t make it that far, being cut mid-course for inability to keep up with her peers.

The Gannett reporter, Dan Lamothe, seems to argue that the women were somehow tripped up by the requirement to climb a 20-foot rope twice during the course, and other displays of upper-body strength.

Let’s add it up: So far, nine women have been slotted in the Infantry Officers Course, and zero have completed the course, for attrition rates of, um, that would be 100%. If you don’t count the no-shows (how do you get away with that in the military? Easy, play your Girl Card) they’re zero for six, which, Combat Barbie tells me… “Math is hard!” Oops, wrong Barbie. But that would be 100%. (Note: Business Insider says the USMC is 0 for 10, not 9. What’s that in percents? Can’t we just get the waiter to split the tab?)

And unlike the women downrange, these carefully selected officers are only failing to meet a criterion-based, combat-derived standard. It’s not like they’re saying something bad about politicians or something.

Rowan Scarborough has more on the failed Marines. Hey, they could branch transfer to the Army which even now is figuring out which ropes to get rid of and which tests of upper-body strength are “irrelevant.” Because, equality. Fairness. And Martin Luther King, so there.

Meanwhile, women, who have been admitted to the service academies for about 40 years, are still not allowed to join the football team. How fair is that? And why would an Army determined to install women in Ranger units (by 2015) keep those same heroines off the gridiron?

Maybe it’s because the Army’s senior leaders care about winning. Football, of course. What else would they be thinking of?

!60th SOAR opens to women

160_SOAR(A)_Nightstalker_CrestPosted with the least of comment, just one fact missing from the press report.

The Army will soon have women flying special operations missions.

As part of a push by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno to open more combat roles for women, the Army is looking for women for pilot and crew chief billets for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, according to the Army Times.

via Army opens Special Operations flying missions to women – Stripes – Independent U.S. military news from Iraq, Afghanistan and bases worldwide.

MH-60That fact: 160th normally conducts a selection course. It’s not exactly SFAS or RASP, but the air and ground personnel who experience it feel like they were well wrung out. it’s an important rite of passage, then, into ARSOF aviation.

The selection standards will be modified as necessary so that the initial women volunteers pass.

We won’t editorialize on that. That’s the aviators’ to do, not ours.

Not everybody thinks women in the infantry is a good thing

Three Soldiers statue by Frederic Hart at the Vietnam Memorial.

Three Soldiers statue by Frederic Hart at the Vietnam Memorial.

Of course, none of them are among the payroll patriots that run things in Washington. But The Weekly Standard dug in to the story and found out where the neanderthals who resist this shiny progressive bauble of an idea hang out.

As it happens, they are, or were, in ground combat units. To be specific, in the infantry (although how you can be a tanker or artillery crew member — note our use of politically-correct, sex-neutral verbiage — without being able to toss 100-lb. shells around like footballs is beyond us, too).

One is Sergeant James Robert Webb, who served as an infantryman in Ramadi in 2006 and 2007. The 31-year-old son of former Democratic senator, secretary of the Navy, and Vietnam war hero Jim Webb took to his blog to describe how the change would harm combat effectiveness and unit cohesion. The Marine explained that a noninfantry convoy unit engaging in combat if attacked​—​returning fire and getting to safety​—​is different from the infantry fulfilling its mission to “close with and destroy hostile forces.” Furthermore, the infantry demands the utmost from Marines in terms of physical strength, endurance, attitude, and group loyalty and bonding. “More to the point, if the calculus is altered, our people, my peers, die,” wrote Webb.

rangerette-benjamin“The major concern is with women in infantry units,” Webb tells me in an email. “This is a subject which comes up every time I get together with combat veterans​—​from any branch of service. The message is an unequivocal ‘No, this should not happen.’ I have yet to receive an email, comment, text message, etc. from anyone who has served in a combat unit who supports this decision by DoD.”

The public supports the change​—​66 percent, according to a Pew poll​—​but the view from inside the infantry is very different. “The overarching opinion is one of confusion and disillusionment with the decision, not just in my age group, but among those who fought wars before us in Vietnam as well,” Webb reports. “Guys just don’t understand the rationale behind it, and moreover, there’s a general feeling that those who have been fighting our wars weren’t consulted on the decision.”

via Congress Goes AWOL | The Weekly Standard.

We’ll go with Webb. The Standard goes on to show how the military is already gaming the supposedly “gender-neutral” standards so that the term is a Newspeak style self-refutation.

Another of the former servicemen (and some women) who are fighting this is California Rep. Duncan Hunter. Hunter fears that the standards will slip to meet the political mission, and plans to offer an amendment requiring such standards as may be set to be universally applicable:

“There’s going to be extreme pressure to lower the standards to make sure there’s a quota met in these combat units,” says Hunter. “I think that’s unavoidable. I think that pressure is going to exist, and our military leaders under this administration are going to acquiesce to that pressure.”

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has already suggested standards might be lowered if women can’t meet them. “If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?” Dempsey said during a January 24 press conference.

No one who’s seen Dempsey in action over the last few years is under any illusion that he has the slightest reservoir of moral courage, or the least inclination to resist any brainstorm of his political lords and masters. He used his talents at toadying to rise to the top of his profession, where he finally had some authority but couldn’t exercise it, because the character of a toady was imprinted upon him, soul deep.