For those of you who have been keeping up with recent/current events in Military news lately you may have learned that history has been made in the Military with women of the US Army leading the way. Yes, two female Army Officers have been the first ever of their sex to have successfully passed/graduated the esteemed and tough U.S. Army Ranger Leaders Course a.k.a. “Ranger School”. Many military women and female Veterans as well as some men are very supportive and congratulatory in nature and in mindset, but there are others who are skeptical, in disbelief and down right nasty about their apparent and underlying “Military Male Insecurity” when it comes to accomplishments and achievements by members of the opposite sex. When it comes to those in the Combat Arms fields of the military this “Insecurity” extends even further. Infantryman claim there is no way these women could do this to standard or have the physical endurance to complete such a rigorous and arduous task. All other fields/career branches in the service exist to support the Infantry so they could never live up to or exceed the standard to which they conduct themselves at or at least so some believe.
The Infantry; a.k.a. Grunts, look down on the POGs (Personnel Other than Grunts) With a healthy chiding of other “Combat Arms” branches such as the Cavalry, Armor, Combat Engineers, and other support branches. No one is as good or tough as the Infantry. As a former Infantryman N.C.O. (Non-Commissioned Officer) myself, I can attest to the pride and camaraderie as a brother of the Blue Cord and verify to these such things being Second to None; which of course for those who know is the Motto of the US Army 2nd Infantry Division. But do our beliefs all hold true in all the aforementioned just because our belief in such things is so strong? Or is this all a simple case of Military Male Insecurity that runs rampant in the US military today?
It wasn’t until 1917-18; the last couple of years of WWI that women were allowed to even serve in the military and initially they were confined to the medical or nursing career field or very few support fields within the US Military. With them not even being allowed to be in the US Military for even a hundred years at the time that this article is being written, is it any wonder that they wouldn’t immediately thrive and adapt in such an environment, realm or arena such as the Military? The accomplishments of women in a predominantly male dominated world comes with a natural and defensive and even suppressive recourse when any of these male dominated fields is challenged but that is somewhat to be expected.
Whether it be in the field of Sports, Business, the Legal arena, politics etc women have proven they can be the equivalent counterpart to males. And so why shouldn’t the Military also be one of those areas in which insecure males challenge such core positions and beliefs as well? Women have the same tenacity and intestinal fortitude as men if not more at times than many American Males. I want to put these ideas to rest once and for all that women cannot function, perform and operate on the same level as men if not at times even better. This, is not to be confused in saying that women are better than men or vice versa or that all women, like men all live up to the same standard as all other counterparts and peers. Everybody in the world does not have the same strengths, nor do they all have the same weaknesses either whether its the same sex or the opposite sex. If this were the case then all 18 thru 52 year old military males would all be C.A.G. Operators or members of The US Navy SEALs DevGru and we all know that is not the case. For such arguments there is the rule and there are always exceptions to the rule or human anomalies. When it comes to the two female US Army Officer graduates of the Army’s R.L.C. (Ranger Leaders Course), you men are just going to have to accept the facts, stop being illogical and stop being “Insecure” of the fact that these two women did what many men cannot or have not which is that they successfully met the standards and navigated thru an extremely difficult and challenging leadership course.
First off, why is a female passing/graduating Ranger School so hard to believe on its merit alone??? Women graduated from Airborne School and have been for decades now. Female French Resistance Fighters jumped in behind enemy lines during WWII…. Women can pull a trigger just as well as a man. There are female Olympians that do both skeet shooting and perform as bi-athletes in high skilled competitions. Female athletes can run exceptionally well. A Russian Female Sniper Roza Shanina had 54 confirmed kills at the age of 19 and was part of a larger group of approximately 200 women tasked with this job for their nation during WWII. http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/smart-beautiful-deadly-19-year-old-russian-sniper-roza-shanina-54-confirmed-kills/
Women in the US Army have obtained every other skill badge and Tab other than the Special Forces “long” tab. Air Assault, Pathfinder, Sapper (Engineer Leaders Course), S.E.R.E. school and the list goes on…..all objectives that have long been conquered by our sisters in uniform. Air Assault School alone has a 12 mile, 3 hour timed Road March. So is it ridiculous and illogical male contention that if the weight is upped that a female cannot carry it for a certain amount of hrs per day, for so many days straight???? Yet……women for centuries have carried around additional body weight for 9 months at a time while simultaneously being kicked in the back, ribs and bladder???? Women have already conquered the coveted and prestigious E.I.B. (Expert Infantryman Badge) a couple of years back as two female South Korean “Infantry” soldiers, were awarded the badge after completing the various tasks/stations imcluding the timed 12 mile road march within 3 hrs.
South Korean Army females are also part of their nations Special Forces as well. When I was stationed there back from 1999 to 2000, I saw Korean Special Forces Female Soldiers wearing Halo badges and Scuba bubbles. Yet here in the United States our own brethren in Arms/Uniform can’t believe that two home grown American Women who have voluntarily chosen to serve their country can’t do what not all men or women for that matter can do???
Let’s examine the argument for such disbelief as observed and read remarks from other sites, publications, pages and conversation about the subject shall we…
The arguments made by insecure males by the numbers:
1. No women successfully completed the US Marine Corps Infantry Officers Basic Course, how could they successfully complete US Army Ranger School?
Response: While this is factually accurate it is not overall indicative of female military members performance in Combat Arms Training Programs overall by any stretch or figment of the imagination. We all know as much as us in the US Army wanna think we have the toughest everything, this isn’t always necessarily factually accurate. Its common knowledge that the Marine Corps Boot Camp is longer and perceivably harder than all of the the other Uniformed Services by virtue of this fact alone. Not only is the Boot Camp Longer, but the Marine Corps Infantry A.I.T. equivalent is also longer than its nearest related sister service branch the Army. US Army Infantry A.I.T. (Advanced Individual Training) at Ft. Benning Georgia ; The Home of the Infantry is 5 weeks in length, while the Marine Corp Equivalent is 8 weeks. And yet the males who state their doubts about the two female Army Officer’s cite their doubts about a woman’s ability to complete Ranger School based on a sister branch’s performance in a different course which is not a reflective indicator of how women would perform in the Infantry Branch as a whole or if they would even be able to meet standards because of the results of the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Basic Course results. But here is the problem with such a broad assessment. The candidates for the MCIOBC program were limited to a small number of females and only those in the officer ranks. What was left out or not included as legitimately proven facts is that this experiment was already tried in the enlisted ranks for the Marine Corps Enlisted Infantry AIT equivalent course and since 2013, over 242 women have successfully completed that course. No altered standards either. Which should lead any “reasonable” thinking human being or military member to logically and deductively conclude that if they can make it through the 8 weeks of Marine Corps Infantry Training that they can surely make it through the 5 weeks of US Army Infantry AIT as well which pretty much proves that over 242 women can stand amongst the ranks of our standard Infantryman today. Sorry boys, the facts are the facts and logical conclusions based on such facts are still logical conclusions based on facts. For proof of this number I provide the following Marine Corps times link in which the first three women to make it through such training started in 2013 and continues on through today.
2. They were given more chances than anyone else ever.
Response: No actually they were not. They made it through RAP (Ranger Assessment and Processing) week, then went through Benning Phase and failed. Started again, and failed Benning Phase at which point 3 of them they were given the option to come back as day one restarts. If you can be recycled multiple phases for various reasons ranging from medical to phase recycles to day one restarts its not as though they went through Benning Phase, restarted, mountain phase and restarted from mountain phase again and then made it to Florida phase and then restarted Florida Phase yet again. I know people who were in 75th Regiment and went through Ranger School 3 times back when their were 4 phases; Desert Phase was eventually Phased out and this individual was recycled various phases. When only 3 of the initial 19 female candidates started from Day one all over again and two made it all the way through the 62 day course after already doing Benning Phase twice, that takes intestinal fortitude and will power in which some of their male counterparts who were “also” offered the chance to be day one restarts declined. Benning Phase percentage and numbers wise weeds out the biggest numbers of the group overall. Statistically speaking those who make it through Benning Phase have a 75% chance of making it through the rest of the course. Also, how the flying fuck would any source know who has had the most chances??? There is no one alive who has been through every fucking single Ranger School Class in history to make such a ridiculous assertion.
3. President Obama said he would be attending the graduation date for the class the Female Candidates were in as day one restarts, so there must’ve been some type of command influence or orders given to pass the Female Candidates:
Response: This is where we literally begin to go into ridiculous conspiracy theories and making bold face high level accusations. What’s worse is that there is zero proof that there was any type of command influence. Furthermore, this is all assuming that you have never yourself or ever heard anyone in a leadership or command position make a statement showing “a vote of confidence” made ever before!!!
When I leave for an NCOES (Noncommissioned Officer Education School) such as PLDC/WLC, BNCOC, ANCOC/ALC and whatever else the courses names have been changed to, and the Commander and First Sergeant tells me that I’ll see you in one to two months, it doesn’t by any figment of the imagination imply I’m a shoe in to graduate. Nor does it mean anything similarly when this past year my second oldest daughter graduated High School and I told my next youngest child who is 18 months her junior that Id see him walking across that stage the following summer did it mean that he cant fuck it up or that the school staff and I are in cahoots for my offspring to be successful in their academic endeavours. Its simply means I have confidence in you that you can or will succeed. Plain and Simple. What’s even more insane about such accusations, speculation and conjecture is that none of it is even remotely true!!! President Obama never said he was attending their graduation. That’s not even how such things are normally done. The President doesn’t normally attend just any event anywhere. He doesn’t go to the Super Bowl or the Olympics to be there with each years Champions fresh off the field or Boxers fresh from a high profile fight. Just like the USA Women’s World Cup…. He didn’t attend the Championship match to be there with the women. He invites people of significance to the White House after the event via a planner/scheduler. What’s even funnier about this whole line of reasoning is it was all rumor based from Conservative Blogs and websites!!! Which makes it a political attack versus anything of actual substance.
Sites such as havocjournal.com, allenbwest.com, and theconservativetreehouse.com all basically political hack sites with an obvious political agenda made up such information or pulled it out of their asses. If you relied on this shit as your source of information prior to them even completing the course then you are a fucking total moron. You are the only one who allowed undue influence affect your “opinion”. The fact that he didn’t attend shows how shitty the level of intel was in the first place.
4. They weren’t smoked/PTd as much.
Response: There is no set time in regards to the amount of being smoked/P.T. Some classes are shorter and some longer mostly based on level of motivation shown by the students after R.A.P. week during Benning Phase. If you have a publication stating otherwise from RTB (Ranger Training Brigade), then I’d love to see it. Otherwise shut the fuck up and Drive On!!!
5. They had more rest time during this class/group than any previous class ever.
Response: It’s a matter of fact that there are certain stations, events and a minimum amount of patrols in certain key leadership positions that must be experienced and evaluated during each phase of Ranger School. As long as each student regardless of having a Penis or Vagina gets a Go at each station or event and the requisite amount of successful Patrols, then there is nothing to indicate additional or unfair rest time as a point of fact. Example, some classes are bigger and some are smaller, some weed out more during Benning Phase thus roll into Mountain Phase with less or more students than others. From there a certain amount of phase re-cycles may or may not join the class and press forward from there. If the size of the class is smaller, then obviously the amount of Patrols to rotate each student through for a minimal amount of graded patrols can vary and either take longer or shorter each day and night of graded Patrols. This does not infer any preferential treatment or change in the standards required of all students regardless of them being male or female. For example if 10 students make it from Benning Phase to Mountain Phase and each student has to successfully pass 2 of 3 Patrols in key leadership positions such as PL (Platoon Leader), or PSG (Platoon Sergeant), then that means they will do a total of anywhere between 20 to 30 Patrols during said phase. Obviously if only 5 move on in the similar aforementioned scenario then there would only be between 10 and 15 Patrols thus leaving additional downtime due to a smaller group needing to be graded on Patrols. It’s simple math and the classes ability to successfully acquire their 2 out of three Gos on Patrols during each phase. Furthermore there can be additional down time based on safety factors and issues. For those of us old enough to remember when 4 students died of hypothermia during Swamp Phase at Camp Rudder back in 1995 with another 4 students hospitalized or treated for hypothermia thus forcing the amount of time spent in water during a certain time of the year to a more limited amount of time in the water than say Summer or Spring class students then this should all male total common sense. Things such as low temperatures, heat indexes, Hurricanes, lightning strikes that took place during the class with the two aforementioned female candidates/graduates taking place striking 3 instructors and 16 students would clearly call for a temporary safety stand down until the threat has passed. Again exibiting that there is nothing unusual about such things and it having nothing to do with sex/gender and again that no standards were violated or lowered.
6. Generals and Retired Sergeant Major walking the patrol lanes with the aforementioned female candidate class inferring something suspect was afoot.
General Miller Commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Ft. Benning, Georgia did not walk any Patrols that the female candidates were being graded on. Some Generals did observe some patrols as did a retired Command Sergeant Major Matt Walker which is not unprecedented nor was the fact that other “observers” who just like all the doubters wanted to see with their own eyes what exactly was what. That is called observation and supervision and they didn’t grade a single patrol nor do they have patrol grading authority. That is left up to the RIs. These individuals have all made separate public statements attesting to this to clear up such rumors and none lend a single bit of weight or credibility to such ridiculous rumors. Nor has a single instructor come forward publicly or anonomously to lend any weight to such baseless allegations. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/02/17/us/4-army-ranger-candidates-die-in-chilly-florida-swamp.html
Which leaves us to a few remaining items of dispute in this matter in order to debunk all the haters and doubters.
1. If the female candidates were allegedly a lock in as the doubters suggest, then why leave on female candidate back in Mountain Phase or multiple others back in Benning Phase??? It makes no sense. Why not just run all three day 1 restarts through the rest of the course and get them tabbed out??? Pass two, pass three, pass all of them, what does it matter if its a lock and an inside command job??? Why not give all 18 original female candidates day one restarts like these three received? Why were other male candidates also offered day one restarts which they all turned down like the female candidates were if it was such a lock and the fix was in???
2. Another interesting fact and statistic that attests that the fix being in being total bullshit was that the fact that only 31 of the 303 Candidates from the final class these two graduates were in made it to the Florida Patrol Phase as day one restarts. 31!!!!
So if the fix was in, if they got more rest, special patrol graders, lighter packing lists and less being smoked/PTd, and all the other alleged modified and lowered standards, then why was there such a low overall straight through Graduation rate or pass rate going into Florida Patrol Phase???? It makes no sense. There is no logic to back up the facts or actual numbers. Anybody in that class should have been an almost shoe in with all the alleged bullshit that these suspicious and pessimistic ass clowns have thrown out there.
3. The Matter of Integrity: I can not emphasize this enough in this entire matter especially in a group such as the individuals at RTB and those who are or were members of the 75th Ranger Regiment who were cadre, instructors and Patrol Graders…. So I will say it again to drill it into the fucking heads of some of you stubborn knuckle dragging numbskulls. INTEGRITY!!!! INTEGRITY!!!! INTEGRITY!!!!!
By making such absurd allegations and accusations, you are directly and clearly calling ever single swinging dick in this Ranger School process as well as every single observer a bold faced dishonest no integrity having liar. Mostly RIs, RTB Cadre, 2 to 4 Star Generals, and CSMs both active duty and retired. What the flying fuck would cause you to do such a thing without any proof or physical or verifiable evidence!?!?!??! Which brings us full circle as to the only two things it could logically or conceivably be. Male Insecurity and Cognitive Dissonance. Now for the ignorant of definable terms, let’s explain exactly what the hell these two things are.
While looking up the layman’s definition of “Insecurity” in the urban dictionary I interestingly enough found this as an example:
” Insecure people will often insult or bully others to feel better about themselves. They will also lie about their alleged “success” to impress people. Basically, insecure people hide their real self to avoid being rejected or despised, when most of their perceptions are false.”
With that being said, Insecurity very well could be responsible for some male disbelief of the accomplishments and capabilities of the two female Ranger School graduates… But there is one more possible conclusion which may be the most obvious of all which is Cognitive Dissonance!!! A.K.A. being in serious “DENIAL”….
Cognitive Dissonance in short is your mind forcing you to deny or accept new or contradicting information to what or how you think for fear that if you accept that you were wrong about one thing, that you would be forced to question many or all others about how and what you think. In order to prevent this your mind stubbornly denies or disallows any new information into the equation no matter how much proof you are actually being provided against your previous or current held beliefs or conclusions. Which is really, really really sad.
This draws us to our final conclusion which is this….
When we get down to brass tax and cut out all the haterism is that these two female Army Officers Successfully Passed/Graduated the US Army Ranger Leaders Course meeting the exact same standards as their male counterparts.
Can all women pass the Ranger Leaders Course??? No, of course not. Can all military males??? No, of course not. Not even all Infantryman can pass the RLC. Just like there are a large portion of military males who do not have what it takes to be an Infantryman in either the Marine Corps or the US Army. Realistically these theories are the same regardless of how you look at them. Some, not all men can be Infantry, Can be Rangers, can be Navy Seals etc… Just like some, not all women can be Infantryman, Rangers, Navy Seals…. It is literally that simple.
Ive personally served with women that I would share a foxhole with, defend a position with or assault a position with. It is simply a matter of being afforded the opportunity and situation to do so.
So “Men”, and I use that term loosely…. For the “Boys” still not willing to grow up and accept simple conclusive facts, please stop embarrassing the rest of us who have accepted the truth and welcome those who can meet the standards into our ranks.
For those who had doubt, will you finally, once and for all acknowledge that not only have these two female Army Officers earned the right to be called Leaders and to wear the coveted Ranger Tab, but also the right to be called “Rangers”….
And before any of the aforementioned insecure cognitive dissonance types jumps in with the same pitiful ass statements such as…. They aren’t really/actually Rangers because they haven’t served in the 75th Regiment, let me stop you right there….. Look on their left shoulder. Look closely at what the either subdued Green and Black tab or Gold and Black tab if in dress uniform reads…. that’s right, it says, “RANGER”….
Also, its is the most absurd ideology that if they successfully passed Ranger School, that they wouldn’t make it through R.A.S.P. Especially since normally a predecessor to attending Ranger School for most pipeline students is R.A.S.P. If R.A.S.P. were harder or more complex than Ranger School then you would not only be handed a Tan Beret upon completion of R.A.S.P., but you would also be handed your Ranger Tab as well. Grow Up Guys!!! This shit is getting pathetic.
Again the only reason women are not currently serving in the Infantry or in the 75th Regiment is because they have not been yet afforded the opportunity to try. Its is now just a simple a matter of time before female leaders are seen on the battlefield yelling out to their male counterparts, “Follow Me”…