Another Crack in the Standards: The First-Ever Female Ranger School Graduates

rangerettes-griest-and-haver

– 20 August 2015 –

Patulcius:

Patulcius-sq(Update and Correction on 20 August)

Two female soldiers are poised to finally graduate the Army Ranger course after several years of various Leftist attempts to force the issue.  The media is breathless with excitement. Obama, who never saw fit to attend a Ranger graduation before, has vowed to attend (if the women are present). Or not.  From People Magazine:

This Friday, Griest and Haver will become the first female soldiers in history to graduate from the course in Fort Benning, Georgia, where they’ll receive the coveted Ranger Tab alongside their male counterparts.

Griest and Haver are among a test group of women who attended the first coed course, which began in April with 381 men and 19 women, but ended its run with only 94 men and two women. One woman currently remains in the program and is still attempting to complete it.

Although the course runs 62 days, it appears it took Griest and Haver longer to complete it. “These two women began the course April 20. They were ‘recycled’ at different phases of the course, but have been at the school since that date,” Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson told PEOPLE on Wednesday. (A recycled course refers to one that’s been redone.)

While it isn’t out of the question that a small number of very unusual women could pass an unaltered Ranger School program, I remain very skeptical that these three did so without some extra coaching, extra attention, and/or some bending of the rules.  That suspicion must arise when such an obvious political motive exists behind the womens’ success from both inside and outside of the Army.

One of the key parts of the quoted article, perhaps unintentionally, is the last paragraph: “They were ‘recycled’ at different phases of the course, but have been at the school since that date.”  I’ve read that it’s not uncommon for soldiers to fail parts of the Ranger School yet the Army allows them to try again, so in itself, failure isn’t an issue.  The more relevant fact is the number times the women failed and how many chances did they get compared to typical men in the same situation.

haver

Sorry, guys. She’s taken.

The WeaponsMan weblog seems to have the most detailed information on the subject, and the site has followed the progress of these and other women for the past several months, though unfortunately there haven’t been any updates on this case since July 9.  The site is run by a “former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S)” (whatever all of that means; I’m not an Army or weapons man myself, but that last bit sounds impressive).

A post on April 11 describes the beginning of the Ranger Assessment Course, apparently the first weed-out tests used in the Ranger School:

Unlike the Marines, the Army started not with an inviolate standard but with smoke and mirrors designed to obscure a double standard. Rather than just asking for volunteers, the Army has offered many inducements to volunteers and has done everything but scatter roses in their paths. Officers have been assigned to supervise the experiment, and they know their careers hinge on its “success,” as the Beltway Egalitocracy might define “success.” Numerous measures have been taken to prepare the women candidates to succeed. These include but are not limited to:

  • A special “pre-Ranger” course that was set up to address Guard and Reserve attrition levels at Ranger has become the “Women’s Prep” course;

  • A cadre of commissars has been assigned to shadow female candidates, ensure their success, and prevent any “unfairness,” undefined;

  • Women who quit were bucked up and reinserted into training, if at all possible, in the interests of data gathering;

  • Women who failed a requirement, likewise. They did not pass, but unlike the males who failed they were not removed from training.

  • In addition to the commissars, women are being shadowed and encouraged by Army brass and media crews.

But an update on July 9 by the same contributor tells a slightly different story:

So far, the Ranger Instructors are confident that the women have met the same standards as the men, with the single exception that Col. Fivecoat, the RTB commander, has been easier on them on recycles. Even then, they have not had treatment that is outside the range of what men have had.

Has there been… pressure? Depends on how you define it. The RIs are generally Ranger, infantry or SOF combat vets, so their idea of “pressure” doesn’t include being bossed around. Fivecoat is committed to the success of women in Ranger School, and he goes around telling folks that “the women must pass,” but he also says, “the standard must be held.” In his mind there is no contradiction. The RIs have done a pretty good job insulating the students from the looky-loos and media and giving them as normal a Ranger School experience as they can.

It would be interesting if WeaponsMan would update their information (have their sources been gagged?), but from their seemingly large number of inner sources who have provided great details (not all quoted) of the ongoing school progress, WeaponsMan seems like a credible source.

So let us give these female graduates the benefit of the doubt.  We have two women (technically), and an upcoming third, who are graduating this school out of at least dozens of women who entered and failed.  Three out of nineteen, or 16%, of the women who entered the April 20 school passed while 25% of the men (94 out of 381) passed.  I remain very incredulous at this high rate of female passage, as I can’t see women really performing at nearly the same exact rate as the men, but I’ll try to play along.

On a side note, it is interesting that the men in this integrated unit have fallen out at higher levels than the average:

Male students who had women in their patrols also failed at an unusually high rate, the sources said. The average Ranger Course typically sees a few dozen soldiers wash out during the Darby Phase, but eight women and 101 men did so in the class that begin Ranger School on April 20. Thirty-five of those men failed to meet the standards to try again, but the rest were allowed to “recycle” and try it again later in May, Army officials said.

While I’ll accept that these women might pass a mostly fair physical program, I cannot accept that these women will not be some of the weakest performers in the overall graduating class.  They are still women; they are still much weaker than men of comparable physical fitness.  Feminists can call me a sexist all that they want, but the facts are still facts.

Why should women sacrifice their untold value to humanity, that is, their ability to bear children, to become the weakest soldiers in their units?  Even apart from the overall weakening of the military from their presence, do women best serve society by becoming weak soldiers?

Why not utilize women, in the event of crisis, where their abilities and inclinations best fit and where women have served with distinction in the past, well behind the combat zones in administrative and nursing roles? (Ohh, that is just so backward, isn’t it, feminists? Well, I would wager that the overwhelming majority of women would prefer white collar or nursing service to front-line combat or deployed field support.  Such has been my personal observation in naval deployments.)

Female ranger7

Ugh. The future of women: just female men.

The problem with these new Ranger graduates is not so much whether they did or did not actually achieve the same standards as their male counterparts, but how the military politicians will use their precedence.  Note that these women, despite graduating, will not actually be allowed to serve in the Army Rangers. Yet.

It seems that the goal of this training, at the moment, has less to do with adding women to the 75th Ranger Regiment than with military promotions for female officers.

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

Already, because of the showcase example of these two women, the Navy has announced that it is planning to open its elite SEALS program to women who can pass the physical requirements.  Then other elite units will admit female members into their ranks on the basis of these supposedly unbiased graduation rates.

Later, after the media leave and the brass find other pet projects to promote, the fact that only a small number of women can pass these tests will drive new demands for change.  Feminists in the military, a growing power, will complain that the physical standards of elite units are inherently unfair and discriminatory.  Either the military will have to reduce the overall standards so they become gender-neutral, or they will have to make special considerations for the women, even more than they already do.

The effect overall is the further weakening of our military and our society.

Clusivius:

Clusivius-sqWell, since the military has simply become another laboratory for egalitarian social experiments, at least it will be a weak and dysfunctional foe in any war against domestic patriots in the coming years.

(Update on 20 August:

Janus:

Janus-smallRoger has corrected me on a significant error with this article (see the Comments section).  Had I bothered to read the Wikipedia article for “Ranger School” for even ten seconds, I would have seen that the Army’s Ranger School has absolutely nothing to do with the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment:

The United States Army Ranger School is not organizationally affiliated with the 75th Ranger Regiment. Ranger School falls under control of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command as a school open to most members of the United States Army, but the 75th Ranger Regiment is a Special Operations warfighting unit organized under the United States Army Special Operations Command. The two share a common heritage and subordinate battalions common lineage, and Ranger School is a requirement for all officers and NCOs of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

That makes the whole rant in the middle of the article, concerning weakened military units, somewhat irrelevant to the main point.  It also makes sense why this school helps so much with officer promotions.  These women probably don’t even have any intention to join the 75th Regiment; they are merely seeking leadership training that is available to all other Army and Reserve officers in order to compete for promotion.

If women are already officers anyway, which they are, and if they are going to be officers on combat duty, which is starting to happen, and if their standards as female officers are already watered down despite their serving in combat (they are), then it follows that not only should the Ranger leadership school be open to all Army officers regardless of gender, but also that the physical requirements of women at the Ranger School be lowered in proportion to their lowered standards for other physical tests.

No, I don’t agree with the above logical statement!  Women should not serve in combat roles at all!

If the Ranger School is really for combat duty training, and if low-ranking officers still have to carry their physical loads on at least a potential basis in combat, then these physical standards for the Ranger School should be upheld.  Otherwise wartime soldiers are going to unnecessarily die.

But if the school is nothing more than a check-box for Army leaders’ brag sheets, then who cares if they throw away more physical standards and let the women graduate? The entire military has done this for every other co-ed duty.

Women shouldn’t serve in combat or even direct combat support at all, but if they’re going to be there, then you have to lower the standards. Otherwise, very very few will be there.  Which would be just fine with me.

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4 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Brittius.

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  2. I looked it up and just to be clear, Ranger School is not the same as Ranger Indoctrination Program which is the entrance ‘tryouts’ for the 75th Ranger Regiment-what you mean when you think ‘Airborne Rangers’. Ranger School is a leadership school open to pretty much anybody enlisted or commissioned including members of other branches and allied foreign military services. Its billed as the toughest leadership school in the army, wonder how long til its billed as the most inclusive leadership school in the army?

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    • Well that’s pretty embarrassing. I had to check what you said, but a 10-second glance through the “Ranger School” article on Wikipedia proved you to be absolutely correct. I think I’m starting to get sloppy with my research in the rush to produce articles.

      Thanks for that.

      That makes the whole rant in the middle of the article kind of irrelevant.

      It also makes sense why this school helps so much with officer promotions.

      Still, if the school is really for combat duty, and if low-ranking officers still have to carry their physical loads on at least a potential basis in combat, then these physical standards should be upheld.

      But if the school is nothing more than a check-box for Army leaders’ brag sheets, then who cares if they throw away more physical standards and let the women graduate? The entire military has done this for every other co-ed duty.

      Women shouldn’t serve in combat or even direct combat support at all, but if they’re going to be there, then you have to lower the standards. Otherwise, very very few will be there.

      I need to make an update entry…

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      • My understanding from the wiki article is its mandatory for Ranger Regiment NCOs and officers and a feather in the cap for other soldiers. So, the standards are still somewhat important to keep the Spec ops Rangers sharp, but how long until they are lowering standards to let women into the 75th Ranger Regiment?

        I am enjoying the more frequent posting.

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