I’ve said it once, and will say it again: we need a serious intervention for our U.S. military.
I remember when I was on my joint exchange assignment at Camp Lejeune NC with the II Marine Expeditionary Force. It was the same time the Army decided to change our longstanding and highly-esteemed ad slogan of “Be all you can be” to “Army of One” — that didn’t last long. And the Army also decided to switch to the former U.S Army Ranger black beret for everyone — the beret in the Army had always been a symbol of Special Operations and Airborne forces. I can tell you I was on the end of some comical abuse levied towards me by my scarlet and gold brothers and sisters of the U.S. Marine Corps was, well, very strong, and humorous. But to a more pressing issue where a retired member of our Army is embarrassing herself…
As reported by the Marine Corps Times, “Eight women have now successfully completed the Combat Endurance Test (CET) at the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course (IOC), the Basic School commander told the Defense Advisory Council on Women in the Services, Sept. 13.
Colonel Mark Clingan said the CET is a screening tool used to weed out officers who are not likely to pass the course. However, none of the eight women who passed the CET graduated IOC.
Interestingly, Clingan further reported that six of the eight women had passed the CET in the top 50 percent of their class and two of the women had passed in the top 10 percent of their class. All eight who passed the CET were later eliminated during hikes when loads began to exceed 100 pounds.
When committee members asked how it was that enlisted Marine women had been so much more successful in infantry training, they were told that infantry officers must be able to carry a “sustainment load” of up to 152 pounds for 9.3 miles at a 3-mile-per-hour pace in order to graduate from their course, while loads are much lighter (62 pounds) for enlisted Marines.
According to Clingan, basic enlisted infantry training trains Marines to a much lower bar with the expectation that once they reach their units they will be trained up to meet the 152 pound, 9.3 miles at the 3-mile-per-hour standard. Later in the briefing the Marines showed a slide that quoted the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act which requires that occupational standards “accurately predict performance of actual, regular and recurring duties of a military occupation.”
During the break, I asked one of the Marine representatives how often Marines actually carry 152 pounds that distance and he said “infrequently .” I was still curious, so I polled a few Marine infantry officers to find out how often they had carried loads of 95 to 152 pounds during their deployments. I was a bit surprised by the responses because I thought the requirement might at least come close to some operational example. However, one infantry officer with two combat deployments, one as a weapons company commander said, “I’m trying to imagine the type of fighting and tactical task that requires you to move around administratively in an AO with 150-plus pounds on your back… Nothing is impossible, but trying to come up with a situation, mission and METT-T where this would be required is… a unicorn in my opinion.”
The writer of this piece, the one questioning the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course standards, is a retired Army female, Colonel Ellen Haring, who is a fellow at Women in International Security, where she directs the Combat Integration Initiative project. Haring is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and earned her doctorate from the George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.
Now, I have no idea in which specialty branch Col. Haring served, or if she attended any specialty training such as Airborne, Air Assault, or Jumpmaster schools. I do have one thing to say: who is she to question the combat infantry officer standards of the U.S. Marine Corps?
And herein lies the issue with progressive socialists; it’s all about the culture of the participation trophy. This has been the standard for Marine Infantry Officers to achieve for quite sometime — and it’s the same regardless of gender.
Heck, if you are a guy who can’t hack it, then you don’t get the esteemed title of Marine infantry officer, plain and simple. However, for Colonel Haring to assert that this is an unnecessary standard just because the women couldn’t achieve it is beyond unconscionable.
And believe me, if Hillary Clinton becomes president, someone like Colonel Harding will probably have a position in her Defense Department. Just look at the gathering of incompetence that is the civilian leadership of the Department of Defense and Service Secretaries in the Obama administration now.
Hey Colonel Harding, let me explain something to you. There are times when a leader may have to shoulder more than a normal load. For instance, the leader may have to lift and carry a fellow Marine who’s been wounded. I would submit to you the incredible story of two U.S. Navy SEALS in Vietnam — Tommy Norris and Mike Thornton. Norris was severely wounded, Thornton swam with him, after carrying him off the battlefield while delivering fire, for over 800 meters…they are both Medal of Honor recipients. And Colonel, maybe you served in a different Army, but I believe the standards of leadership MUST be higher, so who cares what the enlisted Marines must achieve — they expect higher and demand greater of a Marine Infantry Officer.
I know folks out there are worried about what Donald Trump may have said, but just consider what will happen to our military under Hillary Clinton. She’ll probably have Marine Infantry officers kissing their troops like the University of Houston football coach.
And we already know SecNav Ray Mabus had mandated gender neutral titles – “infantry people.” We already have a military that says it will be paying for surgeries for those affected by a mental condition called gender dysphoria. But, if retired Army Colonel Haring’s insidious assertions aren’t enough, check this out.
As reported by the Daily Caller, “The Air Force announced a new set of 13 inclusion initiatives Friday with the goal of ensuring the force isn’t as white, male and heterosexual as it is now.
Air Force officials are intent on building upon a foundation of nine initiatives from 2015, in order to boost diversity. Those nine initiatives weren’t enough to make the Air Force as diverse as desired, which is why it is taking more intensive steps in 2016.
The first new initiative mandates that at least one diverse candidate will have to be in the running for important developmental positions like aide-de camp, senior enlisted advisor and executive officer, among other roles. This initiative will require that the pool of Airmen considered for key military developmental positions… include at least one qualified, diverse candidate,” the Air Force’s new fact sheet reads, before going on to say that mandating diverse candidates in the selection pool does not mandate actually hiring that diverse candidate for the position.
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James put down her foot and said she wants to make the demographics of the service match more closely with the changing demographics of America.
“This is the way America is,” James said. “America is a diverse population, and we don’t want to shut down pieces of the population from which we can recruit. We want the best we can possibly get from all sectors.” And to get the best from all sectors, as the Air Force puts it, commanders will be pressured to choose diverse airmen as recruiters to boost diversity in the service.”
Deborah Lee James has never served a day in uniform; she was a staffer on the House Armed Services Committee and worked for defense contractor SAIC. And what is important to her isn’t the fact that the Air Force is hemorrhaging pilots, the F-35 aircraft is grounded and is a disaster, or that the current Air Force has the smallest and oldest combat fleet since the modern U.S. Air Force was created. Nope, her focus is on more diversity — kinda like actor Christopher Walken calling for more cowbell in that famous Saturday Night Live skit.
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and retired Army Colonel Ellen Haring represent more of what will come for our Department of Defense. Rumor has it that Hillary Clinton will name former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy, as her Secretary of Defense. Ms. Flournoy spent three years in that position, never served in the U.S. military and has a BA degree in Social Studies from Harvard University. But don’t worry, her husband is a retired U.S. Navy Reserve CAPTAIN (O-6).
Here’s is a window into how Ms. Flournoy would handle Syria and ISIS, “Michele Flournoy, formerly the third-ranking civilian in the Pentagon under President Barack Obama, called for “limited military coercion” to help remove Assad from power in Syria, including a “no bombing” zone over parts of Syria held by U.S.-backed rebels.” Yep, that good ol’ limited military coercion combined with empathy, compassion, unity, and love…that’ll teach those bad guys all over the world a lesson!
The point of this? I know why I’m voting for Donald Trump — three reasons: Colonel Ellen Haring, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, and Michele Flournoy and their misguided vision…and don’t worry, a battle-hardened and experienced Secretary of Defense can reverse all this craziness.