Allen B. West

Zero women pass Marine Combat Endurance test; Army allowing women in Ranger School

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This past Saturday I went to see “American Sniper.” Unless you’ve buried your head in the sand for the past five years, the movie is based on the book written by our nation’s most lethal sniper in our military history, US Navy SEAL Chief Chris Kyle. Chris’ life came to a tragic end just two years ago, and end that no one could have predicted. However, he lived his life committed to a core principle and belief — to recognize and defeat evil. Chris was the epitome of a modern day American Spartan, a warrior, who lived by a simple ethos.

But if you watched the movie, you saw the reality of SEAL training — along with that depicted in “Lone Survivor” featuring another Texan, Marcus Luttrell — and what close combat operations against Islamic terrorists entails. It’s a conflagration against non-sate, non-uniform belligerents who are savage in their objectives and barbaric in their actions.

“American Sniper” gives you a window into some of the most intense combat actions — Fallujah, Al Ramadi, and Sadr City — all in Iraq. It shows the split-second decisions that must be made and what some call the “25 meter war” which puts one in close combat with a vicious enemy whose 7th century ideology means no quarter for our troops.

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Despite this reality, the progressive socialists of the Obama administration are not concerned with strengthening our forces – as a matter of fact, as we’ve often reported here, our military capacity and capability is being decimated at a far greater rate than we’re destroying ISIS. Our own president unilaterally releases Islamic jihadists back on the battlefield at a time when the enemy is still fighting our troops — and gaining greater momentum.

Forget the reality of our enemy. It’s must nicer to live in the la-la land of social egalitarianism, so we’re going to allow females to enter U.S. Army Ranger training.

Yes, Ranger School, which prepares those who want to be a member of the Army’s ultimate light infantry elite force — the 75th Ranger Regiment headquartered in Ft. Benning Georgia with subordinate battalions at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia, Ft. Lewis Washington, and at Ft. Benning.

Let me explain that graduation from Ranger School doesn’t mean automatic entry into the Ranger Regiment — they have additional requirements. Graduation from Ranger school allows soldiers to wear the venerable Ranger Tab. Priority for Ranger School goes to those who will serve in regular line light infantry units, Airborne, and Air Assault infantry units and then to those who would be in support positions.

I requested a slot in Ranger School after completing my officer’s basic training at Ft. Sill Oklahoma as a young artillery lieutenant. I was denied because my slot to the 4th Battalion, 325th Airborne Battalion Combat Team in Vicenza Italy attendance at Airborne and Jumpmaster Schools — attending Ranger School would have meant losing my slot to the 4/325th ABCT. I also requested again to attend Ranger School after my artillery officers advanced course, as a captain, but because my follow-on assignment was to the First Infantry Division which was a mechanized unit, my priority was low and denied.

So how many Soldiers who truly need this training will be affected by this recent “social justice” decision from the Obama administration to allow females into Ranger School?

As reported by CBS News, ” The Army will allow as many as 60 women to participate in the next Ranger course…a grueling two-month combat school. It is considered one of the first steps into the military special operations field. Army Secretary John McHugh approved the change that would allow women in the course beginning in late April. While completing the leadership course would let women wear the coveted Ranger tab, it does not let them become members of the Ranger regiment. Currently only men can be in the 75th Ranger Regiment – the special operations forces unit based at Fort Benning, Georgia. Joining the regiment requires additional schooling that is physically, emotionally and mentally challenging.”

My question to President Obama, Secretary of Defense Hagel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dempsey, Secretary of the Army McHugh, and Chief of Staff of the Army General Odierno — is this the right time for experiments?

We are facing an enemy that has not been decimated, is not on the run, not degraded, not defeated, and certainly not destroyed — so why are we sacrificing 60 slots that should be going to men that we need in close combat operations? How many Marines, Navy SEALS, Air Force Special Operators, or potential light infantry officers are being pushed aside just to appease the false gods of political correctness. Heck, what message does this end to the enemy?

The obvious question we should all be asking — will the standards be altered in order to create an equality of outcomes? The desired outcomes that the Obama administration and all the social egalitarians seek? One of the “unseen” qualifications is for a Ranger School student to be previously Airborne qualified — can you do Ranger School without being Airborne qualified? Sure, but guess what? You don’t participate in the required Airborne operations — which can be a delineator due to jump related injuries.

“By January 2016, the military must open all combat jobs to women or explain why any must remain closed. The Pentagon lifted its ban on women in combat jobs in 2012, but gave the military services time to gradually and systematically integrate women into the male-only front-line positions.”

Progressive socialists see the military as just another employment pursuit and all the “jobs” in the military need be open to everyone. They don’t realize that in the military our profit margin isn’t in dollars and cents but lives — as we saw in “American Sniper” and “Lone Survivor” — and next year the Navy is supposed to open up SEAL training to females.

But let me share something the left and their media accomplices don’t want reported. As The Washington Times reports, “The failure of two Marine Corps female officers to pass the Jan. 8 first-day Combat Endurance Test of the infantry officer course (IOC) brings the tally of female dropouts to 26. One more group of female officers will have a shot at graduation before the Marine Corps completes its integration experiment in June. The next IOC program begins in April.”

In other words this experiment has gone 0-26 — and how many young male Marine officers had to sit back and miss this training? And just so you know, how tough is Marine IOC? Military Times reported Friday that of the current IOC class 15 men out of a class of 118 were forced to drop the course.

“Opportunities for female enlisted Marines to cycle through Infantry Training Battalion for seven MOS-specific ground combat training programs will also end soon. Marine Corps statistics show that out of 240 volunteers, 106 were successful.” Less than 50 percent is failure in my book. Why do the social egalitarians who are decimating our military force get to play politically correct games with our national security based on 0-26 and a less than 50 percent pass rate?

Sixty slots for Ranger School — you know the Rangers, their history began in the French and Indian War with Colonel Rogers and his exploits against the Abenaki Indians. Those were the “Boys of Pont du Hoc” of whom President Reagan paid homage. They were the men who made the valiant stand in Mogadishu committed to the creed of “Leave no man behind.” They jumped into Kandahar in the early days of our combat operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

They are the most elite ground infantry unit in the U.S. Army and part of our U.S. Special Operations Command. They are not a toy for the progressive socialist social egalitarians to play with — but then after all, what would you expect of sheep trying to lead lions?

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