Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Con Thien Air Strike

It never made sense to think of the fight
against terrorism as a "war" because
it's not possible to defeat a technique

or an idea by force of arms

--Down the Wrong Path
, Eugene Robinson

If you believe women should be in the armed services, you need read no further.

Continuing from yesterday's post, Feel the Love, CSM King was also quoted as saying women should be allowed into front line combat units:

"Asked if women should be allowed into frontline combat units, [CSM King] said yes, but only if they meet the same standards as men (Drill Sergeant at Heart Ascends to army's Top Spot)."

CSM King is being disingenuous, as women in the military meet a lower physical training standard than men. On the Physical Proficiency Test, a male may max the 2-mile run at 13 minutes, whereas females have 15 minutes. Men must perform 71 push ups; women, 42. How are these "the same standards"?

Ranger has never accepted female service in deployable units. There is no place for them in my world view of combat. Do we want women participating in combat -- are we so desperate? Women can serve in phony wars, but a real shoot 'em up would be another story entirely. Eventually, we will fight a real war, and having women in combat roles would degrade our capabilities.

After watching a recent t.v. special on the Chosin Reservoir retreat (or, breakout from encirclement), Ranger considered the hypothetical role of women in such a scenario -- combat at its worst. If 13% of those at Chosin had been women, that could have been the formula for disaster.

Consider a woman on the foot march out of the frozen Chosin Reservoir -- could she carry a 24-pound machine gun, with needed equipment and ammunition? Or, will she get a free taxi ride? The fact is, real soldiering is beyond a woman's physical capabilities, and at times, even exceeds that of a man.

Woman simply cannot serve at the same levels as men as either troopers, combat- or combat support troops. They lack the physicality to withstand the brutality of extended ground combat. All that would be achieved by the inclusion of women into such scenarios would be to increase the mission load onto the male service members.

Imagine female soldiers supporting Task force Smith in 1950. Or fighting with Dean at Seoul. Or at Corregidor, or the Bataan Death March, or Normandy, or The Bulge. Or Khe Sanh, Con Thien or Hue. No, if women are to be in the military, their specialties should be Post-level, and they should remain non-deployable assets.

Look at the current war in Afghanistan: Do you see women on patrol or in the Combat Outposts, or any position overrun by the Taliban?

It is unfair for the Army or society to propagandize us to believe it could routinely be otherwise.



Anonymous barcalounger said...

I think women should be given an equal opportunity to die for their country, just like the men. If women start showing up at Dover AFB in metal caskets maybe we'll stop getting into these senseless wars.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 9:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently barcalounger is not a compasionate person or one of reason. As soldiers we aren't expected to leave one of our own. As Ranger points out that the female soldier may not be able to carry the load a the same pace. She becomes a liability to the unit at that point. That places other elements at risk. Should those elements be eliminated, who is at fault? Giving women an equal opportunity to die for their country as barcolounger suggests, may be giving someone's son or father a greater chance of dying for their country.
There are plenty of positions in the military that women can fill that are essential to accomplishing a mission. I for one don't think I want one in the turret of my tank under pressure. But, if they are behind the lines keeping the fuel and rounds coming to support my mission then God love em for being there.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 10:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

what they are finding, regardless of what the job or the mission statement is, the enemy always has a vote.

one wrong turn by one truck driver hauling those supplies the anonymous commenter was talking about and before you can booyah tau you have yourself a lori piestewa dead and a jessica lynch hurt, captive, and used as a propoganda tool by both sides.

a woman can set a booby trap, women can lay out a kill zone for an ambush, they can do the job.

all over vietnam women did the job well enough to kill the fuck outta us.

women are already combat torch jockeys.

i must, however, agree with ranger on this one. i would not be in favor of a male commanding a DI school without having the experience of being under fire. i don't mean the petreaus type where you have your staff pukes go measure the distance to the arty craters to see if you can finally qualify for your CIB. i mean you want guys who've been close enough to get it on them.

ultimately, that's the task of a DI, to train folks to face and function while in that danger. if they don't know what that sounds, smells, and feels like, they will not be able to do the job.

one of the genius things about the guys that trained the teams was that each of them knew they could very well be deployed with the guys they were training. they trained us to their standards. those standards they had were from their experience.

yes, they had a hefty dose of sadism when they were telling us to "go get wet and sandy," but each of them had at one time in their career come right out of the surf, rolled into the sand and started the fucking fight right there in the surf line. that's the fucking job.

imagine my surprise later in vietnam, when, i realized that the seabag i was grabbing off the helo was for the master chief who had been my class commander. i felt about ten feet tall when i saw that he recognised me, then smiled.

to have someone commanding the DI school who hasn't experienced what the final product of that training will be is stupid.

you'd think i'd be used to fucking stupid by now....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 1:39:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

While I don't disagree with the post it's my understanding that women Russian snipers did make a difference at the siege of Leningrad. And also in any number of wars of liberation throughout the world.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 10:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As minstrel boy sez: the Vietnamese Women did a number on us.

Once when my son was a teen, he asked me what scared me the most about Vietnam. We were walking China Beach at the time and he saw nothing dangerous as there only fishermen, and women, a few tourists and the beauty of the South China Sea.
We walked a bit before I answered:

"Well son, after the dirt and the trees and the snakes and the landmines and the mortars and 122 rockets, besides the snipers and the home boys with all sorts of lethal weaponry, and c-rations and some of the idiots I was deployed with, I gotta tell you that I was most afraid of the women"

"Really?", he asked incredulously. "they don't look all that dangerous to me"
He was starting to notice the subtle differences twixt the genders.
"How come?"
"Being raised a Southerner, and taught to be a gentleman, respectful of women for one.
Another was that I was a man, with all that it brings into play, if you catch my drift."
He'd already caught that drift.
"So, I wanted to be nice to women, hold the door for them, get a smile from them. You know?"

"So what was the problem, Dad?
"Any Vietnamese women I encountered could be the one who killed me, is the problem."

"And with good reason?"he added.
"And with good reason."

Sometimes we get caught in the rhetoric.
My anti-war stance is that we've stooped when we put women in a combat situation. Bad enough that we've put enough good people under in the PWOT ruse.
We've feed the beast enough--regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, toothpaste brand or political or religious affiliation (uh oh..wait a minute on the last two--aren't they reasons we get into these horrid situations?).

If men gotta do something with all that testosterone besides stand around the truck, scratching they balls,cussing and spitting and BSing with they bros, give em an island and some sticks and let em go at it. Let the dogs have the reamains.
Leave the women and kids and the elders out of it.

Since WWI the majority of those killed in war has been civilians.

Older I get the more I'm with Brother John Prine:
"Jesus don't like killin'/no matter what the reasons for
And your flag decal won't get you
into heaven

The again, if some of the sisters want to get all bloody and ..whatever, they can go to the island with the boys.

There it is.


Well Son,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 2:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

MB and terrible and Deryle get it: women will fight whenever they need to, and God help the man from the invading army who falls into their hands: "When the women come out to cut up what remains..." Women have been part of war since there WAS war. Wanting to nice, neat all-male combat zone is, well, not very likely.

That said, we are a wealthy industrial nation. We have no need for our women to fight for us. What we're doing is indulging those women who WANT to fight.

Let me give you my perspective as someone who was on the trail as a Reserve drill sergeant; there's a LOT of men out there who are pushed through training and handed off to the line units who just plain suck. They are pencil-whipped through the PT failures, the task no-goes, and are pushed down to the line units for some poor buck sergeant to live with until the broke-dick bastards get chaptered out. If you think that our infantry companies are full of whipcord and leather hardcases you're living in an Army I never knew.

My solution would be this: face the reality - the physical standard for the ground combat arms (infantry, cavalry, armor and field artillery) is and should be higher than the CS/CSS MOS's. Set that standard and KEEP IT; accept that your washout rate is going to be high. Then if you have some truly hard-core weightlifting triathlete who can max the standard? Hell, she can carry my ruck from here to the halls of Montezuma.

The reality is that under that standard about 98% of all women and 65% of all men will fail to meet it, and the ones that do will kick your ass. "Women in combat arms" problem solved.

As far as the "rest" of the armed services go, whatever. If we feel the social need to make the women feel good about wearing the tree suit and chancing becoming a High-Velocity Projectile Interceptor, knock ourselves out. It seems pretty foolish to me, but then, as I get older the entire notion of fighting and killing each other over some nonsensical reason seems pretty foolish.

Just me sayin'...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 2:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Jim,
Our standing army is one of the biggest causes of this country's woes. I don't think men or women should be allowed in the military.
If a foreign army were attacking our house, I wouldn't worry about Mrs. UC. We'd fight shoulder to shoulder, and she'd be standing in a bigger pile of brass.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 8:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Of course you are correct about Russian snipers being women and female guerillas being the real deal, but look at their acculturation and attitudes. They didn't grow up playing with Barbi dolls etc...They were inured to hardships and carried their weight.They weren't playing soldiers, they were soldiers.
All soldiers should be the same, all should be basic riflemen for when and if all turns to doodoo.
What happens when an operational manuever group penetrates the FEBA/ FLOT and penetrates into the Corps support echelons? Do the ash and trash females fight to the point that is reqd. to blunt and expel the penetration.
That's what the Marines preach but fail to practice in the new magical mystery tour called the AVV Military.
When an Army is breaking contact under enemy pressure then everybody must be able to keep up with the operational tempo. If not the beast will die.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 12:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

What happens when those Torch Jockies as you call them are shot down in denied areas /and or thrown into a Hanoi Hilton or worse?
There is more to flying than hanging on to a joy stick.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 12:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

FD Chief,
We are playing with these concepts and trying to fit women into the units. But why? Are we that far gone that we must use expedient means to defend the nation?
The military is not a social experiment dedicated to glass ceilings and all that stuff. The purpose is to win wars.
I understand what you are saying.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 12:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

When you are in the AO everything is to be feared , even the chickens.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 12:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

Point taken Jim. Those who live and breath war are in no way comparable to those playing at it. I do think America has a few of the former though. But I don't think they'd be interested in joining the military nor the military interested in having them.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


"ash and trash females" rarely "expel the penetration" -- it is not in their interests. But you should know that :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...

Yawn...Another "straw woman"...

Here's the deal...We do not have enough boots on the ground to fulfill the missions we've been assigned. Hence everyone gets a turn in harms way.., and I mean everyone...Navy Cook..Airmen...Truck Drivers...Helo Pilots EVERYONE...That is the nature of asymmetric warfare... The battlefield can be right where you're standing on any given day. but you old salts already know this in spades right? :)

Lots of women have already sacrificed their lives... exhibited valor in firefights and come home as combat veterans and wounded warriors...

Until we institute a draft...and/or grow the economy again.. The Big Green Machine is one of the few paths to a decent working class or middle class life...

Women ARE in combat and have been for eight years...

That being said...The Warrior culture has yet to adjust to this fact....So the question remains...

Are we going to fully integrate woman into this culture like the
Israeli's or continue to exploit their gender as second class citizens in the Armed Forces?

Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 2:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Ranger Hazen
You of all people know that I'm not speaking as a warrior but as a realist.
Read THE LAST STAND OF FOX COMPANY and then imagine women somewhere in the background.
Someday we'll fight a real war and then we'll pay the piper.
Dying and being blown to shit is not what makes a soldier. It's simply the result.

Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 10:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...


It's too late and thats my point...Women are already being blown to bits in a combat zone and leading infantry assaults...War knows no gender...and I hope you understand I am being a realist too...Why is it Blackwater used to be able to shoot civilians by the hundreds and woman can get gang raped by their own country without any legal criminal consequences? War...

Why is it still to this day there are hundreds of stories of young women being treated as second class citizens in our Armed Forces despite having earned their equality on the Battlefield...War

With all due respect Jim War is the problem here Sir.... and parsing genders on the battlefield is not in any way shape or form a solution to it...

Monday, December 14, 2009 at 5:08:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Ranger Hazen,
As a result of our exchanges I have written another entry on Warrior Hood.
I think our disconnect is that I'm going by Jungian archetypes and this places Warriors solidly in the masculine arena.
I understand and acknowledge what you are saying as a purely valid pov, but do we really want women entering this arena? OK so we're talking around the problem- or maybe I'm just tap dancing around it.
When and where did a woman lead an Infy assault???? MP's swanning around in jeeps is not an infy asslt.
The new article will take about a week to hit newstands in your area.

Monday, December 14, 2009 at 11:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...

I understand Jim...I don't think we're talking past each other although we may be from different generations....My point is that War does not discriminate...Not only that (since it's another subject entirely) but the previous administration giving up any pretense of us holding any moral high ground.

In the mean time here is a bit food for thought for your next post on the subject. :)


Monday, December 14, 2009 at 1:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...

Sorry Jim & Folks here's the link to the NY Times Article...

Monday, December 14, 2009 at 2:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...


Opps here you go.

Monday, December 14, 2009 at 2:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

The link you sent does not discuss a Infantry scenario.
Yes we are diff gens but that is not a sticking point. I will work around our discussions when doing the next art on Women in Combat, or the Warrior Myth.
This is hard for me to do b/c I know you are locked and loaded and occupying blocking positions. Hell it's actually funny b/c the socnut heroes will support my thesis.
Well that's how it goes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 10:26:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

In case you missed my subtlety the FOX NEWS essay on todays RAW was written to reinforce my point about women in combat.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 10:28:00 AM GMT-5  

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