CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Three enlisted female Marines are reporting to a ground combat unit in North Carolina and are among the first women in the service to do so.
1st Lt. John McCombs, a Marine Corps spokesman with the Second Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, says the three report Thursday to the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. McCombs says the unit has three female officers that will assist them.
Of course I’m going to talk about this. It’s well known that I’m SOFREP’s resident
misogynist backer of high military standards. I have been writing on this subject for a long time now, and made my position pretty clear. In a vacuum, I would support females in a combat MOS, but since I know the folly of man and how the military actually works, I can’t support it. In other words, although it’s all well and good to talk about standards not changing, and cutting loose those who can’t hack it, we all know perfectly well that ambitious officers know exactly what is expected from the social justice warrior wing of the Pentagon, and will deliver no matter performance or detriment to unit cohesion. That’s why I can’t get on board with the “at least let them try” crowd. Because as soon as you open the door, the activist will pressure the military to get people THROUGH the door. And then keep it open, regardless of outcome.
Back to this story from the Military Times, which, admittedly, is short on detail and very long on headline. Because that’s the goal here: a trumpeting headline announcing the shattering of a bros-only glass ceiling. But the details are murky. First off, there have been zero female officers who have graduated the USMC’s infamous Infantry Officer Course. So what is the MOS of these female officers? Babysitter? They literally have no job except to stand over the NCOs heads scrutinizing everything they do. And three of them? That’s a one to one ratio—pretty damn unheard of in the military. These female officers bring nothing to the table of a USMC infantry unit whose sole purpose in life is to close with and destroy the enemy with deadly force. And we’re paying them to babysit. I have a question for the USMC public affairs officer: Where do these non-infantry female officers fit in the chain of command?
The Marines are declining to identify the enlisted women. Armistead says they will serve as a rifleman, a machine gunner and a mortar Marine. There are some 40,000 Marines in the Expeditionary Force.
In June, The Associated Press reported the Marine Corps had seven female officers either serving in combat posts or waiting in line to serve, and 167 women with non-combat jobs in front-line units.
I’ve talked extensively to some of my USMC infantry brothers out here in the shitbox overseas about this story. And, as luck would have it, two of my good friends, including my podcast co-host and huge guy JonJon, happened to both have machine gunner as their primary MOS while performing combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our great friend BooBoo (another huge bastard) told me about his typical loadout and workday patrolling in both theaters, which I figured I’d illustrate to kind of paint you a picture of what he and JonJon would go through on any given day while conducting combat operations.
Booboo explained that patrols for his platoon varied. (I’m speaking strictly dismounted here.) While some were short and involved setting up in various hides, others would involve walking all damn day. Definitely, he told me, a bare minimum was three hours of walking. Now, his loadout would include the M240 machine gun, which weighted 25.6 pounds. A spare barrel for the machine gun was 6.6 pounds. Of course, you had to carry ammo. Booboo would carry about 1,000 rounds, give or take. One hundred rounds of 7.62 weighs just over five pounds, so that 1,000 rounds is about 50 pounds. There’s a tripod—not sure of the weight on that, but it ain’t light. Your body armor and plates are about 16 pounds. You may or may not carry a personal rifle with optic and IR laser—that’d weigh about 10 pounds. All that alone is 108 pounds. To that, add on your helmet, NVGs, sidearm, water, food, batteries, radios, knife, and any other crap that an infantryman would carry in the field. (See header picture.) And you’re telling me that a 19-year-old 120-pound female is going to walk up the hills of Afghanistan carrying that? I don’t believe it.
Did you also see that one was going to be a mortarman? Whoops, excuse me: that’s “mortar Marine” now. I forgot there for a minute. I will present myself to room 101 promptly upon finishing this article. Anyway, yeah. Mortar Marine. Now, as a grizzled old air commando, I didn’t fuck with mortars a lot, so my weights are not as accurate as the belt-fed. But I do know that the base plate of an 81mm mortar ALONE is 29 pounds. The ammo ALONE is 10 pounds per round. There is a smaller mortar for foot patrols, the 60mm, and although the plate isn’t as heavy as the 81, it’s still a bitch after a few kilometers. And don’t forget the ammo for THAT bitch. Then the mortar itself. And then your rifle, ammo, grenades, and all the other shit that has tested the souls of the infantryman since there’s been infantrymen.
Now, normally, this load is distributed amongst the individual members of the mortar team, so I’m just guessing that the tiny females were spared wrestling with the heavier components in order to pass the USMC SOI, or School of Infantry. Like the big guy carried the 29-pound baseplate and the female carried the two-pound optic. I expressed to both JonJon and Booboo that, after all, these Marines HAD passed SOI, so surely they achieved the bare minimum required. Obviously, both were skeptical. JonJon said straight up that he was sure that orders came from the top that these Marines WILL pass this course. So the school and the “handlers” for the female Marines would find a way to make it happen. Obviously, I’m speculating here.
This whole notion is absurd to me. What is it about modern society where we have to play pretend all of the time? Men and women are not the same physically. We would NEVER let a woman play in the NFL. Can you imagine that shitshow? The first time Jadeveon Clowney, a 6’6, 270-pound monster who runs the 40 yard dash in 4.5 seconds, hit a female football player, she would literally explode into a million pieces. An average big-city men’s varsity basketball team would obliterate the WNBA champions on the court. They’d be dunking all over them. That chick Amanda Nunes, who just beat Rhonda Rousey in the UFC? She would get the shit beat out of her by a male fighter of the same weight who fights in strip club parking lots for 50 bucks. It’s not BAD, it’s just nature. But for some reason, when it comes to life and death and killing, we all want to play pretend.
Take a look at this video. I’ve posted it before, and I commended the female Army captain for guts:
Good on her for finishing. But you know what jumps out at me? The very beginning, when you see a male soldier sauntering by, finishing up the exact same ruck march and looking like he could easily keep going. If that was a man, and this was 10 years ago, and there wasn’t video, all of those instructors would be screaming at him that he was useless. It’s not her fault. She’s obviously mentally tough. SHE IS NOT PHYSICALLY THE SAME. What we have is a case of LOTS of downside, with zero upside. So why do it?
So you kind of get the point. I’m saying that there is NO WAY these females can keep up with a man. This isn’t hate, this is science and physiology. On the contrary, I applaud these enlisted female Marines for being motivated enough to give this a go, but at the end of the day, this does not make the USMC a more deadly and able fighting force, and I think this will end with either injuries, or loss of unit cohesion as different factions form among the young men filled with hormones. Period, end of story. So why we are doing it, I have no idea. Well, that’s not true. I know why we are doing it.
Podcast up! SERE instructor Jason joins me and JonJon! Russian Hack Brief, feces falling from sky, semen syringes https://t.co/2TVjPQXECJ
— BK (@BKactual) January 6, 2017
Bryan Santiago said Esteban Santiago, 26, was taken by police to a mental health evaluation but released after only four days.
The former Army reservist walked into an Anchorage, Alaska FBI office on Nov. 7 “to report that his mind was being controlled by a U.S. intelligence agency,” Special Agent in Charge Marlin Ritzman told reporters.
The FBI and police said Saturday they were still seeking treatment records. Local police took held Santiago’s gun for safe keeping after he was taken for treatment but it was returned the next month, officials said.
Ritzman on Saturday said the FBI investigated Santiago after the November incident and conducted inter-agency checks and conducted database reviews.
“During our initial investigation we found no ties to terrorism,” FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Anchorage office Marlin Ritzman told reporters. “He broke no laws when he came into our office making disjointed comments about mind control.”
Anchorage officials are still investigating the case. U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska, Karen Loeffler, said federal laws restricted gun possession by anyone “adjudicated mentally ill” — which she noted was a “difficult standard” to establish.
Right. Pretty clear that this was an individual who had suffered some sort of psychological breakdown. One thing that I always see after one of these mass shootings are the news roundtables wondering, “What can we do to stop this?” I’ll say the same thing I said after the Sandy Hook shooting in an article I wrote for SOFREP years ago: There’s nothing you can do to stop this.
This is the bargain that those of us who staunchly support the Second Amendment have made. I accept that in return for the freedom to own deadly firearms, every once in a while, some nutcase with no priors is going to crack and shoot up a bunch of people. That is the tradeoff, and you just stay vigilant and hope that you won’t be a victim. I realize we can argue that in this particular case, maybe someone should have looked at the guy a little harder, but in the more general sense, that’s the bargain. Like the U.S. attorney said, in America, you can’t just go around labeling people crazy and confiscating their firearms. If that was the case, crazy California Governor Jerry Brown would have done that shit a long time ago.
Russian marines shattered glass bottles with their heads and smashed burning wooden planks against each other Thursday as part of an eye-catching charm offensive in the Philippines, a traditional ally of the United States.
The camouflage-clad marines showed off their pistol-shooting, knife-fighting and martial arts skills to the Filipino public in Manila’s central park as part of a “goodwill visit” spearheaded by two warships following Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s announced pivot away from the US.
As bewildered passers-by watched, the Russians smashed boards with their fists, had cinder blocks crushed on their stomachs and endured beatings from flaming planks.
The show culminated with them smashing glass bottles on their heads without any visible effect.
After the display, eager Filipinos rushed to take “selfies” with the beret-wearing Russians.
Mr Duterte, who calls himself a socialist, has championed a move away from the US and towards rivals Russia and China following American criticism of his bloody war on crime that has claimed thousands of lives.
This is pretty funny. The Russians have always loved doing this kind of shit, always showing their Spetznaz jumping through rings of fire and beating the crap out of each other and shit like that. We just watch it and laugh. But the propaganda machine is in full force in the Philippines. Duterte didn’t care for Obama too much, repeatedly calling him a “son of a bitch” after becoming president, and seemingly embracing this new allegiance with Russia. He’s just puffing out his chest. The United States and the Philippines have a loooooong history of shared military and cultural allegiance, and I really doubt that one nutty president is going to end that. Particularly when we contribute HUGELY to their defense and tourism industry.
On another note: I wonder if there are activists in Russia urging the Russian marines to accept females into their ranks who can then also smash bottles over each other’s heads? My gut says no.
The Army released a sweeping update to grooming and appearance regulations on Tuesday that, in addition to authorizing religious beards and head coverings, also opened the door for female soldiers to wear their hair in dreadlocks.
The services have grappled with the issue of black women’s hair in recent years, as some argued that the hair regulations put an undue burden on those with thick, coarse hair, forcing many women to spend time, money and discomfort on straightening or wigs if they didn’t choose to chop it all off.
The Army’s compromise is now to let women wear dreadlocks along the same guidelines already allowed for braids, cornrows and twists. That is, they must be of uniform size and shape, evenly spaced, and up to 1/2 inch in width.
I don’t really care about this kind of thing, but I know a lot of people do. My podcast buddy JonJon had a good point though: Why can’t men wear dreadlocks then, too? (He has dreadlocks.) After all, we’re all the same now, right?
A member of the U.S. Army Honor Guard dramatically passed out and fell to the floor in front of Barack Obama during the president’s farewell speech to the armed services.
The guard member was pictured lying crumpled on the floor next to the feet his fellow service members in Arlington, Virginia on Wednesday.
The guard is believed to have fainted as Obama addressed the armed services at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall where he was giving his final salute before he leaves office.
It is not clear what happened to the guard.
I feel you brother. It’s almost over. Drink some water and pull security.
About 300 U.S. Marines will be sent to Afghanistan’s Helmand province to assist Afghan security forces battling Taliban insurgents in intelligence and logistics matters, the unit’s commander said over the weekend.
The deployment to Helmand will be the Marines’ first to the southern province since they left in 2014 as the U.S. declared an end to its combat mission. Since then, Afghan security forces, still backed by Washington in the form of air strikes and hundreds of advisors, have struggled to contain the Taliban advance in Helmand.
Brigadier General Roger Turner told reporters on a conference call that the deployment would be part of a regular rotation to replace a U.S. Army unit already training and advising Afghan troops in the province. And although the 300 Marines would mostly be experienced and senior officers who will work on intelligence, logistics, and administration, Turner said they were braced for a dangerous mission.
In the last two years the Taliban have captured areas that were the site of some of the deadliest battles for the Marines, including Sangin, Marjah and Nowzad, and for much of 2016 they have threatened to take the provincial capital Lashkar Gah.
In a statement posted online, Taliban officials ridiculed the Marines’ deployment as one of the “final failed efforts” by outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama to stem the violence in Afghanistan.
Ugh. Say what you will about Russia…at least someone there was smart enough to pull the plug on that Down’s Syndrome abortion of a country after only nine years. We are entering our SEVENGODDAMNTEENTH YEAR in Afghanistan. Please tell me what we have accomplished there, and how it has advanced American prosperity and security. Ridiculous. Shut it down.
Controversial Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will be celebrated Friday in Washington, D.C., as he prepares to exit as the longest-running civilian leader of the Navy since World War I.
Who will replace the secretary who has sometimes bucked military brass in his campaign for gender equality in the ranks?
There’s no official word yet despite a robust campaign on behalf of former Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes, who served on the House Armed Services Committee and led the seapower subcommittee during his tenure.
Last year, Forbes lost his seat in a primary race to former Navy SEAL and now-freshman Rep. Scott Taylor after congressional district lines were redrawn.
Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego County was once seen as a contender for the top Navy job, given his background as a Marine Corps officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and his seat on Armed Services…
…Mabus caused friction with Marine Corps leadership when he discounted a Marine field study about gender integration of combat jobs. The study had found that mixed units were outperformed by all-male units, and that women suffered more injuries doing the same tasks as men.
However, Neller is reported to have successfully talked Mabus out of his directive last year to abruptly integrate the Corps’ boot-camp operations, which long have been split into all-male and all-female units.
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — A catastrophic engine failure is the likely cause of a Jan. 4 incident in which a B-52 lost one of its eight engines, top Air Force leaders confirmed to Defense News on Thursday.
A Boeing B-52 Stratofortress assigned to Minot Air Force Base’s 5th Bomb Wing was conducting a training mission over North Dakota when one of its Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-3/103 turbofan engines fell from the plane, the service confirmed late Wednesday. The pilots were able to land the plane safely, with no injury to the five-person crew.
The Air Force continues to investigate the root cause of the mishap, but it appears that the engine began breaking down from the inside, eventually cracking the protective casing around it and detaching from the plane, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in an exclusive interview.
A U.S. Army soldier’s jaw was broken during an assault in South Philadelphia on New Year’s Day that began when he and his mother confronted a group of men who had made a derogatory comment about the Army, police said Friday.
Pvt. Austin Freni, 19, was on his cellphone walking with three others near Third Street and Oregon Avenue shortly after 11 p.m., trying to get a hotel room, when he mentioned to the hotel operator that he was in the Army, said his mother, Lori Freni.
A group of 11 men, ages 18 to 20, passed by, one of whom “made a derogatory comment about the Army in general” after hearing Freni’s comment, police said in a news release.
According to Lori Freni, 39, a man in the group said: “ ‘Oh, tough guy, you’re in the Army? The Army is a bunch of p—ies.’ “
According to the comments section (I love comments sections), there’s more to this story than meets the eye. And apparently the mother is coming off like some kind of grifter. Not making a judgment call yet though. Go investigate for yourself.
After serving 20 years in the Navy a combat specialist has become the first to be allowed a full facial Maori tattoo.
Rawiri Barriball was granted clearance in December to wear the moko after having to apply for it under navy law, NZME reported.
“I’ve always felt I was gonna get it, I just wanted to achieve a few things first and one of them was doing 20 years’ [service],” he told NewsHub.
After 20 years of service, Rawiri Barriball is the first person to get clearance from the Navy to wear a moko. https://t.co/9soJCLsTfM
— Newshub (@NewshubNZ) January 7, 2017
The tattoo took 10 hours and was completed by his brother. But as the ink dried Barriball felt he was being judged.
“When I left my brother’s house, straight away you can see the reaction of people. Even body language, which I was prepared for, but the way people talk to you, it changes,” he said.
Barriball hoped his moko would help breakdown the stigma around facial tattoos.
“I know there’s a bad rap with people having moko… the more people that get it the more it will be accepted,” he said.
The person who runs Yahoo! Finance’s Twitter account should probably learn how to proofread the tweets before either scheduling them or sending them out live. In a tweet that was simply supposed to state that Donald Trump wants a bigger Navy, it actually said something totally different:
Yeah, we’re pretty sure Trump would want anything but that. Of course, black Twitter never sleeps, and seized the opportunity to do what it does best. And that’s how #NiggerNavy came to be.
If you’re on Twitter, I suggest you go check out that hashtag for yourself. Some of the comments are hilarious.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican prosecutors said Saturday they are searching for a gunman who opened fire on an official of the U.S. consulate in the western city of Guadalajara.
The Attorney General’s Office said Saturday the official was wounded in the attack Friday in Guadalajara.
Surveillance video of the attack shows the gunman following the official in a parking garage. The official, whose name was not released, was dressed in shorts.
The shooting appeared to be a direct attempt to kill the consular employee.
The attacker doesn’t appear to try to approach the official while he is walking, but instead waits for him to exit the parking garage in his vehicle and fires a round into the car’s windshield.
A FRIGHTENED worker at a Beaudesert sandwich store barricaded herself inside the restaurant yesterday after a naked man took refuge in an outdoor dining area.
The man – who appeared to have brought in the new year with too much revelry – was spotted taking a naked stroll down Mt Lindesay Hwy late in the afternoon on New Year’s Day.
After walking some distance, the man climbed a wall and hid in the store’s outdoor dining area – usually only accessible through the restaurant.
A woman working inside called police and her father for help and locked herself inside.
Her father arrived before police and confronted the man, who did a naked vault over a side fence and fled.