Unless you’ve been living in a foxhole or stuck in a cave sans your trusty iPhone/Pad/Pod/i-whatever, you have heard/saw/read about the continuing drama surrounding the Army’s shiny new female Ranger LTs. Just in case some of you only just recently exited said foxhole, I’ll sum it up real quick.
According to multiple sources, however denied by the Army, the women who entered Ranger School were given multiple opportunities to repeat/recycle, given special training and knowledge ahead of phases, and some reports are stating that officials at the highest level had predetermined a female would graduate.
The ‘special training’ allegedly consisted of nutritional counseling and full-time coddling by a Ranger tutor. They were supposedly allowed to recycle through the RTAC while their male counterparts faced a pass/fail environment. After ‘passing’ through RTAC, they were allowed to train in their own platoon for weeks while their male battle buddies were thrown directly into Ranger School, no cookies, no milk.
The list goes on and on.
Why on earth would any of them stand for this? Why would the Army give them ‘cheat codes’ and ‘respawning’ abilities knowing the entire military community and the world media had them all under a microscope, looking for exactly this? Don’t they know the only way two people can keep a secret is if one is dead?
I’ve been in combat with women, and not one of them reacted the way society seems to think they will, like some Victorian-era lady standing on a stool, distressed by the presence of a mouse in her kitchen. In fact, one of my mentors while serving was a woman—Doc V. She was the epitome of a soldier: brave, selfless, courageous, and she always placed the mission first.
On a mission that I was supposed to take, one of the platoon RG41s was hit with an IED while on a route-clearance mission. As the platoon medic, Doc V. took control, stripping off all of her body armor so she could shimmy into the overturned wreck to extricate a casualty, potentially saving his life while placing herself at the mercy of the awaiting insurgent snipers. This was my battle buddy, my friend, and by the way, she doesn’t have a penis. She is a woman. Gasp!
I have seen others crumble in combat, losing every bit of their military bearing. Not one of them was a woman.
Now, are there issues with women serving in conflict zones? There are, but not because of their inabilities. Most of the issues lie within their male counterparts and their reactions to having women living with them in combat zones. Are there women in the world that are not suited for combat? Of course, just like there are men definitely not suited for combat. I can think of dozens running our country right at this moment whose actions I would seriously question once the shit hits the proverbial fan.
But that’s another article entirely.
By predetermining the success of these women, by allowing them a nutritionist, a dedicated Ranger tutor, and the other hot mess, the Army has insulted these women, insulted women currently serving in combat areas, and has seriously marred the reputation of the Ranger School itself.
The tabs they worked so hard for, regardless of the help they allegedly received, are tarnished. They must be allowed to earn them—truly earn them—just as their male counterparts did. No nutrition counseling, no Ranger tutors, no recycles, no crying in baseball! Allow them to earn their tabs as we all know they can. Not as men, or as women, but as the soldiers they are.
As General Cota said on Omaha Beach, D-Day, “Well Goddamnit then, Rangers lead the way!”
Lead the way, Rangers.
(Featured image courtesy of armytimes.com)