TAH on CNN again

| January 25, 2013

Matt Smith from CNN called yesterday and we chatted about women in the military…what else, right?

And it’s one echoed by Jonn Lilyea, a former infantry sergeant who now publishes a military blog, “This Ain’t Hell.” Lilyea, who fought in the 1991 Persian Gulf war, said he believes physical standards will be relaxed “in order to force the acceptance of women in the combat arms specialties.”

“I know it’s an eventuality, because the social scientists at the Pentagon are going to want to see numbers that get accepted in there so they can show how just the whole thing is,” he said.

Dempsey said the services can still recommend closing a particular specialty or unit to women — but “They have to explain why, and I think there will be the right amount of scrutiny on that.” And Lilyea said he wasn’t reassured by Dempsey’s insistence that the brass is supportive.

“I’m sure they all stood and saluted and said ‘Yes sir’ and marched out smartly, but I don’t think they’re all 100% behind it,” he said.

I mentioned that the chiefs did the same thing for DADT – the chairman and the Secretary of Defense publicly claimed that ll of the services were on board, but then we found out later that there was some dissension. Anyone who spent a day in the military knows that this will create more headaches than it’s worth. Remember the huge dust-up a few years ago when General Anthony Cucolo tried to make pregnancy a court martial offense in Iraq during a war? Yeah, well, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

And, John sends us a link to a Tweet by Valerie Jarret yesterday. While the boys at the Defense Department is trying to send women into combat, Jarret is trying rally support for her cause;

Jarret tweet Violence Against Women

Kind of incongruous, isn’t it? Will the Taliban be forced to abide by the Violence Against Women Act?

Category: Big Army, Military issues

Comments (26)

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  1. Jumpmaster says:

    This PC BS is going to get soldiers of both genders killed in order to fulfill some liberal fantasy.

  2. 2BlueStars says:

    Speaking of Gen. Dempsey, he scares the hell out of me! Did y’all catch this article? He believes the BAN on women in combat is reason for the rise in sexual assault! Who thinks like this? Not a normal person!


  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    In an article in yesterday’s NYT, Pointsettia and Dumpster “said they had met weekly for more than a year about lifting the ban and had kept [obamaman] informed about developments.” How does one do that? Precisely what developments? Maybe like this:

    Dear Mr. President,

    General Demspsey and I met twice last week over lunch to discuss rescinding the combat exemption for military servicewomen. At both lunches, the General had a salad and stuffed mushrooms. I had the cod. The wine list was scant but tolerable. Our next meeting is Thursday, at the Skins game. That RG III is really something, isn’t he?



  4. Daniel says:


    Have any of the idiots brought up the women can now get combat pay issue?

    It is all over DU, and shows that the left doesn’t even understand what this policy lift actually means.

    I got a headache explaining to them what Hazardous Duty Pay is and that everyone gets it by being in certain location. Women were not recieving anything less by the ban.

    It’s hard to have a discussion when one side doesn’t even understand what the policy they are for actually is.

  5. Twist says:

    I wonder if the left will reconsider when more women start coming home in flag draped coffins. Probably not, it will somehow be our fault.

  6. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @5 Unfortunately a coffin is a coffin, the contents of which male or female provoke much less reaction in the civilian population because they are not much invested…perhaps a more telling situation is a crippling wound, a few women with severe head wounds on the evening news will drive home the lesson….

    Without sounding too much like a crusty, old fart (which I fear I am becoming)…the reason we protect women is simple biology…in a lifetime a woman might produce 10-20 with maximum effort of our species….a male can produce that amount of pregnancies over a weekend with not a lot of effort….consequently you can kill off a sh1tload of men and still not affect adversely the ability of a given population to reproduce…not so with killing off women…biologically speaking they are far more precious to our self preservation than we men are….

    Of course none of that is a concern these days, we are all equal under the law, unless you are not due to special laws protecting your particular minority class.

    I think Jonn is correct, even though I would hope he will be proven wrong, that once women start failing combat MOS classes regularly the standards will be altered to allow them to succeed and then you will see a drop in capability. Once you compromise a standard you cheapen the selection process, no amount of rhetoric to the contrary changes that. If someone is not capable of matching the physical requirements it would be better to shoot them in the leg before deployment so they are not a drag on the rest of the team.

    It should get interesting.

  7. Hondo says:

    VOV: amigo, based on what I’ve seen personally over the last 35 years . . . Jonn’s not wrong. We’ll either see two different sets of “gender-normed” standards for combat arms MOS (like we do today for the APFT), or we’ll see a single set of unisex standards that females can pass.

    Combat ain’t gonna change, though.

  8. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @7 “Combat ain’t gonna change, though.”

    Too bad the 4ssholes that are making policy don’t understand that simple concept or what Mattis said about an enemy having a vote on whether or not a conflict is over.

    Or the idea that at age 19-24 people are not the most intelligent when it comes to avoiding activities based solely around their naturally occurring hormonal desires….unit integrity when your squad leader gets caught f#cking your girlfriend who is also in the squad can’t possibly be affected in any negative fashion….sometimes it would be nice if we can articulate in a national discussion just what the infantry is supposed to do, kill people (we identify them as enemies but they are still people) who our nation has a conflict with once diplomacy fails to achieve a result amenable to our interests. The infantry isn’t there to provide equal opportunities for social experiments, it’s there to kill people and prevent those people from killing squad/platoon/company/division team mates.

    With all due respect to other MOSs, dropping a bomb, shooting someone from a thousand feet away, is different than looking in someone’s eyes while you stab or shoot them to death. That’s what the infantry is to do, kill the enemy up close and personal.

  9. Cacti35 says:

    I listened to a local radio call in hour yesterday in our lttle area which runs 65-70 per cent Conservative in a blue state. The callers that called in that were veterans were not in favor, the callers both men and women that were in favor of it were not veterans with the exception of a woman that was a mechanic in the Navy. One woman who is a retired LtCol, Army was dead set against it. She said it was nothing but PC social engineering. I tried to call but could not get through. I am a FB friend of the host and have talked directly with him. It seems to run about the same with the gun control issues. The people that have don’t want, the ones that don’t do! I am going to be 64 in a few days, it makes me puke in my mouth to see the slipper slope this great nation is slipping down!

  10. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Do you see how one man and his administration can have such a profound affect on the nation without a debate, a referendum, or a piece of legislation? Frightening, isn’t it?

  11. SGT W says:

    I might be in the minority opinion here, but if the standards *don’t* slip, I don’t really see the problem. We’ve seen great examples of heroic actions by women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The best argument I can come up with against it is that provided standards don’t slip, we’re going to be filling school slots with women who statistically will fail schools in higher numbers than men, which will backlog specialty schools to hell and gone. I’ve heard that Ranger School and SFAS will still be closed off, but that still leaves open Sapper, Mountain Warfare, etc.

    So, my takeaway is that it’s good news for women who want to do it, and bad news for training NCOs. This would be a good time to consider revamping the APFT and passing scores based on MOS rather than gender. A SIGINT POG like me doesn’t necessarily need to be a PT stud to be good at his job (I still work out hard anyway), but a 180 passing score in an Infantry unit should be a no-go.

  12. CC Senor says:

    @6 “once women start failing combat MOS classes regularly the standards will be altered to allow them to succeed and then you will see a drop in capability”

    I’m a retired soldier, so a lot of what sailors said about Lt Kara Hultgreen’s training as a carrier pilot back in ’93 was lost on me, but the impression I got was she got too many chances to be just good enough. It’s a shame she had to die, though “Close enough for government work” isn’t always the answer, whether your repairing tanks or landing jets on a carrier.

  13. Rock8 says:

    What does the IDF do?

  14. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    SGT W: Is that it? The only consideration is standards not slipping? There is so much more here. I’m not attacking you but isn’t it a tad antiseptic to isolate the standards? Or is it just me being old fashioned, that I don’t want to the girl in the prom dress coming home in a metal box or females having to register with selective service? I’m seeing this not from a field perspective but from a common citizen’s perspective. This policy change is only step one. These things ALWAYS work like that. The door opens just a crack and, some years later, the door is permanently gone. This whole business bothers me.

  15. Hondo says:

    2/17 Air Cav: it took legislation – just not recent legislation.

    The former statutory provisions prohibiting females in ground combat were dropped early in the Clintoon Administration – specifically, when Clinton signed the 1994 DAA. That act dropped the former ban on women serving in ground combat or on combat ships and left determining which ground combat jobs would be open to women to the discretion of the SECDEF, with the requirement for Congressional notification prior to any changes being made in DoD policy in this area. (The preceding Bush administration dropped the ban on women flying combat aircraft when Bush signed the 1992 DAA.) Were that not the case, Pannetta could not have done what he did.

    Like 9/11, blame for this change ultimately traces back to Bill “I loath the military” Clinton.

  16. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @12 A 38 million dollar aircraft and a young woman’s life are classic examples of what can happen when you bend standards to fit a PC definition of equality….true equality would have had her failing out of school and being placed in a different occupation or discharged, similar to a failed male pilot. There was a public claim in this case of engine failure and the actual report indicated no other pilot in the previous 20 years had caused an engine stall on approach because the flight manual warned against exactly the type of yaw approach that Ms. Hultgreen performed. She wasn’t good enough, exceptions were made to put her through and she died and lost an aircraft as a result. Political Correctness run amok in this case. And those responsible for bending the rules for her have her blood on their hands for all eternity.

    The lesson was not learned in that case regarding standards, hopefully we don’t need to replicate an infantry based debacle of similar proportion to avoid learning the lesson again.

  17. Hondo says:

    2/17 Air Cav: I’m not thrilled with women coming home in boxes either. But it’s been a fact of life since at least Vietnam. During the GWOT, that’s happened well over 100 times.

    To me, this falls into the category of things that are workable theoretically but which are so difficult in practice as to be effectively impossible.

    In theory, it should not matter whether or not the person who’s “got your back” is male or female. And in practice, for most specialties finding the females who can physically hack it isn’t a problem. But for a few specialties, well, because of the inherent physical demands of the specialty it is a problem – bigtime. In the Army, those are most of the combat arms specialties. (IMO the typical physical demands of ADA and Aviation might be workable for females, but I’m not quite sure even there.) Add to that the previously nonexistent element of sexual tension and, well . . . “Monumentally bad idea, sir.”

  18. A Proud Infidel says:

    More PC social engineering from an administration proven to have little more than disdain for the US Military and Vets!!

  19. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Hondo, no court challenges came, at least that I am aware of. The policy exceptions you cite were extremely limited, unlike what I understand the new policy to be. What looks now to be a potentially unrestricted combat role for women all but assures a selective service registration issue in the near future based on the reason I provided elswhere in TAH and which you no doubt saw. As the police dispatcher dryly says in many a 1930s movie, “That is all.”

  20. Hondo says:

    VOV: I don’t regard the Hultgreen case as a particularly good example of gender playing a direct role in the incident. Women can indeed fly aircraft quite well – even high-performance military aircraft. But like men, some women have the physical ability and aptitude to do so, and some don’t.

    Rather, in the Hultgreen case IMO what we saw was the result of raw political pressure at work. The Navy’s brass was hell-bent to put women in pilot billets in the fleet to ingratiate itself with the Clinton Administration during a time of lean DoD budgets. This led to the aviation training community being strong-armed into putting someone who was at best marginally qualified in a position where they could fail in order to meet a political gender “quota”. Unfortunately and predictably, that individual did eventually fail – spectacularly, and fatally.

    Is something similar likely to happen again due to the recent changes? IMO, probably yes. Let’s just hope it doesn’t result in an entire platoon or company getting killed instead of a single pilot.

  21. Hondo says:

    2/17 Air Cav: I think we’re talking about different topics, amigo. In discussion legislation above, I was remarking on your comment that one person without legislative changes had made this impact. My point was that legislative changes had indeed occurred enabling the changes; they just occurred nearly 18 years ago under Clintoon vice recently.

    I agree with you that the SelServ Act’s constitutionality is now highly suspect given the rationale used previously by the SCOTUS to uphold it.

  22. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @20 I agree that there are fine women pilots, I should have articulated that point.

    I do believe that your assessment was what I was trying to say. She wasn’t good enough, and to meet a quota or expectation of some sort she was allowed to repeat until she passed for political reasons, that got her killed.

    It is my concern also that a lowered standard results in a similar situation with larger loss of life, for a political statement….

  23. FatCircles0311 says:

    Violence against women act? Women who are the majority need special programs because they are more important than other victims of violent crime?

  24. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @23 Of course, all the protected classes have special rules and laws.

    Nothing new there, beating you up is less of a crime than beating a gay man or some other group identified as potential hate crime victims. We are all equal under the law, until we are not.

  25. Stacy0311 says:

    Maybe 11B, 19K, 0311, 1812 et al MOSQ school should go something like this “Congratulations PFC Princess, you passed. Now get you ass over to medical for your Norplant injection.”
    just stirring the pot.
    3 more years and I can retire…………

  26. obsidian says:

    Will Lt and Sarge be able to send pregnant female 0311’s into certain death?