American Journal January 27, 2013

Queen of battle…

Do you know that I have never heard an Infantryman (suppose we may soon be calling them Infantrypersons) complain about their branch being called The Queen of Battle. One of the first marching cadences an Army recruit in training learns is, “Pick up your rifle and follow me. Queen of Battle Infantry.” Queen of Battle may be politically incorrect these days. I do not know. Actually, it is hard to know anything these days. I stand back and observe. Those serving have a lot to deal with. They do not require my help.

America, the largely uninformed America most of whom have never and will never serve in the Armed Forces, is standing by while the organization to which belong the only humans in the world, who have willingly placed their lives on the line to protect the freedom of their countrymen, is being decimated. Decimated by social engineering. Decimated by their civilian leadership that wants to build a model of their utopia inside the services. Because they can. Complicit in this decimation is a collection of head nodding flag officers. The flag officers in disagreement with the direction of our Armed Services are being shown the door. Warrior Generals are being replaced by politically oriented Generals. The people who always pay the price for inept political and military leadership are the Soldiers on the ground.

I was an Army Drill Sergeant for 3 years starting in 1980. The Soldiers I was charged to train, if they remained in the service, have already retired. By now, they may have children serving. We had a fairly significant social engineering project during that time. It was Gender-Integrated Basic Combat Training. No matter what you hear or will hear in the coming days, I can tell you from being there – it was an abject failure then. We tried integrating basic training companies by having male and female platoons. We could not stress male trainees without risking injury to female trainees. I believe we invented the female pelvic stress fracture – caused by females over striding to keep pace with males during the daily road marches. When injuries increased, we placed female platoons in the lead to pace the road marches. We lessened the injuries for females, but we also failed to stress the males. After a few cycles of this experiment, wise leaders returned to segregated companies. All male or all female. Training improved and Drill Sergeants did not have to spend their nights rooting the boys and girls out of the stair wells and other places doing what is natural for teenagers. Discipline also improved. However, some geniuses who had never strapped on a pair of combat boots decided that integrated was best. So to make it work, we gender-normed the fitness standards. Meaning simply that men and women had to complete the same training, but to different standards. For example, a male may not get out of basic training unless he could do 40 pushups, but a female might get by with 10. If you ask any Drill Sergeant today, he or she will tell you how great it is going in integrated training companies. Because they have to. I will stand by for the first reports from gender-integrated (and future gender-normed) One Station Infantry training. And I fully expect that they will be publicly glowing as well.

With homosexuals, it was preached to us about how it was all about service and not having to live a life in secrecy. No, it was about normalizing homosexual behavior. Army Chapels are holding same sex weddings. It was never about service. Those who wanted to serve were already serving. Now, it is the same song. This is about women having the opportunity to reach the highest levels of the service, normally achieved by experienced and accomplished Combat Arms Officers.

My stand is simple. Any woman who wants to be in the Combat Arms should be allowed to try. But, she should meet the same physical standards as do males in the Combat Arms. It will not happen however. We will have a gender-normed Queen of Battle. And our combat effectiveness will suffer.

A thought for you to ponder. GI Jane was a movie as are many other fantasies where 130 pound women beat the snot out of 200 pound men. A 200 pound male Soldier in full combat load will top out at 250 pounds plus maybe as much as 275. The combat load does not get lighter just because you are female. No one is going to carry her stuff. A 200 pound Soldier has the upper body strength to drag a wounded comrade to safety. If his buddy is a female, both may die because she does not have the strength to complete a critical task.

General Dempsey thinks the only issue for the “young ladies” is their privacy, “and we can work that out.” That should be a recruiting poster.

©2013

A Woman Veteran’s View

Questions for Panetta

American Journal January 19, 2013

Clinging to Freedom…

I have a shirt pocket sized New Testament with Proverbs and Psalms. It has a camouflaged cover. I picked it up from an Army Chapel some years ago. It has been with me since. It now fits neatly into a pocket in my day planner. Its edges are getting a little worn. My day planner is secured inside a binder that another Soldier gave to me more than 20 years ago. It is still with me Ricky.

When I pop open the day planner at a meeting or on my desk the little Bible, my old Soldier’s smart book, is plainly visible. I read from it every morning before beginning the day’s work. If you should see me in a waiting room of some sort, at an airport or some other place and I happen to be reading from my Kindle I may be reading my electronic Bible. It is always in the top one or two books on the Kindle menu. I try hard to begin and end each day reading from it. It does not always happen, but it is my aim. I always read something relevant to what is happening in this world. I feel guided and comforted by the words. My President calls that clinging to my Bible. I call it an island of sanity. An island of truth. A peaceful place.

Sadly, I am also and armed citizen of this great nation. I spent much of my life in the United States Army. I swore a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. I also swore to obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. To clarify, that means that I swore to obey orders that are legal – those that comply with the law of the land, our Constitution. So help me God.

I still hold to that oath. I never felt that I needed to be armed with personal firearms. I knew that if I was called on to defend the citizens of my country, the unit arms room would supply me with all the weaponry I needed. I whole-heartedly believe that we have arrived at a point in time where our nation is the bat of an eye away from becoming a tyrannical dictatorship. The people we elected to represent us in our free republic are themselves trampling the very thing I, and they too, swore to support and defend. Or they are standing by why the executive branch of our government does it. So, these days I feel the need to be an armed citizen. My President calls that clinging to my guns.

There is something that I want each member of the United States Congress to understand. Under the current leadership of this nation, you have become irrelevant. What have you accomplished in 4 years? All you have managed is to have Americans standing by for the Reichstag fire. While you are strategizing for the party and your piece of the power rather than defending our country others are looking for the final crisis to exploit. The tipping point. You are allowing my freedoms – those given to me by God and guaranteed by the document we all swore to support and defend – to be picked off one-by-one. When the Reichstag is ablaze, who will be standing by to swoop in and save us? You know the answer.

It is the specific freedoms written into and guaranteed us by our constitution that have kept us a free people.

Mr. President, what I am clinging to is freedom.