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With women being tested in combat units as part of the pathway to full integration, I must ask the girl-power crowd:

Given the social-scientist-driven inevitability of women in combat arms, should we have female-only combat-arms units?  Why or why not?

If a unit ended up, for some reason, being vast-majority-female, would you advocate any top-driven staffing changes?

Leo Jenkins, a bona fide combat vet, writes in the Havok Journal:

Bottom line is this, women are not inferior to men. They aren’t. They have a slightly different set of strengths that offset our equal yet different set of strengths. If a women has the patriotism to enlist and serve in the military, the desire and ability to serve in special operations and the capability to enter and stay in that world then there shouldn’t even be a discussion about it.

I request elucidation of the different set of strengths that he claims offset “our” (I assume he means mens’) strengths, particularly as they pertain to aggregate performance in combat roles.

The rest of the piece, as usual, says nothing about any net increase to military effectiveness from introducing women to combat roles, and only speaks to the benefits to the women for applying and meeting minimum standards.

That is all.

I will never, ever tire of writing about women in the military (and specifically the pending integration into combat arms) because

1) I’m always right, because I logically prioritize winning wars and military efficacy over individual female badges and promotions

2) No one ever offers different pro-women-in-combat-arms arguments to think about.

In the weekly case of military-female-promotion-advocacy, we have the unintentionally ironically-named The Havok Journal, military/foreign-affairs blog/journal/site opining that “Women In Ranger School: It’s Not That Big Of A Deal:”

So it’s finally happened. After almost ten years of to-ing and fro-ing, Big Army and RTB (now called the ARTB, or ‘Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade’ for those of you not keeping up) have announced that females will now be let into Ranger School. And lots of you Scroll bearers (real Rangers), as well as many combat arms soldiers, are in a panic.

Fear not Brothers. When you actually put some thought into it, it’s not that big of a deal…

So what are the major concerns being voiced?

Standards will be lowered…

How will Ranger School handle female integration, segregation and hygiene issues without having a negative impact on training?…

This will have an impact on the way people look at the Ranger Tab and on the way people look at Regiment…

Well, this makes my job easier because the author didn’t even pretend to address what should be the overriding concern of any major change to the structure or culture of the Army:

Will this make the Army more effective? Why or not?

Apparently the author thinks that the major objections to women in combat roles are about Tampon dispensation on patrol instead of killing ISIS in “Fallujah Pt III: Doorkickers Redux.”

As far as the physical standards, initially they will not be lowered at all, specifically to make the point to the Senate Armed Services Committee that they aren’t. DOD and the ARTB have already stated that the first female Ranger students will be hand-picked from a pool of candidates. I can guarantee that out of ten female candidates chosen, five will be chosen to succeed (iron man competitors, triathletes, marathon runners, etc.) and five weaker female soldiers will be chosen and set up to fail, just so the course will look impartial. Within the first year, one female will magically be awarded ‘Class Leader’ or ‘Distinguished Honor Graduate’. She definitely will not be the typical female soldier, but the gender-friendly PC box will be fully ticked…

An even better answer: who cares? They signed up for it, let them worry about how clean their nether-regions are. If they fall out or quit over it, they are no better and no worse then the male student who quits because it’s cold out. It’s just a school. You’re never any more than a few miles from a road in any phase. You get admin halts and medical checks every couple of days where they can hand out wet wipes and tampons just as easy as they hand out moleskin and bug juice. It’s not rocket science. The Ranger School physical will probably now include a blood test to measure tolerances to antibiotics to fend off vaginal infections (they probably already have this for the FTX at Sapper School). Box ticked…

If some woman’s lady parts become a serious medical issue in the middle of nowhere, she can be airlifted and they can even use it as a training event.

As previously stated, they’ll drop a hell of a lot of body weight by the middle of Mountains. So much that it’s highly likely that they won’t have a menstrual cycle in Florida anyway; so it will be a pretty rare problem…

The fact that he’s arguing from the stance of “Yes, we can make these accommodations, and some of the women should be able to make it through!” strongly indicates that he too believes that women are a net drag on combat arms.

This leads me to my last point: the author effectively concedes that the net expected outcome of putting women through these schools and in these roles is negative compared to the opportunity cost of putting men through.

It’s an idiotic, socially masturbatory idea that will not win wars.

Which, by the way, is what we should be thinking about. Anyone thinking otherwise is not pro-women; he’s anti-victory.

**And a few notes:

1) Yes, he’s writing about Ranger School and not specifically combat arms. But the pentagon is under a directive to assess integration, or provide a report as to why women are not integrated. We’d be kidding ourselves if we think that this isn’t a prelude to full integration

2) Author may technically be telling people to chill out about the integration. But he (and they) shouldn’t. Not if they care about winning wars.

In the midst of a world full of turmoil:

- Rapidly escalating (again) in Iraq to fight ISIL (start with Airstrikes, next thing you know you’ve got a Division HQ there…

- Geometrically increasing Ebola

- Russia invading Ukraine

- Various other world events that could possibly precipitate wars, including currency crises and the regular internecine 3rd-world fighting

The Army has deployed its newest, deadliest weapon/force-multiplier/BFG/MOAB to the fight:

WOMEN IN RANGER SCHOOL, BITCHES!!!!

The call-out is part of the Army’s ongoing effort to determine whether and how to open combat arms military occupational specialties to women.

Senior Army leaders are expected to decide in January if they want to move forward with this one-time, integrated Ranger school assessment. If the assessment moves forward, it likely will take place in the spring, and the Army will need volunteers already in place and ready to go, officials said Friday.

If the assessment takes place, it will be a first for the storied Ranger school, which until now has been open only to men.

First, the Army is seeking female soldiers who want to attend Ranger school as students. Women in the ranks of specialist through major can apply. They must meet the physical qualifications and prerequisites required to attend Ranger School.

If selected, female volunteers who successfully complete and graduate from Ranger school will receive a graduation certificate and be awarded and authorized to wear the Ranger tab. However, pending future decisions about whether women will be allowed to serve in combat arms MOSs, they will not receive the associated Ranger skill identifiers or be assigned to Ranger coded units or positions…

Yes that is correct.

By January 2016, the military must open all combat jobs to women or explain why any must remain closed. The Pentagon lifted its ban on women in combat jobs in 2012, but gave the military services time to gradually and systematically integrate women into the male-only front-line positions.

Special operations jobs are some of the last to be addressed, as commanders review the qualifications needed and assess the impact of bringing women in.

But don’t worry,

Military leaders have made it clear that they will not reduce standards for any jobs in order to let women in.

I have seen a lot of supportive commenting among my Army friends on Facebook about this. Much of it sounds like “Hey, I support this, as long as standards are upheld, because combat doesn’t discriminate either!”

This is flawed reasoning on both micro and macro levels.

On micro levels, any introduction of females into an all-male space inherently involves changing of the standards, in terms of accommodations, requirements, or cultural factors. Women in the Army has already resulted in different fitness standards by sex (as opposed to by job), different equipment and uniforms, different standards for going to wars, etc. Not to mention the cultural effects that women have on all-male institutions.

The introduction of women to Ranger School, even without any ostensible “standard changes,” is laughable on those grounds because women will get separate facilities. Or rather, everything in the Army’s history indicates that women will get separate living quarters, separate lockers, separate showers, separate bathrooms, etc. Now, go tell a black person that separate but equal worked well, and see where that gets you. This is inherently a different standard, because anyone who’s been in the mountains in Dahlonega will tell you that having 10 minutes after breakfast to take a shit in packed restrooms with everyone else, fight through the crowd to grab equipment, and get out to formation is part of the experience. It’s part of the standard. If you have your own showers and bathrooms, you’re simply not having the same experience.

That may seem like a trite example (unless you’re the one fighting through to the shitter), so let’s move onto something else: Spooning. Guys get close and friendly in Ranger School to stay warm during cold (e.g. 15 degree) nights in the woods. What will happen to the school the first time that a woman spoons with a guy and claims harassment? I guarantee it will not result in “no lessening of the standards.” Will only women spoon with women? Isn’t that modifying the standard?

Then there will be cultural adjustment. Can’t call guys pussies anymore. Gotta be more professional. And what about pass rates? If no women pass, will there be charges of ‘badge protecting’? Betcher ass that there will be pressure to pass women.

Point being that anything short of total integration will change the effective performance standard for women. I don’t see the Army doing that. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

But I’m getting off my points…

Second, on a more macro level, no one, to my knowledge, is arguing that women are superior to men in combat roles. Therefore, the best result that the Army can hope for by introducing women to combat roles (and by extension, Ranger school) is parity with mens’ performance.

Now, keep in mind that there are a limited number of slots for Ranger school (typically 300-400 per class, if I recall correctly). Keep in mind also that the females are 16% of the Army. This means that every slot allotted to a female is shutting out 4 potential well-qualified male candidates. So to top male performance, the females have to not only perform at parity with the male average, but they have to perform in the top 75th percentile of make performance (if I’m doing the math right…)

So any aggregate lesser or lessened performance – whether in longevity in the Service, in combat accomplishment, in physical hardiness, in leadership effectiveness, or other factors — would mean that that all female Ranger slots were wasted on a predictably inferior product. And there are plenty of indicators that women will, in aggregate, have comparatively poorer performance in the short and long-term (assuming they stay in) than men.

We’ve already seen that accommodations have been made for women in the service for performance and equipment. That alone, even actual performance notwithstanding, is what we might call a type of transaction cost, and leads to greater costs to the Army than just having men go through it.

So even if the women are comparable to men, the cost to the Army of the integration leads to a lesser outcome than keeping it male-only. It’s like evaluating two projects on cash flows – even if both generate some cash flow, you still want to pick the one with the greatest expected value. And because the expected value of women in combat roles is less than of men, putting women through Ranger school will crowd out men who could otherwise have put the training to better use (e.g. killed more bad guys over time, or whatever your metric is.)

What are the benefits?

There are none unless women bring additional efficacy–over and above what men bring–to the combat arms. As mentioned before, I haven’t seen anybody seriously argue that case.

So I’m forced to conclude, by lack of alternatives, that the only real benefit of introducing women to Ranger School (and combat arms) is so that they can say they went to Ranger School and combat arms. Not for real military results like winning wars, but for patches and evaluations, patches and evaluations that could well mean the lives of the solders who could have gone to Ranger school and used the training in a combat setting.

It’s like Economics In One Lesson; we’re breaking the window, but the politicians in the White House and Pentagon are telling us that breaking the window is generating economic activity because someone has to be paid to repair the window. In reality, the economic activity is the sum of the cost spent to repair the broken window and the opportunity cost (i.e. a negative value) that the capital could have otherwise gone to.

In this case, though, it’s human capital and combat capability we’re talking about. We’ll never know its sum, but the cost of this feminist careeroganda could literally be lives.

The Ebola epidemic, which I personally have been tracking for quite a while, has begun reaching scary-to-the-masses proportions. Indeed, it’s probably only a matter of time before it goes airborne, makes its way to a major airport hub, and gets to the US or wherever you happen to live. It will be a disaster the likes of which has probably not been seen since (and may well be worse than) the bubonic plague. It is a true black swan event, in progress, and the unpredictability will not scale linearly.

When this occurs, you can bet on one thing:

Government response will be massive and overreaching, disrupting the lives of millions.

Needlessly or not, there will be travel controls and restrictions; public advisories and ordinances resulting in involuntary confinement; public appropriation/confiscation of private property; and perhaps most scary of all, the justification for martial law and an incredible, far-reaching and irreversible (although ostensibly “emergency only”) expansion of the already formidable (some would say all-encroaching and inescapable) surveillance state apparatus, in the name — of course–of the “public good.”

To be sure, there may be some definite public good involved. Nobody wants a 50-70% mortality airborne contagious virus on the loose, particularly when combined with a 20+ day incubation period and idiots who don’t follow directions. This could well lead to months and months of continuing outbreaks of a disease; mass panic; economic recession or depression (remember the flight industry after 9/11? This would be an order of magnitude worse); breakdown of civil order; y’know, all that stuff.

But that is temporary. Reasonable confinement of the disease and public awareness will lead to a shortened epidemic curve. After which, and a few more flare-ups along with some technological solutions, we will be left with whatever legal structure (or lack thereof) the government has seen fit to erect during the crisis period. And the government is a ratchet – it giveth plenty, but rarely takes away. So in the fit of public panic and media-fanned opinionate flames, if there are martial controls; if there are more taxes; if there are expansions of the NSA’s already somewhat hazy borders of propriety; or any of a number of other unforeseen things (I’m not too creative, so my range here is limited);  those things will stay after the Stand-ish viral outbreak.

I don’t have an answer to this; it’ll be governed by the tide of public opinion, opportunistic yet hopefully opposed politicians, and media machinery. But it could well be the trigger for a ‘historical transformation’ of the US of A.

Paranoid? Maybe. Almost certainly so. But, being a fan of Bayesian logic, I’m inclined to think the worst of our Fearless Leaders, and this would certainly lead to the type of public outcry and justification for action that would be ripe for easy exploitation by… well, our current leadership, for example. In a rational world, the administration (read: President) would have been helping contain this instead of golfing, or, frankly, even in place of his half-assed belated response to ISIS, because this could well be – even at a few percent of probability – an existential threat to the US.

What can you do? Say something. Blog about it when you see it happening. Perceived isolation is one of the biggest causes of silence; be assured other people are seeing the same thing happen, and they probably don’t like it. Let your congressional reps know that they need a plan before the SHTF, or else panic mode will take over.

In the meantime, make sure you have enough to live more-or-less isolated for at least a few weeks, or preferably months:

o Something to charge your phone with

o Extra water, nonperishable food, some basic medicines, batteries, nonperishable supplies (toilet paper, looking at you)

o Some good books

o Cash

o Glock & ammo

o Mostly, just a list of disaster prep stuff.

The Army will send women to Ranger School:

The Army is looking for female soldiers who want to volunteer to attend Ranger school.

The call-out is part of the Army’s ongoing effort to determine whether and how to open combat arms military occupational specialties to women.

Senior Army leaders are expected to decide in January if they want to move forward with this one-time, integrated Ranger school assessment. If the assessment moves forward, it likely will take place in the spring, and the Army will need volunteers already in place and ready to go, officials said Friday.

If the assessment takes place, it will be a first for the storied Ranger school, which until now has been open only to men.

I have yet to see any compelling argument for why adding women to combat arms increases military efficacy.

Adding women to non-combat arms may to some extent have net benefits. For example, Intelligence, as a branch, can benefit from smart people, and there are smart women, possibly to the extent that their contributions counterbalance the negative cultural influences their integration presents.

But there are no net military advantages to putting women in the Infantry or Armor branches. None whatsoever. The issue is not whether Ranger School produces better leaders, but whether putting women in class slots in place of men will improve upon– not equal– the final, net outcome over what would have happened had men only been selected. Doing that is purely a move to further the cultural narrative of YouGoGirl and equalism, and any argument to the contrary is ridiculous.

A while ago I wrote

It occurred to me today that I didn’t go nearly far enough, so here’s a thought experiment: Per the concept of Black Knighting, the correct course would be – and for everyone, at this point — to come out as officially Gay.

and earlier

When they are allowed by federal regulations (i.e Gay Marriage is legal, as is being Openly Gay in the Military) to marry each other, they can then do two things: Move off post (since they now have dependents) and collect BAH.  This is not different than current regulations, which allows married servicemembers (e.g. two married officers) to each be entitled to BAH at their posts.

So, now we have a majority of (presumably male) heterosexual-yet-opportunistic servicemembers who can and probably will be getting “married” for the allowance and to get out of the barracks.  This is an extra $10-12k per year per servicemember in pay. This is a strong incentive to sign a piece of paper. If I were a soldier, I’d do this in a heartbeat with a number of my buddies in order to go rent a house or 3- or 4- bedroom apartment and make some bank.

But while I was prescient, I overthought it and overlooked the simple utility of getting married to your buddy to piss off activists and earn vacation trips:

McIntosh said they were still to decide if they would a hyphenated surname but thought their marriage would last at least two years.

“Matt and Travis, or Mattress as I have affectionately named them, are great guys. They are excited about next year’s trip to London but are just as pumped about their big day. It’s not going to be your traditional wedding. In fact, this may be the first wedding in history where the newlyweds will try to crack onto the guests,” said Dom Harvey from The Edge Breakfast Show.

Heh. “Mattress.” Brangelina, eat your heart out.

From the activists:

Same-sex marriage became legal in New Zealand in August last year, yet gay groups have condemned the marriage of McIntosh and McCormick.

Otago University Students’ Association Queer Support co-ordinator Neill Ballantyne told the Otago Daily Times that the wedding was an “insult” as marriage equality was a “hard fought” battle for gay people.

“Something like this trivialises what we fought for,” he said.

The competition promoted the marriage of two men as something negative, “as something outrageous that you’d never consider”, Ballantyne said.

Wellington co-chairman Joseph Habgood told the Otago Daily Times that the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.

Something outrageous? A “hard fought battle” for tax and visitation rights and the cultural blessing to have an expensive photo-op?

Mock them. Force-feed them the idiocy of all the arguments for gay marriage. After all, if two people deeply in eros can get married, why not storge or philia? Why not for money or a trip? After all, “equality”!

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