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.