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A new company Poachable is anonymizing applicants and matching them up with employers.

Two quick reactions:

1) This is probably a better service than Monster, Careerbuilder, etc. It appears that the services provides an employment score to employers that rates applicants on the back end for suitability in jobs, which employers can then sort through. Therefore this removes a large part of the manual sorting that HR reps have to do through mostly poor resumes to find someone worthwhile. Data analysis will likely significantly help further find the exact applicant someone is looking for, and probably at a cheaper rate than traditional executive search firms. For the applicant, the anonymity is better than having resumes posted online where an employer could potentially find it – therefore, this minimizes transition time between jobs.

2) This sorting score (“employability score”) is or will be an effective way of helping employers see through the credential bubble currently in place – it should take into account quality of past employer, quality of education, work experience, use those for the IQ proxies that were outlawed by Griggs vs Duke. With word that Google and other employers are relying less on college credentials and more on results, this should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the credential bubble.

At the prestigious United States Military Academy, flagship commissioning source, we find an antiquated attitude toward the coming integration of women into combat arms.

As seen in the course catalog, in the freshman year, men take boxing and women take combatives, which is essentially grappling-lite geared toward self-defense.

boxing curriculum

Boxing is notoriously mandatory for men and “exposes participants to the coping strategies necessary to deal with a physical threat.” But women don’t have to take it, or if they do it is not integrated.

Why is this?

If a woman finds herself in a position to use these skills, it will almost certainly be against a man, so any applications should be trained accordingly.

The only reason I can ascertain is that the Academy thinks that women are less capable than men. Therefore, in light of the fact that West Point women have shown themselves to be ready to “take on any challenge,” and are “the only ones not complaining“, I call on Academy leadership to remove this artificial barrier to female success in the profession of arms by immediately and completely integrating boxing classes, and indeed making it mandatory for everyone.

The three day-1 female Ranger-School recycles have reported passed RAP week once again.

Some additional information came out from the last go-round:

Male students who had women in their patrols also failed at an unusually high rate, the sources said.

That is interesting, as there are multiple possible explanations for this, but none of them support the idea that women contribute equally, much less add, to the fight.

There is also some grumbling that the course may not be “fair” to women, that RIs didn’t want to pass women, although this man deserves some recognition for sticking to his guns:

Brig. Gen. James E. Rainey, the commandant of the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, disputed that any Ranger instructor maliciously intended to hold female students back.

“The women did worse than men at patrolling,” he said. “That’s a fact.”

Someone calling a spade a spade, without the usual platitudinous and condescending mewling about how impressed everyone was with the women’s effort, is unusual. He also said that

But he said Ranger School officials are looking at whether “subjective grading and objective grading” by the instructors contributed to the failure of women at the school.

“We don’t really have enough data to draw a conclusion on this,” Rainey said. “We have a pretty rigorous and detailed system that we use, and we’re learning a lot along the way.”

Yes, the objective grading of the women led to their failure at the school – they did worse than they had to in order to pass. The article also correctly notes that most guys who don’t pass feel that “they was robbed.” On the other hand, I failed a phase; I know I didn’t do very well on my initial patrols, and so was disappointed I had to re-do it, but understood why.

Anyway, we also now have enough information to look at the opportunity cost of putting women through Ranger school. Recall that these women went through pre-Ranger training courses, and some were even training for months specifically for this event, so they can be considered representative of the pool of women eligible for attending the school, and not the larger pool of much-less-capable women in the Army.

At the Pre-ranger courses, 19% of the women passed while 55% of the men did. There are slightly different numbers here (14% vs 45%), probably from different iterations of the pre-ranger course. One of the iterations had 1/17 women pass, although I’m willing to accept that class as an outlier.

What this tells us is that males have approximately 3x the success rate of women in pre-Ranger courses, and I’ll define this as the “Yield Ratio”:

(Male Completion %) : (Female completion %) = 55% : 19% = 2.9

That means that you’d have to send 3 women to get the effective yield of sending 1 man to the course. This is costly in terms of time spent. That is 6 slots (or 3 passed soldiers, based on a 50% male success rate, or 67% overall waste) that are wasted.

This is not an efficient use of time or resources even before looking at other effects on combat effectiveness, and we haven’t even gotten to the school or units or combat yet.

The first article linked also says that “historically, more than half” of the people who pass the pre-Ranger complete Ranger school. We might therefore reasonably expect that the pre-Ranger course is a decent (though not good – the course could obviously be improved) predictor of performance in the School. Was it?

No, it was not. With all 19 women failing to get past Darby on the first go-round, pre-Ranger is obviously not a good predictor of performance for women. For yield-ratio math, this creates some divide-by-zero errors, meaning that we’d have to send infinite numbers of women to get an actual graduate. This is obviously uneconomical.

With Ranger School graduation rates somewhere in the 45% range overall (depending on which source you read – some say 30%, some say 50%), the yield ratio, charitably assuming that all 3/19 original women now pass the Day-1 recycle, is

45% / 19% = 2.9

Very similar to the pre-ranger yield.

Now, this is where it gets interesting. Looking at the yield ratios for the pipeline (Pre-Ranger->Ranger School,, and assuming the remaining 3 women pass the school, and are not counted as new candidates) we find that the effects are multiplicative:

ranger yield ratio

Assuming the pass rates mentioned above for each step, and starting numbers of each sex at 100, the yield ratio  becomes 8.1x. If only 2 women pass, the ratio is 12.4x. If one woman passes, the ratio is 24.6x. At a minimum, though, we have to send 8x the women through the course as men to get a Ranger-qualified soldier, which represents 87% waste in the process.

This is somewhat academic; the actual ratios may vary, but they are illustrative of the totally idiotic decision to do this when the outcomes are thoroughly predictable. We don’t know exactly how much of a waste this is, but we know it’s a “profoundly costly”  waste of resources that could be used for smoking ISIS. How many slots at the so-far-unmodified school will the Army waste in its pursuit to find find that one special Ranger?

It is also illustrative of the fact that the Army will engage in whatever idiocy its political masters tell it to do in keeping with the prevailing political fashions of the day, for the Feels of the feminist careerists shrikes whose ultimate goal is the destruction of any bastion of masculinity rather than winning wars.

Ranger school gets the headlines; this is the reality.

IMG_0674

I follow the saga of female integration into the combat arms more closely than I do the World Series, so today I was pleasantly surprised to see the first update on the project in about a week. All remaining 8 women failed the Benning phase of Ranger School (the first phase) and will be recycling.

First, it’s important to remember that the women going through the Ranger School experience are doing it because they are highly motivated and want to be at the top of their game, so appropriate recognition and respect to them for doing that.

Now, for the rest of the armchair soldiers out there who want to play games with the military, take note:

1) Some people (Charles Clymer) celebrated because the women got past the PT test and the obstacle course, claiming that

So, what happened? Only three women failed the test along with 78 men. Doing the quick math, that means 84.2 percent of women passed… as did 79.5 percent of men.

You read that right. Under the same standards, when gender was not a factor in assessment, more women than men passed Day One of Ranger School.

But what it should demonstrate is the ridiculousness of continuing to state that women are not up to the task when it comes to leading troops in combat. Are all women up for this? Of course not, but neither are all men, easily proved by the fact that 78 men failed to get past the first day.

There’s a lot of the course still left, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that no woman will make it to graduation, but this test, along with the first two weeks of Ranger School, usually see the most candidates wash out. Even if just ten women make it to the third week, chances are likely that June will witness the first women earn the coveted Ranger Tab and prove themselves capable of combat leadership.

Feminist Clymer was absolutely wrong. He was wrong about asserting that passing a PT test indicates that women can perform and fit in. He was wrong about his assessment of the chances of the ladies, and quite probably (although we may never really know how the ladies failed) wrong about the ability of the women to lead in a school environment. He drew false equivalencies between the initial training environment and the school, and between male failures and female capabilities, and would no doubt be first in line to do the same about the school and performance in combat operations. Will he print a retraction and correction? Any honest journalist would, but I doubt he falls in that category. He is advancing a political agenda, not a combat effectiveness agenda.

And again, lest anyone forget, this isn’t just about performance in the school: It is about the overall effect on combat effectiveness of the Army.

There are some lessons to draw from this on a micro level:

Strength is not the same as Fitness

All the ladies going to Ranger were very fit. They went through multiple tiers of selection to get into the school. And indeed, they passed the Physical Fitness Test and initial fitness gates.

However, while we don’t know exactly what they failed for, Ranger School requires moving heavy objects like guns and full rucksacks around for extended periods of time. The weight doesn’t change, you can’t “kip” it, you can’t count on your lighter weight and proportionate body strength to get around a requirement. It doesn’t go away. You must be strong enough to deal with it. Women statistically are not strong. I’d be surprised if that wasn’t a significant factor here.

According to the sources Fred Reed cites, the top 5% female performer will do about as well as the median male performer. The washout rates so far are consistent with that, with over half of the men washing out or recycling, and all of the women doing so.

And I’ll bet that going through Darby again, and then to Mountains won’t help. The loads only get heavier in mountains, and the terrain gets a lot worse, as you can tell from the below above/below comparisons (map sources linked if you want to analyze) from Benning to Mountains phases, and the relative elevation changes.


ranger terrain


Discipline and Endurance

Fox News had an interesting blurb in their update on the experiment:

One official who spoke with Fox News claimed the female candidates struggled with the rigors of the training program and had particular difficulties with the intense sleep deprivation involved, and other aspects of the course.

No other news source had that interview.

The “training program” part of it probably meant that the women had trouble with getting their patrols passed.

The “particular difficulties with the intense sleep deprivation” very likely means that most of women couldn’t stay awake on patrol, causing them to fail either leadership roles, peer evaluations, or get enough “major minuses” to recycle. Having trouble staying awake is not uncommon at Ranger school, but I thought it was interesting that this was called out as a special cause. It could point to physiological difficulties or personal discipline issues.

It will be interesting to see whether and how many women ultimately make it out of Benning. I’m going to guess that a 2-3 do, and then wash out in Mountains. Good luck to them – Ranger School sucks.

And women still shouldn’t be in combat roles, or taking places from more-likely-to-pass men for resources like Ranger School. The reduced statistical likelihood of passing these schools should be an obvious sign to the 12-lb brains planning these things that many more slots will be allocated to women than would be needed to yield a similar number of men, which means that the Army is wasting resources trying to push women through. And it’s utterly predictable that the Army will continue to do so, given that its mission has become pleasing its political masters rather than winning wars.

Sometimes critics of the critics of integrating women into combat roles pooh-pooh the hygiene concerns (one of but many considerations that lessen female effectiveness in the military relative to men) of integrating women into combat roles. They say it is not a concern. They say hygiene doesn’t affect the standards, and standards won’t change.

Now, we find out that it is indeed actually a concern. With the admission of women into Ranger School, we find that the Army changed the packing list to accommodate females:

The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, which runs Ranger School, even updated its packing list for students to include several items specific for female students. They include feminine wipes, sports bras, cotton underwear, pads or tampons, and a female urinary diversion device, or FUDD.

With use of a FUDD, a female soldier in the field can urinate more discreetly while standing and with minimal undressing.

This is a FUD:

FUD

There are two reactions to this. The first go-girl response is a “Hey, see, women can do extended operations too!”

The second and more realistic response is acknowledgement that this is an accommodation. This is additional equipment institutionally endorsed to overcome a circumstance or whatnot inherent in being female. This is a changed standard. Men don’t get to worry about “discreet urination.” A small one, to be sure, but… what happens if the female loses the FUD? Does she get another? Is it a sensitive item? Does she have to drop a 2 in the middle of the patrol base, like the guys, or does she get to do that discreetly, too?

When I went through the school, there was no goal of “discreet urination.” When I deployed, pissing in bottles in the humvee was standard practice on missions. If women want the same standard, have them meet the same standard.

But then, as Fearless Leader Dempsey noted,

Importantly, though, if we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?

Good point. Dempsey would champion the FUD.

Secondly, the article noted that female observers were sent to Ranger School.

The Army, through a careful selection process, also tapped more than two dozen female noncommissioned officers and officers to serve as observer/advisers. These soldiers were selected to work alongside the Ranger instructors and serve as extra eyes and ears and as a sounding board for the all-male cadre. The women will not evaluate or grade Ranger School students.

Why, exactly, would female observers be needed? To make sure the RIs aren’t discriminating? To remind everyone that women better darn well get a fair shake?

Interpreted generously, the Army’s thinking seems to be that female students will need female mentorship to have a chance of passing the course. After all, males attempting the course have plenty of male role models on the staff to admire. But it is not clear why the Army believes that female students would consider the mentorship of these female “observer/advisers” essential, or even useful, considering that the prospective mentors are not themselves graduates of the course.

Perhaps the Army feels that, without the presence of women, the instructors at Ranger School will conspire to keep women from graduating. Whether this is believed by the Army’s leaders to be the case or not, the appearance of such a belief is inescapable. The presence of these observer/advisers comes off as remarkably insulting to the regular staff of the school. There seems to be an implicit rebuke to their integrity: that without the observation and advice of a relatively senior group of female pseudo-staff members, the male instructors would not offer fair and responsible training to their female students.

The least generous interpretation of the policy is, of course, that the observer/advisers are there to pressure the regular staff into being more lenient to the female students. It must be said that there is no evidence that such an outcome is anyone’s intent. But, again, appearances matter, and no one has to state such a thing explicitly. One can quite easily imagine that the all-male regular staff—many of whom will be junior in rank to those on the observer/adviser team—will have plenty of occasions to think twice about being quite as strict or demanding or harsh to the female students as they might be to the males. Everyone has a family and a career to think about, after all.

Again, it’s important to realize that this is a concession. Special treatment. Different standards. Not the same experience. However you want to phrase it, this is what changing and lowering standards looks like, presented in the guise of overcoming obstacles, instead of recognizing what the obstacles mean.

See also articles:

here: The Ranger Experiment Continues

here: I’m Not Misogynist, You’re Anti-Victory

Here: Don’t promote women in the military

Here: Get over it, we’re all different.

As I monitor the progress of women through Ranger School, and am surprised to learn that the women are outperforming the men, I developed a modest proposal to ensure sex is not a factor in the military and to promote true equality:

1) Remove sex-differentiated PT, branch, and school standards. Apply standards by job/MOS.

2) Ban pregnancy. Mandate administration of birth-control, similar to other vaccinations, to ensure that no readiness- or morale-wrecking pregnancies occur. If pregnancy occurs, mandate early abortion and UCMJ Action.

3) Remove all visibility of male/female when branching or slotting personnel. Slot qualified individuals randomly into branches & MOS’s by aptitude (and/or PT or relevant testing) scores. This includes service academies.

4) Remove all male/female housing, latrine, and hygiene accommodations. Unisex only.

5) Ensure women are entered into Selective Service lotteries.

6) Have unisex BMI/height/weight standards

7) Have unisex uniform and grooming standards

8) Defund and dis-band any female-oriented military groups (or exclusively men’s groups) because they’re divisive

9) … to be filled in when I think of more.

This will create a more equal military. Since obviously that’s what we want.

The Army’s most high-profile step towards integrating women into combat roles commences in April with the introduction of 12 women into Ranger School. All are of course justifiably excited that women will be able to add the coveted Black and Gold to their DD214s in pursuit of promotions. Unable to be reached for comment were the infantry enlisted whose slots were denied for the women to attend.

Along the way, there will be female “observer-advisers” whose jobs will include:

The observer-advisers aren’t students in the course, but hand-selected soldiers brought on to offer suggestions to commanders and instructors at Ranger School — all men — on how to make the integration of women as seamless as possible.

It’s a good thing that

The service will not drop its standards for the famously grueling 62-day course[…]

But, as we all know,

some practical changes needed to be made to include female students, commanders and observer-advisers both said.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, any concessions or changes mean that the Ranger School experience is changed, ergo lessened and made less difficult, for the females. My example was a time bottleneck at the shitters at Dahlonega in the mornings before having to be ready for patrol, but there are numerous such examples, including living quarters, proximity of; restrooms, access to; any sorts of weight or load modifications (squad leaders, along with the Observer/Advisers will be making sure that the 240B and ammo is rotated equally, right?); and any of the hundreds of other little discomforts and inconveniences of the school. The article notes that the men and women will be in the same bays and bunk beds. But what about showers? Packing lists? Will Black Hats look the other way a little bit more often? Will peer reviews be conducted appropriately, with all the observing/advising going on? If conditions are changed, the standard is changed, period.

That’s a long way of saying that “practical changes” will likely equal lessening of the standards of the school.

But again, this is all besides the point. Again, no one is making an argument that this will increase combat effectiveness of any units. All this hoopla is merely distraction and added cost to the main mission of killing bad guys. But nobody ever thinks to ask why – they just note that it’s a Pentagon mandate that the services assess for integration into the combat arms, as if it’s justification enough. Unfortunately the era of the free-thinking military officer passed generations ago, and the leadership now is just trying to get promoted.

The number of women going to Ranger School just increased to 12. That’s 12 slots that men won’t get into. For those not familiar, going to Ranger School is a competitive process and there is a finite amount of space at the school. So we’ll have 12 fewer infantrymen getting this training, in order to complete an assessment of a program that nobody has argued will actually increase our ability to win wars. But it will help female careers, which is the  actual desired outcome.

Allen West, here, here, and here, makes similar points.

How many women will graduate? I don’t know. Of the 12 attending, I’ve seen figures in various articles stating that:

– Ranger School itself has a 75% graduation rate, if you count all the recycles, etc

– The prep course graduates have a 50% graduation rate from Ranger School

With 12 women graduating the course, then we’d expect to see 6 graduate Ranger School based on that (optimistic) analysis.

However, of the 29 women to go through the Marine IOC, 0 have graduated. I would hope that the Army’s 62-day premier infantry tactics/small unit leadership course would be somewhat more difficult than the first 2-3 days of the Marine IOC. But we will find out. Based on the slobbering ass-kissing mentality endemic to the Army, I think that we’ll see 1-2 graduates shepherded through to keep the generals’ bosses happy.

This is a stupid idea. Ranger School is not a badge. It is a tool in building an army capable of winning. Trivialize the mission, and you jeopardize the outcome.

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