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:


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.

I was inspired by Dalrock’s modern-culture Easter egg hunt when I saw this and figured it’d be good fun for the peanut gallery. Take a look:


It’s an almost-total encapsulation of the failings in the modern cultural situation.


The feminist dream, captured in a photo.

And, of course, though it hardly needs mentioning, this is a Tinder screenshot, which means she’s looking for someone (presumably a man) to pull her butt to safety in life.

Heck, at least it’s outdoors.

As a follow-up to both my posts Quantifying Effective Sex Ratios and Fatty Camouflage on Tinder, I decided to take the analysis a step further by surveying actual observations from Tinder and seeing whether my effective sex ratio hypothesis was borne out on that presently-popular dating app.

However, because Tinder is a visually-driven app, more human judgment and interpretation is needed than, say, the transparently data-driven OKCupid (nor does it volunteer data). In this case, the question is:

What percentage of Tinder potential matches are fat, and therefore unsuitable for courting?

To determine this, I used the ultra-scientific method of capturing every Tinder match I checked as I went on a multi-state drive and then for a couple days at my final destination. Following that, I sorted the Tinder cards into two categories: “Fat” and “Not Fat.”

This is an oversimplification of course, because it’s easy to argue that some of the “Not Fat” cards are of girls who will become fat as they age out of their youthfully perfect adipose distributions, and some are merely “a little pudgy”, and some are “a little overweight.” I didn’t sort necessarily by attractiveness, and I generally gave the benefit of the doubt to the girls by putting them in the “Not Fat” pile even if they had some incipient pudge. Again, not perfectly sound methodology, but it should be enough to give us a ballpark sense of what’s on the market.

For example, this is a pretty clear case of “Not Fat”:


This is a bit tougher, and even though from the camera angle and content it’s likely she’s a bit pudgy, she still went in the Not Fat pile:


Again, this is borderline, but still “Not Fat.”


These were also some likely candidates to jump buckets in the future, but currently “not-fat”  cards:


On the “Fat” side, you have examples like these:


I didn’t use any criteria other than appearance for screening eligibility/attractiveness.

For example, you’d chat this gal up at a bar, right?


How about now:


Well, you might still chat her up, but as a long-term prospect the blurb kinda rules her out, unless you like raising other peoples’ kids. But here she is still “not fat.”

So, to conclusions:

Not Fat: 162 cards

Fat: 117 cards

Fat % = 117/(162+117) = 42%

There is probably some adverse selection going on here (It’s Tinder, after all, even despite the bona-fide hotties that are on it), but this is still a pretty damning indictment of the market today.

Some critical commenters of “Quantifying Effective Sex Ratios” pointed out that men are obese as well as women, so the situation wasn’t as dire as I was painting it.

From these observations, it’s worse. This is probably because the CDC and other government health organizations look at clinical obesity, while being overweight to any noticeable degree is largely enough to turn a guy off to the thought of any long-term copulatory bond with the modern female.

These commenters failed to grasp that obesity/fattiness is a nearly absolute disqualifier for women but is not nearly as debilitating for men on the sexual market, because men are largely cued by physical stimuli, and women by socio-sexual stimuli (dominance, etc). Given that in mind, this Tinder survey is pretty damning: 42% of women are largely out of the eligible market because they’re too damn fat. That leaves a pretty stark ratio to overcome for the men out there to find a suitable woman for (in a perfect world) marriage and family, even after looking at prison populations and IQ variance.

In a series of surveys by RAND and others, we learn that Special Operations troops don’t think women can hack it:

Surveys find that men in U.S. special operations forces do not believe women can meet the physical and mental demands of their commando jobs, and they fear the Pentagon will lower standards to integrate women into their elite units, according to interviews and documents.

We find that this is because  the Special Ops guys just don’t get it – they’re a bunch of dumb neanderthals who are closet misogynists. (bold added)

Studies that surveyed personnel found “major misconceptions” within special operations about whether women should be brought into the male-only jobs. They also revealed concerns that department leaders would “capitulate to political pressure, allowing erosion of training standards,” according to one document.

Some of those concerns were not limited to men, researchers found, but were found among women in special operations jobs.

Obviously, the only reason for the disagreement could be “major misconceptions.”* The answer to this problem is of course re-education camps additional training.

Dan Bland, force management director for U.S. Special Operations Command, said the survey results have “already driven us to do some different things in terms of educating the force.

Because “educating the force” is going to fix the “misconceptions” they have about women in the most intensive positions in the military, even aside from practical considerations like, you know, winning wars.

The leadership is dismayed that there are still independent thinkers in the force.

As integration unfolds, the surveys have brought home the reality that there are “some reservations or misperceptions in the force in terms of why we’re doing this,” Bland said. Defense officials have stressed that they will not reduce standards in order to let in women.

Women have so far had mixed results as they try to move into the more demanding combat positions — jobs for which men also have difficulty qualifying.

Mixed results? 29/29 women have failed to pass the Marine IOC so far (with 25/29 dropping out on the first day), although several (10?) have passed the enlisted infantry course. For those not keeping count, that’s approximately 20-25 Marine infantry lieutenants (I don’t recall IOC graduation rates) that the US is now short because of the opportunity cost incurred by this social experiment.

The degradation of our armed forces in the name of female career progression continues apace, condoned by leadership dedicated to stamping out dissent and making the next promotion.

* The spin presented in this article is yet another example of the propaganda deployed to make the reader think that “the science is settled” with regards to women in combat, and that anyone disagreeing is both stupid and immoral. Like all good propaganda, the frame doesn’t even acknowledge the possibility that there is another point of view, which is illustrated by the failure to define what those “major misconceptions” are.


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