Pluses and Minuses

A plus for Carly Fiorina. She opposed the GOP’s trade deal. What is it? It would allow Obama to ‘fast-track’ trade treaties with nations along the Pacific Rim, i.e., the PRC. That is the People’s Republic of China for those of you who are acronym deficient.

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Sunday came out in opposition to giving President Obama the authority to fast track a massive trade deal with Pacific Rim countries, breaking with the GOP’s free-trade agenda.

Mrs. Fiorina, a former chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard, insisted that she supports free trade but said she doesn’t trust Mr. Obama to make a good deal for American workers and businesses.

“The devil is usually in the details, and that is particularly true with this president. The truth is we don’t know what’s in this deal,” she said on NBC”s “Meet the Press.”

“This administration unfortunately has a track record of burying things in fine print … that turn out to be very different from their selling points,” said Mrs. Fiorina, who announced her White House bid last week.

The Senate this week is scheduled to take the first votes on fast-track authority, or trade promotion authority, which would make it much easier for the president to pass the 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. — The Washington Times.

The GOP is about to sell out US businesses in exchange for what? Campaign funds? Oh, that’s illegal although it didn’t stop Bill Clinton from receiving laundered ChiCom money. Remember all those Buddhist monks giving thousands upon thousands of dollars to Bill’s campaign? I do.

As Fiorina claims, the devil is in the details and in this treaty, no one really knows what is in it. Again! Issues like this make you wonder how much McConnell’s and Boehner’s cuts will be from the kick-backs.


Have you heard about the gender trail that going on in the Army? By trial, I mean…a test. A test to see if women can successfully pass the Ranger course.

Ranger School is the toughest course in the US Army. It is physical and mental torture. It is the closest to actual combat the Army can create in a training scenario. The washout rate among men, enlisted and commissioned, is high.

One of the goals of the course is to teach leaders, Officers and NCO, just how hard they can push their troops and the physical and mental impacts that combat inflicts on the troops. The Ranger graduates know. They’ve been there and know how to care for their troops to get the most and best out of them.

In the ‘new’ gender-neutral military, the liberals want women in combat. The Army was willing to see if women can endure the same conditions as men. Not so much as line troops, but as leaders—platoon and company commanders leading troops in the field, in combat. It’s important. You can not have a fighting unit whose lowest denominator is the physical and mental condition of its commander.

Passing Ranger school is also a career builder…or destroyer. If a candidate gives up, he/she is classified as “lacking motivation.” and “leadership skills.” No claims the women applicants, volunteers, all, lack motivation. Some have displayed enormous stubbornness to succeed. Unfortunately, none, to date, has passed the first stage of Ranger training.

Male and female trainees in the US Army’s Ranger School.

The eight women who remained in the first gender-integrated class of Army Ranger training will not move onto the next round of training, Fort Benning announced on Friday.

That means all 19 women who began the training in April have washed out in the first phase.

The eight women, together with 101 men who washed out of the Darby phase, will retry the first part of the Army’s most elite training course beginning May 14, the release said.

“I had the opportunity to visit the Ranger students yesterday and was impressed that whether going forward to the mountains or recycling the Darby phase they were motivated to continue training and focused on successfully completing the Ranger Course,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence. “They’re a strong group of soldiers, who are working their way through the U.S. Army’s most physically and mentally demanding course.”

Thirty-five male soldiers failed to meet the standards of Ranger school and will not attempt the course again, the release said.

About 15 percent of soldiers repeat the first phase, called Darby phase, however, about 75 percent of those who make it through the first week of the program will eventually pass the Darby phase and move onto the mountains, according to the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade’s website.

About 37 percent of all students recycle at least one phase of Ranger training, the site said. — The Washington Times.

The Army appears, at least, to be enforcing a single standard for both male and female trainees. There are male and female observers present to insure the rules are enforced equally. There is no favoritism of male over female, nor of female over male. As least as far as we know. There was one instance where the male trainees were ‘smoked’, i.e, went through a series of strenuous exercises before commencing one of the Darby-phase full-pack hikes. The women were not. The men started the hike exhausted. The women were fresh.

But that was a minor detail and not uncommon throughout the school. Each trainee is evaluated how they perform under pressure and stress. I would hope the Army does not relent to political correctness and change the standards for women to be less than those for the men. To do so would only lead to unnecessary causalities in wartime. Combat is no place for political correctness.

The Marines maintain their standards

There is more to the title of this post than just five words. There should be two more appended to the end, “for now.”

With the Obama administration throwing open our military’s combat arms to women, the services have been soliciting women to enter those branches. The Air Force was first with female fighter pilots. The Navy had some, too. May still have some although I haven’t heard of any recent headlines about female Naval aviators.  The ones they had are no longer flying fighters last I heard. The most publicized naval female pilot/RIO combo, was killed in a ramp strike during carrier operations in 1997. The furor afterward found that women pilots had a different training standard than their male counterparts.

But, I will agree that female pilots can be as effective as men—as long as they have the SAME training and performance standards. A quick Google search on ‘female naval aviators’ had nothing more recent than 2007. I’m not saying there aren’t any such articles but a quick search didn’t list any. The Air Force, did have an article last year about a female officer taking command of a combat air wing. She was a fighter pilot with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But…but, what about the Army and Marines, can women be Infantry, Artillery, and Combat Engineer officers?  The Marines say, “Yes,” if they pass the Infantry Officer Course—using the same standards that the men must pass.

So far, the women aren’t passing.

Two female Marines fail to pass all-male infantry course

By Rowan Scarborough – The Washington Times, Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Two female Marine lieutenants have failed in their bid to complete the Corps’ grueling, all-male Infantry Officer Course (IOC).

The women’s recent washout after only a few days in the course follows the failure of two other female officers attempting to complete the same program in October.

The Corps now stands 0-4 in its search to find female Marines who have the physical strength and endurance to complete one of the most rigorous infantry schools in the military, located at the Quantico, Va., base.

Of 110 lieutenants in the first phase of the course, called the Combat Entrance Test, 14 failed, including the only two women, according to the Marine Corps Times.

“We will continue to solicit women to take part in the IOC program,” Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Richard Ulsh told The Washington Times. “I don’t know how [the failures] could stretch to mean something broader than what you’ve got.”

That isn’t good enough for the Pentagon. They insist that standards must be LOWERED if the services can’t provide a good excuse that the existing standards are necessary.

In January, then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, announced that the Pentagon had lifted a longtime ban on women serving in direct land combat jobs in infantry, armor and special operations units.

The armed services have until May 15 to submit to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans for integrating women into all military jobs, including those involving direct ground combat.

Gen. Dempsey has made it clear that if any service wants to continue the ban for certain jobs because the demands are too high, then the service should provide a good reason why those standards should not be lowered to allow women to succeed. — Washington Times

The Marines, however, are making a stand. The other services have not yet presented similar plans that match that of the Marines.

“The Marine Corps‘ high standards cannot be lowered, nor can we artificially lower them to ensure a certain percentage of females will qualify,” the memo states. “Conversely, we will not artificially raise standards.”

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq as a Marine officer, has drafted legislation aimed at preventing the military from lowering standards as a way to make sure women qualify for combat jobs.

Mr. Hunter plans to try to attach his proposal to the 2014 defense budget when the House Armed Services Committee takes up the bill in May.

While the Marines Corps has conducted two test runs, the Army and special operations, such as the Navy’s SEALS, have yet to introduce women into their direct land combat training courses. — Washington Times

Any veteran will tell you that you cannot maintain effectiveness, nor maintain a given standard of performance by lowering standards. It’s pure idiocy. If women can’t meet the same standards as men, perhaps it is an endeavor they shouldn’t be in?

There is a reason why combat training is tough. No matter how difficult the training, actual combat is worse.