The US Army Rangers were the big story in the media last week………. for the first time in the group’s history women have graduated from the months long trial……no small accomplishment…..and yes I have something to say about the situation……
In my youth I was in the military and served in Vietnam….I was assigned to the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta……my unit was the LRRPs or Co.E 50th Infantry……we did the long haul recon for the division……in 1967, October to be exact my new boots hut the red clay of Vietnam running……we were a unit within the 9th Division and in 1969 all LRRPs were reassigned to the newly constituted 75th Rangers……while I was in Vietnam I was not a Ranger, I will always be a LRRP regardless, but my unit was reflagged as Ranger……so I have an interest in the Rangers and their legacy…….
Now let’s talk about those industrious young ladies, shall we?
The first female soldiers to complete the Army’s rigorous Ranger School pinned on their black-and-gold Ranger tab at a graduation ceremony today to cap their history-making week. At a ceremony on the shore of “Victory Pond” at Fort Benning, First Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas, and Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Connecticut, graduated alongside 94 male soldiers. Their success casts new attention on the obstacles that remain to women who aspire to join all-male combat units, including the 75th Ranger Regiment. Although Haver and Griest are now Ranger-qualified, no women are eligible for the elite regiment, although that could change eventually.
Griest, 26, is a military police officer and has served one tour in Afghanistan. Haver, 25, is a pilot of Apache helicopters. Both are graduates of West Point. Of 19 women who began the Ranger course, Haver and Griest are the only two to finish so far; one is repeating a prior phase of training in hopes of graduating soon. Griest told reporters yesterday she hopes her success shows that women “can deal with the same stresses and training that men can.”
I do not want to take anything away from the accomplishment of these women…..it took fortitude, bravery and determination to complete this of….even if they were men…….nothing easy about the course.
My problem with this situation is that these women do not intend on using their training as a Ranger….it is basically to pad their resume….for promotions and assignments. I realize that women are not allowed in combat situations…..this could change and it should for women are just as capable as men of handling stress and such under combat conditions.
My problem is with these women and anyone that goes through this rigorous course just to prove a point……this objection applies to men that do the same thing (Sen. Tom Cotton)…..it is not that they want to serve in an elite unit but rather how it looks in their personnel records…….
If these types want to test themselves then try base jumping or banjey jumping…….or if one graduates from the course then there should be a mandatory 18 month tour as a Ranger……..
The Ranger tab is an honor….not a PR tool.