Does This Ballistic Vest Make Me Look Fat?

The Pentagon is experimenting with a variety of female ballistic armor designs.

The Pentagon is experimenting with a variety of female ballistic armor designs.

Developments on the women–in–combat front are cause for concern, even for leftists that have made cognitive dissonance a way of life, because the women don’t seem to be holding up their end of the ideological bargain.

If Ranger Sgt. Rosie Riveter is going to be leaping out of aircraft and putting paid to ISIS misogynists — either by a well–placed burst from her rifle or silently dispatching him with the Camel Clutch (first made famous by the Iron Shiek) — it would be a big help if she’d quit complaining about her shoes.

I was under the impression that if a shoe didn’t hurt a female wasn’t interested in wearing it, but evidently that’s not the case. Females deployed in Afghanistan are complaining they lack access to combat boots designed especially for them.

This is where the dissonance really bites.

Feminists believe “gender” is a social construct and men and women are interchangeable. Lefty women, secure in Washington think tanks, contend that denying other women the opportunity to be killed on the front line is patriarchal discrimination.

Meanwhile women actually in the Army are hoping for something a little more strappy with a semi–open toe.

Even in branches of the service that have essentially struck their colors, women aren’t happy about equality. The Washington Times quotes a middie (maybe widdie?) at the Naval Academy unhappy that the unisex unis “make women look like men.”

Navy Sec. Ray Mabus — no doubt wondering if women are ever happy — replied there are “skirt options on a bunch of women uniforms,” which didn’t earn him any points either.

The idea behind uniforms is the clothing exhibits, here’s that word again, uniformity. If everyone is accessorizing their look depending on circumstances you no longer have a military, you have a pride parade.

Although women’s slacks have a certain amount of variety when it comes to placement, for men zippers need to be in the front. That goes for the rest of the clothing designs. Uniforms should only differ by size with the exception of undershirts, ballistic vests and maxi–pads. One relaxed–fit BDU design should work for both sexes.

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D–Dr. Scholls) disagrees. The WT reports she is sponsoring a bill that will require the Pentagon to “devise a strategy to ensure that women are outfitted with the best combat footwear possible.”

That would seem to fly in the face of arguments from the women–as–cannon–fodder movement that women are just as capable as men. If that fanciful contention were true, then the only difference in the shoes should be size.

But it’s not true. The WT quotes a British study that found women suffer seven times the rate musculoskeletal injuries found in men and ten times the number of hip and pelvic fractures. And those figures don’t include statistics on pregnancy that, Bruce Jenner aside, don’t affect male combat trainees.

The Marines have had a great deal of trouble finding a few good women. So far the Infantry Officer Course remains undefeated. Recruiters scoured the Corps looking for 100 women eager for the chance to die in the mud and could only persuade 29 to give it a shot. Of those 29 every woman failed the course.

The Army, seven times larger than the Marines, found 113 women to try the Ranger Training Assessment Course. Out of the 113 women, 20 passed and began Ranger training. Out of those 20 every woman failed the course.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who knows all about photons and nothing about females, is eagerly awaiting the first women volunteers for SEAL training, scheduled to begin after Sec. Mabus determines the ideal length for a neoprene skirt.

Frankly if I were Sec. of Defense it would concern me that the only militaries wholeheartedly in favor of the US integrating women into frontline combat units belong to the enemy. As his increasingly disruptive and damaging search for Wonder Woman continues, maybe Carter should contact videogame manufacturers.

They seem to have no shortage of heroic women with large busts that are ready, willing and able to kick some behind, even if they are entirely imaginary.

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Pentagon Buys a $400 Football

We’ve been treated to months of dire speculation and military hand–wringing regarding the impact of the sequestration’s budget cuts on military readiness and how it leaves the U.S. vulnerable. A private business with declining revenues and a bleak future would cut the ad sponsorship of football bowls and spend the money on higher priorities. The executives could watch the game on TV.

In the government the football sponsorship budget is protected so the brass can be seen on TV.

Even if money wasn’t tight the spending makes no sense because the military is downsizing. IBM doesn’t run recruitment ads when it’s laying off part of the workforce. It’s bad for morale among survivors and an insult to those looking for work.
Evidently the Pentagon is simply oblivious or could care less.

Complete details in this week’s Newsmax column at:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Military-Spending-NFL-Pentagon-Taxpayers/2015/01/16/id/619034/

The Few, The Proud, The Unisex

Crisp Pullman Porters CapWhen Ronald Reagan was president he described members of the U.S. Marine Corps in a memorable phrase that is featured on the Marines’ Heritage Museum website: “Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.”

The generation of paper–pushers and PR–minded behind–kissers that inhabit the Pentagon and the Obama administration do not reflect that view of the Corps. In fact the levelers in the White House view the Marines’ independence and combative nature as a problem. All that aggression and testosterone looks out of place in the elite circles where citizens of the world reside.

Modern military management (they don’t deserve the term ‘leaders’) has been taken over by the “everybody gets a trophy” crowd. That’s why in the Army all soldiers now wear a beret, instead of just Rangers and Special Forces. Chelsea Manning’s feelings were hurt when he couldn’t wear a fashionable French–style chapeau. No need to recognize the additional motivation of troops that go the extra mile if it discriminates against those who don’t or can’t. Now it’s Bless Them All the “big and the fat and the small.”

But while other branches of the armed forces are marching in lockstep to the administration’s tune of women on the front lines, the Marines are fighting a rear guard action. The Corps has been reluctant to lower physical standards for combat soldiers (in bureaucrat–speak this degradation of standards is called “gender norming,” too bad wars are not also “gender normed”).

In fact, every woman that has ever been allowed to attend the Marine’s infantry school has washed out. In the long run, unless there is an outbreak of sanity, this means Marine commanders will have to justify why their standards are keeping women out of the front lines. The fact women have no business there is irrelevant to Pentagon sociologists who have never had a bullet whizz past their ear. It’s inevitable that eventually women will fill combat slots in the Marines.

That’s a long–term project though. In the short term the empire strikes back where it’s been successful before. As the New York Post puts it, “Obama wants Marines to wear ‘girly’ hats.”

According to the Post, the Obama administration wants to “create a ‘unisex’ look for the Corps.” The plan is for the Corps to discontinue the current caps — known as “covers” and in use since 1922 — and go to a new cap that bears a remarkable resemblance to a Pullman Porter’s cap.

This is not to disparage Pullman Porters. They set a standard for service and dedication, but they didn’t do it under fire.

This similarity between hats could be an unexpected advantage for the taxpayer. Since changing to the new headgear will cost $8 million, its possible some of the expense could be covered by civilians who mistakenly tip Marines after asking for help with their luggage.

As poster Carol Robinson on the Post site commented, “Now the Marines look like WACS [WWII Women’s Army Corps]. This is stupid and a waste of money.”

This imperial hat edict is actually the second time the Marines have been asked to alter their appearance so they would appear less warlike to outsiders.

Marine Corps lore has it that during the early weeks of the Korean War, Communist troops received the following command: “Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army.”

Immediately Marines were ordered to no longer wear their khaki leggings, which was the cause of the “yellowlegs” description, so the Army would not have to bear the brunt of the fighting alone. The Korean War proceeded with the Marines getting their fair share of attacks.

It must be comforting for America’s enemies to know how worried the Obama Administration is about the difference in appearance between male and female Marines. I fear Obama may also start agitating for the Marines to remove the ‘blood stripe’ from their uniform pants, since it may have unfortunate associations for him due to his own “red line” problem.

But who knows, maybe it’s time for the tradition–bound Corps to embrace change and become a softer, gentler Marine Corps.

In a spirit of cooperation (or fighting withdrawal, if you will) the Corps could even alter the lyrics of the Marine Hymn to something like:

From the halls of Montezuma,

To Barack’s haberdashery.

We will fight our country’s battles,

In this cute accessory.

First to fight for right and freedom,

We will keep this cover clean.

Even though it’s true Obama,

Could have never made Marine.

Now Soliciting Bids for the G.I. Jane Combat Hall of Fame

Blame Lara Croft for fostering delusions of women in combat

Blame Lara Croft for fostering delusions of women in combat

It was a coincidence ripe with irony.  On the same day the main section of the Washington Post was trumpeting Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta’s decision to allow women in combat, the sports section was featuring an analysis of the “epidemic” of torn knee ligaments in women’s basketball and soccer.

Reporter Preston Williams wrote: “Young female athletes are two to eight times more likely than young males to tear their anterior cruciate ligaments, according to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Area girls’ basketball players are doing their part to validate a statistic that one local orthopaedic surgeon considers “a national epidemic.”

What’s more, statistics originating with the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine reveal 70 percent of the tears result from “no contact.”

The Fairfax County, VA school system, writes Williams, started tracking knee injuries. After football — an incubator for all problems knee–wise — the three leading sports for complete ACL tears were girls’ lacrosse, girls’ soccer and girls’ basketball. This looks like a trend to me and might point one toward a belief that men’s and women’s bodies are fundamentally different, but what do I know? I’m certainly not a “gender” expert.

Of course those injuries are taking place in a sports setting where women prance around in the equivalent of pajamas or bikini bottoms with nary a jihadi in sight. What possible relevance could those statistics have to combat situations where women are carrying 60–lb. packs and running for their lives?

Can’t ideology overcome physiology? Military brass certainly thinks so. The WaPost says they are on board in a big way. Sounding a lot like Pres. George H. W. Bush after his first encounter with a grocery store scanner, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, enthused: ‘The most eye-opening moment, he said, came in Iraq in 2003. As the commander of the 1st Armored Division, he hopped into an armored vehicle and slapped the gunner’s leg, asking the soldier to introduce himself.

“I’m Amanda,” the gunner said, poking her head down from the turret.

“So, female turret gunner protecting a division commander,” Dempsey recalled, beaming. “And it’s from that point on that I realized something had changed and it was time to do something about it.”’

Of course Dempsey could have been buttering Amanda up in an effort to head off a sexual harassment complaint after groping her thigh. But not to worry, even though female knee ligaments are popping like small arms fire in Fallujah, Dempsey can hardly wait for full integration.

Sen. Carl Levin (D–Never Served Himself) also approves. “The reality is that so many women have been, in effect, in combat or quasi-combat,” he said. “This is catching up with reality.” This is actually lying through inference. What the left refers to as combat deaths for women are in the main deaths in a combat or war zone, which is vastly different. It’s like counting the woman who injures her knee in a fall down the stairs at FedEx Field as one of the knee injuries occurring in the NFL. (Note to professional apology demanders: I am in no way denigrating the deaths of these women. I am instead protesting the left’s exploitation of their passing.)

The problem with women in combat roles is not mental (although I have my doubts about a female who demands to be a grunt) but physical. Women lack upper body strength and aerobic capacity because they basically aren’t men. If a woman’s performance in a combat unit is sub–par then one of the men is going to have to do her job and his, with the resulting decline in the unit’s performance.

Bowling and golf — both pastimes Obama is familiar with — award handicaps to equalize performance during competition. War, on the other hand, penalizes those who handicap themselves through the adoption of personnel policies that only make sense in faculty lounges.

The Marines have already had a field test of women in combat and the women surrendered. Last September they opened the Infantry Officer Course to women. It’s three months of physical punishment that molds Marine officers. Of the 80 women potentially able to volunteer, two did so. On the first day one quit and the other washed out two weeks later for medical reasons.

Marine Capt. Katie Petronio wrote a detailed account of her deployment to Afghanistan titled, “Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal.” Her conclusion, based on personal experience, is that women are not physically able to take the punishment of extended combat conditions in the field.

But facts make no difference in this debate. Women in combat is not a reality–based policy, and reality isn’t going to influence implementation. Panetta says women will be integrated into combat units “expeditiously” So “Damn the Knee Ligaments. Full speed ahead.”

Gen. Robert W. Cone attempts to reassure skeptics when he explains, ““Women do not want standards changed for them. If a standard is valid, they want to be able to meet that standard.” The key word being “valid.” And what is “valid” is going to be subject to strict interpretation, for as an anonymous official notes, “The onus is going to be on them to justify why a woman can’t serve in a particular role.”

In plain language this means if a unit doesn’t have women serving, questions are going to be raised. Pentagon pencil–pushers are going to want to know why those officers aren’t meeting the “metrics” (another word for quotas) for women in combat roles. Come performance review or fitness report time, strict officers and drill instructors are going to be asked why they aren’t team players? Promotion and advancement are going to hinge on the answers.

Even before Panetta announced his policy, Army units — prior to deployment to Afghanistan — were requesting officers based on merit and being told the slot would be filled by a female, based on quotas.

It will only get worse in the future. Too many women will learn too late that “being on the right side of history” puts one on the wrong side of knee surgery. And yet again the elites that impose a destructive policy on unwilling recipients won’t suffer the consequences of their bad decision.