Journalist Attacked For Being Anti-Women For Story Questioning Training of First Female Rangers

army-rangers-1024It would seem a straightforward journalistic piece when Susan Keating at PEOPLE Magazine decided to inform readers that Congressman Steve Russell, R-Okla., and others were questioning the qualifications and training of the first women to pass the Army Ranger school. Russell has asked the secretary of the Army for documentation pertaining to the passage of 1st Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest after he said various sources complained that (in direct contradiction of official Army statements) the women were given help in passing the rigorous tests. Keating, however, has been attacked as “anti-woman” for writing the story in a strong backlash as the Army denies all of the allegations.


I admit that I am sensitive to people acting out against journalists for their reporting on stories. Reporters are often placed in a position of reporting on stories that the public or people in power may not like. However, they play a critical role in keeping our government accountable. That is not to say that the allegations are true but they have been made by sources viewed as credible enough by members of Congress to demand that data be turned over to Congress. The story also ran in the midst of a growing controversy over the use of women in elite combat units with a move to add women to programs like the Navy Seals.

In his letter (published exclusively by PEOPLE), Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla. asked to see the women’s test scores, evaluations, injuries, pre-training and other records. He revealed that multiple “sources at Fort Benning are coming forward to say the Army lied about women in Ranger School, that the women got special treatment and played by different rules.” These include Ranger instructors who were allegedly warned to stay quiet about the special treatment to guarantee the passage of the women. The school lasts 21 days and includes long hikes, an obstacle course, and other physical challenges. Russell says that instructors have come forward to say that the women did not carry the same amount of equipment as the men, did not take their turn carrying the heavy machine guns and were given intensive pre-training that was not offered to men. Moreover, they alleged that men who repeatedly failed crucial phases of the school were sent home but the women were allowed to redo those phases over and over until they passed.

Emails started to fly almost immediately from women accusing Keating of being a traitor. One named Melody H. Mitchell thanked Brig. Gen. Malcolm B. Frost, chief of Public Affairs for the U.S. Army for denying the allegation, saying “Pathetic when women work against others.” Keating did not back down and asked Mitchell ” You support a male general who discredits a female journo. And you accuse ME of being anti woman?”

Other critics include Sue Fulton, who was a member of the first West Point class in 1980 to include women graduates. She said that this is the same type of “questioning of our every accomplishment at every turn, from Gen. (William) Westmoreland calling us ‘freaks’ to anonymous soldiers online spreading rumors.”

xllypyy0llfzrmvudxpc_400x400I am afraid that I do not get this controversy. Keating (right) is reporting a major story. The premise of female Rangers is that they would be treated exactly like other Rangers with no alterations or lessening of the standards. This is based on the simple fact that Rangers are required to perform on an extraordinary level in combat and must be physically capable of reaching the same level of conditioning and proficiency. I truly hope that the story is false and that Fulton is right about the cultural backlash. However, it is a legitimate story when a congressional committee starts to investigate and reports multiple sources from within the program. Keating to her credit is standing her ground as a journalist doing her job and even tweated “To anyone who thinks the Army never lies: Here’s a cup of Agent Orange to drink while reading about Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman.”

The fact that Keating is a woman is immaterial. She is a journalist and she is reporting on an allegation that the Army has misrepresented a story that was reported throughout the world. She is not supposed to, as Melody Mitchell suggests, “support women.” She is supposed to support the truth, no matter how unpopular it may be. Even if the investigation is shown to be unfounded, the story was not.

59 thoughts on “Journalist Attacked For Being Anti-Women For Story Questioning Training of First Female Rangers”

  1. I agree with USN and Aridog, in that we do not KNOW that these two women were indeed given special and less stringent training. If they made it through the exact same trading as the men did, then they deserve the recognition and title of Ranger. The female reporter repeating what she had heard didn’t make her a gender traitor, but I do question her reporting as being accurate. I want the names of her sources and information about her sources to be certain what she was being told is true.

  2. Elena, Editors routinely create titles for articles, not the reporter. So, in essence, your beef is w/ the editor, whose job it is to help get people to read, and sell magazines. The reporter did her job, giving both sides of the story. Both the editor and reporter DID THEIR JOBS. You are showing a horrible lack of understanding the process and complaining about having to read the entire piece. What would your English teacher say??

  3. Maybe if she hadn’t slanted the story, there wouldn’t have been such an attack. The title of the article in the bar above the story is “Female Rangers Were Given Special Treatment, Sources Say.” But if you read the entire article, they have several sources who say that is not true. So I’m not sure who to believe, but it would seem a headline more like “Trainers Dispute Allegations that Females were Given Special Treatment” would have been in order. Many people just read headlines. That one would leave the wrong impression. As would the opening paragraphs, which only present the allegations. You have to read deeply into the article to discover that she did have sources denying the allegations.

  4. I don’t know, with certainty (which would be necessary for me) that standards were relaxed at all for these two women. I’d not be surprised either way, sad to say…my time in DOD informed me that “exceptions” are made when expedient for one reason or another. Just to retain my sexist rating let me tell you if I were a much younger man I’d be following either of these women like white on rice 😀

    I worked with many administrative duty only military officers and almost every one had the ranger tab on their shoulder…which made me wonder about how they made it as fully 75% were men I’d not follow in to combat or anywhere not required by my job…but, among them all, one woman was one I’d follow in to hell…and she had no Ranger Tab. She retired recently as a Colonel. She’d have made a great General but the decision was hers.

    That said, I know one lovely woman, near 50 years old, who could still likely pass the 61 day Ranger School on the same criteria as the men…regularly runs triathlons and places top 2 or 3 in mixed ratings. She’s beautiful and far more fit than 90% of the men I know or have known…but I admit she is a rare example….likely due to her day job of a physical trainer. Trust me 🙂 you do not want to take her Marine Corps modeled course, one of several types she operates, … it’s a killer…and she has no sympathy when working. “Pretty” is not necessarily what “pretty” does.

  5. USN, You know the brass can be political sycophants. Their cult leader and CIC said, “Women are equal to me.” So, it is so ordered. The CIC said, “We are winning the war on ISIS[or ISILas he insists], so intelligence is discarded that says the contrary. This is our world. This CIC mocked Romney in a debate when he said Putin is our most dangerous foe. Retiring generals have said the same, “retiring” being the key word. We will be paying for the cult leaders narcissism and fecklessness for decades.

  6. Unfortunately, “attack the messenger” seems to be the most common form of discourse these days.

    The real story is NOT with the two women soldiers. It is with the Army brass. Did they or did they not waive or vary the fitness performance standards of Ranger School to reach a politically desired outcome? It’s a legitimate question given the information that is coming forward from people directly involved in the training evolution of these Ranger candidates.

    If performance standards were waived, the Army did a disservice to these two women soldiers and dishonored every other Ranger who has taken and passed the course through documented standards. They may very well be jeopardizing the lives of these two women and other Rangers who will be asked to serve with them in the field.

    If the performance standards were not varied, these two women officers should be commended, saluted, and assigned to a Ranger Regiment immediately.

  7. [music]
    He was born! In Oklahoma.
    His wife’s name is Betty lou Thelma Liz.
    He’s not! Responsible for what he’s doing.
    His mother made him what he is.

    For its up against the wall Red Neck Mothers!
    Mothers who have raised their sons so well.
    He’s 34 and drinking in honky tonks..
    Kickin hippies asses and raisin hell!

  8. I’ve been waiting to hear BOTH sides of the story, not just the propaganda pushed with great fanfare to glorify the achievement. I simply haven’t been able to get my head around a what, 130 lb?, woman carrying a 75+ pound rucksack for 61 days (not 21 as cited above).

    I take nothing away from the courage of the women who graduated: they met the challenge they were presented with all while under a microscope. But the question of changing standards to fit a narrative is an important one for the future of military effectiveness.

  9. This is more fallout from a society in love with egalitarianism. Rather than seeking to force men and women to be “equal,” we should embrace and celebrate gender differences. Everybody would be much happier. The truth is that men are better at some things than women are, and women are better at some things than men are. Put the people in places where they perform best. I don’t care to see a world where Rangers and Navy Seals are 50% women just so we can declare that we now have gender equality.

  10. I am all in favor of affirmative action, but by that I mean that given two equally qualified persons for a job, the preference should be given to the minority one. Unfortunately, I have found that equally qualified in many cases is not the case. At United Airlines, I personally found when I was trying to get a pilots position from being a mechanic, equally qualified meant something quite different and women and minorities were given preference because of their status as minorities rather than qualifications. So I find the allegations quite credible, whether or not they are true which is yet to be determined.

    Specifically at United all employees seeking to fly had to pass a simulator check ride on a 727 or 737. The rule was that if one failed, you had to wait six months to try again. They use two candidates at a time in the sim, and I was paired with a female gate agent who had all of 300 hrs and about 10 hrs multi-engine time. She had failed the test a number of times, yet she came back after just one month and every month that it would take to get her hired. She failed on the ride I took with her, and no doubt she would be back next month to try it again, until she finally could pass. I passed since I had 1600 hrs, an ATP with a jet type rating, and all of the instructor ratings, CFI,CFII,CFMEI. At the flight school I was instructing at, Palo Alto Flying Club, our chief pilot was a laid off US Airways pilot. Our junior flight instructor who had all of 600 hrs and low multiengine time, not only got an interview, but she was hired by United. Our chief pilot could not even get an interview with United! A fellow mechanic at United had a brother in law who worked at United as a CPT sim trainer, and he was trying to get on as a line pilot. A young black woman was in the class he was about to teach, and he was told, SHE WILL PASS NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES! Usually if a new hire busts some part of training, they are gone, not her. He was rather upset that he was told how to do his job, and he quit and went to Continental Express rather than do this kind of thing.

    Then there is the whole issue of women in combat roles which I will leave for another time.

  11. KCF, Jay just implied you’re a “RAAACIST” for stating scientific facts regarding the differences between men and women. The left hate the truth. It is a speed bump in their fast lane to conformity.

  12. Good reporters seek truth. Sheryl Atkisson, a superb reporter was hounded and spied upon by the govt. for having the temerity to seek the truth regarding this WH. Free speech is under assault. And, it’s from the left phalanx.

  13. @KCFleming:
    Is your premise that ALL women are “smaller, slower, weaker, and more prone to injury” as compared to ALL men? Are you claiming it is biologically impossible for ANY woman to pass Ranger training? In this case, it appears that two highly motivated women were (perhaps, just) able to pass the course. Why is that remarkable? Why, I’d even bet that some black people are smarter than some white people.

    So no, everyone does not “get a ribbon in Leftyland.” Does everyone wear a white sheet in Bubbaland?

    1. Jay – I would like to think that they passed on their own, however, given all the givens, it is quite possible the deck was stacked in their favor. If legitimate concerns about their training have been raised, then it should be investigated.
      I remember when the Marines were drowned during boot camp. The investigation changed the way the Marines did their training.

  14. “Uncle Tom” and “Oreo” work so well keeping black people in line. Feminists need a catchy word to berate women who dare seek, or speak the truth.

  15. Everyone gets a ribbon in Leftyland.

    The controversy is that feminists cannot abide the scientific fact that women are physically different than men. They are smaller, slower, weaker, and more prone to injury.
    But in the Progressive era, physical reality is sexist/racist/etc. and thus not permitted.

    This is not a mystery at all.
    Like all Progressives, Femorrhoids are delusional and demand everyone bow to their hysterics.

    This is the standard process (which is being followed to the letter here, currently Step 3):

    “1. Locate or create a violation of the PC Narrative
    2. Point and shriek
    3. Isolate and swarm
    4. Reject and transform, which refers to the futility of apologies, which simply are used as evidence for intensified attacks
    5. Press for surrender, which refers to the tendency of SJWs to press their targets to resign, which allows them to hypocritically deny any responsibility for their mark’s destruction
    6. Appeal to amenable authority, which means the SJWs’ search for the weakest link in their target’s employment or social status
    7. Show trial
    8. Victory parade”

  16. Feminist groups attacking a female journalist for reporting on such a potentially serious issue is disturbing, but not surprising. I recognize there are times when a “big picture” requires withholding the truth or even phony journalistic endeavors, but this is not such an occasion.

    I would think any woman in the sort of situation as these two officers would demand equal hardships as the men. It’s too important a job to desire less burdens to achieve the final goal. Frankly, it’s cheating.

    I also agree that having women in elite units of this type is a dangerous policy that should be excised. It has nothing to do with the ability of the women. Every study, every simulation, every real life encounter indicates too many men in combat situations exercise poor judgment because of a reflexive tendency to act so as to “protect” women. It’s not clear what can be done to change this on the scale necessary for military operations.

  17. The article cites, in part: “The school last 21 days….” This is incorrect.

  18. Ideologues of all stripes are dangerous. If someone disagrees with them or appears to because they ask questions that may prove uncomfortable to answer, the attacks are unleashed. It is counterproductive. Critics should not be silenced.

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