All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Gotterdammerung: The Armed Forces

Army colonel: Physical strength not the end-all, be-all of combat service

On the surface that sounds like a reasonable statement, but is it?
An Army officer writing in a prestigious journal says the services should not overemphasize physical strength when deciding whether a woman qualifies for direct ground combat.
Col. Ellen Haring, on the staff of the U.S. Army War College, says commanders need to downplay obstacle courses and judge a service member’s ability to stay calm and think quickly.
Downplay physical strength and fitness when evaluating the combat worthiness of the troops.  Um, OK.  I'm over 40.  I'm fat.  I've got a bad knee and an occasional touch of gout.  I've lost 80% of my hearing in one ear and 25% in the other.  I also happen to be a reasonably good shooter.  By reasonably good I mean better than most.  I think at this point in my life, I'd like to lead a team of USMC RECON Snipers.  Let me put on my ruby slippers and click my heals together 3 times and wait... It's the door bell...Nope it's the ups guy...not a spec ops recruiter.  Gee I wonder why.  I mean how could they have forgotten to call me?   

Oh Yeah they've got standards.  Wanting to do something isn't enough, you actually have to be able to get the job done!  Old fat guys, even ones who are great shooters don't get to go to scout sniper school.  We don't even get to go to boot camp, unless its to watch our kid graduate.  If old guys aren't good enough, why would some little girl, who couldn't kick my butt if I bent over and stood still, encouraged to get killed or volunteer vaginal access to the enemy? 
“Perhaps it is time to take a hard look at what really makes a competent combat soldier and not rely on traditional notions of masculine brawn that celebrate strength over other qualities,” Col. Haring says in the current issue of Armed Forces Journal.
She cites World War II hero Audie Murphy and North Vietnamese insurgents as examples of small people who came up big on the battlefield.
“If the going-in assumption is that physical standards are the only thing that needs to be examined, then we are also assuming that we have everything else just right,” she wrote. “This is belied by our less-than-optimal performances in many instances during the past 12 years. Fixating on physical standards is a tactical-level approach that misses a strategic-level opportunity.”
Col. Haring, who had sued the Pentagon over its old exclusion policy, said that Murphy perhaps could not have passed the Marine Corps’ infantry officer qualification course.
I guess it was a good thing that Audie Murphy was in the army, since according to Haring he couldn't cut it as a marine.  "North Vietnamese insurgents" are a good military example? No really?  Seriously?  Those insurgents were what we call today terrorists or non-conventional combatants. The whole reason they were used in a nontraditional fighting role was because they couldn't be used in a traditional one.  Now that's an example of thinking outside the box.
To date, all six female Marine officers who have tried the course have flunked or withdrawn due to injury.
Ok they had a shot and failed.  Fair enough.  I bet a lot of guys have tried that course and failed too.  If you can only find six women who wanted to try and none of them could do it, why would you keep wasting time and tax payer money on the subject?
Audie Murphy was short, not weak.  When he won the medal he loaded a ma duce (50 cal ammo is heavy) retracted the bolt (stiff as hell) and fought like a mad man.  For an hour, Murphy stood a burning tank returning German fire from foot soldiers and advancing tanks, during which he sustained a leg wound. He stopped only after he ran out of ammunition.  Then he walked back to his men and lead them to safety before he allowed them to care for his wound.
Here's a thought: I'm a little short on burning tanks at the moment so we'll improvise.  Lets see if Col Benedict Haring can hump a 50 BMG and enough ammo to shoot targets for an hour to the top of an elevated platform, spend said hour shooting targets, then I'll hit her in the knee with a baseball bat to simulated a leg wound and we'll see if she can hike 3 miles to the rear in snow.  We'll give her 10 min to move the gun and ammo, and hour to shoot it all and an hour for the hike.  If she can do it all, then we don't try her for treason.  If she can't, then forget about Snowden, this women is a threat to the safety of this country and her visions of life in the land of purple unicorns will get American fighting men killed, and we should deal with her accordingly: a short hop from a tall gallows.


  1. Anonymous7:18 AM

    A few factual corrections:

    1. COL Haring is one of my classmates. I knew her as a cadet and she was never known for her intelligence. Yet, she made it to Full Colonel and I was asked to leave as a Major (then asked to come back, then asked to leave again).

    2. Audi Murphy did not have to carry an M-2 machine gun and ammo into battle. He found it there, mounted on a burning tank. The tank carried it.

    3. Murphy was also rejected for airborne training because of his generally weak appearance. But even in this condition, he was still a man and capable of carrying all the shit a WW2 infantry man had to carry including a full sized 30-06 battle rifle and ammo. When I enlisted at 17 years old, I was smaller than Murphy, qualified for Airborne training and assignment and routinely carried a a lot more than WW2 kit (but for less time).

    4. If you consider modern combat to be manning(womaning) a checkpoint to check ID's in a third world country, then it really doesn't matter if you use men or women.

    5. COL Haring's lawsuit was always about Col Haring. She wanted to be a general but had less chance without a combat brigade command and she couldn't have one of those as a woman. So she wanted to change the rules for everyone, just to benefit herself. This was never about women serving as infantry privates. It is about women serving as division commanders.

  2. I agree with VD on this. The only way to shut them up is give them what they want. Make an all female combat unit and send to the front. They will either prove they can do it or prove they can't.

  3. Anonymous8:57 AM

    There is no "front" so they will be just fine. This is a problem with the military service that goes all the way to the roots. The military can only judge basic competency, not excellence. It has no objective way to measure excellence. So the people at the top are not the best and brightest, just the ones that other people just like them liked the most. Given that limitation, it is not possible to build the best possible officers from scratch or to identify them in any meaningful way and ensure they get promoted to the point where they are running things.

    Even combat is not a good discriminator since everyone experiences it differently and mot "combat vets" in the past ten years have not even been in any serious danger from enemy action. The highest ranking people in war, got that way in peace. And no one is measuring success or failure in war.

  4. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Example: In Iraq I knew two brigade commanders in neighboring territories. One was Mr Diplomacy, building relationships and fostering institutions. The other was Mr kill them all and let Allah sort them out. Two completely opposite approaches. Yet both commanders were called "successful" and both got promoted to general. If there was a "right way", logic compels me to believe that two highly qualified experts would have approached the problem the same way.

  5. I know there is no front. Perhaps we can send them on a few missions in Afghanistan. What is needed is the opportunity to succeed or fail in combat without men picking up the slack. If there is any slack.

    I don't think they'd be as effective. I think it would be a good trade to kill off a platoon or two of women in combat as a lesson before they are fully integrated and the lesson is much more costly.

  6. Anonymous10:18 AM

    It simply wouldn't work. The military has had this lesson over and over and won't accept the lesson.

    1. Key personnel not deploying due to pregnancy.
    2. Women assigned as medics who cannot lift a stretcher. Result: design a combat ambulance that does the lifting for them. Result: we can't afford the new ambulance so we just keep the old ones, and the women who can't lift a stretcher high enough to load it.
    3. It's not just us. It is the police and fire departments too.
    4. European armies with women in Artillery units that can't even load the guns because the rounds are too heavy. But they still allow sexual harassment so they don't mind. Several years ago one admitted that it was nice waking up to a pretty face. (dutch army).

  7. WaterBoy10:46 AM

    What do the latest recruitment numbers look like? Part of me wonders if some of it might not be related to declining enlistments (particularly in infantry due to the ongoing actions), in addition to the usual PC bullshit.

    Though the current contraction of the military overall would seem to belie this theory, the Army still needs new recruits to replace those being promoted or leaving, and I just wonder if they're getting enough men to fill all the requirements or if they're projecting a future shortfall.

  8. PH,

    I realize that Murphy was using a tank mounted gun. He still had to load and reload. I don't think she can do 1/4 of Murphy did. (neither can I at this point in my life, but I don't want to lower the standard) I'm willing to be proven wrong.

    I realize the military has unique idiosyncrasies. I just wish PC BS wasn't one of them.

  9. The military has had this lesson over and over and won't accept the lesson.

    I didn't think it was the military that is pushing this.

  10. Anonymous1:59 PM

    Waterboy, the numbers are fine. There is no shortage of people wanting to join (thank you crappy job market). In fact, the active strength of the army grew by over 100,000 in the past ten years with no trouble meeting the goals without needing to increase the percentage of women recruits. And the Army is setting to cut 150,000 in the next year so we will have more people than we know what to do with. We are going to have to start kicking a few out.

    I nominate COL Haring.

    But this was NEVER about recruits. or not enough men serving. This was always about the self-serving desires of female colonels who want to be generals. Not just one star generals, but 4 star generals.