Has the U.S. Army gone bonkers?, Part 1

Real fighting men (are) willing to die for their country, as with all the armed forces of our history. Except today’s armed forces are dumbed down, neutered, feminized…” – a soldier’s reply to a blog posting in 2013.

Over the last four years, news reports have revealed the U.S. Army is not in tune with the rest of the U.S. Here are examples that substantiate this statement and indicate that the Army has indeed gone bonkers.

1. Male Soldiers put empathy for expectant mothers to the test during wellness expo

This 2012 report surely had the heads of many veterans bouncing off their ceiling.

The purpose is to test male Soldiers’ endurance by putting them in empathy bellies, 30-pound strap-on stomachs that simulate the look and feel of pregnancy.

The program was developed by the Army in 2008 primarily so that NCOs could learn exercises more appropriate for pregnant women. The goal was for them to learn how women should not be subjected to various “high-impact activities such as snowboarding, bungee jumping or horse riding.”

Sgt. Michael Braden, a combat veteran of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, said, “This whole thing is pretty uncomfortable [but] body armor is a lot heavier.”

One female Air Force Senior Airman, whose MOS entails “Airfield Management” said, “If a man is going to be leading a workout class specifically geared toward pregnant women, then I think that at least once he should try and actually make an attempt to understand some of the struggles a pregnant woman goes through. Wearing a suit for a few hours vs the 9 months a woman goes through is nothing to complain about. Just learn from the experience and maybe even have fun with it.”

If one steps back, then this might make “some” sense. However, enlisted leaders are being “ordered” to take this course.

But many veterans are thinking, “Is this ridiculous or what?”

2. Army: Don’t say Christmas

A couple of weeks before Christmas, 2013, several members of the 158th Infantry Brigade at Camp Shelby, Miss., discussed plans for the upcoming annual Christmas football tournament. Very shortly, the equal opportunity officer notified everyone that he objected to the use of the word “Christmas”. Right, Christmas being a federal holiday no less.

“The equal opportunity rep told our commander that not everyone celebrates Christmas and we couldn’t say Christmas celebration. It had to be “holiday celebration.” Believe it or not, an officer at the meeting heard her say, “those were the Army’s rules, not hers.”

However, Public Affairs Chief Amanda Glenn said, “There is no policy at the 158th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East or First Army that forbids using the word Christmas.”

A similar story another came from another army base. However these soldiers had their own say about it. One Staff Sergeant said, “Roger….Got it! Merry Christmas! We don’t care what others want or think. We’ll say Merry Christmas and if you don’t like it, then [go away]!” He concluded his story by saying, “I believe it was like another thumb in the face of the anti-Christmas-ites.”

One incensed Vietnam Veteran (Lt. Col, retired) from Alabama, believes he knows the origin of all these “briefings”. He said, “I don’t care what anyone says, this is coming directly from the White House. If it wasn’t, then it would not be done.”

3.  Army Gender Integration Implementation Plan

This Plan is a “detailed approach for integrating women into all military occupational specialties (MOSs). This paves the way for qualified female Soldiers to serve in the Infantry, Armor, and Special Forces.”

Beginning in 2016, female officers will be able to branch as Infantry and Armor officers and will start joining ground combat units in mid-2017.

Maj. Gen. Jim Rainey, commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, commented that once ensuring they are placed in the right job, “I think it’s going to make the Army stronger in the long run.”

An Army helicopter pilot (Lt. Col., retired) with several tours in Vietnam now living in Georgia said, “This is the new military with political correctrness. We will lose all the rest of our wars.”

Matt Bracken a former Navy SEAL said, “It’s treason, sabotage, an attempt to make us combat ineffective under the cover of PC diversity, to sell it to the rubes.”

An Air Force RF 101 pilot in Vietnam (Lt. Col., also retired) opined, “Where did common sense go? Evidently, the Marines still have it but will that make up for other services? I think not.”

Another retired Army Lt. Col. now living in California had the shortest comment of all when he just said, “Sucks!”

And most veterans would agree with his statement!


For those interested in more information about women in the Army, here are some other resources:

Army G-1
• Women in the U.S. Army
• Women in the Army
• Army Women’s Museum
• U.S. Army Center for Military History/Women in Army History
• Maneuver Center of Excellence Ranger Course Assessment

Chuck Yarling has had many titles in his career thus far: veteran, engineer, math teacher, consultant, technical writer, book author and publisher, and triathlete. He was a member the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Bugles Across America, which plays Taps at military funerals and special events. Spec. 5 Chuck Yarling served with the 26th Combat Engineering Battalion in Vietnam as an awards clerk. His service with the U.S. Army resulted in being awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Army Commendation Medal. You may reach Chuck at [email protected]

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