If you’re a current Ranger Instructor, or know someone who is and can pass it on, this one is for you. Read up. Mad Duo
An Open Invitation to Current Ranger Instructors
I recently interviewed SGM Colin Boley, Operations Sergeant Major of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, about the recent female Ranger School graduates. He asserted the females had attained the school standards. Predictably, his claims garnered a lot of attention. SGM Boley is, as far as I can tell, the only enlisted man directly involved with Ranger School to speak on record. He’s a longtime Ranger himself, and insists without reservation that the females made it.
Many people responded to the interview online. Some asserted that Ranger Instructors (RIs) were pressured to pass the females even though they couldn’t attain the standard, and that those RIs aren’t speaking because they’re rightfully concerned about retaliation. Several people, some of whom say they’re former RIs themselves, assured me they personally know current RIs who have firsthand knowledge that standards were lowered.
I responded with an invitation: I’ll interview any RI who has firsthand knowledge of lowered standards, and I’ll publish his claims even if I disagree with his stance on the subject. I even offered to publish the interview anonymously as long as I can verify the RI’s identity and direct involvement. Thus far, no RI has accepted that offer.
So I decided to make the offer again here on Breach Bang Clear. I didn’t want the offer to be lost in a sea of Facebook comments or missed in an interview published weeks ago.
Here’s the offer, in language as clear as I can make it:
I AM WILLING TO INTERVIEW ANY RANGER INSTRUCTOR WHO HAS FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE THAT STANDARDS WERE ALTERED IN ORDER TO GRADUATE FEMALE STUDENTS. I WILL PUBLISH YOUR CLAIMS EVEN IF I DISAGREE WITH YOUR VIEWPOINT. I AM WILLING TO KEEP YOUR IDENTITY ANONYMOUS AS LONG AS I CAN VERIFY WHO YOU ARE AND THAT YOU WERE DIRECTLY INVOLVED WITH TRAINING THE FEMALE RANGERS.
EDITED TO ADD: I WILL KEEP YOUR IDENTITY SECRET FROM SGM BOLEY.
And here’s an interesting note about this offer: even SGM Boley is on board with it. After his interview, I told him I was planning on soliciting input from RIs. He responded,
“I’ve addressed the ‘rumors’ I have firsthand knowledge of. I never once claimed to know what happened out on patrols, and it is my job to support the Ranger Instructors on the ground. If they handed out a NO-GO on a patrol, I don’t question it, just the same as if they handed out a GO I don’t question it. I support their professionalism and experience.
Which leads me into my next comment. I am sure, if not positive, RIs are making statements [about lowered standards for females]. As a matter of fact I will bet my career on it. But I’m confident those claims are all hearsay and assumptions. And by making those claims on social media or other forums rather than up the chain of command, it only brings into question their credibility and that of their peers. If they allowed any standard to slip, at the end of the day they are the only ones qualified and authorized to pass the Ranger students. I would hope they find the intestinal fortitude to come forth with their concerns so we can at least start going in the right direction. We can’t fix what we don’t know is broke.
I have addressed the comments about ‘RIs are afraid to come forward because of fear for their career’ and I will do it again in black and white: If an RI has a concern about ‘altered standards’ and wants to come forward, NOTHING NEGATIVE WILL HAPPEN!!! That again is in black and white. That stands for anyone who has a genuine concern, civilian or military. My door is always open and I will address each comment and research every claim.”
SGM Boley just offered an assurance – a PUBLIC assurance – that anyone who reports failure to uphold the standard won’t be retaliated against. I’m sure many people will think that promise empty, but at the very least it’s backed by my promise to blast out any reports of retaliation on BBC.
In my interview with SGM Boley, I mentioned that he has a magical superpower. He has his twenty, is maxed on promotions, can say or do what he wants and walk whenever he feels like it. I have that same superpower: I’ve got 26 years in, retire from the Guard in six months, never wanted to get promoted this high anyway, and barely survived the four hours I was mistakenly appointed acting battalion Sergeant Major. I’m happy with my career and even happier it’s ending, because now I’ve got the ability to speak as I please. If an RI talks to me, and is retaliated against, I’ll scream it to the world.
I make this offer because I want to see our Army, and our nation, remain the best in the history of the world. I want our troops, especially our Special Operations troops, to know they and their comrades have been held to the highest standards. In my old age and retirement, I want the soldiers defending my children and grandchildren to be prepared for combat. I don’t want troops on the front line wondering if the Rangers beside them truly earned it, or were pushed through to placate social justice warriors who never did and never would sully their Utopian visions by serving in the military.
RIs, I trust you to do the right thing. If you were ordered or pressured to lower standards, integrity DEMANDS you report it. Nothing justifies preferential treatment.
Recently the blog Havok Journal published an anonymous interview with an alleged RI. Interestingly enough, he said an RI was pressured to pass a substandard female, refused to do so, and apparently wasn’t retaliated against. Sixteen of nineteen females failed Ranger School, yet we haven’t heard of anyone being retaliated against for not passing them. We know the Marine Corps has stuck by their standards, and not a single female has passed the difficult Infantry Officers Course. Again, as far as we know, no Marines have been retaliated against.
Evidence seems to indicate instructors can uphold the standard without fear of reprisal. If that isn’t true at Ranger School, someone needs to speak out.
So come on, RIs. If you were wrongfully pressured, tell us. Show us where the standards weren’t upheld, and tell us where the pressure to pass substandard students came from. If these allegations are true, let’s fix this crap before it gets worse, and before it gets American soldiers killed.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: Chris “Mad Duo Herndo” Hernandez (seen here on patrol in Afghanistan) may just be the crustiest member of the eeeee-LIGHT writin’ team here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a veteran police officer of two decades who spent a long (and eye-opening) deployment as part of a UN police mission in Kosovo. He is the author of White Flags & Dropped Rifles – the Real Truth About Working With the French Army and The Military Within the Military as well as the modern military fiction novels Line in the Valley and Proof of Our Resolve. When he isn’t groaning about a change in the weather and snacking on Osteo Bi-Flex he writes on his own blog, Iron Mike Magazine, Kit Up! and Under the Radar. You can find his author page here on Tactical 16.