Leave our Armed Forces alone! They are the world’s best, let’s leave the PC shit on the college campuses where it belongs . . . the Marxists/Liberal profs get what they deserve.
An Army colonel quizzed a handful of Marines about standards, found the answer she was looking for and missed the truth she’s studiously ignoring.
It’s always funny to Marines when people from other military branches say our standards are too stringent. Funny in a “how embarrassing that you opened your mouth” sort of way. Too late for Army Col. Ellen Haring who wrote an opinion piece for the Marine Corps Times to admonish our Infantry Officer Course (IOC) standards, again. This is not new for Haring, who in 2014 opined for War on the Rocks that IOC’s Combat Endurance Test (CET) was merely “an initiation rite and not a test of occupational qualification.”
In question this time is whether the IOC requirement to carry “up to 152 pounds for 9.3 miles at a 3-mile-per-hour pace in order to graduate” is realistic testing and training for officers, when enlisted Marines test on 60 pounds to complete Infantry Training Battalion and work up to 152 later. She quizzed a handful of Marines who bolstered her doubts (no details on whether they had infantry combat deployment experience, and had she named them they’d bear the same humiliation as she). She found the answer she was looking for and missed the truth she’s studiously ignoring.
Heavy Lifting in Ground Combat
In the battle of Najaf, Iraq, in 2004 the Marines had to clear the largest cemetery in the Middle East, the Wadi-us-Salaam, of 14-15,000 of Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Jaish Al Mahdi militia. With above-ground mausoleums, some over eight feet tall, it was a three-dimensional labyrinth and they had to clear every inch between and on top while fighting enemy insurgents. Because of the space constraints around the graves and monuments, casualties couldn’t be carried out on stretchers with a two- or four-man carry. A Marine had to carry his fallen brother on his back along with his gear and weapon so as not to let them fall into enemy hands. Thirteen were killed and over one hundred were wounded. That’s a lot of lifting well over 150 lbs and moving over distance with it — that graveyard was 7 miles square. How much weight they could carry quickly over difficult terrain d*** well mattered.
During the second battle of Fallujah Marines from Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment were convoying into the city when the tire of a Humvee popped:
As the driver, Lance Cpl. Ian Smith set the jack and began changing the tire, the soft dirt and the blast from a rocket propelled grenade that landed nearby caused the vehicle to fall atop him. Seeing that Smith was being crushed under the incredible weight of the up-armored Humvee, 1st Sgt. Wayne Hertz and Sgt. Johnnie Lassiter, the turret gunner, rushed to help him. Acting on instinct, the two immediately started trying to lift the vehicle off Smith. Incredibly, they were able to take enough of the weight off of Smith that other Marines, who ran over when they heard screaming, were able to pull the pinned man to safety.
How much weight the guys could lift certainly mattered for LCpl Smith. These are just two examples from our most recent wars. There are thousands more from every war we’ve fought, of men slogging through grueling terrain carrying heavy weapons, gear, and each other. They ran up the beaches of Normandy, they trudged in the jungles of the South Pacific and Vietnam, and they have been scaling the walls of compounds in Iraq and the strongholds and caves of Afghanistan with their gear in tow as they close in to destroy the enemy by fire and close combat. That’s what validates IOC standards.
An Mk 19 grenade launcher weighs over 77 lbs, more with ammo. A .50 cal machine gun is 127 lbs. A piece of track on a tank is 60 lbs. An artillery shell for an armored tank is 95 lbs. Men in the combat arms are routinely carrying 60-100 lb of gear and more. If you have to carry the grenade launcher or the .50 cal or change a piece of broken track on a tank or the tire of a 5-ton truck, or evacuate a casualty, being able to move quickly with a heavy load is essential. But pencil-pushers like Haring play stupid, as if one thing has nothing to do with the other.