Army sneaking women into combat?

Mack Owens reports on the Army’s possible backdoor attempt to sneak women into combat, as unearthed by Elaine Donnelly’s Center for Military Readiness:

The U.S. Army is quietly making a radical change in its personnel policy that may well see the 3rd Infantry Division redeploy to Iraq early next year with mixed-sex support companies collocated with combat units. The move violates not only Defense Department regulations, but also the requirement to notify Congress when such a change goes into effect.

The Army’s defense of its actions has been disingenuous. On one hand, the Army claimed in May that there were “insufficient male soldiers in the Army to fill forward support companies,” and therefore it “cannot support elimination of female soldiers from all units designated to be UA elements.” But if the Army knew about this back in May, why didn’t it ask Congress for more recruits at the time? One cannot escape the conclusion that the Army’s position appears to be that we don’t have enough young men to fight our wars, so women must be integrated into fighting units by subterfuge and sleight-of-hand.
But then, on the other hand, an Army spokesman recently told Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times that the policy of prohibiting women from serving in units supporting ground-combat formations is outdated. Today, said the spokesman, the threat is “asymmetrical… There is no front-line threat right now” since all soldiers, support or combat, face rocket, mortar, and roadside-bomb attacks, as well as ambushes.

First and foremost of my objections: if these allegations are true then the Army is breaking the law. Even if I agreed with the Army’s goal (which I don’t), I’d oppose their methods here. The senior officials responsible for this sleight-of-hand need a public and permanent reminder about civilian control of the American military.

Hey, I know that guy

Billy Tauzin III is the Republican running for Congress in Louisiana’s 3rd District. I say “running” because he’s facing a runoff on Saturday. I wish him success not only because he’s a strong-on-defense conservative, but also because I know from personal experience that he’s a genuinely upstanding and honest guy.
I knew him as “Bill” back when he was a year behind me at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He was in my company (the Corps of Cadets had roughly 120 cadets in each of 8 companies) in 1991 when he was a swab. Although word got out that his father had some serious political horsepower as a member of the House committee that controlled the Coast Guard’s appropriations, Bill never mentioned it himself. He was determined to make it through 4th Class Year on his own, and it was much tougher in 1991 than it is now in the age of political correctness. Any time his father came up in conversation, Bill deftly changed the subject.
Bill never relied on his dad’s position to get himself an easy break. Instead there were times that he caught more than his fair share of flak from the upperclass cadets, just so they could demonstrate to everybody that Bill wasn’t getting any extra slack. It happened to all the high-profile kids, including sons of admirals and captains. Some couldn’t take it, but I never heard Bill complain.
Although as a 3/c Cadet I wasn’t permitted to fraternize with a swab, there was always an unspoken understanding that the 3/c were the unofficial mentors of the 4/c. We in ’94 kept an eye on the folks in ’95, and we got to know them pretty well. Although Bill didn’t graduate from the Academy (he finished at LSU instead), it wasn’t for lack of ability or grit. He got through Swab Year, and remained upbeat and personable even as he learned the toughness required to survive that marathon, for which I respect him. The guy was honest and a complete straight shooter.
I’ve looked at his stances on the issues in this race, and they match what I think is in the best interests of America. When I combine that with my personal experience with the man, I can wholeheartedly endorse Billy Tauzin III for Congress.
Consider contributing to his campaign, and if you’re registered in Louisiana’s 3rd District give him your vote this Saturday.

An e-mail from Fallujah

Lt Col Dave Bellon sent another e-mail to his folks from Fallujah, dated November 19th. It relates some of what he saw in the battle there, and includes some photographs.

Immediately following 3/5’s attack on the apartment buildings, 3/1 took the train station on the north end of the city. While the engineers blew a breach through the train trestle, the Cavalry soldiers poured through with their tanks and Bradley’s and chewed an opening in the enemy defense. 3/1 followed them through until they reached a phase line deep into the northern half of the city. The Marine infantry along with a few tanks then turned to the right and attacked the heart of the enemy defense. The fighting was tough as the enemy had the area dialed in with mortars. 3/5 then attacked into the northwest corner of the city. This fight continued as both Marine rifle battalions clawed their way into the city on different axis.
There is an image burned into my brain that I hope I never forget. We came up behind 3/5 one day as the lead squads were working down the Byzantine streets of the Jolan area. An assault team of two Marines ran out from behind cover and put a rocket into a wall of an enemy strongpoint. Before the smoke cleared the squad behind them was up and moving through the hole and clearing the house. Just down the block another squad was doing the same thing. The house was cleared quickly and the Marines were running down the street to the next contact. Even in the midst of that mayhem, it was an awesome site.
The fighting has been incredibly close inside the city. The enemy is willing to die and is literally waiting until they see the whites of the eyes of the Marines before they open up. Just two days ago, as a firefight raged in close quarters, one of the interpreters yelled for the enemy in the house to surrender. The enemy yelled back that it was better to die and go to heaven than to surrender to infidels. This exchange is a graphic window into the world that the Marines and Soldiers have been fighting in these last 10 days.

Read the whole thing at The Green Side.
As always, you can get your Fallujah data dump at The Adventures of Chester, Winds of Change, and here.