The Problem with Every Dumb Ranger School Conspiracy Theory: Peer Reviews
By Tommy Batboy
Since the news was released that two women had graduated Ranger School and would be awarded their Ranger Tabs, the military community has broken the internet.
A quick aside before I carry on. If you are not tabbed, have not attended Ranger School and you’re spreading this notion the standards were lowered: this is where you shut your pie hole and move on down the road.
You don’t have the first damn clue. At best you’re misguidedly trying to defend the honor of your friends that do have their tab or are part of the Ranger community (commendable in a certain light) or at worse you are sexist misogynist twit who probably thinks you could actually win a fight with Ronda Rousey (news flash, she’d kick your ass).
Either way, please exit to the sidelines, stage right, and have a nice day.
For those who’ve gone through the process of Ranger School we know everything you do is watched. All your sins, and I do mean all, will come out and be laid bare, because unlike most schools in the military, your peers get a say on if you graduate or not.
If you fail “peers” you will most likely fail Ranger School. You might move on to the next phase if you can convince the review board, but will be switched to another company. If you fail them again you are recycled or dropped from the course.
News flash: these women passed “peers” in all three phases of the course.
I have read nothing but conspiracy theories on undue command influence all week. I keep reading that a guy heard from a guy who knows an RI in Florida that was told by another RI who heard from a staff guy at Ranger School HQ that the women MUST pass. I can’t scroll through my Facebook or Twitter feed for more than three seconds without seeing this shit.
So why has no one talked about how the men working with these women every single day, their fellow students, have put their stamp of approval on them, three times now?
Initially, I was prepared use the access I was fortunate enough to be granted by people in and around Ranger School over the past four months to show the Ranger Standard has been maintained. How icy MG Miller’s stare was when I asked about the standards potentially being lowered before he systematically and patiently explained how the lowering would destroy what makes Ranger School such a useful tool for the Army.
How passionately Col (ret) Puckett was in his observation that the women were being treated just like any other Ranger student and how he wished them the best. How the Ranger School commander Col. Fivecoat spent almost an hour walking me through everything about the process and how the standards were everyone’s top concern. How, without fail, the RI’s I had a beer with all shrugged and told me they didn’t like being under the microscope but that no one was pressuring them to lower the standard, if anything it was kinda annoying how much they were reminded every day of what the standard was.
How, if anything, after talking with some of the female observers I felt, and still feel, that they were the people most aggressively pushing for the standards to be even more rigorously applied then they normally are.
Forget all of that, just look at these ladies peer reviews. The “peers” are the most honest and simplest form truth. They are blunt, honest, unvarnished feedback on how you are doing and who you are seen to be.
A commander can’t bury them. A Ranger student can’t run from them. “Peers” have always been designed to be the ultimate check to any of the undue influence that is being yelled about. Long before these women stepped up Ranger School had to deal with the sons of influential men attempting the course, of ensuring that instructor or command biased would not hurt someone’s chances based on race, religion, sexual preference, and now gender.
Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver earned the right to wear black and gold, it’s that simple.
So allow me today, on the day they graduate, to proudly say: Welcome to the club, Rangers.