Fort Benning

Ranger School officer takes to Facebook to address rumors concerning women earning Ranger tab

Chuck Williams

chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.com

"U.S. Army Soldiers conduct Mountaineering training during the Ranger Course on Mount Yonah in Cleveland, Ga., July 14, 2015. Soldiers attend the Ranger Course to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat simulated environment, (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Ebony Banks/ Released)"
"U.S. Army Soldiers conduct Mountaineering training during the Ranger Course on Mount Yonah in Cleveland, Ga., July 14, 2015. Soldiers attend the Ranger Course to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat simulated environment, (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Ebony Banks/ Released)"

Maj. Jimmy Hathaway finally had enough.

"I got fed up," he said this morning of the raging debate inside and outside the Ranger community about if standards were eased to allow Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest to become the first women to graduate from U.S. Army Ranger School.

Hathaway is the executive officer for the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade headquartered at Fort Benning. He went to social media Wednesday and outlined what happened from his inside view of the more than four months of training that led to Haver and Griest making military history.

"Much of this debate has been emotional and Maj. Hathaway had put out something that is fact-based," said Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Arnold.

The Hathaway post circulated through Ranger Facebook pages and West Point social media pages.

Here is the post:

"Jimmy Hathaway's Comments:

Gentlemen,

I am not much for posting on Social Media, but feel that I should comment on the current situation at Ranger School. First and foremost the Ranger Instructors are professional Non-Commissioned Officers and trained the Ranger Students the same way they have since 1952. If you believe nothing else, you should have faith in your fellow Rangers to adhere to their beliefs and the Ranger Creed.

I have spent the last 18 months as the RTB S3 and am now the RTB XO. I have been part of the process from start to finish and have watched the professionalism of the RIs in each phase. Bottom line; The RIs trained Ranger, period. I had the privilege of having RIs like SFC Grenier and CSM Purdy in Benning and SFC (CSM retired) Brimstin and CSM Edmunds in Mountains and SFC Hammond in Florida. Don’t really remember much after that, but I do remember their professionalism and what they taught me and I see the same thing today when I watch the current batch of instructors.

I would like to address a few of the rumors that have been floating around the internet and to inject fact into the conversation.

1. The females watched a Ranger Class before they went through the course – This is false. The females did not watch a course prior to coming through. I do find this funny though. We have the Merrills Platoon members who perform OPFOR and support duties for RTB and then they end up going through training, do they get an unfair advantage. NO. The school is hard and it sucks. You can know the answers, but you still have to perform as evident by the pass rate of the Merrill’s Platoon members.

2. The females were afforded unprecedented recycle opportunities - The females were not afforded any advantage on recycles. They went through Darby, recycled and were Darby inserts. Upon a second failure they were offered a Day 1 recycle. This means they started day 1 and had to complete RAP week a second time. There is no advantage to this, would any of you volunteered to go through RAP week twice and take a Day 1 recycle? Most people would not as evident by the several men who were also offered a Day 1, but declined. The day 1 recycle precedent has been in place for many years and is nothing new. Unless you have been part of the RTB leadership, been the Senior TAC and have sat on the academic boards you would not know how common it actually is.

3. CSM Arnold is the CSM of the RTB and is the most professional NCO I have worked with in 26 years. At no time did he pass anyone on a patrol. Nor did he pressure anyone to pass anyone (Male or Female). As with any good NCO he was out in the field with his RIs. He has walked patrols before the females were here and will walk patrols after. If he wasn’t then there would be complaints that he was the type of NCO who sat in his office and did nothing. He was setting the standard for his subordinate leaders, but had no grading precedent on the patrol.

4. There have been all kinds of accusations that the class got more sleep less physical training and were coddled – That simply did not happen. Just watch the videos that were taken of the Darby Queen. If you honestly think an RI was going to take it easy on this class you are mistaken.

5. Packing List – There were no changes to the packing list except for the addition of a few items. There were no additional supplements or vitamins. There was no reduction in weight. It was the same except for the few female specific items that the women carried.

6. The CG walked a patrol in each phase of Class 8-15. It was his 30th anniversary of attending Ranger School. He intentionally did not walk a patrol that a female was being graded on to ensure there was no conflict of interest. The Infantry Commandant has walked patrols and so has the CG. This is not unprecedented.

7. Observer/Advisors – This subject has caused a lot of consternation. They are non-grading cadre who were assigned to the RTB to help. They had no authority and they worked for the chain of command.

8. The ridiculous rumor that the President was coming to this graduation and that RIs were told to pass them before they even started Florida is absolutely false. He isn’t/wasn’t coming to graduation.

9. The final comment I will say is this. No matter what we at Ranger School say the non-believers will still be non-believers. We could have invited each of you to guest walk the entire course, and you would still not believe, we could have video recorded every patrol and you would still say that we “gave” it away. Nothing we say will change your opinion. I and the rest of our cadre are proud of the conduct of our Soldiers, NCO’s and Officers, they took the mission assigned and performed to the Ranger Standard. RLTW!!!!!"

  Comments