Connect with us

News

Army Takes a Steady, Cautious Approach to Women in Infantry

Published

on

The Associated Press 27 Nov 2017 By Lolita C. Baldor

FORT BENNING, Ga. — The young Army infantry recruits lined up in full combat gear, guns at the ready. At the signal, a soldier in front kicked in the door and they burst into the room, swiveling to check around the walls for threats.

“You’re dead!” one would-be enemy yelled out from a dark corner, the voice slightly higher than the others echoing through the building.

It was 18-year-old Kirsten, training to become one of the Army’s first women serving as infantry soldiers.

“I want to be one of the females to prove to everybody else that just because you’re a female, doesn’t mean you can’t do the same things as a male,” she said, describing her brother — an infantry soldier — as motivation. “I also wanted to one-up him.”

Kirsten is among more than 80 women who have gone to recruit training at Fort Benning, Georgia, since a ban on them serving in combat jobs was lifted. Twenty-two have graduated. More than 30 were still in training late last month, working toward graduation. The recruits’ last names are being withheld by The Associated Press because some women have faced bullying on social media.

Somewhat smaller in stature than some of her male comrades, Kirsten gave up a Division I soccer scholarship to become an infantry soldier. In body armor, helmet and rucksack, she looks like just any other grunt.

A bunkmate, Gabriella, says the women push each other.

“Today during our ruck march we were, like, directly across from each other and I would constantly look over at her,” Gabriella said of Kirsten. “We kinda just kept looking at each other and we’re, like, all right, we’re both doing it, we’re passing these guys and stuff. We definitely have goals to be better than the guys.”

The Army’s introduction of women into the infantry has moved steadily but cautiously this year. As home to the previously all-male infantry and armor schools, Fort Benning had to make $35 million in renovations, including female dorm rooms, security cameras, and monitoring stations.

Laundry was an early challenge.

For years, the men washed clothes any time at night. Now, there are alarms and schedules. A “female” sign goes on the door when needed.

The women also balked at the early plan to put their living quarters on a separate floor from their squadmates. So base leaders now use one of four main sleeping bays to house the women. Cameras keep constant watch on the bay door and the stairs, and there’s always a woman at the monitoring station.

“There’s nothing they dislike more than to be separated,” said Col. Kelly Kendrick, the brigade commander. He said the women just want to “fit in and do the same as everybody else.”

This is the third class of recruits at Benning to include women. When they’re not sleeping or washing clothes, they’re completely integrated into their units.

As sun peeked over the horizon on an October morning, dozens of infantry recruits spread across the Fort Benning field going through their morning PT drills. In the dark mist, it was difficult to tell one from another as they powered through situps and pushups.

On that day, only two of five battalions training were integrated. There still aren’t enough women to spread across all the units.

The shortcoming has created challenges. In the last class, only four women graduated, so filling rotations for guard duty all night was a problem. There weren’t enough women to cover every hour, so others had to fill in.

As women drop out, those remaining are moved to new companies to maintain balance within units, said Lt. Col Sam Edwards, commander of 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry regiment. More than 36 percent of Benning’s women have left — about twice the rate of men. Injuries have sidelined other women who plan to restart the training.

Army leaders are closely watching the integration to track injury and performance trends and ensure there are no problems.

“It was a boys club for a long time,” Kendrick said. “You have to be professional.”

Recruits seem unfazed.

“They don’t know any different. They don’t notice they’re integrated,” Edwards said. Most just left high school, where boys and girls mingled all the time. “That’s the way it’s always been.”

Commanders are adjusting to new concentrations of injuries among the women. While male recruits often get ankle sprains and dislocated shoulders, women are prone to stress fractures in their hips. In the latest class, six of the seven injured women in Charlie Company had hip stress fractures.

Half of the women, Kendrick said, weigh less than 120 pounds (54 kilograms), but all the recruits carry the same 68 pounds (31 kilograms) of gear.

As a result, female recruits need different advice, tailored injury prevention training, and iron and calcium supplements.

Across the base, Charlie Company is in a mock village, training for combat in urban environments, just hours after finishing a 12-mile march (19 kilometers). They kick through doors, scout for enemies and listen as drill sergeants bark out criticism and corrections.

Those sergeants say all the recruits ask the same questions.

“They want to know how to run faster,” said Staff Sgt. Raven Barbieri. “They ask, ‘How do I pack my ruck better?'”

She said some women ask how to put their hair up properly. But more often, they seek tips for getting through long marches.

Sitting on the bleachers for a quick lunch, Kirsten said her brother showed her how to pack the ruck so it doesn’t overly stress her hips or shoulders. He told her: “Always bring extra socks and always bring baby wipes because you’re not going to be able to shower.”

Corbin, 19, shrugged off questions about women in his company.

“They’re pulling the same weight that we’re pulling,” he said, sitting alongside Kirsten and Gabriella. “As long as they’re pulling the weight that we’re doing and we can have faith that out in the field they can have our backs while we have theirs, then let them be.”

In a way, said Corbin, whose last name also was being withheld, the women ensure there are no laggards among the men, because they’d be ridiculed for finishing behind others. “It just makes everyone have a mindset that you can’t be the last one,” he said. “You gotta keep striving to be better than that person in front of you. No one wants to be the last person.”

The recruits are preparing for their final training exercise and the road march to Honor Hill, where they’ll receive their infantry badges in a solemn soldiers-only ceremony. For the women, it will be an especially powerful moment.

“Once I do reach Honor Hill, I think that it’s like a huge sigh of relief, and like all this weight is taken off my shoulders and knowing that I did it and made it,” Kirsten said. “To make it through infantry training, it will feel really, really good.”

–This article was written by Lolita C. Baldor from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

How Rod Rosenstein is connected to Trump, Russia investigation

Published

on

As the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election – and any involvement from the Trump campaign – forges ahead, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has found himself on the receiving end of some Republicans’ ire.

Two months after a handful of House Republicans filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, the official once again rocked the Trump administration.

A bombshell report published by The New York Times on Sept. 21 alleges Rosenstein suggested secretly recording President Trump to expose chaos in the White House and enlisting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office — accusations Rosenstein vehemently denied.

“The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” he told Fox News. “I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”

ROSENSTEIN REPORTEDLY DISCUSSED WEARING ‘WIRE,’ INVOKING 25TH AMENDMENT AGAINST TRUMP

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is spearheading the Russia probe, but Rosenstein, 53, still oversees the federal investigation as deputy attorney general.

In the articles of impeachment filed in July, the group of 11 House Republicans accused Rosenstein of intentionally withholding documents and information from Congress, failure to comply with congressional subpoenas and abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

“We’ve caught the Department of Justice hiding information, redacting information that they should not have redacted,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, previously told Fox News. Jordan, who was one of the lawmakers who introduced the articles, also claimed Rosenstein attempted to intimidate House staffers with subpoenas.

Read on for a look at how Rosenstein is connected to the Russia investigation.

What is Rosenstein’s job?

Rosenstein was confirmed by the Senate as deputy attorney general in April 2017.

More on the Russia investigation:

As deputy attorney general, he is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Justice Department and oversees its agencies, including the FBI.

How is he involved in the Russia investigation?

Rosenstein appointed Mueller as the special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election in May 2017.

The appointment came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the probe, and Rosenstein stepped in to oversee the investigation.

At the time, Rosenstein said his decision to appoint a special counsel was “not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted.”

Under Justice Department regulations, Mueller must consult with Rosenstein when his investigators uncover new evidence that may fall outside his original mandate. Rosenstein then determines whether to allow Mueller to proceed or to assign the matter to another U.S. attorney or part of Justice.

According to a memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, Rosenstein signed at least one FISA surveillance application that targeted Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser on Trump’s campaign.

Did he have something to do with Comey’s firing?

Democrats were critical of Rosenstein after the White House used a memo he’d crafted as a reason to fire FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, Politico reported. Rosenstein reportedly drafted the memo after Trump had expressed his desire to fire Comey.

Rosenstein later told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that he stood by his memo. He said it was “not a finding of official misconduct” or “a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination.”

“Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader,” Rosenstein said.

What has the White House said about him?

As he has continued to deny any wrongdoing, Trump has been critical of the Russia investigation, particularly of Mueller’s handling of it.

In an April 11 tweet, Trump accused Mueller of being “conflicted” – and Rosenstein even more so.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Samuel Chamberlain, Gregg Re and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn.

Continue Reading

News

Vegas odds revealed for 2020 presidential hopefuls — and long shots

Published

on

Vegas odds revealed for 2020 presidential hopefuls — and long shots

A Las Vegas oddsmaker has President Donald Trump favored to win the 2020 presidential election. Click to see the odds for a variety of candidates.

http://www.foxnews.com/”>Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/

A Las Vegas betting group has President Donald Trump as the favorite to win the 2020 election, giving him 3 to 1 odds

(AP)

a-las-vegas-betting-group-has-president-donald-trump-as-the-favorite-to-win-the-2020-election,-giving-him-3-to-1-odds

Senator Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, is the leading rival but with 10 to 1 odds

(Kamala Harris Campaign)

senator-kamala-harris,–a-california-democrat,-is-the-leading-rival-but-with-10-to-1-odds

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, fueled 2020 rumors but will face an uphill battle with 15 to 1 odds

(AP)

senator-elizabeth-warren,-a-massachusetts-democrat,-fueled-2020-rumors-but-will-face-an-uphill-battle-with-15-to-1-odds-

Oprah Winfrey shut down rumors about a potential run but her 30 to 1 odds favor her over House Speaker Paul Ryan

(Getty)

oprah-winfrey-shut-down-rumors-about-a-potential-run-but-her-30-to-1-odds-favor-her-over-house-speaker-paul-ryan

Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti was given 40 to 1 odds, making him more favored than Hillary Clinton

(AP)

stormy-daniels’-attorney-michael-avenatti-was-given-40-to-1-odds,-making-him-more-favored-than-hillary-clinton

Clinton was given 66 to 1 odds, placing her chances below Senator Bernie Sanders for 2020

(AP)

clinton-was-given-66-to-1-odds,-placing-her-chances-below-senator-bernie-sanders-for-2020

Kanye West recently tweeted out the message “2024” but he was given 150 to 1 odds for the next presidential election

(AP)

kanye-west-recently-tweeted-out-the-message-“2024”-but-he-was-given-150-to-1-odds-for-the-next-presidential-election-

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson dismissed rumors that he would run in 2020 but his 40 to 1 beat Clinton’s odds

(REUTERS)

dwayne-“the-rock”-johnson-dismissed-rumors-that-he-would-run-in-2020-but-his-40-to-1-beat-clinton’s-odds

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was given 50 to 1 odds despite Trump being the likely Republican candidate

(UN)

us-ambassador-to-the-un-nikki-haley-was-given-50-to-1-odds-despite-trump-being-the-likely-republican-candidate-

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was given 66 to 1 odds

(REUTERS)

facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-was-given-66-to-1-odds-

Continue Reading

News

Congressional Leaks

Published

on

Congressional Leaks

Some of the most memorable congressional leaks over the years.

http://www.foxnews.com/”>Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/

Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska taking oath in front of his family in Jan., 1969

Sen. Mike Gravel, D- Alaska, escaped punishment for disclosure of the Pentagon Papers in June 1971.

(Getty Images)

sen.-mike-gravel,-d-alaska-taking-oath-in-front-of-his-family-in-jan.,-1969

Central Intelligence Agency Director William E. Colby with Sen. James Abourzek and Rep. Michael J. Harrington

In 1975, the House ethics committee dismissed charges that Michael J. Harrington, D-Mass., revealed secret CIA activities in Chile.

(AP Photo/Henry Griffin)

central-intelligence-agency-director-william-e.-colby-with-sen.-james-abourzek-and-rep.-michael-j.-harrington

Senators Pat Leahy (right) and Dave Durenberger at press conference on select committee on intelligence report

In 1987, the Senate Ethics Committee declined to investigate Dave Durenberger, R-Minn., after reports that he leaked classified information about U.S. spy recruitment.

(Getty Images)

senators-pat-leahy-(right)-and-dave-durenberger-at-press-conference-on-select-committee-on-intelligence-report

Ranking Member George E. Brown,D-Calif

In 1987, George E. Brown, D-Calif., (1963-71, 1973-99) angrily quit the House Intelligence panel after coming under fire from the Reagan administration for publicly discussing military satellite capabilities. Brown charged that the criticism was unwarranted because he had been able to discuss the same subjects without controversy before his appointment to the Intelligence Committee.

(Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly)

ranking-member-george-e.-brown,d-calif

Robert G. Torricelli ,D-N.J., qustions Beth E. Dozoretz, Managing Trustee of the Democratic National Committee during campaign finance hearings

In 1995, Robert G. Torricelli, D-N.J. (House, 1983-97; Senate, 1997-2003), nearly lost his seat on the House Intelligence Committee over allegations that he improperly released information about CIA operations in Guatemala.

Torricelli said the information he released came from sources outside the Intelligence Committee. He was eventually exonerated by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. A CIA investigation spurred by the revelations found serious wrongdoing by the agency.

(Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly)

robert-g.-torricelli-,d-n.j.,-qustions-beth-e.-dozoretz,-managing-trustee-of-the-democratic-national-committee-during-campaign-finance-hearings–

Republican presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz participate in the Fox News – Google GOP Debate

In 2015, Senate Intelligence Committee leaders said that they were not investigating whether Ted Cruz disclosed classified information during a Dec. 2015 GOP debate, despite the panel chairman’s comments, saying his staff was looking into the matter. During the Dec. 15 debate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) seemed to imply that Cruz (R-Texas) disclosed classified information during a testy exchange on government surveillance powers and when Cruz was disputing Rubio’s attacks on the Texas senator’s national security credentials.

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

–republican-presidential-candidates-sen.-marco-rubio-and-sen.-ted-cruz-participate-in-the-fox-news—google-gop-debate-

Devin Nunes

In 2017, the House Ethics Committee closed an investigation into House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, clearing the California Republican of claims that he had made unauthorized disclosures of classified information. The investigation arose after Nunes told reporters at the White House that he had reviewed “intelligence reports” indicating that members of President Trump’s campaign had been swept up in foreign surveillance by U.S. spy agencies.

(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

devin-nunes

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Right Hawk News