Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Call The Sanctuary City Mayors' Bluff - Defund Them All And Save A Lot Of Money

The mayors of such cities as Chicago and Los Angeles (bastions of fiscal success - not) say they will refuse to enforce existing immigration laws in their cities. They welcome with open arms all the illegal aliens who can walk, crawl, or ride in. This was one of Hillary Clinton's messages that was wholeheartedly rejected by the American people.

Not only that, these criminal mayors will then pay for the illegals' food, clothing, shelter, and medical expenses. Oh, I'm sorry, ALL of us will pay for that out of our federal income taxes and the federal aid to those states that is sucked out of the national treasury.

Call their bluff, Mr. Trump. Make defunding these criminal cities a priority in January, 2017. Once the federal dollars stop, let's see how long the citizens of those cities put up with the loss of federal aid.

I believe that, in the end, a lot of liberal, progressive, socialist, and Marxist mayors, city councilmen and police chiefs will be looking for jobs. Their voters will see to that.

America is a nation of laws. Congress passes them, the executive branch is supposed to enforce them, and the judicial branch is supposed to interpret them with regard to the Constitution. Obama and his left-wing friends have chosen to make their own laws via executive decisions.

In doing so, they prove that they think they are smarter than the rest of us. Of course, that is the way of dictators, isn't it?

Think about how much money we'll be able to save to pay down Obama's national debt...

Charles M. Grist

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Left-Wing Loon Caught In The Act - Steals Trump Signs

A pleasant Sunday morning as the wife and I head home after buying our Big Gulp at 7-11. As we pass a former neighbor's home, the car in front of us stops, a male passenger in his late twenties or early thirties gets out, and he runs into our friend's yard.

He grabs their two Trump/Pence yard signs and rips them out of the ground. I roll my window down and tell him he is both trespassing and stealing. He yells at me to mind my own business, and I tell him he's a punk thief. He tells me "F--- y--" and runs to the waiting car.

He swung one of the Trump signs toward me, but he didn't hit our car. If he had, the encounter would have ended very unpleasantly for him when he was pinned to the ground in handcuffs. (Yeah, I'm a retired cop, so I still have a pair of handcuffs in the car.)

My wife and I followed the car, called the Sheriff's office, and gave them the vehicle description and license number. The thief sees me talking on my cell phone, so his car pulls over, and he throws the stolen signs out of the car onto the ground. Then the car drives off.

My wife and I recover the signs and return them to our friends, laughing about this ridiculous encounter. Then I read on the news about one college giving hot chocolate and puppies to their distraught Hillary followers. Some colleges offered "cry-ins," play-doh, and coloring books.

Poor babies. Why don't you lefties just grow the heck up? The election is over, Donald Trump will be our next President, and you need to get a life.

As far as my confrontation with the sign thief - final score: Conservatives, 1; Left-wing nut jobs, 0........

Charles M. Grist

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Left-Wing Whining, Whimpering, Sore Losing Cry Babies

When Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and reelected in 2012, I don't seem to remember conservatives and Tea Party supporters storming the streets, burning things, or calling for revolution.

In fact, I'm sure I didn't hear anything about colleges giving any conservative students the day off from exams. I don't think conservatives needed hot chocolate, stuffed toys, or service dogs to try and live through their disappointment.

Why does the whimpering only come from liberals, progressives, socialists and Marxists? Do they see the end of the gravy train, and it's too much to bear?

All of you sore losers need to man up (or woman up) and realize that Crooked Hillary and her husband have been stuffed into the dust bin of history. President-elect Donald J. Trump will be in charge as of January 20, 2017.

So suck it up, dry your little left-wing noses, quit the lip-quivering, and accept reality. The American people have rejected globalism, open borders, unrestricted government spending, endless half-wars, and government control of health care.

So support your new President. If you can't, then perhaps you should move to one of the socialist paradises like Cuba, Venezuela, or North Korea. But trust me, they won't put up with your wimpy behavior in those countries. They will hand you a shovel or a hoe and put you to work.

Charles M. Grist

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump

Our hard-fought campaign has been rewarded with a well-earned victory. Hillary Clinton and her determined, ruthless minions have been defeated and sent scurrying back to the Marxist holes from which they emerged. The people of America have spoken, and the Republic is once again safe - for now.

1.  The monumental failure that is Obamacare will be repealed and replaced.
2.  Jobs lost because of the catastrophic trade policies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will return. Businesses and manufacturers will return to our shores or expand, and the opportunities for new businesses (and jobs) have never been greater.
3.  We will protect our borders, build the wall, and prevent those who ignore our laws from entering our blessed country.
4.  We will make sure that terrorists and other criminals find it much harder to enter America to do us harm.
5.  The attempt by the liberals, progressives, socialists, and Marxists to turn us into a small dot on a large globalist map has been stopped. We will remain a proud, independent nation with a policy of "America First."
6.  As Ronald Reagan said, "Government is not the solution; government is the problem."
7.  Our veterans will finally receive the care they need from a grateful nation.
8.  We will no longer send our troops to fight and die unless there is a clear, present, and immediate danger to our nation or to one of the countries with whom we have mutual defense agreements.
9.  And when we must send our forces overseas, they will be the best armed, best trained, and best supplied force on the battlefield.
10. When our military must wage war, it will only be for a mission that is well-defined, with a clear path to victory. Then we will bring our troops home.
11. We will continue to protect our cherished Constitution and all the rights enshrined therein, especially the right to bear arms. That is the one right that protects all the others.

Drive on, President-Elect Trump. With a Republican Congress, there is no stopping us now.

And it is time for the Clintons to withdraw from public life, retire, and go home....

Charles M. Grist

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Read "The Perdiccas Scroll" - FIRST PLACE As Published Mystery - 2016 Royal Palm Literary Awards

I would suggest that you read The Perdiccas Scroll, a murder mystery that takes place in modern-day Iraq. It was recently awarded FIRST PLACE in the published mystery category at the 2016 Royal Palm Literary Awards.

The description on Amazon says:

"Police detective Miles Cannon had already served his time as an Army reservist in Iraq and Afghanistan. His former commander calls him to active duty again to investigate the death of the man who saved both of their lives. Cannon returns to war-torn Iraq and finds himself in the middle of a dangerous investigation involving a seductive archaeologist and a desert mystery that is thousands of years old. He will need both his investigative skills and his Army special operations training to survive this deadly desert adventure."

The Perdiccas Scroll is available on Amazon.com for $2.99 for the Kindle version or $9.95 for the paperback. You can order the book at THIS LINK.

The author's website is www.johnmarlingmarch.com.

Charles M. Grist

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Clinton Cash = Clinton Corruption

It doesn't matter whether you are a Progressive or a Conservative, this movie is about corruption, bribery, and political crime.

If Hillary Clinton is elected president, it will simply be more of the same.

Watch the director's cut of "Clinton Cash" at the link HERE.

Charles M. Grist

"Hillary's America" - The Film That Tells the True Story of The Democratic Party and the Clinton Machine

My wife and I saw this terrific documentary last night. We thought we were pretty educated when it came to the Democratic/Progressive movement, but we learned a lot.

If you are a Democrat/Progressive/Socialist or any other left-wing sympathizer, you need to see this film. Maybe you'll learn something - if you're not afraid of the truth.

If you are a Republican, you will still learn a lot about the opposition. And do us a favor: Take a Democrat/Progressive/Socialist with you to see the film.

It is showing now at a theater near you.

Charles M. Grist

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"Black Lives Matter" Was Built on an Incident That Never Happened - ALL Lives Matter

ALL lives matter; black lives, blue lives, white lives - 
ALL lives matter

I was recently made aware of a Facebook post by a relative. In the background, as their primary picture, was a Black Lives Matter banner and a man with a raised fist. I was a little surprised that this relative, someone I care a great deal about, would post something promoting an organization that advocates killing police officers. I am a retired police officer, and my son-in-law is a police officer.

When a group of violent, would-be revolutionaries chant about killing cops, or when a group of Black Lives Matter protesters turns down a meeting with law enforcement saying, "We eat pigs; we don't eat with them," then that group is just plain evil. Men like Martin Luther King preached togetherness. The radicals of today want to separate us, divide us, and turn us on each other. Sadly, even your own president, Barack Obama, has praised the Black Lives Matter movement.

There is not a profession on earth that doesn't have a bad apple every now and then. Those bad guys should be rooted out of the system and punished for their actions. However, there are not just bad cops. There are bad lawyers, doctors, accountants, politicians, store clerks, insurance salesmen, and just about any other profession you can name. We don't condemn an entire profession just because one member disgraces themselves. We punish the bad ones and honor the ones who bring integrity and sacrifice to their profession.

I am proud of the twenty years I spent as a cop. I have helped many people of many races. I was in two wars as a soldier, trying to help Asians and Muslims. My life was saved in Vietnam by a black man. I have watched black soldiers cry over their dead white friends and white soldiers cry over their dead black friends.

I have worked closely with fellow black police officers and black soldiers. We have worked together, as Americans and as citizens, to make a difference in this world. We work hard to be professionals, and if we find a bad guy among us, we are the first to try and purge him.

The incident in Ferguson, Missouri that spawned the Black Lives Matter movement did not involve a "Hands up, don't shoot" scenario. That was a lie. The young man had just committed a strong arm robbery, and the police officer attempted to question him. When the youth attacked the officer and attempted to take his gun, the officer defended himself, resulting in the death of a criminal.

America under Barack Obama is more divided than ever before. This is not necessary, and most Americans - black or white - understand that working together is the only way we will ever solve our problems.

But the only way to do that is to tell the truth. Unfortunately, the left doesn't really care about the truth. They care about the agenda. 

Remember.....ALL lives matter......

Charles M. Grist

Sunday, June 5, 2016

America's Decline - There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See

"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

Every time I watch a reporter interview a bunch of young Americans, I am astounded and disappointed at how little they know about American history. They don't know how this country was founded, they have never been taught about the patriot founders of our republic, and many of them have no idea why we fought the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, or World War II.

I have a young relative who asked me at a family gathering, "I understand you're very conservative?" My response was that I was indeed conservative, but that I was most interested in protecting the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. I also cared about fiscal responsibility, and the need for individual responsibility.

My relative's response was, "Don't you think the Constitution should be updated?" Trying to be polite, I said that the Constitution doesn't need updating. Americans need to understand what is protected by that document, and they need to make sure it is safeguarded just as it is.

Unfortunately, this relative gave me the blank stare that is common to liberals and/or Progressives. They honestly believe that the government should manage every aspect of our lives. They don't want less government - the "prime directive" of our founders - they want more government. In some cases, they complain about government intrusion when it directly affects their lives, but then they offer their votes to politicians who will only expand that interference.

I have another relative who literally worships Barack Obama. Yet they once complained that government rules and regulations were making it hard for them to run their business. Their liberal/Progressive blindness makes it impossible for them to see that the administration of Barack Obama has made executive orders and dictatorial government regulations the rule of the day. Should a Clinton or Sanders become president, this will only get worse.

The very fact that a crazy socialist like Bernie Sanders could even be in the running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination is proof that America is in deep trouble. The entitled generation wants their freebies, and a socialist/Progressive or (dare I say it) Marxist government will give them their "protected" way of life - until everyone else's money runs out. (Check out the socialist paradises of Venezuela and Cuba to see how their citizens are faring.)

The Democratic Party of today is nothing like the one that brought John F. Kennedy to the presidency. Remember that Kennedy, a World War II hero, said, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

The slogan today for Democrats like Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would be, "Ask not what you can do for your country; ask what your country can do for you."

So here we sit, America. We have plunged into a debt that is unsustainable, but the Democrats - and some Republicans - want to increase it. We have a younger generation that has no idea how this country was founded, but they still want the newest cell phone. We have a political elite class that only cares about the next election, so they make promises they can never fulfill, and the so-called "leaders" in this country don't care about the unregulated illegal immigration that will destroy America.

I am a father and a grandfather who has fought in two wars, run a business, retired as a soldier, and retired as a police officer. I am convinced that I may die before our country can be turned around. I am also saddened by the future prospects of my children and grandchildren. If their generations cannot wake up to the dangers facing America, then the freedoms that so many of us - and our ancestors - fought for will be lost.

May God protect the United States of America.

Charles M. Grist

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hillary Clinton Will Destroy America

She was the worst Secretary of State in the history of America.

She was virtually useless as a senator from New York.

Under her watch, and with her active participation, the nation of Libya became a failed state, and she lied to the parents of the Benghazi victims about the cause of their murder.

She is a supporter of the international trade agreements that have sent American jobs overseas.

She and her husband may have used the Clinton Global Initiative for the benefit of foreign governments. (See the book, "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.")

Most Americans consider her untrustworthy.

She violated State Department rules with her refusal to use a government cell phone and by her careless email procedures.

She violated federal law by using a personal email server that sent or received classified information. It is likely this server was hacked by foreign governments. Other government employees have been indicted or served time in prison for doing less than she has done.

She has been an enabler of her husband's sexual escapades while claiming to protect the rights of women.

She takes donations and expensive speaking fees from the same financial organizations she demonizes. This makes her a monumental hypocrite.

She is an advocate of open borders which will destroy the fabric of American life. America cannot become the dumping ground of everyone in the world who can't make it in their own country. It is not our job to give free medical care, free welfare, and free housing to illegal immigrants when our own citizens can't get the help they need.

She will destroy the Second Amendment by either unconstitutional executive orders or by appointing activist Supreme Court justices who will gut our right to bear arms.

Do we really want Bill Clinton wandering around the White House with nothing to do? Do you want your daughter to be a White House intern?

If Hillary Clinton becomes the next President of the United States, she will turn our blessed country into a Progressive, Socialist, Marxist sanctuary. She will send our young men and women to fight and die in wars when there is no clear and present danger to our nation. Our constitutional republic will fade away, and our way of life will be lost to our children and grandchildren.

We won't get into Bernie Sanders, the self-described socialist who is too afraid to talk about the failed socialist "paradise" of Venezuela. This guy is a very bad joke.

Donald Trump is a leader. He will protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and he will appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court. He will negotiate trade agreements that will prevent other countries from taking advantage of us. He will return manufacturing jobs to America. He will turn loose the potential of all forms of energy, unleashing new businesses that will create new jobs. He will end the damaging flood of illegal immigrants and secure America's borders. He will protect the way of life that so many of us have fought or died for.

The ghosts of the original American patriots are watching us....

NOTE: See this post on the movie Clinton Cash:

NOTE: See this post on the movie Hillary's America:

Charles M. Grist

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Barack Obama and Neville Chamberlain – Cut From the Same Cowardly Cloth

Appeasement - To yield or concede to the belligerent demands of (a nation, group, person, etc.) in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles.

In his effort to placate the Iranian mullahs, Barack Obama is giving in to virtually all of their demands. His failure to demand that the Iranians cease their support of terrorism, that they acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, and that they allow immediate and unfettered inspections of any or all of their military and/or nuclear facilities is a surrender in the face of evil.

It is not that negotiations between nations should not be undertaken. It is when – as in the case of Neville Chamberlain prior to World War II – that you attempt to appease a nation that in reality can never be appeased.

Chamberlain’s attempts to keep Britain out of war at all costs made him crawl to Adolph Hitler. Hitler’s promises to restrict his aggression in Europe were meaningless. His goal was world domination, and he would not honor the pact with Britain any more than he honored the non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union.

The government in Iran – like Nazi Germany – is not a nation of its people. It is a nation ruled by one man, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He is the supreme leader of his country, as was Adolph Hitler in Germany. There is no Congress or Parliament that can overrule him. There is no Supreme Court that can change his will.

Like Hitler, Khamenei’s ultimate objective is not peace. He continues to state that Israel must be destroyed, and his ultimate goal is to spread his brand of Islam to the four corners of the earth. He cannot be trusted any more than Adolph Hitler could be trusted.

Khamenei believes that the Shiite messiah known as the “Twelfth Imam” or the “Mahdi” will soon make his appearance known. He will then establish a global Islamic caliphate. In 2010 Khamenei said he has personally met with the Twelfth Imam. He also said he was the Mahdi’s representative on earth. How could Obama even believe he could negotiate with such a deranged personality?

The difference between Hitler’s quest for global domination and the ultimate objectives of Khamenei is that Iran believes it is fighting a holy war that must result in the annihilation of Israel, the United States, and anyone else who disagrees with their version of Islam. It’s one thing to seek to rule the earth for your own personal gain; it is quite another to believe you must rule the earth for God.

Barack Obama may think an agreement with the Iranians will add to his legacy. The fact is that his legacy is already one of failure. Because of him, our enemies do not fear us, and our friends do not trust us.

When Iran becomes a nuclear power, they will use that bomb. The old theory of “mutually assured destruction” that kept the Soviet Union, China, and the United States from shooting missiles at each other won’t work with Iran. They don’t care if hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, millions of Americans, or even millions of their own people die in a nuclear holocaust.

If Iran destroys Israel and America, they believe the “Mahdi” can return to complete the nefarious mission of the most evil nation on earth since Nazi Germany. The reality is that Khamenei is only negotiating with the west because he is biding his time while the Iranians complete their nuclear weapons program.

Anyone who does not believe this is a fool.

Charles M. Grist

Monday, February 16, 2015

Second Edition of "My Last War: A Vietnam Veteran's Tour in Iraq" is Available Now

I am pleased to announce that the Second Edition of my book is available at Amazon.com.

It is available as a paperback for $12.95 LINK HERE or from the Kindle Store as an ebook for $2.99. LINK HERE .

This new edition includes a preface with updates on the Iraq situation since the First Edition was published in 2009. Included is a brief discussion of the new threat posed by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) or the Islamic State, whichever description you chose.

I have also incorporated a few suggestions from readers of the First Edition.

Thanks again to those who have read the original version. (The link to the first edition is HERE). I appreciate all those who gave me their comments and suggestions.

Charles M. Grist

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Remembering Pearl Harbor In 2014

Although it has been 73 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the memories endure for those few remaining veterans who survived this attack.

The following article tells the story of one of those men:

*  *  *  *
Fresno Bee
By BoNhia Lee
December 5, 2014

Joe Quercia was talking to a buddy and staring out a porthole of the USS Medusa in Pearl Harbor when gunfire rang out and an explosion rocked the Hawaiian naval base on Dec. 7, 1941.

"I watched all these planes coming over and (heard) the Arizona get blown up," Quercia, 92, of Fresno, said of the attack on the battleship as it was berthed in Oahu. "When it exploded, you could sure feel that."

The attack by Japanese pilots continued for about an hour and a half, turning what was supposed to be the start of a day off at the beach into the beginning of the United States' involvement in World War II.

"We lost about 2,500 service men and how many million tons of iron was sunk?" said Quercia, whose recollection of that day remains sharp. "Eight battleships were hurt. We had 20-something ships that got injured."

Quercia, who served as a naval chief petty officer, is one of the central San Joaquin Valley's few remaining Pearl Harbor survivors. The Valley once had 150 veterans who were stationed at the base when the Japanese attacked, but those numbers have dwindled, leaving only a few to continue sharing their experiences.

On Sunday, Quercia will join a handful of other survivors at the annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony. This year it will be at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

The event was moved from Fresno, where it was held last year at the Legion of Valor Museum in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Before that, the ceremony was conducted at the Fresno veterans hospital for years.

Quercia believes there could be as many as 10 remaining local survivors, but only four have attended the ceremony in the last couple years, he said. "We're all in our 90s now," he said.

The northeast Fresno resident grew up in west Fresno and enlisted in the Navy when he was 18. Quercia was stationed on a repair ship, with no guns, about a block away from the USS Arizona when it was hit. He served in the Navy for six years.

"I gave them six years and that was enough for me," Quercia said. "The water is so big and you get tired staying on the ocean."

Tim Springer, who is organizing Sunday's event with the help of the Veterans of Foreign Affairs Post 3225 and other veterans service organizations, continues to hold the ceremony to honor the living veterans and those who have passed.

The motto of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, whose local branch disbanded in 2011, is to "remember Pearl Harbor, keep America alert," Springer said.

"We want to honor these guys, them and their friends who made the ultimate sacrifice on Dec. 7, 1941 so they are not forgotten."

*  *  *  *
The lessons from Pearl Harbor include the need for a strong military, how important intelligence-gathering is, and the requirement that we never assume that the worst possible scenario won't happen tomorrow.

Charles M. Grist

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Farewell To Warrior Dan McKinney

Sergeant First Class Dan McKinney in Iraq
“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”― Heraclitus

At four a.m. this morning, I woke up to the sound of some drunk driver hitting my mailbox with his side mirror. After I went outside to check the damage, I realized that I would never be able to fall asleep again, so I checked my email.

Awaiting me was the news that my long-time friend, Sergeant First Class Dan McKinney, had passed away. He was not just my friend; he was the friend to countless numbers of his fellow Americans, especially to those who – like him – had been wounded in action. Dan and I had both served in Vietnam at different times, just as we would both serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom in different years. We were also both law enforcement officers. He worked for the feds; I was a city cop.

I wrote about Dan years ago after he was wounded in Iraq, and I related the story of his heroic actions. That article appeared in the Orlando Sentinel here:  http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2005-09-24/news/GRIST24_1_dan-mckinney-iraq-wounded and also here in my blog where I referenced the Sentinel article: http://americanranger.blogspot.com/2006/12/bravery-under-fire.html .

One incident I did not discuss was a training mission in the Army Reserve where Dan and I showed the youngsters how a couple of Vietnam vets could kick their asses.

The mission required a company sized infantry defense, with booby traps, listening posts, and about a hundred soldiers. Their mission was to defend against the ominous threat of the two of us. That’s right. We were the “Viet Cong” sappers, and before the night was over we had successfully “blown up” much of the interior of their perimeter (including trucks and generators) and “assassinated” their commander.

Of course, no one was really hurt by the two old guys dressed in black, but we enjoyed teaching them a lesson they would never forget.

Dan lived a life full of meaning and sacrifice. As a wounded warrior himself, he became an inspiration to countless other wounded warriors by helping them and their families recover from terrible life-changing injuries. He not only displayed courage in Iraq when he was severely wounded by a suicide bomber, but his recovery from those devastating wounds was also an example of immense courage.

America has lost one of its best warriors. The Army has lost one of its most valuable members. All of us who serve, or have served, have lost a friend.

Godspeed, Dan. Hold a place on the perimeter for me….

Charles M. Grist

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Army Ranger School And Women - Will Political Correctness (Versus Common Sense) Strike Again?

UPDATE:  Well, here is the LINKfemale Ranger students in April, 2015. Watch out SEALs - you're next...


During my time as a cop, I served with many women who proved themselves to be dedicated, courageous law enforcement officers. However, I am also an Army Ranger who never served with women until I became qualified as a military policeman. My infantry years in Vietnam - or later in the Army National Guard - were all spent with a bunch of rough, tough, hard-as-nails male "grunts." To tell you the truth, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Police work - and Army MP work for the most part - is shift work. You work your shift and then go home or back to the barracks. I've got to say, though, that women have served magnificently as MPs in the War on Terror. One of the first Silver Stars awarded to soldiers in Iraq was awarded to a female MP sergeant (Leigh Ann Hester).

Infantry service - especially that of the Ranger-kind - requires long hours, days, nights, and even weeks in hostile, dirty, and extremely hazardous conditions. To try and do small unit Ranger missions with both men and women would be challenging to say the least. Whether from a potential fraternization problem to the obvious hygiene issues to the overall physical demands and challenges, I cannot support mixing men and women in Special Operations units like the Rangers, Special Forces or SEALs.

The following article discusses the upcoming decision in the Pentagon which may or may not open Ranger School to women:

Mattew Cox
November 28, 2014

Female soldiers hoping to attend the first-ever, co-ed class of U.S. Army Ranger School have a much better chance of completing the grueling, two-month course if they prepare for what faces them in the first week, according to Ranger School officials.

Ranger School is a punishing ordeal designed to push combat leaders, both officers and sergeants, to their mental and physical limits. About half of all candidates fail to earn the coveted, gold and black Ranger tab.

In January, Army Secretary John McHugh and Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno are expected to make a decision whether to allow females to attend the historically male-only, infantry course.

If approved, the Ranger Course Assessment will be open to all women in the grades E-4 through O-4 whose end term of service, or ETS, is no earlier than Oct. 1, 2016.

The effort is a result of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s January 2013 directive that all services open combat-arms roles to women that so far have been reserved for men. The services have until 2016 to make this happen.

Like male candidates, female Ranger School students will have to spend long hours training to prepare for weeks they will spend weighted down with infantry weapons and equipment on patrols through the thick forests of Fort Benning, Georgia, and the dense swamps of Camp Rudder, Florida.

They’ll also be expected to climb and repel in the steep mountain terrain of Camp Merrill near Dahlonega, Georgia.

Ranger School candidates have to endure these challenges on two meals a day while getting three to four hours of sleep a night for eight weeks.

“It is a tough and demanding course,” said Col. David Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Benning. “The graduation rate for 2013 was a 45-percent grad rate.”

“In the summer the guys are wet all the time; in the winter they’re cold all the time,” he said. “The toughest part is having that mental strength, mental toughness to persevere in this over a period of 62 days.”

RAP Week

But the challenge that “overwhelmingly” eliminates most Ranger School candidates occurs on the first day of the week-long Ranger Assessment Phase, Fivecoat said.

“We lose the bulk of our students the first week when they show up to Ranger School,” he said. “The number one obstacle that causes Ranger students to fail is the Ranger Physical Fitness Assessment on the first day.”

Students must perform 49 push-ups in two minutes and 59 sit-ups in two minutes. They have to run five miles in 40 minutes and do six chin-ups.

Many soldiers can do 49 push-ups, but they have to perform them to standard, Fivecoat said.

“We had a class in November that had 406 students show up, and we dropped 91 students for various physical fitness events that day,” he said.

In both the Army and the Marine Corps, the big question has focused on physical standards -- will the services have to lower the physical standards required for infantry and other combat-arms training for women to be successful in these jobs?

Like the Marine Corps infantry training courses, Ranger School standards “are going to stay the same,” Fivecoat said. “We have definitive standards that we apply to every Ranger student; if they can meet them, they will be successful.”

If students pass the fitness assessment, their next challenge on the first day will be the combat water survival assessment.

 The CWSA “consists of a log walk and rope drop where they have to scale a ladder 30 feet above the pond, walk across a beam, up some stairs, down some stairs and they end up at a rope,” Fivecoat said. “They have to shimmy out onto the rope and do a pull-up, and they have to ask permission to drop into the pond. They drop into the pond and they move to the side.

“Then they are given the swim test portion where they enter the lake, shed their [fighting load carrier] and rifle without panic and swim 15 meters … without panic to demonstrate their ability to swim to safety should they get into a position where they are in over their head in the swamps of Florida or anywhere else during training.”

The second morning begins with a 10-kilometer, land navigation course. Students have to find four out of five points in five hours – 2.5 hours in the dark and 2.5 hours during daylight.

Students who fail course can retest on the following day.
Following the land-nav course, students spend the rest of the afternoon crawling through the mud and negotiating other challenges on the Malvesti obstacle course.

The last hurdle of RAP is a 12-mile road march students must complete in less than three hours, carrying a rifle, fighting load carrier vest and a rucksack weighing approximately 43 pounds.

The week-long Ranger Assessment Phase accounts for about 40 percent of the students who fail to make it through the course. Another 15 percent of students fail to complete the course because of injuries and poor performance.

“After that you are at day five, so you’ve got 57 more days to go,” Fivecoat said.

Shouldering Heavy Loads

Students spend about half of Ranger School living in the field.
In addition to food, water and individual gear, candidates have to carry all the items found in a normal infantry platoon including M240 machine guns, litters, radios and extra batteries.

“The lightest guy carries about 80 pounds … that’s a student with an M4 carbine,” Fivecoat said. The load goes up when students take turns carrying heavier items such as the M240, which weighs 27.6 pounds. One hundred-round belts of blank, 7.62mm ammunition weigh five pounds each.

Students will set into patrol bases, receive missions, plan them and move seven to 10 kilometers a night to attack their objectives. The amount of time it takes to cover this distance through the woods depends on the students’ navigation skills, Fivecoat said.

“The most essential guy in Ranger School at night is the compass guy that can get you to where you are going without a lot of excess movement,” he said. “The really good platoons spend a lot less time carrying the stuff because they figure out who their good compass guys is.”

Through this time, limited rations can take a toll on students.

“The Rangers are losing weight,” Fivecoat said. “The average Ranger loses about 10 to 15 percent of his body weight from the beginning of the course to the end.”
But it’s not all about physical endurance. Students have to pass a certain number of graded patrols in each phase. They also have to pass a review from their Ranger peers, Fivecoat said.

Female Interest

The Army would not be the first service to open one its most prestigious combat schools to women. The Marine Corps in 2012 allowed women to attend the enlisted and officer infantry training courses.

In November 2013, three female Marines made history when they became the first women to graduate from the Marine Corps Infantry Training Battalion Course. Since then approximately 100 females have graduated from the course, according to a Marine officer familiar with the effort.

Despite the milestone, no female Marine officers have made it through the Infantry Officer Course. IOC is a demanding 13-week school that historically averages a 25-percent attrition rate for male Marines.

The Marine Corps recently launched a year-long experiment at Camp Lejeune, N.C., to evaluate how women perform in physically-demanding jobs such as the infantry.

The goal of the experiment is to try to determine what type of physiological profile women need to have to succeed under the current, training standards associated with direct-combat related jobs, the Marine officer said.

To help prepare students, Ranger School offers training resources on the web such as the “30-60-90 day PT plan,” Fivecoat said.

Army units also run pre-Ranger training courses for to improve their soldiers’ chances of earning the Ranger tab.

Service officials have hinted that the number of women actually interested in applying for direct-combat related assignments will be relatively small.

Fivecoat, however, said he has seen no shortage of women willing to go through Ranger School.

“There is lots of interest out there,” he said.

This old Ranger believes today's Army - and the military in general - should concern itself with its declining state of readiness instead of good old political correctness....

Charles M. Grist

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Al Capone And The Kid From Chicago

I just finished watching an old movie about Al Capone. It reminded me of a conversation I had with an old soldier from World War II who had once been a kid in Chicago.

George was in his eighties, and he was a volunteer at the detective bureau of my police department.  When we had cases that were unsolvable (no suspects, no witnesses, or no physical evidence), George would make the call to the victim and explain that we were being forced to close the case and that we were sorry we couldn’t help them.

Because George had been an infantryman in World War II and I had been an infantryman in Vietnam, we could relate to each other in ways the average person could never understand. George had participated in the invasion of Anzio and, along with his buddies, he fought his way through Italy and Europe. He was almost killed by the Nazis, and he killed some of them. He was the kind of quiet warrior that most combat veterans become.

But George also grew up in Chicago. As a young man he was a truck driver. He told me a couple of interesting stories, the first of which had to do with him running into Al Capone in a delicatessen. George was having a sandwich made when Capone and one of his henchmen walked into the deli. Capone looked at George and said, “Don’t worry about it, kid; I’ll pay for your sandwich.”

George responded with, “That’s okay, Mr. Capone, I can pay for it,” thinking he was doing the polite thing.

But Capone responded, “No, you don’t understand; I’M paying for it….”

George didn’t want to piss off the most powerful gangster in town, so he simply said, “Thank you, Mr. Capone….”

At one point during the Prohibition years, George was on the road in one of his truck jobs when he was stopped by a police officer. The officer asked what he was transporting, so George handed him the bill of lading and said “I’m carrying auto parts, officer.”

The cop looked at the paperwork, looked at the back of the truck, then told George he could go, but added “You may want to stop up ahead; your auto parts are leaking….”

A short distance away, George stopped and discovered that – unknown to him - his truck wasn’t loaded with auto parts; he was carrying a load of gin – probably for the Capone gang. The cop realized it, but let him go anyway.

This goes to show all you young people that a lot of old men probably have a couple of really interesting stories to tell….

Posted by:
Charles M. Grist


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

God's Message To America On September 11

On September 11, two American citizens observed the above cloud formation in the sky above central Virginia.

God truly does bless America....

Charles M. Grist

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Prophetic Words About Iraq From George W. Bush In 2007

That last paragraph should hold some meaning for Barack Obama. Had he worked a little harder to get a status of forces agreement to keep a contingent of American troops in Iraq to continue training the Iraqis, then ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State terrorists likely would not have been able to murder, butcher, behead or terrorize the citizens of Iraq as they have done.

Posted by Charles M. Grist

Remember September 11, 2001 - The Day The World Changed Forever

If you are a terrorist thinking about attacking America, remember what happened to Osama Bin Laden.

The lesson for you is that if you hurt Americans, we will go to the ends of the earth to hunt you down and kill you - no matter how long it takes...

Any questions?

Posted by Charles M. Grist