Our Sparkly and Shiny New Social Justice Armed Forces1
Part III: Going to War (well, sort of)
What, you’re still here, Top? I thought you were retiring.
“I was, sir. But, what with the upcoming campaign, and this and that personnel management issue, all retirements are on indefinite hold. What that means, in practice, is no qualified male infantrymen are being let go for any reason short of death. They’ve threatened to use voodoo on those insufficiently alive, too.”
But the company looked at full strength last time I stopped by…hmmm…the barracks do seem a little quiet.
“Yes, sir, they’re quiet; nobody’s fucking for the nonce. Well, maybe the gay squad might be, after duty hours, but nobody else.”
Aha, so the threat of war was enough to turn the officers, non-coms, and men serious for a change?
“Not on your life, sir, nobody’s fucking because nearly all the straight females have found one way or another to bug out. Usually one way, actually. We’re down under eighty percent strength now, so deemed non-combat ready. There isn’t a combat ready line infantry company left in the army at the moment, not that you’ll read about that in the papers or see it on TV, mind you. No tanker or infantry companies, or engineer companies either. In the whole Army, not even one is manned enough for battle.”
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot happened, Top?
“It started with Captain Sapho von Ruggenmunschen, actually. Though holding a slot in the battalion’s MTOE. The Modified Table of Organization and Equipment, she and all the other Zampolits got themselves classified as installation personnel, rather than MTOE personnel, so they’re not going anywhere. Probably ever. It’s sort of like the difference between a steel desk and a steel tank, actually; the steel desks stay home. The enlisted assistant Zampolits had the same favor done for them.”
“For the lower units it started at the top. Lieutenant Dainty, our lipstick lesbian executive officer, decided she wasn’t all that lesbian after all and held a very large scale social activity in the company dayroom every night for days until she tested positive for pregnancy. Being pregnant of course, she’s not going anywhere. But she sure set an example for the rest.
“It’s funny, actually, because there was a woman I knew as a lieutenant, straight women too, and good looking besides, who hid the fact she was five months pregnant so she could deploy with her platoon. They don’t mint too many like that though.”
No, I suppose not. But surely they can’t all have gotten pregnant that fast.
“Not all, sir, no; only twenty three of them managed to get upgenockte so far. A few are still trying, of course. Others took the single parent route.”
But I thought single parents were supposed to have dependent care plans in place, Top, so that having custody of their children wouldn’t affect deployability.
“Yeahhhh….um, no. Lemme tell ya about a conversation I had with a father of one of our females, one of the few non-lesbian ones willing to go. At least I think she was willing; she put on a very good act if she wasn’t willing. Anyway, I spoke to her father. This is what he said to me: ‘So, First Sergeant, let me see if I’ve got this straight; I take my grandson under my roof and you take my little girl to war? Not happening, the kid can go to hell but my little girl stays home, nice and safe.’ We had four like that, actually. Not one set of grandparents proved willing to take in their grandkids if the price of doing that was risking their daughters. Why one would almost think that the American people weren’t entirely serious about this sex-equality thing.”
Tsk, Top; catty, catty.
“Meh…sir. Anyway, with twenty-three pregnancies, four refusals to care for dependents, we were already hurting, but then came the sick calls, and a host of female specific injuries, illnesses, and complaints. Those did for another dozen. None of them even had to desert, though half a dozen men did desert. All that’s left now of the company’s women is Staff Sergeant Levee, whose life has gotten a lot easier since the disappearance of Lieutenant Dainty, and one of the mortar chicks, Specialist Adame, who’s frankly kind of a sick bitch anyway. Caught her in the dayroom, one night, watching the first thirty minutes of Saving Private Ryan, over, and over, and over again. When she says, ‘Wouldn’t miss this for the world, Top,’ I am inclined to believe her.
“Course that’s dumb as a stump, too, because with or without women in any numbers, this company couldn’t stand up to the Yemeni Boy Scouts, presuming there is such an organization. But she’s young and doesn’t know that.”
Why not, Top? What’s the problem? You indicated it was women and now they’re gone. So shouldn’t the problem go away, too?
“I never said the problem was women. I showed you we had a problem with women present, integrated, and coddled by the politics of the thing. The problem is men and women, mixed together in the same unit. And, please, spare me the ‘but they’re mixed together in civilian life and in families.’ Only the box-o-rocks ignorant and criminally stupid can fail to see the difference between a rifle company and Widgets-R-Us, the latter of which has not yet, not even once, had ‘to close with and destroy the enemy by means of fire and maneuver, nor repel his attack by fire, close combat, and counter-attack’.”
“And the damage isn’t undone when the women go away and the unit is no longer mixed, or not heavily mixed. Point one: the men of this company have seen their commander led around by the dick by a cute little female driver. They’ve seen him fail to discipline her, and fail to discipline her friends, lest his nookie be cut off. You think a one of them trusts Vimpenscheisse with his life after seeing that? No, not even one man here is that stupid.
“Every squad member here, except for SSG Levee and the leader of the gays, has seen his squad leader coddle one or more females, seen the females allowed out of onerous duty, and seen them violate the regs over and over, and get away with it.
“Even when the girls weren’t allowed to get away with it just on the promise of a future wet dick, the whole system from the Department of the Army on down has been predicated on favoring and coddling them.
“No, sir; no man here, least of all me, trusts battalion, brigade, division, the Army, or the country, with his life. They’ve all already shown how little that life is valued if there’s a political point to score.”
So what are you going to do, Top?
“They’re recalling some old officers and NCOs to take over to create at least a minimally capable division, here. Got to, all the current ones are too contaminated. They’re also winnowing out physically capable REMFs from wherever they can be found and then sending them here as grunts, even if their MOS is clerk. That’s been tried before is is always something of a crap shoot; the Army never explains to REMFs, any more than it explained to women, that, ‘You’re a soldier in order to fight and maybe to die, and you may have to.’ Some will, frankly, collapse at the news. And it’s still going to be two to three years before we can fight our way out of a paper bag. We not only have to relearn what’s right; we have to unlearn what’s wrong, which is harder.”
“On the plus side, by the time we’re ready to fight the current enemy will have completely overrun the entire theater of war. That means the Marines are going to have to force an entrance. Since they’re just as fucked up as we are – and it will take them two to three years, too – we should be okay. Should be…well…we can hope. In a few years. Maybe. Until the next over-promoted politically correct clown decides on the next criminal idiocy.”
Next Week: Something else, anything else, because this is too damned depressing.
1 This column is dedicated to Liz Bourke, a reviewer and blogger at TOR.com
Photo by zabelin/Getty Images
Tom Kratman is a retired infantry lieutenant colonel, recovering attorney, and science fiction and military fiction writer. His latest novel, The Rods and the Axe, is available from Amazon.com for $9.99 for the Kindle version, or $25 for the hardback. A political refugee and defector from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, he makes his home in Blacksburg, Virginia. He holds the non-exclusive military and foreign affairs portfolio for EveryJoe. Tom’s books can be ordered through baen.com.
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