If Eric Greitens sent you his resume, you wouldn’t believe it. But maybe you have some time to kill and figure why not call him up, go to his home in Missouri, and catch him in a lie. “Very impressive resume, Mr. Greitens. A Navy SEAL and a Rhodes Scholar? Sure buddy, and I’m Mother Teresa … oh, so now you’ve worked with Mother Teresa …”
By February 20th, 2010, the Battle of Marjah had been underway for a week. In order to seize the Afghan district—an IED-infested, Taliban-dominated collection of villages and crisscrossing canals and tree lines that were a defending fighter’s dream—the U.S. military had divided its force into thirds. A task force of more than a thousand U.S. Marines, accompanied by Afghan soldiers, assaulted the northern portion of Marjah. Ditto for the central portion of the district.
And the southern third? It had been attacked by a single U.S. Army Special Forces team consisting of nine men, accompanied by a handful of Marine engineers tasked with clearing bombs from the roads and a few hundred Afghan troops that were more of a babysitting case than true partners. Such a light American footprint on at least part of the battlefield would “put an Afghan face” on the operation, as the lingo went at the time.
In April the Army will open its famous Ranger School to women, and some are concerned that the Army is tilting the evaluation to ensure that female students will graduate the course.
Sixty female soldiers will attempt the course as part of the Department of Defense’s effort to open ground combat arms units to members of both sexes. This April’s mixed Ranger School class is a “pilot program,” and the results will be used to determine whether or not the Army will open the school on a regular basis in the future.