Female AFSOC candidate given special treatment, was a victim of ‘people chirping’ about ‘cultural norms’

| June 10, 2022

Air Force Special Operations Command shield, Color

We talked about an Air Force female officer who was attempting to be the first woman to complete the Air Force’s Special Operations training pipeline a while back. At the time there were accusations that the commanders of the program allowed the woman to continue despite her quitting (which is normally a line you can’t un-cross). There were also some suspiciously changed fitness standards.

We now have an IG report on the matter, that of course exonerates everyone. From Air Force Times;

Despite confusing fitness standards, Air Force didn’t play favorites with female special tactics trainee, IG says

An Air Force inspector general investigation into alleged favoritism in the service’s special operations enterprise concluded that leaders did not bend the rules for a female trainee who pulled out of contention for an elite combat job.

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall green-lit the investigation after an anonymous letter posted to social media in January alleged that service officials are turning a blind eye to the captain’s poor performance as she ventures to become the first female special tactics officer. But the four-month inquiry found that Air Force special warfare standards were not lowered specifically to benefit women.

Leadership did, however, let the trainee restart after quitting late in the process. That did not amount to foul play, in part because Air Force rules did not expressly forbid reinstating pipeline dropouts, according to the watchdog’s final report published Tuesday. Her valuable insight into cyber operations and as a woman earned her unique opportunities as well.

“Facts did not support the letter’s claims of gender-based preferential treatment,” the report said. “The letter’s assertions are based mainly on … ‘cultural norms,’ knowledge of half the story and widely spread speculation fueled by special warfare students, instructor cadre and operators.”

About three dozen people provided sworn testimony to investigators or offered additional statements and information on related matters.

Special tactics is the Air Force’s name for a collection of commando jobs, including combat controllers, pararescue and special reconnaissance airmen, who are all led by special tactics officers. It’s a small cohort within the far larger Air Force Special Operations Command, comprising roughly 1,000 operators, and is the service’s most decorated community since the Vietnam War.

The female captain, called “Candidate X” in the report, is one of only a few women who have attempted to earn a commando’s beret since the Air Force opened the prestigious career fields to female airmen in 2016. None have succeeded.

“AFSOC and [Air Education and Training Command] are working together to ensure the training pipeline meets the demands of what we need for the operator of today and into the future,” the Air Force said in a statement provided to Air Force Times Tuesday. “Our commanders are meeting with their teams to ensure open communication about the investigation results and to address any questions/concerns.”

More at the source, including their characterization as this all being “a web of misunderstandings.” It’s not as if the military has a policy written down in detail about everything, no matter how minor. Our elite special tactics training is apparently just cobbled together and wrapped in duct tape.

Category: "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", Air Force, WTF?

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26Limabeans

Some special ops are more special than others?

M48DAT

OMG, we’re all going to hell. Wrong wrong wrong!

I used to love picking up a copy of the Onion in newspaper form years ago when I visited Madtown for work.

Sapper3307

Extra special?

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Roh-Dog

Absolutely, but I thought the self-deletion ratio is 10:1 or is that deaths from accidental deaths at work?

I always mess up those stats because they drive me to drink and its tenthirtyinthemorningish.

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Eggs

It’s 5 O’Clock somewhere Roh-Dog 🍺😎

SFC D

If you pour Guinness in a coffee cup, it looks like cappuccino. Or so I’ve been told.

Green Thumb

Par for the course.

Been to a few pipeline schools in my day and I have never seen a “quit” get reinstated.

Roh-Dog

Well, that was the ‘cultural norm’ of troglodytes. This is the kinder, gentler machine gun hand philosophy that’ll pay some great dividends when the sophistry ends.

The act of quitting is now affirming intent to participate. ‘Embracing the pampering’ is the new embracing the suck.
This is us, and wez is the enemy.

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Green Thumb

Equity will get people killed.

I hope this woman and the USAF get that point.

USMC Steve

They won’t. But they are basically noncombatants anyway.

poetrooper

“Equity will get people killed.”

True, but it won’t get them killed equitably… 😠 

Anonymous

Ah, the cultural norms of “how we do things around here” and “who you know” of corrupt good ol’ boys that progressives use to turn everything into crap!

Last edited 1 month ago by Anonymous
rgr769

Anybody here ever hear the phrase “cultural norms” at any time during their active duty service? Back in my day, everyone would by scratching their heads and thinking WTF is that. We had rules, regs, and SOP’s; no cultural norms.

SFC D

Leadership did, however, let the trainee restart after quitting late in the process.”

“Her valuable insight into cyber operations and as a woman earned her unique opportunities as well.”

Special treatment, any way you look at it.

KoB

Spot on SFC D. She received special treatment because she was…you know…Special. Betcha she gave the G’nrl “Special Treatment” too.

SFC D

Her future leadership will always be questioned by her subordinates. She’s well and truly fooked.

Martinjmpr

So, can they find even ONE example where a male airman or officer who quit was allowed to rejoin? Just ONE?

BennSue

“Her valuable insight into cyber operations and as a woman earned her unique opportunities as well.

That. That right there. That is favoritism, based on her gender. I have no idea if she was a capable candidate, or whether she was harassed, or if she was cajoled to return after quitting by being promised something. However, I do know the minute we label an Airman, Soldier, Sailor or Marine by their gender/race/religion/sexual preference, they lose all credibility because they are not based on their merits as a member of the military, but by a factor that has nothing to do with outstanding service.

rgr769

But, but how do we know she is really a “woman?” Was the person who said that a biologist?

11B-Mailclerk

Sane: Quitters never win, and Winners never quit

Insane: ITS WRONG TO KEEP SCORE!

Anonymous

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jeff LPH 3 63-66

She had the right idea that she had to make the grade without standards being lowered if they were. I read the original story. I don’t believe the IG on his findings.

5JC

The reason you can’t unquit things at certain places and schools is because quitters are less useful in difficult situations.

poetrooper

Because common sense dictates that they can never again be trusted not to quit on some future, even more difficult, mission… 🙄 

Hack Stone

Let’s just cut to the chase, cut out the middle gender neutral individual, and fast track a transgender troop to the front of the line for a training slot. They will have a “female” graduate to show to the public, and strike a blow (pun intended) for LGBQT+ community.

A Proud Infidel®™

I saw EO quotas being pimped EVERY TIME I went to some Wienership (*OOPS!*, Leadership) School before I retired from the Military. Nowadays any White Cisgender Male wanting to take a top slot in a class will merely have to show up wearing a skirt and high heels calling himself one of the whatchamacallit genders to put himself in a preferred class.

Mick

Standards are never lowered for females in difficult training pipelines, nor do they ever receive any special/preferential treatment.

Following Tailhook ’91, in the Naval Air Training Command no standards were ever lowered for female Student Naval Aviators or female Student Naval Flight Officers, nor did any of them ever receive any special/preferential treatment.

Everyone knows that.

Anonymous

Pay no attention to the “first female F-14 pilot” barely getting passed and then lawn-darting her plane, of course…

rgr769

Or, that second one.

David

There was no general policy to go easy on women in general. This particular woman appears to have been spoon-fed, but I am sure it has nothing to do with her sex. Unh-hunh. Right. You betcha. OK now.