Brigadier General Malcom Frost
The latest attack on the integrity of the United States Army by PEOPLE magazine’s Susan Keating is more than inaccurate, it is pure fiction.
Ms. Keating continues to question the tremendous achievement of the first two women to pass the Army’s elite Ranger School. In her latest article, she makes a number of very serious allegations, which are flat out wrong.
She claimed that women were allowed to repeat a Ranger training class until they passed, while men were held to a strict pass/fail standard. That is false. She charged that women regularly practiced on Ranger School’s land navigation course while men saw it for the first time when they went to the school. Again, false. She accused an Army general of calling female candidates together to tell them they could not quit the course. Yet again, false.
There are so many errors and falsehoods that it may be better to cite two snippets that actually had a modicum of truth. Yes, Maj. Gen. Miller did personally observe this Ranger course – as he has every Ranger course since assuming command. That’s his job; but while he may view or even participate in training events, he has never graded or influenced the grade of a Ranger patrol.
It’s also true that the women were in their own platoon prior to attending the Ranger course. This occurred as part of routine continuing education and training in preparation for Ranger School. But this was much the same as what male infantry officers do between completing the infantry officer basic course – which female students cannot take – and the start of Ranger School. Quite frankly, that actually placed them at tremendous disadvantage, since they were not with a unit that trains nearly every day on many of the same challenges and obstacles faced by most Ranger students.
Ms. Keating has requested to interview dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals associated with Army Ranger training. The only person she has not asked to interview is its commander, Maj. Gen. Miller. And it was Maj. Gen. Miller who briefed and planned for the possibility that no women would pass Ranger School; he neither guaranteed nor promised their success.
Celebrity gossip may not require fact-checking, fairness or objectivity, but serious journalism does. On that count Ms. Keating has failed PEOPLE magazine, its readers, and, quite frankly, every man – or woman – who has ever earned the coveted Ranger tab.
Malcolm B. Frost
Brigadier General, U.S. Army
Chief of Public Affairs
Susan Katz Keating
Gen. Frost, this statement is a lie, and you know it. Stop instigating an online mob attack. It’s not in keeping with Army values. The only reason I did not speak to Gen. Miller is because he wouldn’t talk to me. Instead of obfuscating and making a personal attack, please respond to my requests. My sources in RTB are in fear for their careers, because they have been told to remain silent about a nonclassified program. I repeat: Allow me to speak to the RI’s, cadre, students, and medics alone and without fear of retribution to them. I am available all week. When can they meet?
Susan Katz Keating
Gen. Frost, one of the commenters on this thread says I should be put in front of a firing squad. I have been held at gunpoint while reporting a story in a conflict zone, and I know what that feels like. So I don’t quite get the joke. Nor do I understand why the U.S. Army would leave that comment up on their FB page. Is this what you meant to stir up? Please explain. Please tell the 8K+ people who liked this post and the 900+ people who shared it why, instead of supplying the interviews and information requested of you, you chose to make a personal attack and level charges that you know to be untrue