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Protests Cause Former Sen. Jim Webb to Decline Naval Academy Award

Protests Cause Former Sen. Jim Webb to Decline Naval Academy Award

Politically correct revisionism gets another notch in its belt

Former Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), decided to turn down a Distinguished Graduate Award from the Naval Academy Alumni Association. Webb graduated from the academy in 1968.

According to the AP, Webb’s sin was an article he penned almost forty years ago, “In 1979, Webb wrote an essay for Washingtonian magazine called “Women Can’t Fight.” In it, he said the presence of women “at institutions dedicated to the preparation of men for combat command is poisoning that preparation.””

Because of something that happened FORTY YEARS AGO, “a small but vociferous group of women graduates” wrote the academy, asking them to rescind the award. They promised to cause trouble at the reception if the academy moved forward with giving Webb the award.

Everything Webb has accomplished in those four decades, including his willingness to serve his country must be overshadowed because of an antiquated opinion.

Webb released a statement:

Over the past few days the decision by the Naval Academy Alumni Association to include me as a recipient of this year’s Distinguished Graduate Award has been protested by a small but vociferous group of women graduates based on a magazine article that I wrote 38 years ago. While this article was controversial, many of these protests have wrongly characterized my reasons for having written it, my views of women, and also my record of government leadership in addressing opportunities for women in the military and in our society. Having opened up more billets for women in the Navy than any Secretary of the Navy before me, it is particularly ironic to see that these same women who are criticizing me for a magazine article in 1979 have benefited so greatly from the policies I unilaterally put into place in 1987.

I did not apply to be considered for the Distinguished Graduate Award, nor did I participate in the decision to give me the award. My classmates from the Class of 1968 nominated me. I believe this nomination was made based on my leadership performance at the Naval Academy, my record as the most decorated combat veteran of this class, my having become the first Naval Academy graduate in history to serve in the military and then become Secretary of the Navy, my having become one of only three (now four) Academy graduates ever to be elected to the United States Senate, and my literary and journalistic achievements, including having written what is widely recognized as the classic novel of the Vietnam War, as well as having received an Emmy Award for my PBS coverage of the Marines in Beirut in 1983. It is also appropriate to mention that I wrote and guided to passage the Post – 911 GI Bill, the most generous veterans’ education bill in history, which has already enabled the education of nearly 2 million veterans.

From conversations with the Alumni Association, including information passed down from top Navy leadership in the Pentagon, it is clear that those protesting my receipt of this award now threaten to disrupt the ceremonies surrounding its issuance. I am being told that my presence at the ceremony would likely mar the otherwise celebratory nature of that special day, and as a consequence I find it necessary to decline to accept the award.

Politically correct revisionism gets another notch in its belt and a great man is deprived of the honor and recognition he deserves.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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There can be no taint of heresy in the GroupThink cults, and “feminism” is certainly one.

But just one. We on the “right” have our own. (They will now identify themselves.)


A great man would have been able to weather the tempest in teapot and accept the award, sadly we have very few men with chests any longer. He may have been a great man, but now he’s merely another in a long line of men who’ve lost their spine.

it’s amazing how telling the truth is now a sin…

    JOHN B in reply to redc1c4. | March 30, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    The election has not stopped the politically correct mob rule. If they can still control what we are allowed to say or think, then we have no hope for the future.

    No, not ‘everybody.’ Surely, not us.

    Words matter: don’t give fascists that kind of power.

    Old0311 in reply to redc1c4. | March 31, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Faith…it isn’t just for religion. I doubt any of those hens will ever understand that word. Some people might say respect, but it’s more than that. You don’t entrust your life to someone because you respect that person, but because you have faith that when the caca is hitting the fan that person will make the right decisions. Back here in the “world” different rules apply, but I suspect that there are a bunch of old grunts who still have faith in him.

inspectorudy | March 30, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I long admired Webb but somewhere he drank some bad Koolaid. After being the Sec of Navy he became confused on what and who he was. After that, I no longer kept up with his career or adventures. I did notice in the last Dem primary that he was the only one that seemed to have a brain.

What’s the issue? Only 16% of women in the Navy have to get reassigned due to pregnancy. Besides, are you saying that pregnant women and women tending to babies can’t fight?

    Old0311 in reply to Paul. | March 30, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    That’s the problem with the Naval F35. Making the cockpit (Has that been renamed)large enough for a pregnant pilot carrying triplets.

The Friendly Grizzly | March 30, 2017 at 7:28 pm

Stand up, Mr. Webb. Let the hens (of both sexes) squawk and flutter thier feathers around the room. Then reply “I don’t care what you think. What you think is not relevant. Sit down and shut up!”

In short, man up.

… an antiquated opinion …

Is it? It’s not fashionable, but that hardly makes it obsolete.

I thought it was a pretty decent article. Certainly consistent with much of the voluminous academic literature on this topic, but more interesting than some. The anthropological literature does tend to suffer from windbaggery and PC brain-death; the historical material isn’t so boring. Usually.

These women just proved Webb was right 40 years ago.

I’m going to get the disclaimers out of the way up front. I have nothing but the highest regard for the women I served with as an intel officer. This won’t be very difficult for anyone who is even slightly familiar with me to understand, but many of the ladies were better intel officers and analysts than I was. One of the unsung heroes of WWII was a woman you probably never heard of; Agnes Driscoll. Some of you may be familiar with the name Joe Rochefort. He was portrayed in the movie “Midway” by Hal Holbrook. He commanded the code breakers at Pearl Harbor, who broke the Japanese operational naval code in time to give Nimitz the crucial information he needed to achieve victory. Nimitz’s staff did a study and concluded that Joe Rochefort’s and his code breakers and the advantage they gave the USN in intelligence was the equivalent of an extra carrier battle group.

Agnes Driscoll, the Navy’s premiere civilian cryptanalyst in the 1920s, trained Joe Rochefort in cryptanalysis. Rochefort was never shy about expressing his admiration for her, and the debt he owed her. She trained some of his cryptanalysts as well, and while she may not have personally trained the others she basically wrote a large portion of the curriculum. A case can be made that she won that battle. She certainly contributed far more to national defense than I did with my meager efforts.

But she didn’t belong at BUD/S or Ranger school. Just a couple of stats. We learned in the 1990s that 90% of female boots couldn’t handle the damage control equipment. Pumps and generators are heavy, and to get them to where they need to be Sailors have to haul them up and down ladders. 55% of women in the Marines can’t do three pull-ups. This is the minimum standard for men in combat arms. And all Marines are riflemen, so it’s the minimum standard for men, full stop, and I never met a Marine who was satisfied with just three. H3ll, I was a squid and I could do 22, and no Marine liked to be outshown by swabbie. But women in the Marines pull-ups are optional. They can pass this requirement simply by maintaining a bent-arm hang from a pull-up bar for 70 seconds.

How much respect, or trust, do you imagine women who can’t do three pull-ups will get? Or women who couldn’t help me haul a dewatering/firefighting pump down a couple of ladders if her life depended on it. And if it’s necessary for us to be hauling pumps around a warship, her life does depend on it.

As an aside, since I’m touching on the subject of firefighting, do you know what men who are firefighters call women when they’re not around? Firewatchers. On average (key words) they’re pretty much useless when it comes to fighting fires.

Then there’s the question of leadership. Only a socialist community organizer could come up with the phrase “leading from behind.” That’s insane. To lead you have to be in front. A friend of mine who was an enlisted Green Beret before getting out, going to college, and becoming an intel officer (and no, he wasn’t lying like the fake SEAL you meet in some bar in Ohio) once commented to me that unless you can do 100 push-ups you are not qualified to lead men into combat.

He spoke volumes. To lead you have to have the brains, the character, and the physical strength and stamina to get out in front. There are minimum standards at BUD/S. But if you’re going through BUD/S as an officer, you had better be doing far better than the minimum. The SEAL instructors are evaluating you. Asking themselves if they want to have you leading them, as SPECWAR is a small community and if you get in you will almost certainly serve together. If your instructors decide they don’t want you in charge of SEALs, you will not make it through BUD/S.

The qualities that make a good leader are interdependent. It requires character to develop the discipline to get into the shape you need to be in. And if you don’t have the required strength and stamina, you’ll shortly be too exhausted to think straight. I can cite hundreds of examples of otherwise good commanders who royally screwed up because of the demands of combat they hadn’t slept for 48 hours.

The bottom line is it’s suicidal for a nation to put women in all types of combat. I suppose someone is going to bring up the Israelis. Yes, the border guard Caracal Battalion is mixed. But on the flip side the IDF changed its mind and closed armor to women. Why? They couldn’t handle the task of changing tracks and putting their tanks back into action.

I’m not at all claiming that just because I could for a period of time do over a 100 push-ups and 22 pull-ups I’m a better person than your average woman. Please reread my opening comments. What I am saying is that I have too much respect for the women I served with to make false statements about them and attribute to them attributes they didn’t have. I was far from the baddest bad @## in the armed forces. But in 20 years, despite serving with women who had earned national titles in various sports, I never came across a woman who was nearly as strong as I was. Again, key words; “on average.” I don’t doubt there are Olympic level athletes who could have kicked my tail, but I never came across one in the Navy.

I cannot wait until we have large numbers of women snowflakes in combat units and, when combat does start, how they (along with the male snowflakes) will demand the enemy use quieter ammunition because all that shooting noise hurts their ears, that regular daily breaks in the war are recognized so that they can be assured of their rest, that all that mud and such be cleaned up from the battlefield, and that their combat load be limited to 10 pounds (for anything more would be bad for their posture). Perhaps the greatest concern about all of this is where do they all go to complain about all the microaggressions that not only come from their commanders, but from the enemy as well.

Orwellington | March 31, 2017 at 8:45 am

I hope Jim Webb will publish the remarks/speech that he would have given after accepting the award. I want to hear what the man has to say.

buckeyeminuteman | March 31, 2017 at 9:31 am

The Hatch Act and UCMJ come to mind.

So Naval officers planned on protesting an official event at the Naval Academy. Last time I checked military personnel in uniform are not allowed to protest anything. On a military installation, there is no protesting at all, in or out of uniform.

“threatened to cause trouble at the reception”? Are you kidding me? And these gutless SOB’s, Webb included, let them get away with this? I am a former Marine and I still maintain that allowing the feminization of the military was a huge mistake. Now, they’re taking orders from these malcontents?

Humphrey's Executor | March 31, 2017 at 2:08 pm

I’m an Army vet and tho’ I never was one, I believe being a company or battalion commander in combat has to be one of the hardest, most stressful, and consequential jobs in world.

Allowing women and gays in the military only adds to their headaches because on top of everything else, now these commanders have to deal with the inevitable relationship dramas between their soldiers. Sorry, they just don’t need that extra burden.