A female Air Force captain, whose identity has not been released to the public, raised questions over alleged lower standards for her in commando course she quit three times.
Pushed through course unwillingly
The woman was recommended for reinstatement after quitting the program three times, twice in water confidence sessions and once during land navigation. She believes the requirements for completing the course were tweaked after she had completed it and moved on to Combat Control School. “[Teammates] knew the [standard] was at one point 300 pounds for the deadlift. During the test, we were not told any standards, and I lifted 250 pounds,” the woman wrote in April. “Since I passed, they believed the standards had been bent for me.”
Detrimental to her team’s cohesion
Her decision to leave the program came from a sense of duty to her fellow students. “Had I chosen to continue, I would be responsible for leading these men,” the woman wrote. “Any bias that is created and supported by people in positions of authority (the cadre) would make it difficult for me to lead them.”
The norm for students who quit the course is to be reclassified to their old job in the Air Force. In 2019, four male students who quit the course were reclassified to other jobs. This contrasts the woman candidate, who was recommended for reinstatement to the course.
AFSCO tries to cover up lowered standards
Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, the head of Air Force Special Operations Command, has tried to refute these claims of changing requirements. “We do make changes in how we train airmen in order to improve the effectiveness of our training, but we do not lower our standards. … Period.” While the definite changing of the requirements may have been coincidental to the woman candidates arrival, the danger of pushing a female through this program simply because she is female is a possibility that cannot be ignored.