Skip to main content

tv   Mary Jennings Hegar Discusses Shoot Like a Girl  CSPAN  April 23, 2017 8:15am-9:18am EDT

8:15 am
in opposite to be and mark lawyer provides a history of the us special forces and their role in the world today in oppose any foe. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for many of the authors in the near future on book tv on c-span2. >> tonight we have mary jennings hegar with her book "shoot like a girl: one woman's dramatic fight in afghanistan and on the home front" which details her time serving in afghanistan. [applause] and her fight to eliminate the military's ground combat exclusion policy which cost female arm servicemembers from serving in combat roles.she is here in austin with her family and works as an executive coach and consultant and goes back to her all the water by mentoring cadets and
8:16 am
lecturing at the university of texas. >> to continue about her experiences in the military and her fight for increased military effectiveness for equality, we are so please to have her here tonight and without further ado, mary jennings hegar. [applause] >> thank you so much and thank you to bookpeople, you people have been so warm and return your book and buy it from bookpeople. i've been speaking for seven years and i'm so nervous right now because i've talking to a bunch of people i know and love and respect, many of whom are in our office so i please ask you to not evaluate this speech. so i am just going to amazed by how many people are here and i want to stay on this time because a lot of you haven't seen in a while but my mom wanted me to speak for like an hour and then someone else told me, be brief, be funny. so i'm going to try to find somewhere in between those. i'm going to read just a short excerpt from the book
8:17 am
and then talk for like six or seven minutes and we will get to the signing. a brief disclaimer before i give this story. i don't want to give away the punchline so maybe i should do the disclaimer afterwards because i don't want to give away the punchline. i don't know if , i lost my place here. i'm already going so well. all right. >> at this point i have gone through pilot training, i've gone through my first set of deployments with the california international guard. for the end of the two-month operation that i was talking about briefly in the book, we were all looking forward to upcoming breaks, that was where most of us planned to spend time at home. at the time california was experiencing one of the worst wildfire seasons in recent history so before we were able to leave we recast from
8:18 am
the marijuana eradication commission that we were there to pull out marijuana from the force . >> we were recast with helping local firefighters protect homes and forests from the destruction. we've been fighting to protect the same forest out of which we had deployed marijuana. fighting was an incredible ordeal, almost like navigating through a terrible storm. the smoke was so thick we couldn't rely on vision alone. in other to see each other our maintenance crews markup are helicopters in the sea. it was a sight to see, our fighting machines covered in hot pink candy stripes along with a three foot tall pink j94 painted on our belly. for large operations such as this, we would augment our core team with air groups and squadrons. my career now included response who was oursquadrons director of operations. the second in command . he was a slight injury, steve was a flight engineer on the day we got shot down.
8:19 am
add weimer was our experienced gunner, his callsign was blue as anyou're my boy blue . he was an easy-going, smart dude who was quick to smile. the four of us had grouped together and we were together as a group rolled into the wildfire undertaking. the locals it appeared were as mad at us on these missions, they were angry at us on the marijuana eradication missions because we were confiscating their pot so they were mad on these missions because we were getting out of their pond to fight the wildfires and they were using this to irrigate their crops. though the way that wildfires depression works is firefighters on the ground tell us where they want to drop the water. usually that means we fly through the smoke in order to drop water next to an active fire. reese was an excellent aircraft commander and he knew he had a young copilot. that was me. one day as unnerving as i'm sure it wasfor him he let me take control and while we
8:20 am
were filling out water buckets , they filled up the water bucket and slowly stand back up, he parachutes this bright neon orange assembly attached to the belly of the helicopter. and as he threw the helicopter over the water source i could hear the back enters calling out when he beat, 15, 10, five, four, three, hold. okay, start back up.that was the point where the bucket was at the top of the water. at this point i started to slowly lift up so the bucket would open and fill with water as we climbed and this was a delicate operation. it was heavy to lift this extra weight and this can be an recipe for disaster. in the event of emergency both pilots are ready to dump switchwhich releases all the water out of the bucket. reese was carefully guarding the controls . there's some language here that i'm going to skip. who that is this guy?
8:21 am
at 12:00, steve called out as i breathe trying to hold a stable harbor. and it slow climb while keeping all parts of the aircraft out of the water. if i crested forward, i would correct backward which would put us in danger because it would put the tail lower than the nose. i flicked the grants out the back of the aircraft to see an angry bearded middle-aged man scaling us about 10 feet above the water level. is put him i level with us so a sense of unease began to permeate the cabin. either he was mad at us because we had confiscated his weed or he was pissed because we were taking water in the middle of a drought. either way it wasn't a good situation. he could throw something at us and hit the rotor and we would end up drowning in this whole. all because we were trying to save his house. even worse, he could shoot at us and we would have no way to defend ourselves. transitioning forward i
8:22 am
announced as i pushed the stick forward and pull the clutch up to give us more power to go from the harbor to forward flight, fortunately the lunatic was directly in our takeoff lane as the trees all around us precluded a different path, we have to fly right over him which normally we would never do. oh shipped, water is away, somebody said. he reported with a chuckle quickly, i glanced over at reese and he had an expression on his face of old. i looked down and somebody had accidentally tripped the bucket switch because the guy on the hill had gotten 200 gallons of water. [laughter] from the back i hear hot, we got you. steve shouted to the uproarious laughter, spoken like a four-month compressed time and welcoming back, i haven't read it. he began, let's find another place to go. we all had a good chuckle.
8:23 am
we flew to another place with a new bucket full of water, we flew back into the action. you were just high enough above the flames but it wasn't uncommon to get overheated over hours of racing like a marshmallow over a campfire. we were careful not to get too close but sometimes we pushed it in that day we were flying as low as we could buy enough spot chosen by the firefighters on the ground. we saw a large tree on the hill to my left and i don't know if everything around it burned down or it had always been taller but it stood three feet around everything around it and was engulfed by flames. as we passed we got a little too close and i could feel the skin on my neck starting to sting like a bad sunburn. i was surprised leo hadn't said anything behind me but three seconds later he darted popping loudly.
8:24 am
that was too close. i inhaled so much heat i couldn't talk for a minute. i thought my pfizer was going to melt. we glanced at me, we were into the effect of the aircraft and grew flying on the side of the fire and we had been concentrating on flying high enough above it, the fact that it was on its five, let's not do that again he said. at the end of the day we smelled like chain smokers and suffered from heat exhaustion. the hotel is usually quiet but half the crew ended up dozing off, exhausted. sometimes we hit a drive-through on the way back but mostly we ended up exhausted. three days into the firefighting we started having more fun, we were becoming firefighters. we had no idea how long we be there he had felt like we could identify different areas of the forest by the look and smell of smoke as each unique tree work different. wow, i explained one morning as we began our first trip into the cloud of smoke, this smells like crap, i hope we are under a trash site. it kind of smells like a skunk. you people in austin got a lot faster than i did. great, steve piped in. i want to score with the front desk check.
8:25 am
like it's the smoke that's keeping you from getting lucky. whatever you need to tell yourself. we all laughed and the intellect of the day went downhill from there as we traded jabs and laughed at one another, even started keeping the other pilots on a radiofrequency when they would hit fuel and have to return to the airport for more gas. this was ridiculous as we know because your fuel doesn't determine your flow but it was a good-natured ribbing about having one more get out of your tech. not a smart thing to do to see who can you fly the longest on your fuel tank we may have directed too much ourselves, flying until we were running on fumes . eventually it was time to drive back to the hotel. lou pointed out a diner on our route and despite our exhaustion we jumped at the chance to stop and grab a bite to eat. it was during this meal i began to feel like the heat
8:26 am
exhaustion was getting to us. everyone was uncomfortably giggling and you been up to longer working in the sun too much and we devoured our dinner, ordered more food . we began texting other crews, trying to get them to join the party. we were having too good a time to call it a night. eventually we thought it would be funny to start texting our flight commander. no one seemed to realize this was a great idea given that it was 10:00 at night. he had us with a sobering response. i glanced down at my phone when my text notification being and what i read just about made me lose my dinner. i looked at reese and realized he had gotten the same text. >> are you guys high, the text said? we're going to have to test your whole crew when you get back. >> understand as military aviators we did not have experience with this because we get tested every 90 days or so and it you did this as a child, it wasn't the path to go into in the military. we looked at each other in terror until reese let out a chuckle and began laughing his. [bleep] off area we laugh at
8:27 am
the ridiculous suggestion and a few seconds later i stopped laughing. oh my god, we were all high. the fire we were working all day must havebeen in a cannabis field . we told blue and steve and they shook their heads in disbelief. none of us had any experience in what being high like, so we started looking at each other laughing and panicking at the same time. these eyes are always bloodshot, blue said. he was right and we enjoyed a good laugh. everything was funnier than usual that night. you all knew what was going on. i was just glad to have the experience and i couldn't have picked a better group of guys to have it with jolly old 94. i realize that drugs are bad later and hard, not drugs, that's right. [applause] i should prescreen
8:28 am
that story a little bit. i've been speaking for about seven years and i always felt variations on the same story but i have to be honest, that story is all of chapter 8, it's been published on mary clare and it takes way too long and i don't want to keep you here that long, it's going to be a long one for signing i think so that story has a lot of lessons, a lot of leadership lessons and usually it's about how to change the world and become an accomplished person and i look out of the crowd and i can't give that face because you guys are also, i respect you so much and you're already so accomplished so i had this last night in denver and i was talking to college students and i can talk to them about that but i'm going to change it up a bit. i apologize in advance because this is a difficult time for me to talk about. i'm going to tell you a different story. it's a summer night in 2007, it's my first deployment.
8:29 am
we're all playing xbox until two in the morning and all of a sudden our radios go off and everything gets serious because we been called out on in medevac. so we get into the aircraft and start taxiing out and i start getting more details coming over the radio. that's my baby. it's causing a theological response. [laughter] so we start getting more details over the radio and we hear we are going into an area that's incredibly hot. they're going to launch two taxis with with us which is not normal, they only do that when were going into the worst areas and we're going out to save a three-year-old local national who had some long burns because he had walked in on his dad making a bomb, that's how deadly that bomb is in the fertilizer in the chemicals in the air burned his lungs. quietly we were ready to go into anything to save this
8:30 am
life, not that any life is more valuable than anotherbut when you're saving a kid it's a little different . and we start up the rotors and you can feel the rotors pulsing and it's kind of, it's similar to how the crew is feeling. the crew is kind of not very jovial, not joking around like we normally are. people crack jokes but it's not landing and we realize this is going to be a really tough mission.we had out, come in for a landing. we're on night vision goggles so we execute a brownout which for some of my veterans know is one of the worst things. we execute a good landing, get on the ground safely, change our pjs for our medical special forces types and now it's time to sit and wait. wait for them to bring the patient back in on my night vision goggles, i do see a movement in the corner of my goggles. so i turned and i look and we are stepping through the
8:31 am
checklist and there's never downtime, there's never silence, you're always accomplishing something but an ounce to the crew what i see and there's silence in the cockpit. i see a mob of people starting to form, across the town. they're pointing at us and talking to each other and then they start walking towards us and then they start running and the crowd is getting bigger as there are more people coming out and more and more and now they're running at us. this is the worst possible scenario because we don't want to pick up and leave because we're trying to save someone's life, we don't want to hurt anybody and even though they're running at us, they could be coming because they are like what is that noise? most people haven't seen a car, let alone a helicopter and we don't want to get hurt ourselves in an aircraft with me are my brothers and sisters that i would die for so the worst of all possible scenarios. i take silence until the
8:32 am
apache what i see and they confirmed that what they're seeing as well and as i hold my breath because we don't have a standard operating procedure for this, i see this apache come through and just buzz them at like 10 feet and you can hear the needle off the record and everybody stops and it was the perfect show of force because it didn't hurt anybody but show them hate, we've got some help with us. those there's those army guys when we need them and if you want to hurt us, you should rethink that and if you are coming to check us out, check us out from there. we loaded the patient and took off uneventfully and it was great. he got the medical care that he needed but it was a high stress, tense mission that we were doing because wewanted to win the hearts and minds . especially in a town that's so anti-us military, we show them that we can do some good. so that story is the
8:33 am
culmination of me following my passion and my dream and my calling and it probably comes as no surprise that along that road there were a lot of people who tried to stop me from accomplishing that and getting there, either well-intentioned people who were trying to protect me or didn't think i could succeed or wanted to me to be happy and didn't think i was tough enough and didn't think women should be in combat but i never let anybody deter me from my path and i faced a lot of doors shut in my face that later i had a reporter asked me how do you push through all that failure? and i didn't understand what they were talking about, they meant all the doors being closed in my face and i was like oh, i never thought of it as failure i guess. i thought of it as something that was making it harder for me to accomplish my goal and i think that's important when you think about following your dreams. you know, i would challenge anybody because people come to me touring and this kind
8:34 am
of thing and in this crowd is hard but i would challenge anybody was having a midlife crisis, i'll let you guess looking out over there. it's definitely not my husband. i would challenge you to identify what stirs your soul and what is your passion and then flicked away the barriers and negative people and people who demonize your goal in your dream and tell you is wrong and explains to you why you can't do it or you shouldn'tdo it and just flick goes away , including the fear of failure and the reason i picked this to talk about is that because i think it's applicable in any case. i have written this book and reached a lot of people and i've gotten to hundreds of emails from people across the country and i've never read one email that said i really wanted to be a pilot and i tried really hard but my
8:35 am
eyesight wasn'tgood enough and i tried really hard that i couldn't make it . not once. i've gotten so many emails from people saying i really wanted to do what you did but i was so afraid i wasn't going to make it that i didn't try. and i got an email from a woman who said i wanted to be a combat search and rescue helicopter pilot and i wish i had read your book idea years ago because i think maybe i could have done it but i was so afraid i would be rejected and i would fail, then what would that mean for me? but your book willsit on my shelf forever as a reminder of what could have happened . that broke my heart. my wish for you guys is that nobody that you all know is ever in that situation because i think the most important thing to point out about that story is that at the end of her email she told
8:36 am
me she was 24 years old. i was a pilot when i was 28. i told her you still have four years, you could still do it but getting up so early so long, i couldn't believe it. i think that i'm shifting my message a little bit from changing the world to don't sweat something likefear or rejection , trying out a new dance move on the dance floor, writing abook , pursuing a career that you are afraid you're going to fail at, so what? i've failed that 20 of things, it doesn't say anything about you though i think that's important. what i would say to her and i think i may craft this email and reply back to her is some words of wisdom i heard recently. i heard fate rarely calls upon us at the hour of our choosing. a person who said that to me in a serious moment i asked, that's really deep. where did you hear that? who said that? [laughter] so my favorite
8:37 am
learning moment of that whole story is that inspiration is everywhere. it doesn't have to be in a book but it can be in a children's cartoon but let's make sure that's what our kids are watching and that we glean wisdom from that too. inspiration is everywhere, find what inspires you and follow your heart, lift the barriers away, don't let the negative people stop you and you out there and save the world. thank you so much. [applause] that's it. i hope you guys have some good q and day because we are about to sit down and do that, or we going to do that now? great. i'm really excited about your
8:38 am
book. my mother-in-law told me a movie is also being made, what can you tell us about the movie? >> i'm an introvert. like, myers-briggs, serial introvert and a private person and i wrote a book about the history of rescue in afghanistan and women in combat that didn't get sold and my agent convinced me the only way i was going to get the story out is if i told my story and under duress, she promised me it would be a couple hundred books told to my friends and family and sit on my shelf and inform this very academic discussion and she lied. six weeks after the book was sold, the movie rights were sold to tri-star and the book wasn't even written so i said crap, i have to write the book or return the check . so it happened so fast and angelina jolie got attached to the project to play me, obviously.
8:39 am
i mean, i walk through the grocery store, i get mistaken for her all the time. so the great thing about her being attached other than the fact that she's attached is that it started attracting other talents and we got jason hall who is the guy who adapted an american sniper so it's very exciting about the quality of the script because it's a nerve-racking to turn your story over to someone and let them do what you did so i don't know when it's going to come out. i should start shooting around summer that i'm not sure. no questions are off-limits, you guys. i appreciate that. this book deals with top topics so feel free to ask me those two. >> who's going to play your mother grace? >> who is it that played in that mommy dearest movie? [laughter] no, i don't know.
8:40 am
that's probably going to be, i was always picturing sally field. meryl streep, jessica lange is amazing. any other questions? that's great. >> can you tell us what happened to that so-called mid-surgeon? >> i don't know what happened to him. can is talking about a story in the book where i was assaulted and was promised that that person would not practice medicine anymore and not to give away the book but when i was trying to decide whether or not to stay in the air force or join the guard,
8:41 am
i got put up for an award. my boss was trying to keep me in the military. he valued me and put me up for this award for my group and the people i was competing against were from three other groups, for other groups in the way and the medical group him up so he and i were competing against each other.i assume he's off practicing and maybe he learned a big lesson because after the assault, he ran and told on himself so maybe he was disgusted enough with himself that he has done it again but i doubt it. yes. so much for the softball questions. >> you mentioned go with what inspires you. i was wondering over the last few years if there's been a group or anything that's inspired you and kept you going in the directionyou want to go ? >> well, i got my mba. [applause] and there is my family.
8:42 am
" sponsors but it was hard. i was part of the best class ever of leadership. [applause] leadership austin is a great organization i'm and iencourage you to google it if you don't know what it is, i recommend you applying for it . >> is there anything about the books reception that has surprised you? >> i don't mean to sound ungrateful because i think there's so many people who would kill for an opportunity to do this, i'm grateful that if i had known it would be so successful i don't know if i could write it but i will say this, throughout my life anything that scares me and i think a lot of it is the abuse that my family and i suffered at the hands of my biological father at the beginning of the book, anytime it's something i confronted, do i know the thing that scares me the most out of everything?
8:43 am
so when something scares me, but the success of the book has been very surprising. >> i'm curious if the gentleman that was protesting you all getting into the water, if that was an accident. >> it was a total accident and i guess i didn't articulate it well or maybe it's part of what i said because i felt it was going wrong, reese was guarding the controls and the dump is on the collective so as i was raising the collective and he was launching, he hit it . he didn't fess up immediately but it look like a few minutes later he was like, it was me. so yes. >> i guess my question is, i haven't read the book, but let's talk about the code of your unit and with the idea that women should be in combat and get that
8:44 am
recommendation. are you, what would you hope for the military and any brats understand that in certain branches, women are accepted as equals but for some reason the perception isn't always that way so what would you have to say to that? >> i think that there's a lot of people who don't understand how the military works and there's a lot of pointing back that they are repeating that are exactly articulate but there is physical fitness test that is designed to judge how healthy you are. now, a healthy 18-year-old female is going to look very different than a healthy 65-year-old male to include blood pressure, number of push-ups, those type of things. everyone no matter what your job is gets this test. they don't talk about it but it's the way the military and
8:45 am
tell how much money you're going to cost them in healthcare benefits. it's like 1950s insurance standards kind of stuff and then it flexes and save some time. ask but , that will always probably be different and i'm fine with that because i don't want to stop young ladies who maybe can't even do a push-up who wants to work on paperwork or be a supply trooper or something like that and wants to wear uniform. i don't want to stop her from doing that. everyone should have to meet the standard of a navy seal. however, there is another physical fitness entered that is to get into a certain job , so to get into a different school, to be able to do this and all asked or sce or whatever your branches. i think those standards should be the same. if it takes this many push-ups, what with this pack for march or whatever you need to do to do this job, then you have to do that in your job. i don't understand why that's controversial. >>.
8:46 am
>> my husband and i are marines so we have a conversation going back and forth and he supports women in combat but if they can do the job. >> i don't understand. x ever seen a man can't do the job? >> i have. again, i say be sure but if someone can do the job, they should get the chance. there are ethnicities that are seriously good at this or bad that. and many people may even meet those stereotypes but we don't make decisions about what opportunities to give to those people based off the stereotype that even if they say that, we say go for it, give it a try and if you hold those prejudices, you get to play. bob marley said that he hoped people would look at skin color the way they look at eye color. they're always going to see the difference but you're not going to make a judgment on that difference. recognize that you have blue
8:47 am
eyes, that doesn't say anything about you and i hope we get there with gender that were not so surprised when a woman accomplishes something. i get full all the time, it's amazing that you did it as a woman. what they mean is because they faced certain barriers, i'll accept that complement but otherwise that's an insult, saying i shouldn't have been able to do these things. i'm surprised you were so brave under fire, i've seen plenty of women brave under fire. i cemented brave under fire and i've seen women i would go back and comment with . me and michael group were killed and i will go back and combat with them but i did go back into combat with and i'm not going anywhere with him. yes. >> high, in the military i'm sure you had many who supported you and many who oppose you. what would you say is your most surprising , unlikely person of support were source of support in the military?
8:48 am
>> i would say 99 percent of the people were supportive. the first iteration of the script that came out for the movie was this email heroin fighting the military discriminatory machine and i said i don't know if i can veto but if i can, that's not what i'm going to have with my name of the men i served with, i have so much respect for. there is the very small number of that tried to stop me and i think somebody said to me tonight i'm surprised things haven't changed since my time in the military and i said things have changed. it's still there. but it's fewer people and that's great i think. >> the culture is still there so that sucks but i will say, i hate getting the spoilers out but there's a character in the book named doug sherry, that's not her real name. who really genuinely didn't want me in his quadrant because i was a woman but he wasn't a life, stereotypically chauvinist, he was just, i have so much respect for him. he was an older army pilot,
8:49 am
one of the best pilots i've ever known, don't tell him i said that and i really wanted to earn his respect. >> it was heartbreaking every time he kind of dismissed me and it always seemed like every thing i did i would look up and he was standing right there, i swear. i did stupid things, like i was watching an aircraft taxi in, flying in and landon taxi and i was interested in what was going on in that aircraft and i was in full gear because we were going to take up or do a hot swap. i was looking and looking and i bumped my head on the window. and i was like, oh, i turned and looked and there's doug and he's like ... all my god. i couldn't believe every time i did something like that it was right in front of him. the other time is i was runningout to the aircraft and he's like , i'm going to mess this up. he was like i'm running and we don't need to run even though we're launching, take
8:50 am
the extra 10 seconds and walked fast. but yeah, whatever. i totally flipped on the rocks and my checklist, pavers went everywhere and i was like why, always in front of him. maybe it was because it was in front of him. but we got shot down, we defended our perimeter. i was the only person who returned fire that day. some of the guys on the other aircraft especially didn't perform that wealth and the next time i bumped into him was chewing his unlit cigar and said you did good kid. that meant more to me than all the metals in the world. i still think he doesn't think women should be in the military but i checked that one so that was surprising . >> so since you joined the military till now, in your crusade to have women be more involved in combat. >> have the opportunity to be more involved. >> how much has the needle moved? >> a lot.
8:51 am
the validating thing about this fight for me was i took an oath to support and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic and i thought this policy was a threat, a domestic threat and the reason is i was in combat and i saw the impact of the policy so without going too academic, the policy was intended to keep women out of ground combat. what it did for was keep women from being assigned to jobs whose primary role was to take ground comment to the enemy but commanders in the field needed to use women in those jobs anyway. they needed women go in with the badasses into the towns and the tribal councils to patdown the women that were going to show up and make sure they were wearing suicide vest. the men couldn't do that so they needed to keep these engagement teams with the marines. times your best man is a
8:52 am
woman, sometimes your best whatever happens to be a woman and you can't use them because you can't assign them. what they would do is rotate them out every 45 days and attach them to units that they didn't know the people in those units and there's nothing worse or there's probably things worse than going into combat with someone you don't know, who's untested, you don't know if they've met the same standards, you don't know how they're going to respond. and anticipate what they're going to do. me and my crew, i knew that we would just talk over each other but we were running a checklist simultaneously, it was a beautiful thing and when you go into combat with people you don't have that with, it's dangerous. i work to get that policy repealed so we could have all those jobs open by default and we could post one if it needed to be close whereas before with the policy, all jobs were default close and you had to work hard to get them open. the joint chiefs of staff unanimously recommended to the secretary of defense the
8:53 am
law so it wasn't my lawsuit and me against the military. it wasn't like that. it was like all of us were on the same page and fighting for the effectiveness of the military we love and it was very satisfying. >> i'd also like to make a comment about your mother. >> i would to. [laughter] >> and i'm sure you have. i met her about 18 years ago, the first meeting at toastmasters, he was at to give a speech and she spoke for approximately 10 seconds and said i can't do this and he sat back down. as people know now, you can't shut her up so she's speaking and you're such a personification. >> thank you. [applause] my mom joined toastmasters and that was her first icebreaker and they gave her around of applause and she rose to the level of assistant governor so if you're thinking , joined toastmasters.
8:54 am
>> you know, the pay, is that public? do you know if it's equal? >> pay is my rank. pay is my right but there are hazard duty and combat pay and stuff like that. it's really more the opportunity. you're not going to be cheap of staff of the army if you haven't served in combat and then a commander in combat, i could be wrong but that's my impression is certain branches, you have to be a combat warrior to rise to the heights in that branch and that's how it should be. you should know the price of the decisions you make so it was about ringing the hands of the commanders, opening up the navy secondarily the women get credit for those things and it was about doubling the pool for some of these jobs and raising the bar. you're going to get a better candidate even if they're like oh man, they had twice as many people applying and completing, and they got better candidate. and i didn't fully answer,
8:55 am
does that answer your question? i didn't answer the number of opportunities they opened, they opened all the jobs and there wouldn't be any exceptions and there have been female graduates at some of the really tough schools. the rangersgraduated, i don't know if you got assigned yet . other countries do. the seals came out and said when they were in their research days about what they were going to allow women into these roles. one of the first came out and said we're not going to say women can't be filled and it was hard for anyone else to make the case that they did want to close. any other questions? i've got my might. >> i was fortunate enough in my experience to have a co that was a female and i don't think everybody had that experience. i heard and actually you've introduced a new apf t, is basically a concept of
8:56 am
meeting insurance needs, i've never thought of that but that's even educated me. >> basic health, yes. >> my question was, even from these nyc's, they told me i was a little bit before you, ets, maybe a little bit after but bob people, i guess the excuse given to me was the emotional, if a female dies in the unit, the emotional response from it is significantly worse than if a male dies so i wonder what your thoughts are on that. >> i have thoughts on that. i'm eager to share them. >> i think that that is a very real concern but it makes a lot of assumptions. >> it depends on the woman. >> okay, when you are charged
8:57 am
with protecting someone weaker than you, whether it's an official charge for there is a movie coming out with jennifer lawrence questioning that. >> where she's a comment photographer in bed with a marine unit and something happens to her and they show this told ittakes on the marines, they were charged with her protection but because , whether it's a combat training warrior and a woman is with them, they felt protective of her when you put women and men in combat situations and put them in the way but ground combat is owing with policy, you threw them in and nobody knows that they are or what, you have that problem. you have other problems too, you have men dating, you have all the problems you hear about when you have that type of situation. those things didn't happen to me. because of a couple things. first of all, i didn't put up with competing for my affection and that happened quickly and i put an end to that quickly early on. i think that's a leadership issue and that's a mentor issue and we need to make
8:58 am
sure our young women entering into it understandthat. it's also , it's tell our young men and hold them to a higher standard. the nude photo scandal thing, it infuriates me, not for the reason you might think because it is a huge insult to the men i know who have served that i have so much respect for. that's insinuating that you guys don't have control of yourselves. i used to bein command of , not all of you, but i used to be in command of 18-year-old troops. i know that you command different ages little differently but it's just a leadership thing. i expected a lot of them and i didn't have a lot of the problems in aircraft maintenance, another male-dominated career field that you find. so i would say that if you are charged with taking care of someone weaker than you then you are devastated with
8:59 am
when something happens, when you have an animal you are in charge of and taking care of, your devastated when you let something happen to that animal, if you're taking care of a parent, and no, i don't know who would, not me. >> but i mean, i'm cracking jokes but the point is if you have charge of someone, you should be chivalrous of that person, there's people like carry the groceries and for them and i don't know who those people are but, not you. >> and i teach my kids chivalry.but if you are shoulder to shoulder with someone in the ship and you have venus williams on your side and you have justin brewer over here, you're going to feel more protective of the beaver because it's a national honor and you're going to think she can handle herself. when i was shocked, i had blood all over me. nobody wants to defend me. i had blood all over me. besides the fact that i was the one hit would have
9:00 am
triggered this ultra masculine chivalry and it didn't. trust me. in fact, my gunner said anyone one of our patients, two of our patients, one of our patients started getting hysterical which made another one upset, one was a woman, one was a man he turned to me and said this is why we don't want women in combat. >> first of all, that's great that he's so comfortable with me he thinks he can say that and not get shot because i was armed at the time. but the point is that he didn't see me as somebody needed to protect. he knew that i was going to handle myself. he had flown with me for years, we trained together, ate, slept and we didn't shower together but the point stands that it's often how you integrate people into those units. if you integrate them as equals, no, i don't think you have that problem of the emotional problem with being a woman. as a medevac pilot, i saw probably the most devastated person i saw was a oda guy
9:01 am
who's best buddy had been hit and his best buddy was the medic so unfortunately he was hit and nobody had the expertise, we all had this first aid but that doesn't really do anything and he was in the back of the aircraft with the soldier who expired and it was heart wrenching hearing him, the sounds he was making, bawling for his brother. when you get close to people and lose them in combat is going to affect you emotionally but i think the fact they are women , let's say that it's true. let's say being women hurt or killed too much for the men to handle. do we limit opportunities for women because of how the other half of the population is going to do or do we focus on helping them give them the tools to deal with that? you know what i mean? we're not seeing the legislation protection on
9:02 am
half of the population. >> how does society treat those people differently or not? >> is going to say it's not different, but it really is geared in the difference is that dean are one, women will admit ptsd quicker than men and not such a couple things.
9:03 am
in my opinion is use the data because some people say women experience ptsd more than men. and i said no, i raised my hand is that i ptsd on my crew because all my crew was like you do it. i didn't have the ego, not that all men have been a go but there is a ribbon that goes on between them on between none the less apparent with women. i would talk to a counselor and i would come back and they would say, what did she say? can you tell there have been a stream about the tiger in the mall. i like now, a few of ptsd, you need to talk to someone. that is one difference. vietnam veterans get treated differently. i have the next is this, but i've heard that when female veterans claim ptsd, there was a couple people in the va but didn't believe them and then assign them a disability rating because it was their mls and their son legislation and they
9:04 am
were not there job title that said you were supplied sure. yes, and i save the lives. the stories go on and on from there. i've seen posted on the internet, this never happened to me, women that are in parking men combat veterans thought that are designated in military friendly towns and getting nasty notes on their window saying how dare you park in the spots in the spot for nation terrorists. i'm sorry, and i guess he meant the men. so that's unfortunate. i have stickers on my car because it gives me free parking at the airport. people think my husband all the time for service beauty is the best response. you're welcome. i guess we get treated a little
9:05 am
differently. >> bush do if one of your beautiful children said they want to go until life or death job like you've done. >> you now, i think i would tell them to drop into push-ups because that's what i told her when she wanted to be a marine. we heard the story about how my stepdaughter came and said she wanted to be a marine i be a marine i said stop and give push-ups and unlike now when your. now one hand. a couple weeks later she came to me in tears and said why would you let me think i could via marine? and i was like what kind of question is that. what do you mean? you didn't tell me that was just her voice. that was the boy's job. an adult in her life had told her that. and they said that's not true. i'm going to do something about that, but i don't know what yet.
9:06 am
i was all fired up and the next day the aclu called me and said would you like to join her suit? absolutely. it's going to be really hard. you could get people that hate you. i was like let's do it because i didn't want her to grow up in that world. i couldn't believe 2012 somebody was telling her that. so i would assess, going back to your question, like the strength of that specific kid and if i don't think that they are going to be happy and not roll, i'm going to support them, but i'm probably going to us to educate them on what it means to be in that role. but if i make kids with an an adrenaline junkie like me who will slip on a bunch of rocks that can handle themselves at the range and stuff than i think i'd be comfortable with it. i don't know if that fully answers your question. i just want them to live full lives. you've got to go where you're
9:07 am
calling, where you're drawn. >> i noticed in looking through the book that there's some blackouts blackouts in it. are those voluntary or required? >> it's a voluntary process to submit your manuscript to the dod to review classified information. they talk about survival training in a couple of missions they take seriously and i did want to make sure it didn't do something in there that was classified or they thought would put our troops at risk. they came back with redaction that i thought were so ridiculous. i use a couple codewords than their intended to confuse our enemy if they are accepting our radio communications. they didn't care about that. they wanted to black out the names even though he's a physical therapist and san antonio now. whatever they chose to redact a could of bought it but it would've pushed publication date even further in their publicist is likely that -- leave it.
9:08 am
people like to see redaction. at least it proves they did the steps which a lot of people getting in trouble for writing books now, the navy seals didn't do that process. >> even emphasizing issues brought to light in our country. additionally speaking common for it a point in unlike where kids when a bright people, for any price to society. a segment of n every different ways. what lessons can we take to apply these issues we have going on right now? >> for example, when we integrated the military there is this uproar about how it would disturb cohesion in the military is not there for a social experiment the later spent ari, we are doing it anyway. they done the same thing repealing "don't ask, don't tell" in immigrating and letting
9:09 am
people come out and they been very supportive -- senior leaders have been supportive of the transgender situation. the lessons we can learn that ceos and senior leaders and corporations is change management wintel is still or something down everybody's throat. you can get away with in the military because people are told to do what they are told into a great extent they will even begrudgingly. they are used to taking orders they don't agree with and don't like. it is not foreign to them. i would like to see more change management have been paired but when it sales and people are angry and don't want to see it, then just do it. people would get over it and they're not talking about it again in six months. i'll be bragging about something else in six months. does that answer your question? no, not at all. i know would be hard when coming from you, rudy.
9:10 am
you guys mostly on the hunt to get ahold of me if you have our questions. and jacob mckinney talk about the military and how it has changed the 21st century knowledge area so different than what rad of the military is with asymmetrical warfare, technology. how was it when you entered and how is it now? >> a lot of people want to make a combat situation just about physical standards a lot of times where women are as strong as men and i'm kind of thing than the taliban was encroaching on our perimeter, they were going to say who can do the most push-ups then that person can go. so it's not as much of a hand-to-hand combat. i'm not going to stand there. say being able come incrediblincredibl y physically strong is not a very critical aspect of being a combat
9:11 am
warrior. it is. i've seen people how seen people have the flexibility could make the argument that pilots don't have to be raising ground combat. i used to get teased and made him out for how often i cleaned and contained by weapons. they're like something is cuckoo. i'm cleaning my weapon over time. and steve's gun jams that day. i'm like one of our one of mine? do you want a nice because you don't have a gun? i think the fact that it's more technology, people care more or understand more about the ability to think on your feet and i learned this in survival since i was in charge of a large group of people at the vital training. if you don't take your whole group, no one wants to go to the super bowl but a team full of quarterbacks. you could argue have been a good quarterback is the most thing to the football team. but who was to go with a team full of quarterbacks? you have to say your strength is
9:12 am
building shelters, making fire, navigation. really get the most out of your team. if one person is a nice guy that hand-to-hand combat, you have to do is scale while if you get infiltrated to the wrong place and have to reposition to a new place. there's an element in u.s. have to maintain a level of physical fitness. the reason the question is so relevant when we talk about and are. yes there needs to be one standard, but that standard should be arbitrarily high. there were certain jobs that take real pride in the fact that women can meet their standards or something like that. i get that. i do. tell me what the job requirements are. tell me which you want the person to accomplish mlb lofty goals and they should be to maintain our lead status as the world's most powerful military. when you say you need to be able to pull it to hunter, conscious
9:13 am
marine or may left over mrap fire, do not cash it be that you can identify people can do that. give them 45 seconds to get than 50 yards away, whatever it is you decide if the standard. don't say 15 poets equates to being able to pull that bearing paired with all watched american ninja warriors and thought that little gymnast and she just bounced their standards. but she barely it do that? i don't know. but we set the standards are push-ups and bullets and think this equates to job specific standards. keep the standards high, not arbitrarily so come and make sure they are job specific and everybody needs them. that is my goal. [applause] >> clearly you have kids in the family to take care of. i'm wondering what is your next challenger what is coming next? do you continue to be involved in this mission?
9:14 am
>> normally with invalid scares me so much. they can prepare for the zombie apocalypse. that's always my next thing. i'm not really sure. i guess i will really focus on parenting. i have a two and a half old. going back to work. i i think i want to move to france or somewhere where you get is on maternity leave. so pairing tenets by next big challenge. i want my kids to grow up not shelters, but not terrified. how do i walk that line and show them how lucky they are to live in a country where they have freedom or they call people in poverty. i want them to see real sub dream. there is real suffering in this country. don't get me wrong. politics is then to the suffering in our country and not let them be sheltered but not away with a combat jaded in such kind of like i am. i want them to not be so terrified.
9:15 am
i want them to grow pasta mistake. i do want them to grow up and words, but finding that alan is my big goal now. so i want to say one thing before we end. i encourage you guys if you're into the anecdote that i was telling after the reading, i would like for you to go to my twitter and click on the youtube video because there's more to that story that i didn't share because i didn't want to bring everybody down in their skin care. it's a beautiful story and i would like to honor the people involved in that story by spreading outward and kind of letting people know there's more to that jury. 11 minute talk at the top of my twitter feed. thank you for coming out. i'm blown away by this supporter. i really appreciate it. thank you so much. [applause] >> before everybody starts to
9:16 am
get up, since they are so many of us, i want to make business efficient and safe as possible. the line is going to care for the signing and it's going to go around the staircase and wrap around the staircase so we don't let the stairs. once again, start here and wrap around the staircase. also, hold on, i know a lot of you know her and her friends and family and everything, but if you want your book personalized, please tell us a name tell us a name so we can range on a sticky note for the sake of efficiency. i know you know her, but please tell us your name. >> i have it set a lot. so bear with me. >> thank you, guys. [inaudible conversations]
9:17 am
[inaudible conversations]

70 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on