In a world where less than 10% of the armed forces vote Democrat, its no surprise that Hillary is trying to find some way to appeal to the military.
So Hillary revived a claim she first made in 1994: namely, that she tried to join the Marines in 1975. Hillary claims to have been told she was “too old, you can’t see, and you’re a woman.” The claim was met with skepticism by liberal columnist Maureen Dowd in the New York Times, who pointed out among other things that Hillary had worked on anti-war campaigns, which doesn’t tend to drive one to join the Marines.
When Hillary repeated the claim again recently on the campaign trail, she was met with skepticism again: this time from Susan Hutchison, who was a woman in the Marines in the mid 1970s. Hutchison has more knowledge of what’s its actually like to be in the Marines than Dowd, and here’s why she says Hillary’s story is a total lie:
- First, some context. In the wake of the Vietnam War, the United States military was having difficulty recruiting individuals for service. The draft had ended and the United States was shifting to an all-volunteer force. To boost numbers, the military began to recruit from nontraditional sources, and made it easier than ever for women to join.
- This rationale for disqualification would not have come during an initial recruiting talk. With Mrs. Clinton’s college and law school credentials, a Marine recruiter would have quickly referred her to an Officer Selection Officer (OSO), who recruits future Marine officers. The Marine Corps at that time was very much in need of lawyers. It makes no sense that a recruiter would have rejected outright a female (very in-demand) Yale Law grad who had served on the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation. The Marine OSO would have undoubtedly contacted her, and probably asked her to apply to be a Marine Judge Advocate General (lawyer), and would have been thrilled to sign her up. She likely would have been in Officer Candidate School as soon as her application was processed.
- Secondly, the argument that her eyesight would have disqualified her is also specious. At the time, women did not serve in combat positions where eyesight was scrutinized. The Marine Corps had numerous positions which did not require even average eyesight, especially in legal work. And she wouldn’t have been disqualified on the basis of her eyesight after one conversation with a single recruiter, who was not trained to make such a determination.
- Lastly, one can become a Marine officer up to his or her 28th birthday, so her age (26 at the time) would not have precluded her from service.
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