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General: We Can’t Address Accusations That Ranger School Was Rigged If Sources Are Anonymous

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Gen. Scott Miller, commanding general of Fort Benning, said Friday he can’t address concerns Ranger School was rigged to pass women because those concerns were delivered anonymously.

“There are some people who obviously have some concerns,” Miller said Friday at a media roundtable, according to the Ledger-Enquirer. “I can’t address them if they are opaque. These guys can’t address them or fix them if they are opaque.”

Miller was asked if he thought his credibility has been damaged by allegations of undue command influence on Ranger School. He responded in the negative.

“I have thick skin and I am a public figure, but I will tell you who doesn’t deserve this is these [Ranger instructors],” he said. “They don’t deserve this…I keep telling everybody I will put my name on anything I say or do. If they are not willing to put their name on it or come back to me…”

This launched a discussion between Miller and PEOPLE reporter Susan Katz Keating, who originally broke the story on the anonymous allegations that women received special treatment and instructors succumbed to top-down pressure to pass women through the school.

Keating asked Miller if there will be any repercussions if a whistleblower shows up in his office and delivers the specifics, with name and rank attached.

Miller insisted that there will be no retaliation, but Keating said her anonymous sources all said their careers would be ruined—instantly.

Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Arnold, also on the roundtable, could hardly bring himself to take Keating’s concerns seriously.

“I am sorry to laugh, ma’am, but I will tell you right now, no one has been threatened,” he said. “That is the funny part about this, ma’am. For a soldier to say that to you, I would have to challenge them — not that they gave the go and they are going to be in trouble. They are not going to get in trouble. My point is, we cannot have good order and discipline within a unit by allowing stuff like that to continue. I cannot allow a unit to think they cannot trust their chain of command.”

Col. David Fivecoat insisted that if it were true that the women received special treatment, fellow students would have loudly complained.

Miller has repeatedly denied that the Army lowered standards during Ranger School, or otherwise engaged in deception to pass three women through the course.

But anonymous sources tell a completely different story. According to one Ranger instructor, interviewed by Keating, “We were under huge pressure to comply. It was very much politicized.” (RELATED: Sources: Generals Decided Long Before Ranger School That ‘A Woman Will Graduate’)

Miller himself has been implicated in the apparent cover-up. On May 7, no women were reportedly left in the school. At that point, Miller brought several women into his office and said that they couldn’t quit, as too much time and money had been invested into the experiment. Miller admitted that the meeting took place, but denied saying anything other than that he was “impressed” with the determination of the women to continue.

After the women failed again, Miller came to the training grounds personally. The women then passed. Sources said Miller’s presence sent a strong message, namely that these women had to be pushed through the course.

“The instructors knew what they were expected to do,” one source told PEOPLE. “They did it.”

The Army has since opened up Ranger School to all women and recently put out a call to hire more women as advisers for the course. (RELATED: Army Wants To Hire Women As Advisers For Ranger School)

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