May 11, 2015
The U.S. Army is facing its greatest danger as an institution since the 1970’s. Stricken with morale and readiness problems, it is also under attack from leftist social engineers who are determined to remake the Army, even if they have to destroy it.
In the 1980’s, men who carried the burden of terrible lessons learned in Vietnam rebuilt the U.S. Army. They created a spectacularly professional force that annihilated Saddam’s legions in a defeat not seen since Agincourt.
That Army is nearly extinct.
During the Clinton administration, the Army was under pressure to open all military occupational specialties to women and to change the culture of the institution. Army policy soon included stress cards, coed basic training, ability group runs and sensitivity classes.
These changes accelerated rapidly under both Obama administrations. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed in 2011 and two years later, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta removed the ban on women in direct combat roles. Recently, the Army announced it would soon allow transgendered people to serve in its ranks.
You would think that these seismic cultural shifts would cause the Army to finally put its foot down. Not a sound has been heard from the Pentagon!!
Where are leaders with intestinal fortitude like Colonel David Hackworth, who in 1971 went on ABC’s Issues and Answers, and told the world that the U.S. would never win in Vietnam?
The brass is more worried about their retirement checks than an institution that has been around since the Massachusetts boys went live in 1775. The current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, sits calmly on the bridge of the U.S. Army Titanic, sipping Pentagon coffee as the Army collides head on with an iceberg.
Under Dempsey, whom Senator John McCain called “An echo chamber of the Obama Administration,” the Army has become a repository for every crackpot feminist fantasy conceived in a Berkeley coffeehouse.
Two weeks ago, male Army ROTC cadets were ordered to parade around several college campuses in red high heels, in order to show their concern for sexual abuse. Current Army training involves classes that portray the Bible, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as sexist documents.
The Army has been ordered to allow women into the combat arms and special operations. Previously, women were denied these jobs because women do not possess the upper body strength that the combat arms requires. Women are also more prone to injuries and there are hygienic concerns as well.
Logic means nothing to the Obama administration. President Obama doesn’t understand that the Army exists to defend the nation. It’s not Valerie Jarrett’s pet social engineering project!
As reports filter in that women are 0-26 at Marine Infantry Officers’ School, Dempsey has already stated that the standards need to be “reviewed.” In Pentagon double-speak, this means that the standards will be dropped so much that Betty White could pass.
Currently, there are a handful of women attending the hardest training the U.S. Army has to offer, Ranger School. This grueling 62 day course destroys men with the speed of a hotel power flush. Men who survive endless days of almost no sleep, limited food, parachute jumps with 100 pound packs and patrols through swamps, crawl out of Ranger School with 1,000 yard Guadalcanal stares. Have no doubt, there will be a female graduate of Ranger School this summer if she has to be carried around Fort Benning like a camouflage-clad character in “Weekend at Bernie’s.”
The warrior culture is slowly being strangled to death by political correctness. A few real leaders still survive, but they’re relics of a bygone era, who will be swept aside like chimney soot in the vast cultural revolution that has engulfed the Army. Anyone suspected of not complying with sexism training or whispering comments that are thought to be politically incorrect is purged with the speed and finality of a Soviet commissar’s rubber stamp.
Under the Obama administration hundreds of high-ranking officers from every service have retired or have been forced to retire because they didn’t fit in with the current climate.
What kind of a military does political correctness produce? Look no farther than our half-hearted air campaign against ISIS and its kind and gentle spokesman, Rear Admiral Kirby. According to Kirby, the 25 daily sorties we’re flying against ISIS is really giving them hell. Shock and awe has metastasized into slap, scream and run.
The wave of political correctness besieging the Army has had predictable results. Last week the American public was informed that despite a $278 million program to make everyone in the Army feel good, morale is down to post-Vietnam levels. The troops have spoken. They want to be in the Army, not a Gloria Steinem encounter group.
Last month, General Odierno warned Congress that Army readiness is at “historically low levels.” Only a third of the Army’s brigades are fit for combat and sequestration can only do more damage to the Army’s fighting capability.
The Army must once again rebuild itself. Women in the Army aren’t the problem. Political correctness is. Women can do 80 percent of the jobs in the Army and do them magnificently.
Bring back the warrior culture by discharging the feather merchants and perfumed princes. In the 1970’s, the Army repaired itself from the bottom up. This time the problem is at the top.
A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Ray Starmann is a former US Army Intelligence officer and a veteran of the Gulf War, where he served with the 7th Cavalry. Ray has written for several military history magazines, Military.com and the Hallmark Channel. He was a regular contributor to the late Colonel David Hackworth’s website, Soldiers for the Truth and is currently the editor of usdefensewatch.com. Ray resides in Southern California.