Military Social Engineering

I think I reached saturation on what is going on with (and to) our military today. This started to take form while talking with my better half, a couple of days ago, regarding the young man who was openly announcing his homosexuality, while a member of the armed forces. This, as a number of you may already know, is against the current guidelines as put forth by the DoD (the famous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell-but more on that a bit further on in this post). Well, today looking at the latest “ta do” about PFC Lynndie England, noting the current status of Lt Pantano, the Marine Officer up on charges stemming from actions taken while in Iraq, and last but not least the “media concern” regarding the detainees at Gitmo….it was an “Enough is Enough” moment.
Now, here is where I step on some “politically correct” toes.
Women in the military:
I think you should be allowed the opportunity to “strike” for any career/field you are physically/mentally qualified for. The same as any guy who would want the same. The caveat here is there are to be no differences between qualifications for males or females in any of the armed services. In other words, if you can’t do the push ups, sit ups, chin ups, forced marches/runs….well, ya can’t come in. You fail to score high enough on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test, in any applicable area relating to the career you want, you can’t get that career/job. You will not get an adjusted score, just because you are female, and the all powerful god of quotas must be appeased. You want real equality there it is.
Oh, and if you want to be a mother while serving….sorry ain’t going to happen. Unlike the civilian side of the house which can either increase manning or prices for their product or services, to support this, the military manning levels are critical when looking at how to approach any number of tasks given them. (We won’t even address the tax money used for your training and such…which will have to be, to some greater or lesser extent, duplicated in the training of your replacement.) But wait, it seems the military has learned this lesson. You can be a mother or even a single parent while serving. However there has to be legal paperwork in place which states upon your activation or assignment to an environment which you will not be able to bring your dependent child (ie: a ship), you must have someone assume legal guardianship of said child or children. Or you are no longer going to be part of said military. This sounds more then fair. And, as hinted at above, in the spirit of true equality, this should (and does) apply to single male parents as well.
Relationships in the military:
Now as to the battle of the sexes. I have to agree (for the most part) that you should not be able to have romantic/intimate relations with those directly in your chain of command (either up or down the chain). It will lead, eventually, to some sort of health or morale issue. It is just the way it is. For the one or two times it would work out for the best, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of times when it won’t. If you can’t keep your hands off a subordinate, then you have issues which should have been addressed well before you ever put on a uniform. However, if an individual is not in your chain of command, (This is where I would seek to change some of the existing laws on the military books. And assuming both folks are not married- yes adultery is still a punishable offence, with just cause in the military.) Then there should be no restriction in who you have a relationship with. In other words, the old chestnut of fraternization (as it relates to officer /enlisted relationships, outside the direct chain of command) needs to be dropped.
The days of officers being where they are due to personal station (nobility) or status (upper level of society/college degreed) are all but a moot point. The facts are, more then half of enlisted ranks have some sort of secondary education degree. Many have post graduate work under their belt, and rather then ascend to the officer corps, are quite happy to remain enlisted.
It should be noted, that I wholeheartedly agree with the need for a formal chain of command, and in providing proper curtsey towards those senior in rank (both Officer and Enlisted) to oneself. The obedience toward those in said positions fosters good order and discipline, as well as helps to promote a strong esprit de corps (when it is honored in both directions).
Gays in the military:
I have mentioned this elsewhere, that the current policy toward homosexuals is a no win situation for them and the military. It is a compromise which is unfair to both. And we are starting to see the results of same. Once a member of the armed forces has taken part in an action either involving battle, or any other formal rite of passage,(with any luck at all) they are bound with those who were, or have been, part of the same. If a man or woman rises to the fore, with displays of courage and or competency, is it fair to them and to those who serve with them, to see them removed from the ranks solely due to their sexual preference, once it is “found out”? (This being based on the current DoD policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.)
For better or worse the DoD needs to make a hard and fast rule one way or another. Either let homosexuals in (and are there any takers out there, that *this time* the tests, scores, physical requirements, etc, will not be “fiddled with”?), or restrict them across the boards, and deal with the anguished cries of the progressives out there.
Boot Camp / Basic Training / OCS
This is last but not least in importance. And in many ways ties in all of the above. For the groundwork for many an enlisted and officer, was molded in one of these three ways. I’ll wager there is not a single person who has been through same, who does not still recall the “comforting sounds” of their Drill Instructor, Company Commander, or Drill Sergeants, as they are instructed on the proper way to “secure their gear”, “Field Strip their” piece, recite their Chain of Command, or sound off
with the proper General Order of a Sentry.
It is my humble opinion, the men and women who are given the awesome responsibility of shaping recruits into our future Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines, need to be given a bit more of a free hand in doing so. No, I am not calling for the return of “real sadists”. But, there should not be even one politically correct word heard out of an instructor’s mouth. Colorful language has a place in the world, and this is it. If you get your knickers in a knot when the DI calls your mother everything but a white woman….well you had better get over it son, cause that is going to be the easy part of Boot Camp. You don’t like being called some sort of ethnic or racial stereotype, or slur, (and there are far many more then just the one or two which are currently non-pc btw)….well if you can’t toughen up when faced with this, how are you going to truly acquire the discipline to handle an enemy who is smart enough to use the same? You loose your cool when hit or struck (due at least in part to your own stupidity)? Perhaps if you had paid attention to detail that wouldn’t have happened….or your friendly neighborhood Company Commander was seeing how you react to same…or the stress…did you try and counter the blow, instinctively, or did you go to pieces? Or did you “see red” and forget everything you were trained in regards to self defense? All good things to know before sending a recruit out to the fleet, or the battalion, or the AFB (if they are allowed to graduate at all).
No, now we have to be more sensitive to the feelings and self esteem of recruits. With the supposed end result being a more “normal” individual (read that as “more like a civilian”). And not the “alleged baby killers”, the social engineers would have us believe, were the norm during and immediately following Vietnam. Well, sports fans, I contend, if we go back to producing the men and women Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines like we did before all this sweetness and light, their precious self esteem, would in fact, be even stronger and thus, of greater benefit to themselves and to the respective branch of service they have chosen. This is the area were the social engineering starts….and the last area (if let in at all) it should be felt.
Wake up DoD. You are trying (or planning) to get by with a more stream lined military, and that means one person screwing up, due to not being caught in basic, or not gaining the maximum benefit of basic, has the potential of causing much more in the way of problems. This will be especially true when they are expected to be able to cover the same amount information, actions, or events, as (for example) what was covered by three individual troops a generation or two ago. We need the old ways brought back now more than ever before.
Well, I am sure I missed a spot or two. And I may have made any number of folks more then a bit irate. I would suggest those of you who are irate, to ask yourself this. Do you want a military able to *really* meet the ever increasing demands placed upon it? (Or do you really want a military at all.) For those within the reserve ranks, do you want them to be able to, with minimal muss and fuss, to be brought up to speed when called to full time active duty? Do you want to see even one less death on the battlefield or due to a military related incident? If your answer is “yes” to any of these, then any or all the above suggestions would be really worth looking into. Or better yet, strongly suggested to be taken on board by our military powers that be. The time to end the social experimentation and political correctness which has run rampant in the DoD, is now. Anything less is a slap to our men and women currently serving, to those who have been there, and most importantly, to the memory of those who gave their last full measure of devotion in the service of their country.


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