Although Americans love an underdog, our society has been built upon the strong not only survive but succeed where others fail. But political correctness has eroded that mindset and is set to ruin the strongest military of modern history.
Experts have repeatedly voiced concern that the “everyone gets to play, every team gets a trophy” philosophy is dooming recruiters’ ability to seek out the best of the best – simply because there is no longer a “best,” just the “average.” But the services themselves were largely thought to be sheltered.
First, there were the crackdowns on tattoos. Despite the fact that tattoos are a deeply embedded aspect of military service, leaders decided that ink was not only a lifelong commitment but also a potential career ender. Even though many who already sported prohibited art were grandfathered in, they still face limited special duty opportunities and chances for promotion.
Official reasoning for the change to tattoo policies centered on “uniformity” and “good order and discipline,” with proponents often pointing to a perceived increase in offensive or gang related art that reflected poorly on the service as a whole.
But uniformity was hardly a consideration when a military judge refused the prosecution’s attempts to force Major Nidal Hasan to shave during his court martial. Grooming standards are THE first military standard new recruits are introduced to and I have no doubt that forcing an accused murderer to adhere by those standards while facing a jury of his peers would have been almost as well received as a guilty verdict.
PC raised its ugly head even higher when a second military judge allowed PFC Bradley Manning, convicted of releasing reams of classified documents, to become “Chelsey.” Not only is PFC Manning serving a 7 year sentence, but the military may end up paying for gender reassignment therapy.
While proponents will argue that these changes, or relaxing of the rules, are simply an attempt to allow the military to more closely resemble the society it protects, I see them as a weakening of the structure that has allowed 13 ragtag colonies to become an international power house. Applying standards that remove tradition but further personal expression based on society as a whole, rather than what is in the best interest of the service, is the first step down a steep and slippery slope. At the bottom of that slope is a quagmire of mediocrity in which the weak will wailer and the strong will become hopelessly bogged down.
The hard charging, cigar smoking, tattooed veteran warrior will slowly transition from a revered example for newbies to a whispered example of a shunned, but necessary evil.
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