Will Political Correctness Weaken Our Fighting Force?

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.

Not anymore.

File of a soldier from the U.S. Army's 1st Platoon, 18th Engineer Company, Task Force Arrowhead resting at FOB Mizan after completing a route clearance patrol in AfghanistanFirst, 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.

Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning

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.

Tom Burrell

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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5 thoughts on “Will Political Correctness Weaken Our Fighting Force?

  1. I love this article. It is so true. When you get down to it, the job of any service member is to kill or facilitate the killing of our nation’s enemies. Nothing about that is kinder or gentler, nor PC. I rather go to war with a man covered in tattoos who swears like a sailor than with a guy who always has the right words to say and doesn’t offend those who refused to join as they sit and watch from the safety of their couches. I don’t think PC only hurts the military though. I feel as though it is destroying the entire country. Spines have become optional and it is fround upon if you choose to use yours.

  2. you see the same results in police departments…and don’t even get me started on affirmative action…………….

    1. Agree with both gentlemen. While deployed to one of those shitbag third world nations (oh…sorry…is that not PC?) Tough shit! While deployed I was reading my bible one night when my platoon sgt came by and told me to put it away as it would offend the interpretors present. Need I say what my response was? Was it PC? Hell NO!! Robert, I was a cop for 32 years. I finally gave it up when my department hired a 22 year old police chief who hadn’t been out of the academy for a week! True story brother. Welcome to Western Massachusetts!!!

  3. Having served over 20 years active duty, 66 thru 87, Combat Arms – US Army, I have seen and have listened to some rather great soldiers, sailors and marines, all of whom excelled in mission accomplishment throughout the world. These reat service members, regardless of rank all basically said that the new regulations on tattoos are stupid! It is generally agreed the hands, neck and head/face should not be tattooed as no gang or subversive tattoo’s must be removed, or covered, if that is reasonable practical. How many tattooed service members with tattoo’s have been awarded just about every valor award and or decoration. There is no sanity to the current regulations. Politics have caused good war fighters to be either refused entry, not allowed to re-enlist or flatly be rejected from the services. The senior commanders, that remain, have all bent over to kiss the butts of politicians that have zero knowledge of what it means to keep their Oath’s, lead our people in combat, educate the young and new service on the principles of Duty, Faith and Honor! These true military leaders are no-longer here to factually advise on the results of taking on unattainable missions and what our politicians lies does to our forces. Politics MUST be kept outside of the military, kiss asses need to be ejected from the services and traditions now forgotten MUST be reignited with our total force.

  4. Remember, the Law of Armed Conflict sets guidelines for when force may be used, but lord help you if you hurt anybodies feelings.

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