So explains former Army officer and Ranger Stephen Kilcullen in the WSJ as to why the current discussion of allowing women access to Ranger school as a necessity of opening Infantry units to women would be disasterous. “It’s a career enhancer” isn’t the best of reasons, no? That it proves to be a good marker for success for the officers and enlistees who brave the course is an after effect: they pass against all odds because of grit and determination, not because it’s a career enhancer. More:
Ranger School isn’t about improving the career prospects of individual candidates. Our motto is “Rangers lead the way.” Many a Ranger has lived these words before being killed in action—certain that if a Ranger couldn’t accomplish the mission, nobody could. This unique culture lures the kind of young, smart soldiers needed to get the toughest jobs done. The promise of something bigger than oneself—bigger than any career track—is what motivates these men.
It is this culture of excellence and selflessness that attracts young men to the Ranger brotherhood. The Ranger ethos is designed to be deadly serious yet self-deprecating, focused entirely on teamwork and mission accomplishment. Rangers put the mission first, their unit and fellow soldiers next, and themselves last. The selfishness so rampant elsewhere in our society has never existed in the Ranger brotherhood.
And that is the secret of the brotherhood’s success. Some call it “unit cohesiveness” but what they are really describing is a transition from self-interest to selfless service. The notion of allowing women into Ranger School because denying them the experience would harm their careers makes Ranger graduates cringe. Such politically correct thinking is the ultimate expression of the “me” culture, and it jeopardizes core Ranger ideals.
The military has changed many policies in recent years, based on individual self-interest masquerading as fairness and antidiscrimination. As we debate new policies, decision makers need to ask two simple questions: Is a proposed move good for the majority of service members? And does it improve or hinder our ability to execute our mission?
After all, the military does not exist to provide careers. It is a responsibility, a way of life and a higher calling that only 1% of our citizens choose to follow. A top-notch fighting force composed of dedicated and strong men who are the very best at what they do is what defines our armed forces—and the Rangers as among their best. Let’s not destroy this small but incredibly important culture under the banner of “me.”
Liberals will do all they can to destroy the one arena of American life where merit, grit and determination can truly guide someone from obscurity to success. All in the name of “politically correct.” Read the rest.
H/t: Hot Air headlines
UPDATE: now a Memeorandum thread, but sans much discussion. Why? This is a big deal, y’all. Either way. Waiting for Allahpundit tonight. (Warning: the one thread linked is… viciously feminist and imagines irony behind every word. How does the Army having to lower physical standards in order for any female to pass allow “women to pursue equality”? Really.)