August 28, 2019 | By L. Todd Wood, The Washington Times
A few years ago after my 30-year reunion at the U.S. Air Force Academy, I wrote several articles regarding the changes at our nation’s service academies — changes not for the better. One couldn’t help but be shocked by the lack of discipline, the lowering of standards, and the destruction of traditions that had held officer trainees in good standing for decades, if not centuries.
The situation has not gotten any better, and, in many ways, it is getting worse.
Hundreds of cadets and graduates reached out, agreeing with my critique. Many wrote clandestinely, including current cadets who were afraid of retribution from our military’s leadership.
It’s not just the griping of an aging alumni. The quality of the men and women our service academies graduate has a direct impact on our national security, every bit as much as the quality of our weapons or the strength of our industrial base.
For a long-ago graduate, the removal of training for “attention to detail” is the most shocking thing one encounters.
As freshman or “Doolies,” we learned that the purpose of instruction at the Air Force Academy was to “lay the foundation early in the cadet’s career for the development of those qualities of character and discipline which will be expected of an officer. These qualities must be so deeply instilled that no stress or strain will erase them.”
This was a set of skills forged in fire during a year of extreme stress and pressure, a critical time in which a young teenager was transformed into a man or woman capable of leading troops in battle, handling complex tasks efficiently, and dealing with massive levels of responsibility.
Today, our academies have become essentially UCLA in uniforms. The discipline is gone, possibly irrevocably.
In addition, the academies are well on their way to “feminizing” the institutions. They routinely advertise a higher and higher percentages of female enrollment. Why? Is the goal a perfectly balanced, 50/50 military? Will that outcome better our chances of winning wars?
Sadly, it will not. Men are simply stronger than women. That is not discrimination or misogynistic; it is a fact. The admission of more and more women has led to a reduction in physical and mental standards, which leads to a reduction in the quality of soldiers in the field. Yes, women can and do serve admirably in our military, but they are not as effective in many front-line positions….
Even more worrisome, our academies have become petri dishes for the social justice agenda, not training real warriors….
Social justice is not a military function. Training social justice warriors is not what our military academies should be doing….
As Napoleon so famously said, “Victory on the battlefield begins with the shine on a boot.”
(Excerpt from The Washington Times article by L. Todd Wood.)