Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
We knew the decline had been ongoing for a while. This is simply the Army adopting the St. Paul school method. The student didn’t fail, there is no fail, there is only quit. If the student didn’t quit, then the student must have passed. Good job, here’s your participation award.
The author deplores lowered standards but misses the point – none of the standards matter. What matters is: can you do the job? For that, we must define the job. If it’s going hand-to-hand against elite enemy soldiers, then yes, these girls are going to die. But is that the job of the Green Berets anymore?
Maybe the job of modern Green Berets is to parade around wearing the uniform to convince congresswomen who are fixated on feminism that they should siphon money away from the Neanderthal Marines so the Army can buy more tanks and helicopters for men who do the actual fighting to use in combat. Okay, yes, that means Green Berets are now little more than props for the budget presentation, but so what? Advertisers dress up pretty girls to sell products all the time. Congresswomen are the Army’s “customers;” give the customers what they want.
If you’re really interested in debating whether physical standards matter, find some enterprising businessman to organize a reality show. People who graduated from Green Beret school during the past year will compete against equally ranked recent graduates of other programs. The best female Green Beret might have placed fifth in her class, for example. She will parachute into a forest, land-navigate two miles carrying a ruck and rifle to find the target location, then “kill” sentries and destroy an enemy supply dump before escaping a mile away to build a shelter for the night. Judges will time the run, effectiveness of the attack (grenade, shooting, etc), dump rain on the shelter and score the results.
Next up, the fifth best Force Recon Marine. On deck, the fifth-best graduate of the equivalent course of the military in the Philippines. In the hole, the fifth best graduate from Israel. People love those silly ninja obstacle courses on television. Let’s see how modern female Green Berets stack up against potential allies and enemies, doing things we would expect actual combat troops to do in the field.
If American girls suck as badly as this author seems to think they will, I bet the show would be a gigantic hit in China and Russia. The only remaining question is: swimsuit competition, or not?
To play devil’s advocate for a moment here – the “Green Berets” (‘ mission is as much about “unconventional warfare” – in other words, going into enemy territory and creating guerrilla groups – as it is about killing sentries and blowing things up (although there’s plenty of that as well). Part of the job is being able to go deep into enemy territory and use language and cultural skills to create the relationships needed with the indigenous guerrillas. And women are just fine at language an culture, so that when a team parachutes in to deal with an indigenous culture that has high respect for women, like in Afghanistan or Yemen or…
Let me start over.
If we ever have to fight a war against Cambridge, San Francisco or Portland, female Soecial Forces operators could be useful.