While the military has seen politically-driven encroachment of women into myriad all-male enclaves, Stephen Kilcullen makes and excellent case for keeping them out of the Rangers.
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.
In his piece, he uses the key arguments that have the most weight:
- there is a warrior cult (a brotherhood) that is hard to define;
- this brotherhood is key to the cohesion of the unit;
- the cohesion of the unit is critical to the success of the mission;
- the military mission cannot defer to the private interests of any individual.
This has been the problem with political tinkering for many decades: individual "rights" (that have little/nothing to do with the military mission) have undermined the ability of our armed forces to do their job. Just as the politicians in Washington DC who tried to fight the Vietnam war (by imbibing the daily news and gauging public opinion) proved disastrous to the mission, so has using the armed forces as a social networking guild and means of advancing the sexual revolution.
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."
Either the US has enemies or it doesn't. Either its mission is to prevail or it isn't. If women (and persons with same-sex attraction) distract a unit from performing its tasks, then the mission should take precedence over these games. Perhaps the Rangers will succeed where other groups haven't, but there's no guarantee.
This may be prove another confused battle where political correctness invites women into situations where their very presence (no matter how sincere and well-qualified) weakens the team in incalculable ways. And it undermines the core feminine vocation: which is to give life, to nurture it, and sustain through their physical and spiritual motherhood. Anytime that we forget that truth -- and the man's call to protect it to the extent of laying down his own life for it -- we've poisoned our very culture and reason for living.