The Lost Obligation

By Ned Hogan

The consequence, perhaps unintended, of establishing this all-volunteer force has been the creation of a mercenary monster, where obligation has been replaced by opportunity, the concepts of duty, chivalry, and patriotism have withered, and the demons of political correctness have become sovereign. A double standard in the commitment even to the facade of national service has been established: all men must register for the draft, but women are exempt. Yet, volunteer women must be given the opportunity for combat roles based on the premise that not sending our mothers and daughters into combat is discriminatory.

The duplicity of this imperative for gender integration is most evident when examined in the context of sports (perhaps the closest analogy available in the civilian world), where separate but equal prevails in professional tennis, Title IX intercollegiate athletics, and the Women's National Basketball Association, among others. Very few female athletes could compete successfully in completely integrated sports, so feminist advocates are more willing to recognize and accept gender differences in this arena because it makes financial sense.

The forces of political correctness have used the illusions of the Anita Hill tragicomedy and the Tailhook burlesque to cuckold the Navy into submitting to their paradigm and agenda. Recent tabloid events exacerbate the issue, and the chartering of a Defense Department commission on consensual sex shows how far we have strayed from the mission focus of "Duty, Honor, Country."

It is time to listen to the conscience, convictions, and counsel of Douglas MacArthur and James Webb and rank ethos as sovereign over expediency when dealing with matters of military policy. To ignore their guidance is unacceptable and ruinous to America's well-being.


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