The Army made the decision in 2015 to allow women to serve in front-line combat roles. This immediately created a problem for training qualifications, given that men, on average, are stronger than women.
The Army attempted to impose a gender-neutral standard, which resulted in dismal performances by women, and the initiative was scrapped. Now, instead of removing women from front-line combat roles, the Army is trying a different tack.
The Army returned to sex norming; that is, adjusting the result of fitness tests based on the biological sex of the participant. But they did not return to previous performance standards. Instead, they lowered the standards across the board.
Senator Tom Cotton pulled no punches in a hearing with Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth, calling the new standards “pathetic.” There is already a perception that the Pentagon is holding women to lower standards, and this is having a negative impact on morale.
The country is split on the issue, with only 53% of people supporting women in combat roles. Even though there is not a consensus, Cotton’s point that decreasing standards will get people killed is well taken.
Not only have the fitness standards been lowered, but the armed forces are also having issues recruiting qualified candidates. The red-hot job market is one reason for the fall in recruiting. The other is the rise in obesity, which also hinders retention.
Cotton has been on the forefront of battling wokeness in the military, and the resulting reduction in standards. He was instrumental in bringing several hundred whistleblower complaints to the forefront. If there is one place where standards should be high is the United States military, our adversaries are not spending their time worrying about diversity. They are spending their time figuring out how to kill Americans.
With the war in Ukraine threatening to spiral out of control, it is very possible we could find ourselves in direct military conflict with Russia soon. We need more politicians like Cotton willing to tackle wokeness head-on. Our only goal for national defense is to have the most lethal military possible.