Sunday, August 9, 2009

Duty, Honor,...Diversity?

I've read two articles on the US Naval Academy (one of which is here, the other's link expired), the general import of which are that at USNA, diversity is now the priority for admissions.
I've got nothing against diversity, per se, but once a service academy starts prioritizing diversity over other indicators for military leadership potential, I think you are courting danger.
I'm sure some young Seaman is going to think "Well, the ship is going down in flames, and we're all going to die, but at least my Captain is (black/asian/hispanic/female/Pacific Islander) like me."
I would think that in selecting young men and women to be educated, trained and inspired to lead our nation's soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in battle and bring them home again, the content of one's character would be more important than the color of one's skin.
This would usually set off my perennial Army chauvinism, and I'd make some remarks about how the Navy is suffering PC-induced lameness, but the same day I read the article the Army posted its own accolades to diversity. On to AKO, the Army portal through which we get our official e-mail and perform various and sundry administrative tasks, the Army usually posts a motivational, scene-from-the-force picture that you can look at for the ten minutes it takes to log on. These are usually topical and there is a rotation, so that you see a different picture from the same pool every time you log on. So in celebrating the new West Point class' graduation and matriculation into the Army, I saw a picture like this with the following caption:
U.S. Military Academy graduates toss their hats during commencement ceremonies at West Point, NY, May 23, 2009. Of the 970 cadets, 144 are women, 63 African Americans, 62 Asian/Pacific Islanders, 74 Hispanics and 15 Native Americans. The majority of the class, which also includes 17 foreign students, were commissioned second lieutenants.

So, this is the best the Army can do? The most noteworthy attribute of this cohort of great young Americans who volunteered to compete to undergo a physically, mentally, and emotionally grueling four years in order to better lead our soldiers in a global war on terror*, which currently has two hot theaters of operation is: look, we're diverse!
The Army does these young leaders, and its troopers everywhere, a disservice by hawking the diversity of this graduating class, instead of recognizing the talent, motivation, and tenacity they have all demonstrated to get where they are.
*yeah, I know, I'm not supposed to say that anymore. When I get the new, approved brand name for this goat-fuck, I'll go back and amend the post.

1 comment:

  1. Is the L.A. Times writing for the Army now? Or it's probably the same asshole who came up with that stupid "Army of One" slogan.