From The Ethics Alarms Archives: “Integrity Surrender For The U.S. Marines”

Frequent commenter Steve (not to be confused with Steve-O-in-NJ or Steve Withspoon, also veteran combatants here) asked my opinion about an article titled “Marines’ Obsession with Pull-Ups May Be Hurting the Corps, Study Finds.”

To begin with, it’s a  misleading headline. The real subject of the piece, in Military.com, is the alleged hostility being fostered toward female recruits because of their disparate and less demanding physical requirements, including pull-ups. I was sure that I had written about the Marine pull-up controversy before, and sure enough I had, in 2013, (My, how time flies.) Re-reading it now, I felt that the Ethics Alarms post was relevant background to evaluating the article, which includes this…

The idea that female Marines can do fewer pull-ups than their male counterparts and get an equal score “did not sit well” with men, researchers wrote. “Are [women] required to meet equal physical standards? No, it doesn’t take a scientist to study that,” one gunnery sergeant said. “They need to do this many pull-ups, and I need to do this many. Is that equal? No. Four and four is equal. 20 and 20 is equal. That’s equal. So either we’re equal, or we’re not.”

Somehow, the author spins the findings into a rationalization for allowing the unequal standards to continue, writing at the beginning of the article,

Marines are putting an “extreme emphasis” on the number of pull-ups leathernecks can do, a recently published internal study found. And that, some fear, could result in other important qualities that are vital to the Corps’ mission being overlooked. Participants in a study on Marine Corps culture were often focused on pull-ups as a best measure of a person’s value and worth, researchers found. Marines’ ability to lift their own body weight on a pull-up bar was “routinely what Marines referenced when discussing physical standards, a Marine’s value, and physical readiness,” the report’s authors wrote.

I hadn’t checked the name of the author until after I read the article and was struck by how the title and first paragraphs attempted to ignore the ethics issue involved. Guess the writer’s gender. Yup, you’re right.

Here was my article in 2013, (and I wouldn’t change a word); I’ll have some final comments at the end: Continue reading

Not Surprisingly, The Marines Pass An Integrity Test

Marines pull-up2

In 2013, I wrote about what appeared to be a retreat by the Marines in the face of pressure to admit more women into the Corps. At the time, it looked like the Marines would be joining a shabby parade.

For example,  some fire departments have allowed political correctness, feminist threats, irrational diversity ideology and fear of “disparate impact” lawsuits  to lead to their lowering of fitness standards to allow more women to be firefighters, if weak and dangerously unqualified ones.

The USMC is having none of that, apparently, despite itys tactical delay in 2013. Accepting the new policy that now allows women to qualify for combat duty, the Marine Corps has established new fitness requirements that have weeded out six of seven female recruits as well as forty out of about 1,500 male recruits who failed to pass the new regimen of pull-ups, ammunition-can lifts, a 3-mile run and combat maneuvers required  to be certified combat-ready.

That’s fine. It would be fine if 6 out of 7 male recruits failed. There should be no affirmative action when diversity for diversity’s sake results in a less effective work force regardless of the tasks involved, but especially when putting thumbs, fists and feet on the scales will get people killed.

In fact, in a decade or so, when gene splicing, changing cultural norms, elective breeding and the unconditional surrender of the male gender in the War Against Women results in the average American woman being 6’2 and looking like this… Continue reading

Integrity Surrender For The U.S. Marines

"Any of them are fine, really--all that matters is that they're female, right?"

“Any of them are fine, really–all that matters is that they’re female, right?”

Among the core values of the U.S. Marine Corps is Honor:

“Honor guides Marines to exemplify the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior; to never lie cheat or steal; to abide by an uncompromising code of integrity; respect human dignity; and respect others. The quality of maturity, dedication, trust and dependability commit Marines to act responsibly; to be accountable for their actions; to fulfill their obligations; and to hold others accountable for their actions. “

According to NPR, the USMC has quietly postponed the requirement for all its female recruits to be able to do three pull-ups. The standard, which was to go into effect on January 1, 2014 for all women in the Marines, just as it has long been the upper-body strength requirement for men, has put back at least a year for “further study.” Marine women have not yet had to meet the same upper-body strength test as males because they were not permitted onto the battlefield. Beginning in 2016,  in response to the calls of feminists and women’s rights advocates, females in the Marine Corps and Army will be able, well, allowed, to serve in infantry, armor and artillery units, where the lack of sufficient physical ability can cost lives and result in military failure.  Continue reading

Comment of the Day: “The Darkness of the Right, Pissing Away American Values”

Is that you, Rod?

This is a treat. I was hoping that my post about the most ethically-challenged of the Right’s uber-patriots cheering corpse desecration would flush out a full-throated cheerleader, and here he is!

In his indignant reply to Bill ( a Marine himself), first time commenter Haddit (who, I gather, has “haddit” with all this ethics talk) gives a bravura performance of exactly what ethics-free thinking will get you in this and other war-related issues. It turns people into clones of the ridiculous general (played by the late, great Rod Steiger) in Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks,” whose nuanced response to every dilemma is “Kill! Kill! KILL!” ( I know, I know…in the movie it turns out that the general was right after all. It is a satire.)

Here is Rod’s, er, Haddit’s Comment of the Day (to Bill) on my post about the infamous pissing Marines, The Darkness of the Right, Pissing Away American Values. You’re welcome for the editing, Haddit. I’ll have some final comments after the featured rant:

“Are you kidding me? They should be punished?????? We train these guys and gals to be heart-breakers and life-takers, but “oh no don’t piss on the enemy”? I say we put all the bodies of our enemies in a giant blender and dump their remains on the cities where they lived and let’s see how long they screw with us. Desecrating bodies……….What does a bullet or a bomb do, man? War is being insane, doing insane things. Sane folks don’t KILL other folks. So, we teach em to be insane but with rules? THERE ARE NO STINKING RULES. KILL, KILL, KILL come the cries of our military men and women while in training. “WHAT MAKES THE GRASS GROW”???? “We don’t go to war to die for our country, we make the other poor bastard die for his country.” Continue reading

The Darkness of the Right, Pissing Away American Values

Doesn't it make you proud to be an American?

I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming, but indeed I did not. After all, when photographs surfaced showed American servicemen and women abusing, tormenting and torturing helpless (and untried) Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the hard right, led by conservative radio talkshow hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, attempted to minimize America’s disgrace and the catastrophic failure of the military chain of command by wielding the worst of rationalizations.

“They do worse things to us!”

“We’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys!”

“They had it coming!”

“At least the soldiers didn’t saw their heads off, like the Arabs did to Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg!”

The fact that the atrocities in the prison violated the core values of the Declaration of Independence and the very foundation of America’s reason for existence—human dignity and inalienable human rights—never occurred to these warped culture warriors, who did not have the decency to be ashamed that the United States military would present itself to the world as bullies, thugs and sadists.

Now we, and the world, have seen a video taken by one U.S. Marine in Afghanistan of four of his colleagues gleefully urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban combatants. The Obama administration, hopefully having learned its lesson from the Bush Administration’s botching of its response to Abu Ghraib, immediately and unequivocally condemned the conduct of the marines and vowed that it will not go unpunished. (Whether there will be proper consequences for the brass responsible for such a catastrophic collapse of military discipline remains to be seen.) Of course this is the correct response, and the only responsible response,

Yet last night I heard talk show rant-master Mark Levin, dubbed “The Great One” by his talk show host colleagues (Jackie Gleason’s estate should sue for defamation), furiously denounce the Obama administration and praise the Marines. Continue reading