Harold Hutchison / February 20, 2018

Getting the Troops in Shape Is Priority Number One

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to military readiness and preparedness.

When it comes to our national defense, we’re in a world of hurt in a number of areas. Our carrier force has been grossly mismanaged, we’re short on pilots (a situation growing worse and worse), and the Coast Guard is short on the hulls in the water it needs. Those are just a few of the problems.

Fortunately, some of these problems are being addressed. President Donald Trump’s strategy has sent the Islamic State scurrying to find some rock or cave to hide in, and Afghanistan is quieter too, largely because Trump and his team have loosened the rules of engagement. A ludicrous decision by the previous administration to ditch cluster munitions has been reversed. The selection of retired Marine General James Mattis to serve as secretary of defense was an outstanding call. The secretary sets the tone for military policy. Those like Mattis and Donald Rumsfeld can truly inspire the troops, but there is work to be done.

For instance, the Army is revamping its basic training. The good news is that it is now focusing on increased discipline, adding three field exercises to force recruits to demonstrate the skills they need to fight and win on a battlefield. The new training includes more inspections, more emphasis on drill and ceremony, and instilling a greater sense of pride in military history. This is a sign that Mattis is thankfully on this task, and it goes further than that, with the Pentagon taking a “deploy or go” stance.

These broad strokes of good news, though, have some red flags and bad news: Being able to throw a grenade more than 25 meters (roughly 82 feet) is no longer a graduation requirement. That is not the only standard to be changed: Marines will no longer make completing the combat endurance test a requirement to graduate from the Infantry Officer’s Course. Part of this is to accommodate females, and part of it is the reality of recruits in general.

The sad fact is military readiness severely declined for eight years under Barack Obama, who combined foolish defense cuts with a feckless foreign policy. Eliminating basic requirements only continues that dangerous trend. Repeated attacks on a destroyer in 2016 drew a three-Tomahawk strike in response because Obama had no clue about the purpose of a military. The military’s purpose isn’t to be the Left’s petri dish of American society; it’s job is to kill those who threaten the United States and break their stuff.

But, all in all, the changes in Army training represent a huge step in the right direction. Who knows? A return to higher standards could lead to far more eligible recruits.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.