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Will the dumbing down of our military continue in 2014? - Part 1

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Real fighting men (are) willing to die for their country, as with all the armed forces of our history. Except today's armed forces are dumbed down, neutered, feminized..." - a soldier's reply to a blog posting

A number of reports over the last five years suggest our military is "dumbing down". Unfortunately, not only does this apply to the military in general, it also involves each of our main services: Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy. Even worse, every report intimates the denigration has occurred from the Pentagon or from within each service branch.

This series will examine reports that substantiate the idea that dumbing down does indeed exist. The question is: will we see more of it in the coming year?

Common Core State Standards (U.S. Military)

Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a set of federal accountability rules for public schools that "are designed prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need for success in college and careers". The latest information is that 45 states and the District of Columbia have already adopted this set of guidelines. However, from all over the country, parents, teachers, and even students have voiced their concerns about CCSS.

The U.S. government approved CCSS is also supposed to prepare students to serve in our military. However, this does not appear to be true. In her September 3, 2013 article entitled, "Military: Common Core Dumbs Down New Recruits, But That's Ok", Susan Posel reported the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) showed CCSS was not preparing K-12 students for a career in the military". Actually, there was a 30% decline in the number of potential recruits who could not pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), one of the best exams to determine an applicant's qualification for enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces. Thus it seems students would be better off by properly studying and taking approved practice exams of the ASVAB and not relying on their school's CCSS curriculum.

Male-Bashing Gender Theory Course (Air Force)

The Air Force Academy (USAFA) announced the addition of two new courses to their academic calendar. “Men and Masculinity” was to be added to the fall 2013 course schedule and “Interpersonal Violence” to the spring 2014 schedule. Both courses would be taught by Christopher Kilmartin, a visiting psychology professor from at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va.

In describing his fall course, Kilmartin said, "There's a lot of theory in the first part. The second part includes discussion of men's issues: work, mental health, physical health, relationships, sexuality, violence, and contemporary topics like the prison problem, pornography and prostitution." He added that his ultimate goal was to "take a public health approach and reduce the incidence of sex assault at the academy and the military at large."

Indicating the possible need for such a course, a Department of Defense (DoD) report noted that there were 52 sexual assaults at the Air Force Academy during the 2011-2012 school year but dropped by seven during the following year.

However, distinguished author Daniel Greenfield, a contributing editor at Family Security Matters, argued the only way to fight rape is to increase security and reporting, followed by arresting rapists. He said, “Fighting rape by teaching gender theory is like fighting armed robbery by teaching Communism.” Greenfield described the course as nothing less than a male bashing gender theory course

Then, again, eyebrows could be raised after a careful reading of the two course titles and wonder if there is a place for two “touchy-feely” courses in the curriculum of the most advanced educational institution for flight-related students in the world.

Unisex Hat Controversy (Marines)

On October 21, 2013, the Marine Corps Times announced the DoD wanted to create a unisex/universal dress and service cap for all Navy personnel. Currently, male and female Marines wear gender-specific caps. All marines were asked to vote on the idea in a non-binding survey; however, Gen. James Amos, head of the Marine Corps, was to make the final decision.

However, barely six days later, the Marine Corps announced that no change would be made in the head cover presently worn by Marine Corps soldiers.

The obvious question is, "Why was this idea even suggested in the first place."

SAT Test Scores (Navy)

In 2009, 22-year U.S. Naval Academy professor Bruce Fleming reported racial discrimination existed with incoming freshmen plebes. Specifically, if a prospective candidate revealed on your application that they were "African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian", they were accepted in the fall freshman class with different SAT scores than those of other applicants. Fleming disclosed 22% of incoming plebes had an SAT math score below 600, which was only 12% in the previous year. He said, "It would represent a U.S. Naval Academy policy of systematic race discrimination".

Today's results? Current data suggests only a slight improvement has occurred since 2009 with an estimated 12-15% of incoming plebes in 2013 were admitted with a math score below 600. That means between 145 and 181 of 1206 freshman plebes were accepted in 2013.

One Austin Vietnam era veteran (Capt., U.S. Army) pondered why anyone would be admitted to the academy with an SAT score less than 600 in the first place and that the lowest acceptable score should be higher than 600. He also posited that there never should have been any place for applicants to identify their race.

No data is currently available on the distribution of incoming plebes based upon their race.

Erick Meckle, a third-year Annapolis midshipman, commented to The Washington Post, "I think that diversity is a good thing. However, if the selection process for applicants is based solely on skin color rather than raw talents, then of course it's not fair."

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