Over the past decade, I’ve gotten calluses on my lips trying to
convince folks across this great land that women won’t make it as grunts
in ground combat. The minute I start my spiel, I see some people turn
off. They’re probably thinking, “Why doesn’t this old male dinosaur tune
into the 21st century and get with reality or crawl back into his
retirement cave and shut up. Future wars will be about missiles,
satellites and high-technology gadgets. And Jane can push buttons a lot
better than Tarzan.”

Now help is on the way! A woman, no less, agrees with my old grunt
point of view derived from more than 50 years of trudging around
battlefields as a sailor, soldier and reporter.

One thing this rough journey underscored is that missiles and
high-tech contraptions don’t win wars, only well-trained, highly
disciplined and granite-hard men do. Somalia and Kosovo have only
reinforced that truth.

In “The Kinder, Gentler Military,” Stephanie
Gutmann — after spending several years in the trenches doing research
and interviewing scores of male and female members of our military —
has concluded that the push to increase the number of females in the
military has seriously weakened our armed forces.


Gutmann’s reporting is mainly anecdotal, backed by hard research, a
lot of shoe leather and sweat. The book is “you are there” — listening
to scores of fine men and women on the aircraft carrier USS Stennis, at
the Army training fields of Fort Jackson, S.C., and at the Great Lakes
Naval Training Center in Illinois. These patriots shout that the
experiment by the social engineers and the PCers has failed.

A woman Marine, Sgt. Charlotte Crouch, says, “Truth be known, that’s
one of the reasons that I’m getting out. It’s all too PC. I came in to
be in an organization with a clear mission policy and a focus on
individual and unit efficiency. Now, the focus is what you say, how you
say it and to whom do you say it. Whatever happened to simply training
Marines? And how in the hell did we ever get stuck in this mire?”

Ex-Army Capt. John Hillen says, “It’s becoming like Mao’s cultural
revolution. Everybody knows it’s a system built on a thousand little
lies, but everybody’s waiting for someone that’s high ranking who’s not
a complete moral coward to come and say so.”

Navy Lt. John Gadzinski says, “This is a boat (USS Eisenhower) where
our job is to put bombs on target, missiles on target.” But in reality,
the maiden cruise of the giant carrier with a crew that was 10 percent
female was all about snowing the public on how well sexual integration
worked in the Navy.

Gadzinski told Gutmann the cruise was a con job from beginning to
end. He said, for example, that female sailors who worked in data
processing were put in the flight deck and the control tower “to make a
pretty picture for the VIPs on their walk-throughs.”

The high rankers are still hiding the truth from Congress, and Ms.
Gutmann takes a shot at their dereliction of duty and five-star
hypocrisy like no one has before.

I hear from scores of Army drill sergeants, all sounding off about
how training’s been weakened and standards lowered because of mixing
male and female trainees together. Gutmann captures their despair when
she describes Fort Jackson as a kind of Sesame Street with a lot of
teenage sex.

Gutmann found that many women trainees couldn’t toss a grenade the
required 115 feet. So, the bar was lowered; women only had to “pick up a
live grenade and essentially dump it over the wall of a deep concrete
enclosure, where it could burst to its little heart’s content.”

She quotes one drill sergeant, “You’re not being a soldier; you’re
being a mama.” The same sergeant says, “Abuse is one thing; being tough
and demanding is another.”

Gutmann’s book must be read by all caring Americans, and its cogent
message must be urgently transmitted to our lawmakers — who go along to
get along to get re-elected — and in the process put political
correctness over the security of our nation and the lives of our
frontline fighters.

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