The ACFT 3.0 officially dropped yesterday, and it confirmed what many of us knew was coming: the infamous “leg tuck” no longer has teeth simply because it’s now optional. That’s right; you can choose to do an alternate event, and you don’t even have to be on profile to make the choice. The Army came out and said, “we need you more than you need us.”
I really hate to draw parallels with the Marine Corps (though I do it regularly), but this is one of those instances where I have no choice. The Marines are infamous for their approach to recruiting. “You need us, we don’t need you.” It’s one of the primary reasons the core of who they are has remained intact for so long. I’ll admit the Army is vastly different in many different ways, one of them being our lowering of requirements and standards when we need to plus up our numbers, but the latest change to the Army’s physical fitness test is a victory for the screaming masses who’ve seemingly overtaken the chain of command with their cries of “unfairness” and “equality.” By piggybacking on the push to provide the same opportunities for women that men have always had (which I’d like to point out I’m not arguing with and I’m completely in support of), the “welfare population” of our Army that says “give me a paycheck and shiny badges to wear on my uniform, but I don’t want to have to work for them” has successfully screamed loud enough to twist the arm of our policy makers into doing exactly what they wanted.
Two years ago Army leadership came out and led a sensational IO campaign by letting us know the years of science behind the test, how it was a better benchmark for testing our soldiers for the physical rigors of combat, and how it had been tested up and down the line by both men and women to make sure it would send us into a new era of lethality. NOW, the Army is trying to tell us that nothing has changed, what they originally said is the same, but now you get to CHOOSE. “If it’s too hard, just go ahead and do this other thing. It’s ok. We realize we don’t have a backbone, and when Congress pushes on us because someone complained about inequality, we’ll do whatever it takes to make nice and keep our butts in the seat. After all, we’ve fostered an environment so toxic that people have been raped and murdered on our installations for years and we’re just now being held accountable, so we better not rock the boat.” (I believe the term is “paper tiger.”)
Look, this won’t change much of anything in the long run. When push comes to shove, the Army will do what is has to do just like it did a decade and a half ago. The policy makers will turn a blind eye like they always have when that happens because they know as well as anyone that warfare isn’t about equality; it’s about raw results. Right now, however, this is the trajectory we’ll maintain. It won’t matter in regards to “lethality” or “combat effectiveness.” Those who need to be lethal, will, and the rest will be what they’ve always been; fat and whiny. The biggest impact of this change will be the message it sends to the force: “push hard enough, tie your message to a popular social campaign that’s expedient to the well being of a politician, and we’ll cave to the pressure.” The force now knows it can get what it wants with enough boo-hooing and crying. Congratulations, Army, you’re well on your way to being your own woke movement in a sea of self-entitled Americans who want something for nothing.