The Ranger School debate is upon us because the Army is considering whether to overturn regulations excluding women from infantry battalions. This is part of a broader trend in the U.S. military. The Air Force allowed women to serve as combat pilots at the start of the first Gulf War in 1991. Following suit, the Navy in 2010 embarked on a taxpayer-funded retrofit of its submarines to accommodate 10-20 women in its submarine force each year. Now the Navy finds itself embroiled in controversy surrounding its process for determining their suitability. …

Ranger School isn’t about improving the career prospects of individual candidates. Our motto is “Rangers lead the way.” Many a Ranger has lived these words before being killed in action—certain that if a Ranger couldn’t accomplish the mission, nobody could. This unique culture lures the kind of young, smart soldiers needed to get the toughest jobs done. The promise of something bigger than oneself—bigger than any career track—is what motivates these men. …

And that is the secret of the brotherhood’s success. Some call it “unit cohesiveness” but what they are really describing is a transition from self-interest to selfless service. The notion of allowing women into Ranger School because denying them the experience would harm their careers makes Ranger graduates cringe. Such politically correct thinking is the ultimate expression of the “me” culture, and it jeopardizes core Ranger ideals.