Another response to the recruiting crisis
Bruce, a great idea and one that should be implemented regardless of educational credentials. It won't happen though. Standardized testing, which ostensibly provides a leveling standard to compensate for pervasive grade inflation or to call out folks swimming in weak (or very strong) academic gene pools, is being pushed aside in college admissions slowly but consistently. The odds of the DOD implementing something like this is nil. Hell, the Army can’t even implement its own physical fitness test (the most basic and benign functional standard of the profession of arms) without severe political scrutiny and interference because it is not "fair". Huntington is dead, both in reality (RIP) and now metaphorically (double RIP).
The Marine Corps has had a reasonably strong tradition of enlisted Marines through various routes becoming commissioned officers. “Mustangs” brought a unique and important perspective to the units in I served in, and at OCS the Mustangs that were going through were pretty helpful, “here dumbass, you shine your brass faster this way...” though basically they considered it all a big pain in the neck and an addition/enhancement to the harassment package, to which they brought their own brand of gallows humor, which was always quite welcomed. “What’s the difference between the Boy Scouts and the Marine Corps? The Boy Scouts have adult leadership.”
That said, something seems to have worked over time. However, in these unsettled times some introspection and taking stock of the recruitment, selection, training and so forth prior to anyone being allowed to be commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, is in order. How do we recruit, select, train and mentor the commissioned officer corps? It seems self evident that standards not change and if for some reason the idea that we find intellectual giants in code writing in Silicon Valley and put gold oak leaves on their collars without having the pleasure of a visit to “The Quigley!”, ought to be reason enough to call that a very bad idea for helping recruit, select and ultimately commission a Marine Corps Officer. Speaking of Mustangs Lieutenant William Quigley was a tactics instructor at OCS when he was charged with coming up with a “combat course” to challenge the “Candidates” physically and mentally and simulate as much stress as possible. No matter the MOS almost all officers in the Corps have the shared experience of The Quigley.
It seems very logical to look inward and be sure we are giving the best possible set of opportunities to the enlisted ranks to become commissioned officers, and at this point whether a university sheep skin is a valid metric for selection might be worth a hard look and stern review, as well.
And then the test has to get easier and easier because nobody is sufficiently educated to pass it.
This would be good. Hope it happens.
One can hope.