We lost one of our finest military commanders recently although "lost" isn't quite the proper word. Former commander of the Third Infantry Division, Major General Tony Cucolo has retired--about ten years too soon at least. General Cucolo is one of our greatest Americans and heroes and should have a long and fruitful retirement. Retiring as a relatively young man along with his wife Ginger the retirement pension of a major general, I'm sure is a pretty nice piece of change.
But the tragedy is that Tony Cucolo should still be on active duty as a lieutenant general (three stars) and well on his way to a fourth star. Tony Cucolo should have gotten that third star when he left as 3rd I-D commander over three years ago to head for his next assignment. If I were Commander-in-Chief you can bet that General Cucolo would have gotten all four stars he deserved and would have been my Army Chief of Staff or even Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He was that good. Just about every commander at Fort Stewart--like Glenn Webster, Rick Lynch, and Abe Abrams--all got their third stars. Not Tony Cucolo, however. Why? General Cucolo had the unmitigated gaul to repremand some female soldiers who thought it was a wise decision to get pregnant while serving in a war zone!
While stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, General Cucolo had to discipline some female soldiers, and one male soldier responsible for getting a female soldier pregnant. GOD FORBID! Soldiers who could not perform their duties properly in a WAR ZONE one had to assume they got pregnant on purpose to get sent back stateside. That means a shortage (perhaps critical) in their positions and requiring replacement troops to come in to fill the gaps. This could have put other soldiers lives in danger or extra duty. Those soldiers should have been court martialed and drummed out of the service with dishonorable discharges. Instead, it was General Cucolo who got on the "hot seat."
Forget our national security and the safety of our troops--the "usual suspects" in the parallel universe in Congress got their panties in a bunch. The likes of Senators Barbara Boxer, Diane Finestein, Barbara Mulkulski, just to name a few got outraged. They accused General Cucolo of being sexist cause this mean ol' bully who was not letting these soldiers exercise their rights as women (or some such left-wing politically correct garbage). So with their power in Washington they raised a huge stink and made sure Major General Cucolo would never advance in rank. It worked...passed over for his third star, General Cucolo served out his remaining time as commander of the War College in Pennsylvania.
So the Army--and America--is without a brilliant military leader and strategist. What a crying shame--sacrificed on the alter of sexism. It's only a shame that we couldn't be running Sen. Boxer and her confederates out of Washington on a rail and let them spend a few months in Afghanistan guarded by pregnant soldiers!