I'm not sure if we can really describe the military that I, Bullet, Flieger, and others entered in the 70's and 80's as harder, easier, better, etc. But we can definitely all agree that it is "DIFFERENT".
But that's not just an "Academy" thing. The entire MILITARY today is "Different". The entire country and society is "Different". Has a lot of that happened because of "Political Correctness"? Most definitely. In my opinion, political correctness has been a major social downfall of our entire society and culture. I don't expect anyone under the age of 30 to actually understand or agree with that statement.
Most people in that age/generation, have no idea of what Political Correctness actually means. To many of the younger generation, it's simply considered NORMAL. If not, "Socially Acceptable". They have no idea what society went through to get to this "Politically Correct" world that we live in today. They weren't around to see race riots, civil rights demonstrations, ERA, etc. that I and others of my generation say. These are the things that moved us to where we are today.
Don't get me wrong. Most of those social issues 40-50 years ago definitely needed changing. Unfortunately, in both the academia world; and when the government is involved; both entities tend to go "TOO FAR to the other EXTREME". That is why I've always said that the PC culture has been a major social downfall of our society. The bad part, is that some of us can see the same thing happening today, but the younger generation can't see it; and the older generation has given up and doesn't care any longer. A good example today would be with the group "Black Lives Matter". According to social etiquette, academia, NAACP, many politicians (Who have a totally different motive), and some others; this group has a very legitimate gripe and their "RACIAL" issues need to be addressed. However, if you were to actually do an individual social survey of the country, you'd find that "Black Lives Matter; NAACP, Universities, etc." don't represent the MAJORITY of the people. They don't even represent the majority of Black Americans. But the media and politicians would never allow that info to be accepted as truth. And that is how it's been for decades. Problems arise that need to be addressed, and those in power and academia and the media overreact and take it to the far extreme in the other direction.
And that is why our military, the academy, the civilian work place, and society in general, is what it is today. It isn't better or worse. It's simple "Different". It's a more politically correct world. Again; not just the academy; but the entire military and our society as a whole. When I went to college, I didn't need a "SAFE SPACE" because some people's opinions "Hurt my Feelings". I didn't get to forgo finals because I was "Stressed out because of who the new elected president was". If someone said something I didn't like or agree with, too bad. That was their opinion, and I had mine. But again; today's generation have been indoctrinated into believing that freedom of speech only exists as long as everyone AGREES with what's being said. So to today's generation, this is NORMAL. It's what they've been taught. It's WRONG...... but they don't know it. And unfortunately, very few individuals of that generation, "No matter how well educated they are", can argue this in an educated manner. Because they simply don't know. They have nothing to compare it to. They didn't exist prior. They can only go on what is told to them through academia, the media, and government. And don't get me wrong; it didn't START with my generation. This type of social engineering and change has been going on since the beginning of time. The difference is; the type of "Political Correctness" we have today, is relatively new. It's only been evolving for about 50 years. Prior to that, we didn't have the mass media, so social engineering was at a much slower pace.
But the most important thing, in my opinion, is that the men and women who are trained at our academies and in our military, are prepared to fight and win if necessary. Fortunately, due to technological innovations and improvements, fighting a war today is also "Different". It doesn't rely as much on the soldier on the ground with a rifle in their hands. Or a low flying aircraft in a dog fight. So in that regard, I believe even with a more politically correct society, country, academy, and military; it won't have as much of a negative affect on our military members as some might fear. Because the "Art of War" has also changed because of the same reasons that have made our society and military change.