Story by Jim Nelles, Washington Examiner, 5/17/23
I am a proud veteran. I attended college on a Navy scholarship and then served more than four years on active duty. I remember being taught that our mission was to ensure the freedom of all Americans, to defend freedom around the globe, and not just defeat our enemies, but to destroy them. We were a well trained, well equipped, extremely motivated fighting force. I was in a division of almost 50 men from all walks of life: rich, poor, educated, uneducated, white, black, Filipino, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. No one cared about the backgrounds of their brothers in arms. We only cared about their ability to complete the mission. As someone once said, “There are no atheists or racists in a foxhole when the bullets start flying.”
I no longer recognize our military. Politicians and politically motivated senior officers have embraced “wokeness” in our armed forces, placing equity above mission, individual achievement and happiness above unit cohesion, and forcing beliefs on the rank and file instead of embracing all beliefs. Simply put, the U.S. military has been emasculated and is not mission ready.
Facing declining enlistment numbers, the military is doing all it can to make as many people as possible “qualified” for military service. One area where standards have been lowered is physical fitness. The Army recently lowered its “minimum passing standard for push-ups to an unimpressive total of 10 and increased its minimum two-mile run time from 19 to 23 minutes. The Space Force is considering doing away with periodic fitness testing altogether,” according to the Heritage Foundation. Imagine the volleyball or football scenes from the Top Gun movie with people who could only do 10 pushups or needed 23 minutes to run two miles. That’s not something anyone would want to see.
It is one thing to reduce physical fitness standards for some recruits, but it is entirely another thing for branches of the military to focus their efforts on initiatives that do not contribute to mission readiness and the ability to defeat the enemy. But that’s exactly what our military is doing.
West Point, the military academy that prepares young men and women to serve as officers in the Army, has a course called “Politics of Race, Gender, and Sexuality,” which teaches elements of critical race theory. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, famously testified in from of Congress that he wanted to understand “white rage.” I want rage in our military — rage directed at our enemies.
Likewise, the Navy has turned to a gender-fluid drag queen, Harpy Daniels, to be the face of its recruiting program in an effort to be more inclusive. This has angered a number of high-profile veterans, including Robert O’Neil, the man who killed Osama bin Laden, who called the move “BS” in a Twitter post.
Worse still, it seems our military is incapable of even determining who the real enemy is. The Army has decided that its most important foe is now climate change and has developed a plan to tackle climate change by establishing an electric vehicle fleet, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 from 2005 levels and to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The secretary of energy, Jennifer Granholm, testified before Congress that she supports efforts from the “Biden administration to require the U.S. military to implement an all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030.”
I have bad news for both President Joe Biden and Granholm. There are no charging stations in war zones. Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Sudan are woefully short of charging stations, so an electric fleet will have to be supported by gas-powered generators that will be towed behind combat vehicles.
Moreover, will this requirement include all military vehicles? Will ships, planes, and tanks be forced to convert to battery power? Given that most EV batteries and the elements needed to produce them are owned and governed by China and mined by slave labor in Congo, this puts U.S. military readiness at great risk.
The military is not a social experiment. The mission of the military is to destroy the enemy and defend freedom. “Wokeness” has no place in that mission. It is time to make the military great again.