Story by Elizabeth Stauffer, Washington Examiner, 6/19/2023
It’s been widely reported that recruitment levels across all branches of the United States military fell well short of expectations in 2022. The Army missed its target of 60,000 new troops by 15,000, or 25%. Navy and Air Force recruitment were down as well. And the outlook for 2023 looks equally dismal.
According to Military.com, Army planners estimate that “only about 23% of 17- to 24-year-olds can meet the service’s expectations, with many applicants failing the military’s SAT-style entrance exam or being too overweight to serve.”
While it’s true that obesity among U.S. children has been rising for decades, the forced COVID-19 lockdowns surely exacerbated the problem. The lockdowns are also responsible for the growing number of students who fail to achieve grade-level math and reading competency. Maybe the time teachers devote to indoctrinating students with useless racial and gender theories would better be spent on basic academics.
The military has always been one of America’s most highly-revered institutions. Even as we watched the scourge of wokeness spread its venomous tentacles into all aspects of American culture, including academia and our government agencies, the U.S. military appeared to be largely immune to this trend, remaining apolitical, as intended.
However, under the leadership of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, the apolitical nature of the military has changed — dramatically so.
Taking his cue from the Biden administration, one of Austin’s first initiatives was to target “far-Right extremism” in the military, which he considered a serious threat to U.S. national security. Weeks after taking office, he put out a memo calling for a military-wide “stand-down to address extremism in the ranks.” He intended to purge the military of such “corrosive behaviors” as “discrimination, hate, and harassment.”
Along with the stand-down order, he also called for the introduction of critical race theory into all professional military training, including service academy curriculums. For this defense secretary, wokeness trumps the ages-old “band of brothers” bond, the very real connection between soldiers that only one who has “been there” can understand.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told Breitbart at the time this was a very bad idea “[b]ecause they [troops] need to look to their right and their left and see not the representative of a racial group, but a battle buddy, a comrade in arms who will lay down their lives in defense of each other and their nation.”
Austin’s second priority was fighting climate change, which he declared was “an existential threat.” Speaking in April 2021, he said, “Today, no nation can find lasting security without addressing the climate crisis. We face all kinds of threats in our line of work, but few of them truly deserve to be called existential. The climate crisis does. … Climate change is making the world more unsafe, and we need to act.”
Milley defended Austin’s push to teach CRT to service members in June 2021 testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. He told lawmakers, “I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. And it is important that we train and we understand.”
He continued, “I want to understand white rage, and I’m white. And I want to understand it. … I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist.”
“So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?” he asked. “And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, non-commissioned officers, of being ‘woke’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there.”
Milley insisted, “It [CRT] matters to our military and the discipline and cohesion of this military.”
Actually, in general, support for these woke ideals is divisive and destructive, and nowhere is it more dangerous than in the military. The prioritization of anti-racism and climate change initiatives by those whose duty it is to keep Americans safe, is a betrayal of their oath of office.
But the hits from Austin and Milley just keep on coming. Consider a recent Army recruitment ad that features a female soldier touting her “two moms” and their triumphant wedding day. I am without words.
Retired U.S. Army Captain Jason Church joined Fox News last summer and summed up the military’s woke new direction. Church, who lost his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, said the Biden administration is trying to “change the fundamental ground that is our military service. They’re trying to uproot it and completely change it all in the name of woke idealism. The military doesn’t exist to promote social activism. It exists to protect America from external threats.”
Just a little something for Austin to think about as he considers the next pointless policy proposal that lands on his desk.