Last week began a veritable bacchanalia of celebrations of “PRIDE” month by the US Armed Forces. Why a military that has gone 0-2 in the last 20 years and is sucking swamp water in recruiting would want to devote a month to celebrating sexual deviance is beyond me, but that is where we are. The Air Force seems to have aimed for the stars.
In the interests of fairness between the services, I would like to mention that “Harpy” Daniels, the trans/drag/whatever Navy appointed as “Digital Ambassador”, performs with the equivalent in the US Army. It has nothing to do with PRIDE Month, but I don’t want my son in the USAF to feel more picked on than normal.
The Pentagon’s 12th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Month celebration on June 7 was a telling episode that showed the damage caused to the military when they celebrated what, until recently, was a felony in terms of the UCMJ.
Lieutenant General Deanna B. Burt, Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear, was the keynote speaker.
Since January this year, over 400 anti-LGBTQ+ state laws have been passed. This number is on the rise and shows a dangerous trend for servicemembers and their families as well as the readiness of the entire force.
When I consider potential candidates for a squadron commander, for example, I try to match the person with the right job. First, I look at their work performance and relevant experience. But I also consider their family and personal circumstances. If a candidate is not comfortable being themselves or performing at their best potential in a certain location, or their family may be denied vital health care because of the laws in a particular state, then I will consider another candidate who might be less qualified.
These barriers threaten our readiness and are directly related to the resilience and well-being of our most valuable operational advantage, our people. Success for the Department of Defense depends on getting maximum performance from each member of the team. Each member of the team deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and to work in an environment where they can thrive.
The Department of Defense’s diverse and inclusive tapestry must continue to embrace the LGBTQ+ community. In a 2022 survey, almost 20 percent of people born between 1997 and 2004 identify as LGBTQ+. Without the right policies, messages, and allies, we could alienate 20 percent or 20 percent of our target demographic. Remember that the DpD has a recruiting shortage across the enterprise.
Diversity and inclusion are imperatives for warfighting, as well as force multipliers that give us a competitive edge against our adversaries. We need to be able to draw on the brightest and best talent in our country to build and retain a workforce that is as diverse as the challenges facing the nation.
In order to achieve this, we ask that each Guardian embody the Guardian Spirit. The Guardian Spirit represents what it means to belong to the United States Space Force. The Guardian Spirit is a symbol of public servants with character and a strong sense of principle. They have committed warfighters with a space mind who have mastered the art of arms. They are collaborative and bold problem solvers who have the courage to challenge the status quo and debate new ideas. They work with their teammates to learn from failure, experiment, adapt and innovate.
The Guardian Spirit does not care which bathroom a person uses, or what gender or sexuality they are.
There is of course the usual nonsense that diversity and inclusion are essential to mission success. Just once, I would like to see a good example. The British Army recruited regiments within a particular zone. For nearly two centuries it was the best-equipped army in the entire world. Early Highland regiments, raised by clan chieftains among their kinsmen, were a result of this. By focusing on homogeneity, they were able to create extraordinary military formations out of Indian, Himalayan, and Pakistani tribes. We spent 20 years and millions of dollars to fold the Afghan National Army into a uniform-like fighting force. This was because, unlike the Brits, we insisted on each battalion being a proportional slice of Afghan tribes. You can name any “diverse”, French Foreign Legion, and I’ll give you a dozen homogenous examples.
Even by the standards set by the military that Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley have run to the ground, this speech is a partisan political one. It was broadcast by the Pentagon, and not behind closed doors. This shows that the Pentagon wanted to send a message about its love of exotic sexual practices and disfiguring surgeries.
It is stupid for any military officer to launch a non-factual attack on the laws of several states. If made by a commissioned military officer in Florida or any of the other 18 states, this statement could be interpreted as a violation of Article 88, UCMJ. This is bad leadership, as it violates the Hatch Act and encourages subordinates to become involved in local and state politics. It’s also stupid politics to form a House or Senate voting bloc that is against your service.
Burt’s claim is the most shocking. She claims to have sandbagged certain officers who were slated to command units in states she does not approve of, out of a vague fear that their lives or those of their families might be at risk. She claims that she has had to appoint other officers who are less qualified in these positions. Subtextually, all top-quality Space Force Officers are exotic or have some sexual inclination. Any straight white male that you see in a more backward state is a second-stringer.
This is utter bullsh**. However, as it was a statement made in public and against “penal interest”, as Law & Order’s Jack McCoy might say, the DOD Inspector-General should investigate. If her words match the facts, she should be demoted a few grades.
In the last eight-year period, I have become convinced that “the long march” has been completed and that the Defense Department is now largely enemy terrain. In 1992, I noticed that the senior officers who worked for me at the Pentagon were all openly and unanimously pro-Clinton. If we are lucky enough to have another Republican as president, the first thing to do is to take a page out of George C. Marshall’s playbook. He scoured the officer corps to find men who would be able to fight and win the second world war, and then ruthlessly removed the established hierarchy. Eight years is enough time to bring the enemy into the open and begin a purge that would make Josef Stalin envious.