This Thursday, November 11, is Veterans Day. I will be posting about that special holiday, but before I do that, I want to discuss the deliberate deterioration and weakening of America’s military.
Immediately following my comments is a commentary I received from US Defense Watch, a website founded by U.S. Army veteran Ray Starmann, who served in the Gulf War. Like a lot of veterans, I included, Starmann is appalled by the destructive “wokeness” being inflicted on members of America’s military by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Millie, and our stumbling, bumbling president.
How “woke?” Here’s one recent example:
New Pentagon regulations allow more hairstyles for women and permit pregnant aircrew members to wear maternity flight suits while flying missions.
So, pregnant women with big hair are now going to fight our wars? What next?
While China’s military becomes more masculine our military apparently needs to become, as Joe Biden and Milley say, ‘more feminine.’
While women have proven that they can be great combat pilots, the fact remains that by emphasizing things like climate change, gender fluidity, wokeness, and political correctness, America’s military leaders are risking unit cohesion and combat readiness.
Already, the type of basic and advanced training I and Vietnam era veterans received in the 1960s has been “dumbed down” in terms of rigor and harshness to accommodate female recruits. Basic trainees can even request a “time-out” when they feel a drill sergeant is being too tough on them. These were unheard-of concepts with I was going through basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. It was rigorous and our drill sergeants did not spare the verbal and, sometimes, physical abuse.
“If you f–kin maggots can’t take it here at Ft. Leonard Wood, what the hell are you going to do in Vietnam when people are trying to kill you,” I recall my Platoon Sergeant Monroe Harrington bellowing. “We want no pussies in E-3-2!” (Company E, 3rd battalion, 2d regiment)
Meanwhile, Russian and Chinese troops are being trained with greater severity and shaped into highly efficient combat-ready units designed to fight real wars, not woke squaddies designed to fight “culture wars.”
During my basic and advanced training, I learned that the “point” of the U.S. military is to deter war, and failing that, to win the war that follows. That doesn’t seem to be the purpose anymore.
Civilian leaders and active-duty service members alike argue that the military “should be a reflection of our socio-political and neoliberal values and goals as a nation.”
Really? How does redesigning the military to be a reflection of these new values and goals make for good warfighting? Does it make formations and tactics more efficient, effective, and lethal in making war?
As Frank Bennett, a former infantry platoon leader in Afghanistan recently put it:
“The American public is exposed to an image of an armed force composed of bearded alpha males in special operations units, cigar-smoking paratroopers rescuing the world from fascism, or the sight of the Blue Angels tearing across the sky above the Super Bowl, all designed to enhance the perception that the U.S. military is unstoppable. The reality of a bloated million-headed mass of semi-fit clerks does not set the blood pumping.”
Instead, our military leaders seem bent on creating a force that is more concerned with the principles of “equity and diversity,” rather than how military units will actually perform.
Sadly, for the past 20 years, we have witnessed the results of this relentless dumbing down and tempering of our military. We just spent 20 years in a socially and politically backward place called Afghanistan—20 years of failure after failure. We and our coalition cohorts fought a frustrating losing war against a rag-tag collection of autonomous warlords, loosely organized Hindu Kush clans, and illiterate irregulars.
And what do we have to show for it? Nothing. The Taliban are back in power and Afghanistan is once again a breeding ground for dangerous terrorist groups.
Contrast that with World War II when our military, along with our allies, took only four years to annihilate Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan—two of the most sophisticated military powers ever to march across our planet. That army was not one built on political correctness. It was a lethal fighting force that focused on winning battles, not on winning “woke” debates about climate change, gender equity, white rage, or transgender latrines. Ditto, the military units that fought in Vietnam where they rarely lost a battle, but wound up losing the war because of the political spinelessness and malaise oozing from the feckless Washington swamp.
So this is where we are. As a veteran, I am appalled by this new military’s focus on wokeness and weather panic.
I worry about how we will confront a belligerent China that seems intent on supplanting the United States as the preeminent power in Asia, if not the world. With a navy that already dwarfs ours, a combat-ready army that is probably five times larger than ours, and a slew of hypersonic missiles, we are already an underdog.
God help us if our feckless and woke military leaders are allowed to further erode the effectiveness and competence of our fighting forces in favor of further wokeness and deceitful critical race theory.
Over and out!
GI Joe RIP: 1775 – 2021
By Ray Starmann
Now, that you’re gone Joe, I just wanted to say thanks for everything you’ve done for the country.
You were around a long time, all the way back to 1775. You waged a lot of battles, fought plenty of bad guys, and helped bring down evil empires.
You crossed the Delaware with Washington, trudged endlessly through the steaming jungles of the South Pacific, climbed Pointe du Hoc to save the world at Normandy, and battled sandstorms and Jihadis from the 73 Easting to Tal Afar.
As General MacArthur said so eloquently, “From one end of the world to another, you drained deep the chalice of courage.”
They called you Yankee Doodle, Rabble in Arms, Billy and Johnny, Doughboy, Soldier, Grunt, Trooper, but perhaps the greatest title they bestowed upon you was GI Joe; Government Issue Joe.
Sometimes you were a draftee, other times a volunteer, but all the time you stood for one thing above all, VICTORY.
You didn’t want to be there; you wanted to be home with your family, or at a ball game, or at your job. But, you did what you had to do and you did it heroically and magnificently.
You have known what it is like to be filthy and frozen and afraid. You have endured and experienced things that no one else can understand, especially the people who wanted to destroy you.
Make no mistake about it Joe; they didn’t want you around anymore.
You weren’t perfect; you swore, you drank, you brawled; you associated with women you wouldn’t introduce to your mother. But, the world knew you as the “Good Guy”, the guy in uniform who always had a spare ration or some extra chocolate for a child, and who delivered it with a smile.
Little did you know that it wouldn’t be a bullet that killed you, but political correctness, wokeness, and left-wing radicals who have never spent a moment in your blue and gray and khakis, in your jungle fatigues and ACU’s.
Some call it progress, some call it social engineering; I call it the death of the US Army.
I know you turned to your leaders for help. As usual, your sergeants did their best. But, they only have so much power. Next, you went to your lieutenants and captains. But, they were young and just trying to survive in a system that was crumbling from within. Then, you approached your field grade officers, the majors, and colonels. You thought they could help. But, they were too busy rising in the ranks to care.
Next were the people with the real power; the brass, the generals. Finally, you thought, help was on the way. No doubt these men would save you. But, you thought wrong, Joe. They couldn’t have cared less about you. Oh, they said they were behind you, during graduation speeches or base visits. But, their promises, like their characters, were empty.
They said they needed you. But, in the end, all they needed was another star, or more retirement benefits or a defense contractor job after they had sold you out and the nation with you.
I know you pleaded with them, Joe. You told them what would happen if you were gone, but they didn’t care. Your cries went unanswered. Their moral cowardice and greed and irresponsibility were the cause of your death.
To quote that man of wisdom, Don Vito Corleone, “You will always be betrayed by those closest to you.” And you were betrayed, Joe.
Now, that you’re gone, we won’t forget you, how could we, after everything you’ve done for us. No doubt, there will be a time when we wish you were still around, believe me. It’s coming. Only our enemies seem to understand the disaster we’re embarking on. We are too blinded by our own weakness, political correctness, and sensitivity to save you. Your death is celebrated by those who think that by destroying you they are being progressive.
Of course, those that destroyed you won’t be around when the reckoning takes place. They never are. They’ll be retired or at another government agency or at some left-wing think tank. They’ll be safely tucked away when the New Army, the Great Woke Social Experiment takes the field and loses over and over and over again to a myriad of the nation’s enemies.
Then and only then will the public cry out for you and wonder how we could have possibly let you slip away into a death slumber. By then, it will be too late.