Dear Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps General David H. Berger: The actions of some of your non-coms lately is Bravo Sierra. Kindly get your people in order. That is all.
In what are apparently these post-Trump, downgraded DefCon days of the Joe Biden presidency (or whoever it is that’s actually running the country while the president keeps the breakneck pace of a single work agenda item per day), the American military finds itself with a lot of time on its hands and a brand new disrespectful attitude toward civilians.
In fact, that some of its upper echelon command staff and senior non-commissioned officers had enough time to engage a slap fight with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson over a recent piece Carlson aired about the new “woke-a-fying” of the U.S. military, specifically an address the president gave recently pledging his “intensity of purpose and mission to really change the culture and habits” of the U.S. military.
Subsequently during that speech, Biden reads aloud from his teleprompter that his new, hip Pentagon is working hard to make women feel more comfortable as elements of the nation’s defense. Planners were redesigning body armor to better fit a woman’s body and updated their hairstyles. What galled the commentator the most was the utter non-sensibility of spending who-knows-how-much taxpayer money designing a flight suit for pregnant women.
Because of course, pregnant women are the fighting mainstay of the United States Air force.
Carlson wasn’t making light of female service members, he was issuing a siren call about the stupidity of woke culture invading the military and the risks it poses to all of us. He noted something that might seem obvious to most of us: we don’t really care if the military is adequately “woke” as much as we care if it’s good at killing our enemies and blowing up their stuff. That is, after all, our military’s job.
Carlson rightly noted that of all the institutions and private businesses and public agencies so intent on resetting standards to play favorites based on our post-modern interpretations of race or gender or white guilt or sexual oddity, most of us would really like it if the military just stayed above all that and focused on hitting what it aims at.
Poll most of the members of the U.S. armed services and I will buy you a Grape Nehi if most of them don’t agree with the above. The difference of course is that The Swamp has nestled in the command ranks of the military for decades now – a strata where politics is every bit as important to a career as winning battles and where looking good to your superiors and their politically correct motivations is always more important than doing your job.
That’s more important now that Biden picked Lloyd Austin to head the Pentagon. This new wokeness is Austin’s doing – he set aside a century of military non-partisanship to administer a kind of purity test to top Pentagon brass. Basically if you weren’t woke, you were out on your ear. The important thing, in Austin’s view, more so than destroying our enemies will to resist, is that modern culture invigorate the military with its newfound sense of justice and equity.
Even with all this, it was surprising that Master Gunnery Sergeant Scott Stalker, the Marine who heads the new U.S. Space Command, took time away from his rigorous space training to attack Carlson by noting Carlson’s opinions came from a guy who never served in the military. It’s not uncommon for military service members to harbor those types of opinions in private, but to slam a civilian publically – not to mention a member of the media – was way off the rails of what used to be accepted protocol. So was the backlash Carlson got from other members of military in an unprecedented display of partisanship.
This is what happens when bad leadership either doesn’t know or doesn’t care to remember that the American military answers to the civilians it protects. No American has to serve in the military to render his opinion – much less a member of the media. The military doesn’t argue with the media – it just goes about its job and maintains its bearing. Bad leadership allows mouthpieces like Stalker to make civilians question whether discipline is still in place. An undisciplined military is a frightening thing to everyone.
The punch line of course is that existing military regulations already limit service terms and expectations of its pregnant members for obvious reasons. Those pregnant at least 20 weeks are exempt from field duty and weight standards. Duty is restricted: they canít paint, weld, run grinding machines or wear body armor after 14 weeks. There are many other restrictions that all make sense, and they don’t denigrate a woman’s service – they’re just practical considerations that consider the mom, child, her brother soldiers and the mission above wokeness.
Someone might want to break that to the president, or whoever it is that’s really in charge.
-Dane Hicks is publisher of The Anderson County Review in Garnett, Kansas. His debut novel “A Whisper for Help” celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021.