I served in the Air Force for over 20 years. Anyone who has worn the uniform knows that to dedicate two decades of your life to service requires that your occupation becomes who you are.
I had adopted the core values of my service as my own over the years; Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. So when, in the last few years of my service, I began witnessing gross violations of these values by my military branch in the name of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I found I could no longer serve in a system that favored physical traits over proven ability.
I recently read two articles on diversity in the military, one from Politico and one written by a friend who still serves. Both pieces were interesting and enlightening; however, a voice I feel is missing from the diversity in the military debate – the voice of someone like me.
While China prepares for war this is what they have our @USNavy focused on pic.twitter.com/hg6P4igR5w
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 12, 2023
Those in the Profession of Arms aim to take the fight to the bad guys and win. Unfortunately, we have been doing little ‘winning’ lately.
Never forget President Trump’s spot-on initial take on Woke General Milley telling him to leave the military equipment in Afghanistan:
“That’s when I realized he was a fucking idiot.” pic.twitter.com/shFyo1FIQg
— TRUMP ALWAYS WIN!!! (@DavidYeshua4) April 12, 2023
My husband and I are veterans of the Forever War, with numerous tours to Iraq and Afghanistan under our belts. We both lost friends in the war, my husband bore witness to terrible atrocities and saw combat a considerable number of times. Things that are still with him to this day – and what do we have to show for it?
Instead of focusing on training and equipping ourselves to win wars, the DOD has spent excessive time and money on DEI initiatives. For example, last year, the DOD budget had $86.5 million for “diversity and inclusion activities.”
Involvement in the DEI complex is good money, as discovered by Senator Eric Schmitt from Missouri, who shed light on the fact that DEI employees in the military are paid three figures.
In a letter he wrote to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Senator Schmitt wrote:
“America’s adversaries will not be defeated by spending six figures to hire DEI administrators.”
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And he’s not wrong.
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Swinging The Pendulum Too Far
Diversity and inclusion are essential and valuable in any organization, including the military – however, like most best-intentioned initiatives, the execution is where we fall short. As a woman in the military, I faced my fair share of ridiculous obstacles, including sexism.
Even as a senior leader, I was reminded that there was always someone in my ranks and the meetings I attended who felt I was less than them based on my gender. Sometimes even my bosses preferred I sit pretty and be a secretary while the big men made all the decisions. It mattered little to these machismo wannabes that I was more intelligent and capable than they ever would be.
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In the article, my friend wrote in Military Times titled ‘Don’t just accommodate women in the military. Integrate!’ Sam Sliney explains how even now, women are often an afterthought in military units and within policy due to the system’s inability to evolve. This is perfectly highlighted in the fact that there is still work being done to get women injured while in combat roles the benefits they are entitled to in what is known as ‘The Jax Act.’
So, as an advocate for making it easier for women to get the same treatment as men in uniform, why am I so critical of the DEI initiatives that are supposedly in place to help elevate minorities such as women?
Because I need mutual respect, not elevation, DEI doesn’t offer me or anyone respect but instead acts as a money pit to elevate ideology.
The current U.S. military — run by woke generals who push "White Rage" and DEI garbage — lost in Afghanistan, can't hit recruiting goals, and now can't even keep sensitive intel from leaking to the enemy. Should we now trust it to fight a forever war against Russia in Ukraine?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) April 11, 2023
Making It Worse
I have witnessed sexism and racism in the military since I was a young Airman; after all, it is a human-run organization, and anything involving humans will have inevitable if inexcusable foibles. However, what sickened me the most was what I saw ingrained in the leadership tiers once I joined their ranks.
It started simple, Colonels and Chiefs would apply pressure on Commanders and other leaders to swap out award winners with those who were black or other minority groups, whether they had met the requirements or not. And when minorities in the unit, whether minorities based on sex or race, achieved something worthy of celebration, their fanfare would be much more pronounced than if a white male Airman had accomplished something of equal value.
And then the murder of George Floyd happened. All senior enlisted leaders were forced to convene in a conference room to discuss the incident and how it impacted the base community where I was stationed at the time.
Quickly, the conversation devolved into Chiefs insisting that white people must acknowledge our privilege, understand that we must admit that we have unconscious racism, and to question this ideology is to be insubordinate. But, unlike many in that room who outranked me, I refused to do this, and I still won’t.
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I am not a racist, and I will not live my life apologizing or diminishing my accomplishments based solely on my skin color.
In the recent hearings on ‘wokeism’ in the DOD, Congressman Jim Banks said of the embrace of DEI in the services:
“…they may very well be increasing racism and division in our military.”
And he’s not wrong.
Your strategic imperative is defending the United States
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 19, 2023
Hit The Nail On The Head
Shawn Skelly is the DOD’s highest-ranking transgender official as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness.
In the Politico piece on her, she’s quoted as saying:
“If people understand that they’re not going to get a fair shake, because they come from a specific ethnic origin, or based on their identity, or based on who they love, we are going to be worse off because not enough Americans are going to want to be a part of the U.S. military.”
HISTORY: The Senate has confirmed two of President Biden's groundbreaking LGBTQ+ nominees >>
🔘 Gina Ortiz Jones as Under Secretary of the Air Force, the first out lesbian to serve in the role
🔘 Shawn Skelly, the highest-ranking out transgender @DeptofDefense official
— Matt Hill (@MattHill46) July 22, 2021
And while for some of you, this may shock you to hear me say, she’s not wrong. It’s precisely why I chose to retire when I did. I was passed over for a position for the sole reason that I didn’t look diverse enough.
It didn’t matter that I was the best candidate; what mattered was that I was white, and being a female wasn’t enough to push me over the minority test – not that I would’ve ever wanted a job because of my anatomy. I never cared much about what someone looked like; I come from a generation that was told not to see skin color.
I never cared who someone loved; affairs of the heart are beyond my comprehension, and only God knows why our hearts are drawn to one another. And to be honest, I don’t care if someone ‘identifies’ as a different gender than the one they were born into.
What I do care about is when I am forced to carte blanche accept someone’s “lived reality” while silencing and apologizing for who I am of which I can’t control – a white heterosexual female. That is not equity, that is not diversity, and that is not inclusion.
And that is why the military loses valuable talent like myself and many others. Until we start to care about our voices as much as we care about those peddled by DEI consulting firms, we will continue to be less effective and lethal.
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No wonder the world thinks of america as a big sick joke
Lost me when she announced she was better than everyone else. Just another feminist.
I would like to hear Kathleen’s view on the Obama administration stifling a marine study which showed mixed male/female combat units performed lower than all male units.
Today’s military has lost its focus, IMHO.
if military goes woke God help us “