This is commentary with some factual basis, concerns and a bit of confusion.
They may not want to admit it, but our military leaders, instructors and professors have dug the hole of political perception within the military. They are doing it in an obvious way by inserting themselves into cultural/politcal issues such as having military bases hosting drag queen story hours and allowing soldiers to insert their pronouns in their email signatures, and they are doing it in more covert ways such as “battling extremism” and making political positions national security concerns e.g. covid mitigation, abortion rights, racism and even climate change etc. Yes, all of those are inherently political because they come down to the values or perceived values that are held by each political party and its affiliates (voters), and when the Secretary of Defense serves at the leisure of the President of the United States, it is foolish to assume there no undue influence. An article by ML Cavanaugh from 2018 from the Modern Warfare Institute said, “The military has long held a tradition of nonpartisan service to prevent politics from dividing troops from within and separating the military from the society it serves.” The military engaging in the culture wars does one thing: divide the military itself. And really we have to ask ourselves why are they doing that? And what kind of culture are we breeding within the military?
From a Military Times article in 2019, “In the end, the military is a reflection of the society it draws recruits from, which is why instilling unifying values and beliefs is an integral part of the armed forces, according to Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith. “All of us [services] have different, but very similar, enculturation processes where we bring people in and expose them to our core values and let them know what the norms are,” Smith said. “We spend a lot of time reinforcing character and leader development throughout the course of a career.” Does exposing members of the services to sexual and gender identity cultural issues reflect the core values of the military? Is there a reasonable course of action against certain trainings and behaviors that might require a religious person in the military to be exempt from these things? No. And what about the society it draws its recruits from? Those areas are primarily in the south and areas surrounding military bases which are closely related to legacy military families, tradition. I live in the south and I will just say that those are not the shared values of the society they are recruiting from. It would appear the Department of Defense is doing everything in its power to shift this paradigm to a new soldier, and that new soldier would make even Mao blush. A brief history refresh; the reign of Mao brought us the Red Guard, a group of student revolutionaries that wanted to eliminate the long held traditions of the Chinese people and would do so by force and intimidation. and demand a change of culture to satisfy their desired outcomes. Another interesting aspect of Mao’s army was the complete elimination of feminity and sex in order to create a community of genderless peoples . From the book Chinese Feminities. Chinese Masculinities by Emily Honig, “On the surface, Red Guard violence was gender blind; there was nothing gendered about either its perpetrators or victims, whose class identity and political affiliation were far more salient. However, personal accounts and memoirs of the Cultural Revolution reveal that its violence was in fact deeply gendered, sexualized, and enmeshed in contested notions of masculinity and femininity.” Sound familiar? Thanks Adam Curry. Our military is currently rather enmeshed in the ideas of gender and sex, and is demanding all those that serve be equally as enmeshed.
So why is it that our military is allowing some political opinions while trying to silence others? What is their intention? I recently came across an article titled, “We’ve Been Here Before: Learning From the Military’s History With White Nationalism.” The primary focus at the beginning of the article is the activities surrounding the January 6 riot, a hot political button issue. The title and content itself could use a little work but what I noticed was that the first author listed was Simone Askew, a name I am familiar with from association and a person I am not impressed with. Askew is an Active Duty officer in the military, as are the other authors, and is writing and publishing articles that could be decisive and misinterpreted by those that she serves with. If you read between the lines of what this article is saying is that white religious guys are extremist or follow extremist ideologies and then goes on to list a small number of examples to paint the picture of a larger population problem. Was that the intention? Maybe, maybe not but it is the primary take away. Now pretend that is your boss. Can get a little dicey. Trust is a two way street, and broad assumptions in regard to race or religion do not go along way to maintaining the relationships necessary for a strong and cohesive military. To pick the article apart a bit more, the very limited number of events is miniscule compared to the number of white men that have honorably served in the military since its inception. And leaving out generational context in a time when there were racial tensions lacks scholarly integrity, but that is just my opinion. And with new military directives on “extremism” that leave sweeping discretion at the hands of officers and commanders like Askew, it is no wonder why people are running out the door. If you think this type of thinking is a one off in the officer ranks, take a trip over to military reddit and see the vitriol and disdain these officers have for their soldiers that they view as less than. It will make your blood boil.
These are just two examples in a long list, but the military leaders are either completely inept at seeing the culture they are creating or it is by design. If they’re explaining, they are losing. They know they are losing but they persist. They are getting the soldier they want not the soldier they need, they have overcorrected and have put our national security at risk because they want to play politics no matter how much they deny it. From the DailyCaller,
- The Air Force Academy rolled out a new program aimed at reducing perceptions of politicization in the military amid a historic lack of trust in the military and trends of military officials seeking influence in political matters, according to an article by two professors and a student leader at the academy.
- Cadets at the academy said they did not understand what their oath to uphold the Constitution actually meant.
- “A strong background in civil-military relations helps officers understand why military leadership is subordinate to civilian leadership when faced with following orders and making decisions in morally complex situations,” the authors wrote.
It is all about perception not real actions or practice. Losers. But maybe this is a multi prong action that has been in the works for longer than any of us realize. Think about all the stupidity of the military and then read this and see if it applies: In 1944 the CIA published a handbook called, ““Simple Sabotage Field Manual: A Timeless Guide to Subverting Any Organization with Purposeful Stupidity.” Some highlights are:
Organizations and Conferences
- Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
- Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.
- When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committee as large as possible — never less than five.
- Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
- Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
- Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
- Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
- In making work assignments, always sign out the unimportant jobs first. See that important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers.
- Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those which have the least flaw.
- To lower morale and with it, production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions.
- Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
- Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, pay checks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.
- Work slowly
- Work slowly.
- Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can.
- Do your work poorly and blame it on bad tools, machinery, or equipment. Complain that these things are preventing you from doing your job right.
- Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less skillful worker.
Seems on brand. Ok bye.