March 1, 2023

The Pentagon’s ‘Stupid’ Wokeness Directives

As Joe Biden’s military bends over backward to accommodate transgenderism, the biggest casualties are morale and readiness.

Seventy-eight years ago today, some 70,000 U.S. Marines were fighting and dying on a tiny Pacific island called Iwo Jima. Imagine the looks on their faces if they’d been told that they’d be storming those sulfurous black sand beaches with a handful of men who claimed to be women.

Imagine the look on the face of flamethrower Woody Williams if you ordered him to take out a series of murderous concrete pillboxes while a man who claimed to be a woman provided covering fire. Imagine what hard-charging Sergeant Mike Strank might’ve said if you’d told him that he and the rest of the men who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi would have to allow a man who thinks he’s a woman into their midst to pose for a few photos — you know, for diversity’s sake.

Just imagine. Because that’s the reality of today’s military.

As Elaine Donnelly writes in RealClearDefense: “The DOD Instruction stipulates that if a person ‘self-identifies’ as a person of the opposite sex, and if the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System changes a person’s bureaucratic ‘gender marker,’ a man claiming to be a woman must be treated as a woman, and vice versa.”

And, yes, male warriors who claim to be women must be allowed to shower with real women.

“Military commanders, doctors and nurses, chaplains, and military men and women at all levels,” Donnelly continues, “must endorse and act on this ideological belief or suffer career penalties if they don’t. Alleged ‘biases against transgender individuals,’ which are prohibited, could include anything from ‘misgendering’ people with the wrong pronouns to expressions of concern about medically questionable hormone treatments or surgeries for adults or military-dependent children.”

So the rights of men who claim to be women are protected at all costs in Joe Biden’s military, but the regulations don’t even mention the religious liberty rights of chaplains and other people of faith. “Nor do they,” Donnelly writes, “provide options for doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who object to transgender ideology on moral or ethical grounds.”

As Donnelly asks, “Why should a tank commander at Fort Hood have to deal with pronoun etiquette and sticky scenarios instead of training his troops to fight an enemy force?”

A recent Heritage Foundation survey on the politicization of the military found that among active-duty respondents, “80% said the ‘changing of policy to allow unrestricted service by transgender individuals’ has decreased their trust in the military. Sixty-eight percent of active-duty responses reported seeing a ‘growing politicization,’ which is affecting their decision to encourage their children to join the military.”

And they wonder why we can’t even sniff our recruiting numbers.

Under Joe Biden, people who identify as transgender or have gender dysphoria can serve openly in the military. But legislation introduced by Florida Senator Marco Rubio would prohibit any individual with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria from serving, with limited exceptions. The legislation builds on the Trump-era restrictions that were repealed by Biden, and it adds more stringent requirements and revamps the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System to ensure all service members’ gender markers match their biological sex.

As Rubio notes: “The military has strict standards for who can and cannot qualify to serve. For example, under President Biden, you can’t serve with a peanut allergy. Biden has turned our military into a woke social experiment. It is a stupid way to go about protecting our nation. We need to spend more time thinking about how to counter threats like China, Russia, and North Korea and less time thinking about pronouns.”

If ever there was a proper employment of the word “stupid,” it’s Senator Rubio’s usage above. Here’s how his office describes the legislation:

Specifically, the Ensuring Military Readiness Act requires the Secretary of Defense, within 90 days, to issue regulations that would:

1.) Disqualify all individuals who identify as transgender, who have a history or have been diagnosed, with gender dysphoria unless:

a.) They have been stable in their biological sex for 36 months prior to joining the military;
b.) They are already in the military, are stable in their biological sex, and remain deployable according to the retention standards of their biological sex;
c.) Those serving on the date of enactment of the legislation who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria may continue to serve according to their biological sex, and may receive medically necessary treatment except for transition procedures (defined to include transition surgery and hormone therapy).

2.) Disqualify any individual who identifies as transgender who seeks or has already undertaken gender reassignment surgery.

3.) Allow any transgender individual without a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria, who are otherwise qualified for service, to serve in their biological sex.

4.) Require the Secretary to change how DEERS works to only allow biological sex to be taken into consideration for gender markers, with no means of identifying as a different gender than birth sex, and to retroactively change back any gender markers currently in the system that do not match a service member’s biological sex.

Late last year, Rubio, along with Texas Congressman Chip Roy, released a report on how the Pentagon is pushing critical race theory, sex-reassignment procedures, and identity politics instead of focusing on the only thing that really matters: readiness.

Prior to that, Rubio introduced a bill, the Restoring Military Focus Act, to eliminate the DOD’s Chief Diversity Officer position. “Rather than making the case for American greatness and protecting our nation,” said Rubio, “the military is parroting woke nonsense. It’s dumb, it doesn’t work, and it’s dangerous. We need to spend more time thinking about how to counter Chinese aircraft carriers and less time thinking about pronouns.”

Hear, hear. If there’s a more vociferous opponent of wokeness in our military than Marco Rubio, we haven’t heard him.

Responding to a New York Times question in 2021 about Republican “attacks” on our military’s ruinous diversity-equity-inclusion mandates, then-Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the following: “If you meet the standards and you’re qualified to be in the military and — and you’re willing to raise your hand and serve this country, we want you to be able to do and we want you to be able to do it free of hate and fear and discrimination. … That’s the very least we can do. And there’s no apologies for that. No apologies whatsoever for wanting to create that kind of a working environment. And it is a work in progress.”

Kirby wasn’t kidding about this being a work in progress. Sadly, infuriatingly, the Biden administration’s efforts “to create that kind of a work environment” have wrecked morale, dangerously damaged our ability to recruit, and made our military a laughingstock amongst our enemies.

But, hey, the destruction of history’s most powerful fighting force is a small price to pay in the service of diversity.

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