Miami Beach, Florida, Hyundai Air & Sea Show, Military Village recruiters promoting Army Aviation. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images


The Military Is Collapsing Under The Weight Of Its Own Wokeness

In October 2020, Major General Ed Thomas — who at the time was the commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service — wrote an op-ed for Yahoo News. It was entitled, “86% of Air Force pilots are white men. Here’s why this needs to change.” 

In about 800 words, Major General Thomas outlined his plan to recruit pilots without regard for their competence or fitness or loyalty to the United States. Instead, Thomas explained, the most important thing for the Air Force to focus on was the skin color of its recruits. He said that hiring more black and brown recruits was vital in order to keep pace with Russia and China. They’re busy developing hypersonic missiles that can fly at 20 times the speed of sound, the general wrote — but we’ve got our secret sauce that will keep us competitive. And that secret sauce, as he described it, is diversity. According to Ed Thomas, “Our goal is to get in front of every demographic group in America and show them someone who wears a flight suit every day they can look up to and say, ‘That could be me.'”

Three years after he wrote that op-ed and launched the Air Force’s anti-white recruitment plan, Major General Ed Thomas retired. He inflicted his DEI recruitment strategy on the Air Force, and then he left. So he doesn’t have any reason to care about the consequences. But especially as World War III seems more plausible by the day, the rest of us have an important question to ask, which is: how did this DEI strategy turn out, exactly?

Thomas’ replacement — a general named Christopher Amrhein testified this month before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He informed Congress that for the first time in 24 years, the Air Force has failed to meet its recruitment goal. Once again, for the first time in more than two decades, the Air Force didn’t hit its recruiting objective. It was off by around 10%. And they’re not alone. Amrhein went on to testify that the Army and Navy — which also put a new emphasis on recruiting minority candidates — also fell far short of their projections in the most recent fiscal year, which ended in September. He testified that, “We’ve seen a steady decline in the military even being an option for our youth as they contemplate the future.”

If you crunch the numbers, you’ll find that’s an understatement. In total, the military missed its recruitment goal by more than 40,000 individuals. The Army now has about 450,000 active-duty soldiers — its smallest size since 1940, before the U.S. entered World War II. In all, the U.S. military currently has around 1.4 million active service members. By comparison, China’s military has more than 2 million.

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As alarming as all of those statistics are, the news gets even worse when you consider the quality of the few people who are signing up to serve this country. The Daily Mail reported this week on what it calls a “TikTok Mutiny” among recruits, who are increasingly posting videos online to complain about the conditions they’re shocked to encounter in the military. These are soldiers who are in uniform, often recording themselves inside U.S. military bases, whining that the pay is bad and the food isn’t up to their standards. Here are just a couple of these videos:

You’ll notice that nowhere in those TikToks do any of these soldiers talk about their pride in their country, or their family’s history of service, or their desire to ensure a safe and prosperous world for their grandchildren. They don’t talk about any of that because none of it applies to them. A recent poll by Gallup found that only one in ten young liberals were “extremely proud” in their country. And since most young people are liberal, this is what you get.

On the bright side, it’s a diverse group of soldiers in these clips. There’s no denying that. So there’s at least one objective that our Pentagon has successfully completed. Unfortunately, all of these diverse recruits are saying pretty much the same thing. They’re not making enough money. They’re not getting enough respect. They can’t see their family as often as they’d like. And so on.

Of course, all of these complaints have always applied to life in the military. The food has never been five-star quality and the pay has always been abysmal. The difference is that now we’re filling the ranks with the sorts of people who would not only whine about it, but whine publicly in uniform for clicks. These are the kind of recruits we’re told will help us defeat China and their hypersonic missiles. This is what equity looks like in the armed forces, and no one’s allowed to point out what a disaster it’s been.

The issue, however, isn’t just diverse recruitment efforts and TikToks. There are much deeper problems with the military’s leadership, and a handful of recent incidents give us clues as to what they are.

Last December, the Washington Times reported that the Defense Department launched an investigation into two Army soldiers who, “took sexually explicit photos in uniform while wearing dog masks and bondage gear.” Some of these photos were apparently taken on an airfield, as well as inside a locker room with nameplates for Joint Base Pearl Harbor. Nothing ever came of that investigation, as far as I can tell. The military just buried it.

That same month, a high-ranking commander in New Jersey named Chris Schilling, who was stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, threatened a mother on Facebook because she complained about gay propaganda that her seven-year-old daughter was learning at school. Here’s what the mother, Angela Reading, wrote on Facebook: “Why are elementary schools promoting/allowing elementary KIDS to research topics of sexuality … How can my young children be accepting of people ‘who are sexually attracted to multiple genders’? They don’t know what sex is!”

Her post continued along those lines. At no point did she threaten anyone. But in response, Chris Schilling wrote this: “The Joint Base leadership takes this situation very seriously and from the beginning have had the security forces working with multiple state and local law enforcement agencies to monitor the situation to ensure the continued safety of the entire community.”

In this case, the military never explained why Chris Schilling was posting publicly on behalf of a military base, and intimidating a mother who was expressing her views on social media. They certainly didn’t publicly fire Chris Schilling, which would have been the obviously appropriate response. Again, they buried the story.


Each of these incidents, as egregious as they are, point to the transformation of the U.S. military from a fighting force, into a political tool. Their goal now is the same as the goal of every federal agency under the Biden administration, which is to promote a perverse cult and root out any nonbelievers. That’s why three years ago, the Pentagon commenced a political purge that was thinly veiled as a COVID mandate. In just the past few years, more than 8,000 military service members were discharged for refusing to take the COVID shot. Only around 40 of those service members ever returned; they’re mostly gone for good.

This is all over a shot that didn’t work as advertised, and it was never important for young and healthy people — the kind of people you want joining the military. But the military kicked out 8,000 service members anyway, because the point wasn’t really to keep service members from dying of COVID. It was to punish people with the wrong political views. Now, the only people who want to sign up are lazy and entitled.

It’s easy to make this into a commentary on Gen Z. To some extent it is a commentary on them. But it’s more a commentary on our institutions that have created people like this, and a military like this. The biggest problem for the military right now — and it is a very major problem — is that they are not only light in numbers but in the quality of the recruits they’re bringing in.

It used to be that the military would actively recruit young men and call them to come and sacrifice themselves in defense of their country. They were looking for men who could kill the enemy, and they didn’t hide from that fact. “Full Metal Jacket” is a fictional film but by all accounts its depiction of Marine Corps boot camp 50 years ago isn’t too far from accurate. In one iconic scene, the drill sergeant tells the recruits that they need to become killers, and gives Charles Whitman and Lee Harvey Oswald as examples of effective Marine Corps assassins. That’s not the kind of speech we would want drill sergeants giving in reality — mass murderers aren’t the best role models — but the point is that the military didn’t use to hide from the fact that it was calling men to violence. Violence for a good cause, in service to their country.

You see here three things that are now missing from the way the military recruits and trains people. They used to look for (1) men, who were (2) motivated by higher ideals like patriotism, and were (3) eager and willing to kill bad guys.

The military’s current recruitment strategy specifically avoids all of that. Now they put out recruitment ads that look like Disney movies or the kinds of videos you might see in a corporate HR seminar. Here, for example, is one recent recruitment ad from the Army. It specifically targets women who are motivated not by patriotism but by narcissism. Watch:

So this is a strong and independent woman, raised by two lesbians to become a Left-wing social justice activist, who grows up, gets hired by the Army and then starts bossing men around. She doesn’t want to serve her country. She wants to use her job in the Army to impress her sorority sisters. This is the kind of person the military has been targeting.

Contrast that with military recruitment ads back in 1940, the last time our Army was so depleted. Watch how the military used to recruit:

They’re focused on skills and competence. They’re talking about how recruits can contribute to the military. They don’t show them cartoons about impressing their sorority sisters.

Now all that’s changed. And it’s not just the Army that’s been trying to remove all hints of masculinity from its ranks. As Matt Gaetz pointed out this year, Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana recently hosted a “drag queen story hour.” So did Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, and Joint Base Langley in Virginia. This year, amid all the scrutiny, the Pentagon reluctantly announced that the Navy has suspended its formal drag queen events. Behold maybe the single most depressing and unintentionally hilarious news conference ever delivered by the Department of Defense:

So the drag queen initiative has been suspended, says the Pentagon lady. But the military never apologized for it. They never reacted with horror that this was going on. Instead, they’ve done what they’ve been doing the past few years. They buried it, admitted no fault, and kept on doing it.

Lowering standards and filling the military with cultists who hate this country is not the solution to low recruitment. Everyone knows that. The solution to low recruitment is to apologize for firing soldiers because they won’t take an experimental shot. It’s to reinstate all of those soldiers with back pay, immediately, and then fire any officer who had any involvement in that decision, including Lloyd Austin.

And then the Pentagon needs to repudiate the testimony of former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mark Milley, who repeatedly lectured soldiers about “white rage.” Instead of pretending that “white supremacy” is the biggest threat we face, and making cartoon recruitment videos for narcissistic girl bosses, the Pentagon should do what it used to do, which is reward merit and character. Most of all, if you want to solve your recruitment problem, you need to speak to men specifically, and call them to service using language that evokes higher ideals like patriotism and courage and loyalty. And then you need to turn the military — turn it back, rather — into a place tailor-made for men like that.

Under the current administration, of course, the military will do precisely none of that. That’s because, from the very highest levels, the Biden administration doesn’t believe this country or its values are worth defending. The end result is the “crisis” that the military currently faces. And it is indeed a crisis. But it’s a crisis of their own making.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  The Military Is Collapsing Under The Weight Of Its Own Wokeness