Air Force Woke Agenda

Congressman Gaetz Confronts Air Force Secretary on Political Bias Against Conservatives at Minot Air Force Base

(Press Release) U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) sent a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall demanding answers on a recent decision by Minot Air Force Base (AFB) leadership to tell service members that their military careers would be jeopardized if they attended a local event featuring a speaker from the conservative organization Turning Point Action.

Last week, it was reported the leadership at Minot AFB in North Dakota sent service members a series of messages warning them to avoid attending the “Dakota Patriot Rally” in downtown Minot, which featured Turning Point Action’s Chief Operating Officer Tyler Bowyer as a speaker.

The leadership called Turning Point Action an “alt-right organization” and claimed that attending events associated with the organization could “jeopardize their continued service in the US military.”

Rep. Gaetz’s letter highlights the brazen partisan nature of these messages and the attempt to suppress constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and assembly.

Accordingly, Rep. Gaetz requested information be provided to his office to shed light on the decision-making process that led to this political bias and infringement on the constitutional rights of service members.

Full text of Congressman Gaetz’s letter to Air Force Secretary Kendall can be found HERE. Additionally, exclusive coverage of the letter by Breitbart News can be found HERE.

LETTER TEXT

Dear Secretary Kendall,

I write to express grave concern regarding brazen partisan comments made by the command at Minot Air Force Base (AFB) in North Dakota.

As reported by American Military News, the leadership at Minot AFB sent a series of messages to service members to warn them of the dangers of being at or near a downtown rally that featured a speaker from Turning Point Action, which leadership claimed was an “alt-right organization.”

You are obligated to intervene, as this series of actions demonstrates a clear misapplication of the Hatch Act, which states members on active duty should not engage in political activities while in uniform to avoid creating the appearance that their political activities imply official Department of Defense (DoD) sponsorship, approval or endorsement of a candidate, campaign or cause.

The Dakota Patriot Rally in Minot, North Dakota, on November 17, 2023, took place after work hours and, to my knowledge, not on federal property; thus, the text messages and emails from command show a growing politicization at installations within the Department of the Air Force (DAF), favoring one political party or political view.

Before the Dakota Patriot Rally, members of the 5th Bomb Wing, the 91st Missile Wing, and other Air Force (AF) units were contacted via text message and Facebook cautioning them to stay away from the event.

In this warning were threats against their careers and livelihood if they exercised their constitutionally protected freedom of speech and assembly under the Constitution of the United States. The contents of the message can be found below:

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Our service members are intimately familiar with their responsibility to remain impartial while representing their branch of service or while wearing the uniform.

However, this political sidelining and threat of punitive action against one half of the political spectrum goes contrary to any DoD policy. Air Force Instruction 51-508, section 2.3, pursuant to DoD Directive 1344.10 clearly defines their permitted activities while in the DAF:

2.3. Permitted Activities. In accordance with DoDD 1344.10, AF members may:

2.3.3. Join a partisan or nonpartisan political club and attend its meetings when not in uniform, but not in any official capacity nor listed as a sponsor (see restrictions in paragraph 2.4). (T- 0). The restriction on wearing the uniform to meetings also applies to retired and Reserve Component members. (T-0).

2.3.4. Attend partisan and nonpartisan political fundraising activities, meetings, rallies, debates, conventions, or activities as a spectator when not in uniform and when no inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement can reasonably be drawn. (T- 0).

As the event’s own ‘fundamentals’ described on its website (below) do not appear to be controversial in the slightest, it seems exception was taken regarding the keynote speaker of the evening, Mr. Tyler Bowyer, Chief Operating Officer of Turning Point Action (TPA), a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.

TPA is one of the largest conservative grassroots organizations in the nation, providing resources to Americans interested in getting involved in the political process.

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In light of the DAF’s concerning trend away from established DoD policy and toward political bias that infringes on the constitutional rights of service members, please provide me responses to the following no later than December 7, 2023, and ensure the implicated parties are available to discuss these occurrences with the House Armed Services Committee at the earliest possible availability:

1. Who, specifically, at Minot AFB or elsewhere approved or issued these messages to the base’s service members? I formally request the name, rank, and duty station for anyone connected to these messages.

2. What specific policies within the DAF forbid participation or assembly in political causes while off duty and while not representing the service?

3. What was the reasoning for determining participation in the Dakota Patriot Rally could jeopardize a service member’s continued service in the U.S. military, and who made this determination?

4. What specific actions will the DAF take to ensure service members’ constitutional rights are not violated in the future?

Sincerely,

Matt Gaetz
Member of Congress

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  • When I started writing letters to my Congressman as a 12 year old about my desire to attend the United States Air Force Academy and become a USAF pilot, not in my worst nightmare as a Basic Cadet, did I EVER imagine that in 50 years we would be dealing with issues such as DEI and political correctness. Shame on us leaders, past and present, who have allowed these vermin to sneak in amongst us!!

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