By Lt. Gen. Rod Bishop (USAF ret)
STARRS Chairman of the Board
General Bishop recently participated in a livestreamed “telethon” hosted by SaveAmericasMilitary.org along with many speakers to tell the Senate to stop the Marxist takedown of the military.
Watch or read his remarks:
STARRS has been at this pretty long time now, over three years fighting the Marxist woke agenda infecting our military.
When we first started down this road, I was loath to call out the leadership and our military. I would start the podcast or TV radio shows with, “these these folks are my former wingman, my battle buddies.”
But somewhere over this last three years, somewhere along the line, it became very clear that they’re not listening.
We’ve done 100 plus interviews. We see either that they’ve just completely put us on ignore or they actually believe in this stuff.
Or we’re told things like, “We’re teaching critical race theory so cadets, for example, to see both sides of the story.” Or “We’re not teaching cadets what to think, we’re teaching them how to think.”
Well, I’m sorry, nothing could be further from the truth.
If you’re teaching about communism, you’d think you’d mention Lenin, Stalin. If you’re teaching about critical race theory, I think you would mention the Frankfurt School, Herbert Marcuse, Derrick Bell, etc.
But I have not come across one cadet (and I’ve asked dozens) who knows what the Frankfurt School is or who Herbert Marcuse is.
I’ve got three important messages for our senators that I’ll get to, but I just want to set this up with a little bit more context.
No, service academies are not teaching critical race theory, they are indoctrinating our military in Marxist tenets.
The Air Force Academy has slides that say, “don’t be colorblind”. They have closed door sessions where cadets are not allowed to take notes or pictures of slides that say there are multiple genders.
That’s not teaching cadets how to think. That is teaching cadets in our military members what to think.
It’s also in direct conflict with the number one criteria for a successful military operations: unity and cohesiveness.
As one cadet put it to me, “This is nothing but identity politics on steroids.”
Another cadet that I’ve known for ten years now, he’s like my son says, “the culture is changing underneath my feet.”
So what do you do when you are put on ignore and you see the military that you love and you served, weakened internally?
Just like Abraham Lincoln forecasted,
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we have destroyed ourselves FROM WITHIN.”
So you look for other ways to get the message across. We’ve engaged in all those media events I mentioned. We’ve engaged extensively with Congress. We’ve built some great teammates, a number of whom are on this venue with us.
But we’ve also urged the leadership, “Okay, you don’t want to listen to us, then listen to the people that we’ve entrusted to your care. And please: trust and confidence should go up and down the chain of command. Just listen to them.”
Unfortunately, there’s not much evidence that they’re listening to them either.
If they were, they would hear things like, “This isn’t working. This is just an overemphasis on an immutable characteristic, an immutable body trait.”
They would hear things like, “If I hear we are leaders of diversity one more time, I’m going to throw up.”
They would hear, “Well, if we just keep our heads down and we push through this. We don’t like this indoctrination.”
They would hear, “I do everything I can to get out of this training.”
They would hear, “There is not one pilot in my wing, nor squadron in my entire wing that’s staying one second past their commitment date.”
They would hear from minority cadets, “If I thought I am here because of my color of my skin, I would just be so upset. That would be so demeaning.”
They would hear from another minority cadet, “The majority of us see what’s going on here is wrong. We just don’t have the courage to speak up.”
Or you’d hear from people on active duty like this retired colonel friend I know who just got a job working in ops in the Pentagon. He tells me, “Yep. Been here two months. I’ve seen three DEI briefs and I’m in ops and I haven’t seen one on readiness yet.”
There’s so many examples I could share with everyone. Don’t take it from me. Go to our website, STARRS.US. You can see it on the first page, there’s two links:
“Boots on the Ground: What’s happening in America’s service academies“ and “What Military People are Saying: Evidence DEI/CRT hurts recruiting“. The document on that page of collected comments is now 104 pages giving examples from people in the military of why recruiting and retention is in the tank.
Here is my message to the senators:
If you would, please step back and understand the roots of what is being taught. The roots, the history, the lineage and intent of critical race theory and DEI that are all rooted in Marxism.
So unless you want to continue to see recruiting and retention remain in the tank, please use the powers entrusted to you by our Constitution and Article One, Section Eight, and do just what we see happening in the corporate world and in schools across our country: Stop it. Just stop it.
Understand that all this emphasis on diversity in our military is just nothing but misdirection. The military is already the most diverse organization in our country. It is a profession that thrives on unity and cohesiveness.
It is not emphasis on diversity and differences that are going to make our military stronger.
Please use this time that Senator Tuberville has given with his hold to take a closer look at these candidates being brought up for nomination.
You would think a military leader that is either wanting to be a flag officer (or wants to be a higher rank) and the current flag officer ranks would know something about the roots history, lineage and intent of critical race theory and DEI. They would have to see the negative impact that it’s having upon the force. They should realize it.
Please senators, realize that this is not just a political issue. This is a cultural issue. If you are in line with this culture, then hopefully you could realize that most Americans want a military–and our nation deserves a military–that is led by the very best, not just qualified officers.
But if you have to, for political reasons, put politics ahead of what’s best for our country and what’s best of our military, I would hope we could all agree that we want a military based on merit and performance, not color of skin.
There’s three particular provisions, two of which are already in the Senate bill that I would urge senators to support.
There’s a Numbers Amendment bill which will increase the quality of candidates and the numbers of candidates being nominated to our academies.
There’s a provision that will make standardized test scores mandatory. Then there is a provision that will make a requirement for merit-based recruitment across the military and promotion assignments that should be based on merit and performance.
I would just say there’s a huge, huge difference in outreach to the underrepresented groups in our communities and outwardly and illegally discriminating in our military. So please, senators, do some homework.