American Family News journalist J.M. Phelp wrote an article about STARRS and interviewed STARRS LTG Rod Bishop:
A group of retired military members and patriots reports the sentiment they’re seeing expressed in online comments by service members and their families “does not bode well” for the future of the U.S. military.
Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services, Inc. (STARRS) exists to “educate our fellow Americans on the dangers of the racist and radical DEI/CRT Marxist ideology infiltrating our military.” Drawing from various online postings, the group has compiled a significant number of pushback comments seen on news articles, videos, and social media regarding military recruiting, the recruiting crisis, “wokeness” in the military, and more.
According to STARRS, service members and family members have been quick to post very transparent thoughts about whether they would serve or want family members to serve in the military. For example, in response to Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth’s tweet about “the tremendous opportunity” of joining the Army, Twitter users replied:
“I’m a retired 5th generation officer. I’m actively encouraging my kids to pursue another path so long as people like you are running the military. There is no honor in fighting for the priorities of this admin/congress. But good luck fighting climate change with diversity.”
“My family has served every generation since immigrating to this nation since the 1800s. Me and my brother are the last who will ever enlist. Thanks for ruining our honorable tradition of military service.”
“So, would I recommend a young man or woman join the Army today? Not on your life. Nor the Navy, nor the Air Force/Marine Corps/Space Force/etc. The woke nonsense that has infiltrated and permeates every facet of the US Military. It’s like a cancer, continuously SPREADING and GROWING within our armed services. Young Men are looking to be WARRIORS … they aren’t looking to receive classes on some DEI/CRT point. Young women are looking to PROVE themselves … not have standards LOWERED so they too can compete.”
American Family News spoke with Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Rod Bishop, chairman of STARRS. He shares that for him and his staff, comments like these are insightful, despite the fact they “reflect a disgust” of serving in the military – which he notes has been long revered in American society.
“… This says a lot of negative things about military readiness – both present and in the future,” he explains.
“First of all, you can see how the divisiveness of CRT/DEI [Critical Race Theory/Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] has really had an effect upon the folks serving …. Given the passion reflected in the comments, it does not bode well for the future [of retention and recruiting].”
The retired Air Force officer continues:
“The Department of Defense (DOD) has painted itself into a corner [and] recruiting is at an all-time low. They can’t admit that a major reason behind the decline is the very Marxist policies they are promoting.”
And lowering the qualifications to enlist, he argues, isn’t the answer.
“Instead of raising the bar and giving people something to aspire to,” Bishop points out, “they are lowering standards, coming up with unsupported slogans like ‘diversity is our greatest strength.'”
Such slogans, he argues, “divide instead of unify [and] speak to differences rather than the commonalities that make our military ‘one team, one fight.'”
And it’s more than just the time spent on CRT/DEI topics, he adds.
“It is the insidious indoctrination that is taking place that is so dangerous. When [Air Force Academy] cadets tell you ‘I feel like I am being indoctrinated,’ something is amiss,” he notes.
Ready or not
According to Bishop, the readiness of a country’s armed forces is an extremely important, if not the most important, factor in national security.
“The key to that readiness is the moral factor – the spirit of unity, cohesiveness, and will to win of the men and women in uniform,” he tells AFN.
“Fewer recruits and lower retention tell us – at least in part – that young men and women are not being motivated to serve our nation by a unifying and inspiring message,” he says.
“Instead, under the guise and valid intent of making everyone feel welcomed, the Marxist-based ideology being injected into our armed forces has the result of dividing the force by placing too much emphasis on differences instead of the things that unite.”
The focus of American’s military, says Bishop, needs to be on uniting – not dividing.
“It should be focused on readiness – not fighting the social justice issues sweeping across our nation,” he suggests.
“[It should be focused on] developing the selfless warrior ethos within our military – not selfish identity-politics that drive a wedge among those who should be unified in a common purpose of defending our nation.”
Instead, says Bishop, the emphasis on race and gender – instead of meritocracy – and the lowering of standards to “ensure equity” only squash initiative, make the country weaker, and diminish national security.
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