By Chris Jeffries, USAFA ‘87
STARRS Editorial Staff
The acronym STARRS stands for “Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services.” Hitherto, many of the articles that have appeared in the STARRS newsletter have focused on the first R, because we contend that Critical Race Theory (CRT), along with associated concepts like Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and Intersectionality, actually promote or exacerbate racism in the services rather than eliminating it.
This article will explore what we mean by Radicalism with respect to the US military, and why our organization is STARRS, rather than STARS.
Michigan State University has an “American Radicalism Collection which defines radicalism as “The beliefs or actions of individuals, groups, or organizations who advocate for thorough or complete social and/or political reform to achieve an alternate vision of American society.”
At first glance, it may seem like a stretch to say that any radicalism is happening, or being advocated, in the military. But social/political reform does not have to be overwhelming, obvious, or dramatic to be thorough and complete.
One example is the shift from a merit-based promotion system to a quota system through the promotion of equity over merit. Such a shift might seem benign, but it would be a radical move. Previous newsletter articles have discussed how this idea is gaining traction. The inevitable result would be that morale, performance, and trust would suffer. Not that all the best officers and NCOs are white men. But in a quota system, some who are more qualified will inevitably be passed over in favor of some who are less qualified.
Trust and morale suffer when subordinates have doubts about the leadership attributes of their leaders, even if a given leader is truly the best person for the job. The US military has a proud history of promoting quality leaders regardless of race or gender. A move away from a merit-based promotion system would be radical and would lead to further degradation in operational readiness.
Another area of radicalism that STARRS is standing together against is the insidious creep of Marxist ideology into all aspects of the military. One of the Space Force’s highest rated officers, Lt Col Matthew Lohmeier, wrote a book titled “Irresistible Revolution” and spoke about it in a podcast. He was relieved of command for it.
STARRS newsletters are full of articles detailing how service academy cadets and midshipmen are being indoctrinated with the tenets of CRT. Racism is not the only subject of CRT. It is full of radical ideas such as rewriting history, demonizing our Founding Fathers, defunding the police, destroying the nuclear family, confiscation and redistribution of property, and the abolishment of capitalism.
While these subjects may seem outside the purview of the military, consider the first lines of the Code of Conduct: “I am an American, fighting in the forces that guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.”
How can we expect our young Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Guardians to fight and die for our country and our way of life when we are teaching them that our way of life is all wrong and even evil?
Radicalism doesn’t just involve racial issues. Neo-Marxists will use any perceived area of difference to promote division. Gender and sexuality are favorites.
At the recent Air Force Academy convocation ceremony, the announcer began by stating his preferred pronouns. This is the language of intersectionality (the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage), and it has no place or relevance to the mission of USAFA and its parades.
Throughout our history, the US military forces have had codes, traditions, and special sets of rules that set them apart from society at large. These are necessary to create the discipline, trust, esprit de corps, and camaraderie necessary to fighting forces tasked with fighting and winning battles for America and our allies. In the past few decades, our civilian leadership has established a trend of forcing the military to conform to social changes that many see as potentially detrimental to operational readiness.
Here are some policies enacted in recent years that collectively form a radical departure from centuries of military tradition:
Taxpayer funded “sex change” treatments (diverting funds allocated for historical military healthcare treatments) that result in service members being nondeployable for months.
Mandatory vaccinations with non-FDA approved drugs.
Punishing service members for social media posts not made on government computers.
Investigating members who attend political rallies on their own time and in civilian clothes, who are not representing the military.
Creating policies supposedly aimed at “climate change” which undermine readiness.
When the founders of STARRS were developing its mission, they saw clearly how the pervasive presence of the tenets and language of Critical Race Theory was leading to a subtle trend toward Marxism. Rather than reduce racism in an organization, CRT exacerbates racism by teaching ideas like if you are white, you are automatically racist by nature and part of a system of white supremacy.
The desire to counter this message with one of unity and equality led to the inclusion of the first R in STARRS. Further investigation has led our organization to the conclusion that the threat we face goes beyond racism, and our enemies (foreign and domestic) seek to radically change our military values and traditions. Hence the second R in STARRS.
 Beynon, Steve (June 18, 2021) “Army To Provide Gender Transition Care, Surgeries For Transgender Soldiers” Military.com.
 Steinhaeur, Jennifer (December 16, 2021) “Vaccine Holdouts in Army and Navy Will Be Dismissed, Military Says” NYTimes.com.
 Winkie, Davis (October 22, 2020) “Army battalion commander under investigation for political social media posts” ArmyTimes.com.
 Baez, Gilbert (January 11, 2021) “For second time in a year, Fort Bragg officer’s political protest under scrutiny” WRAL.com.
 Schonhardt, Sara (June 8, 2021) “Military Operations Will be Strained by Climate Change” ScientificAmerican.com.