LTG Rod Bishop was on the His Glory: Lions & Generals podcast to talk about the latest information on the military vax mandate situation.
[00:00:05.920] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
Welcome to our latest edition of Lions and Generals, and Pastor Todd, we literally have a general with us, a mighty general who has done a lot of work behind the scenes with his STARRS program. So I’ll let you introduce the general, but it’s great to have General Bishop with us today.
[00:00:24.810] – Pastor Todd Coconato
You are right, Pastor David. It’s so good to be here. I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas. We have an amazing guest. As Pastor was saying. General Rod Bishop, Jr. Was the commander of the Third Air Force at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, and he just recently retired not too long ago. But this is a man that’s been around for years. I mean, talk about USAFE, Europe.com, so many different parts of the Air Force, and he has so much knowledge. This is going to be a good conversation. So we want to welcome to the broadcast Lieutenant General Rod Bishop. Welcome, sir.
[00:01:01.810] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Well, thank you, Pastor Todd. And Pastor Dave.
[00:01:04.330] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
It’s great to see you again. General, thank you for your service and thank you all the hard work that you’ve done behind the STARRS program. And maybe you can fill us in on some positive developments just recently.
[00:01:17.450] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Well, absolutely. Let me begin, since this is the Christmas season, by wishing you and your whole audience a Merry Christmas. But also congratulations to you, Pastor Dave, because you have been part of what I like to call the collective we that have brought an end to the vaccine mandate. Now, we’re not there yet, unfortunately. I’m not sure the President has signed it, but I did see that his press secretary said this week that he would sign it later this week, but I guess would have exceeded my wildest imaginations. 350 to 80 in the House and 83 to eleven in the Senate. That reflects just a whole lot of hard work on the part of what I like to get to call the collective we. So how did we do it? We plowed this ground. You have been a major part in what we call the court of public opinion, and I think totally now STARRS has done in the neighborhood of 50 media events and articles that we’ve written just on the vaccine mandate issue. Court of public opinion, number one. Number two, the courts. A little bit of an update there since I was on your show last is we now have another court case that looks like it’s going to favorably protect the army plaintiffs as a refresher.
[00:02:51.270] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
The collective we. It’s not just STARRS, but some other law firms. We’ve been colluding and collaborating with them, bringing them clients and stuff so we could get the class action piece. We’ve protected the Air Force, the Space Force, the Marines, and the Navy, all from having adverse actions like discharge being taken against them just the Coast Guard and the Army are laid out. But I just got a text two days ago from the lawyer in charge of a case down in Texas and he says it almost for certain it’s going to go this way. The judge asked the department of defense lawyers so why are we here anyway? So it’s just a matter, it’s just unfortunate that it takes so long and we’ve lost 8300 people from the service of our nation because these things take so long to go through the courts and the legislature. The last we can’t thank the senators and congressmen that just had an open year. They listened to us, they didn’t shut us off the collectively last December I was told by Senator Cotton’s staff that General, we appreciate your passion on this but this issue has no legs and here we are just a year later and we finally got that through just persistence and hard work.
[00:04:21.570] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
So I would like to give credit I think first and foremost to the brave young men and women who stood up and said, no this is wrong. But obviously as I have already to you and our other media friends at Fox and Epoch Times we’ve been working with one reporter at the Epoch Times that has published 52 articles on the vaccine mandate just in and of by itself. I don’t know of any organization beyond STARRS that attacked on all three lines of effort, the courts, the court of public opinion and the media. But I do have to take my hats off to organizations like Truth for Health and Dr. Lee there has just been wonderful in providing what we call scholarships to in many cases cadets that couldn’t afford the legal fees because they don’t have jobs. In case of the Coast Guard Academy cadets they were kicked out on their ear and so she’s been wonderful. She’s been wonderful in the courts as well. Our friends at Center for Military Readiness Elaine Donnelly has written extensively about how this is just a piece of wokeism again that seems to overtaken our military.
[00:05:40.730] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
I think she called it witch’s brew. Everybody had to have a sibling so for sure that’s some good news. I was in a conversation. Well, I have one today, pastor Dave, with Vice Admiral Dean Lee mentioned I was going to be on your show, and he says, well, be sure to tell him if he wants I know it’s general lions and generals, but if he wants lions and admirals, he’d love to be back on. And he’s been such a good advocate and help us fighting for the Coast Guard. And if you want to get into it, we can tell you what we’re doing with the coast Guard Academy cadets, too, because we’re trying like heck to get him back in and serving at the start of this next semester. But in a conversation with him I think it was last week he came to the fight, so to speak, in September when we recruited him, when we knew that the Coast Guard Academy cadets were being kicked out. And it was a tough couple of months for him and his wife because it’s a lot of time. I mean, hats off to my wife. She has served me three meals a day on trays since September.
[00:06:48.020] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
No kidding. Just as we look for ways, every single piece part that we can engage on, we want to engage. But he said to his wife last week, you know, hon, I know it’s been a tough couple of months, but if we can play a part in ending this vaccine mandate just in our little service in the Coast Guard, we’ll have saved over 1000 careers. Wow. And when we take that to the national level across all services, I’ve been trying to verify the number, but the only thing I’ve been able to come up with is someone sent me an email. Counting the Guard and the reserves and all the services, it’s around 60,000 people that we’ve played a part. When I say we, I mean we.
[00:07:38.750] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
Amazing. Also, General, I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but I was told just this week that the commandant of the Marine Corps stepped up and put some pressure behind the scenes on this as well.
[00:07:49.350] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Well, that’s good because let me see. I think I have the numbers right here. Unfortunately, the Marines have been the worst in terms of picking people out. I want to say in around 3000. So for a small service, I’m glad to see if that isn’t being true, that he’s taken that step.
[00:08:15.870] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
Well, this came from a Marine Corps chaplain. We’ve had about five or six Lieutenant Colonel’s, Marine fighter pilots and regular pilots. As you know, 19 years of service. They were going to be dishonorably discharged, no retirement. And there was a stay that came through. And I’m told positive things are happening now.
[00:08:40.310] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Well, let’s hope so. I had a very depressing day was the last week or the week before? It all kind of runs together now. Guess it was a week before when Congress when the House voted on approving the NDAA with the removal of the vaccine mandate, but they left out remedies. And it was very depressing to those of us who have worked with these young men and women, because what possible sense does it make when now four federal courts have declared that the way the services handled, at least in the case of Air Force, Space Force, Marines and Navy–the way they handle the religious accommodation request, was illegal? In essence, what possible sense does it make for us not to welcome those people back on board, especially if they want to serve? So, for example, in the case of just seven but there are seven. I mean, this is if you remember what Vice Admiral Lee probably told you. He said it’s a scorecard for what Department of Defense and what the Coast Guard wants in serving. They’re all minorities are women, all seven of them that they booted out.
[00:10:01.520] – Pastor Todd Coconato
[00:10:02.130] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
So we’ve gone back and asked them, would you come back in if we can get you back in in September? And I’m told as of today, at least six will. So we’re trying hard. You may have seen last week or no, I guess a week ago Friday, we had a news conference with Senator Graham, and he promised to step up and write the Coast Guard Academy and see if we can’t get those people back in. On a related note, here’s a letter that we just got from the superintendent of the Naval Academy, and this was in response to Congressman Steube out of Florida, his request, because he had a constituent that was apparently being told she wasn’t going to be allowed to graduate. And we had a zoom with him, a very productive half hour long zoom. And he’s square on board with this. But he says, this is Sean Buck, the Vice Admiral superintendent of the Naval Academy, writing back to Congressman Steube, saying, as to your immediate question, should the vaccine mandate be rescinded, I do not anticipate any obstacles for graduation and commissioning of unvaccinated shipmen who have successfully completed all US Naval Academy graduation commissioning requirements.
[00:11:24.340] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
So here we have Air Force, West Point I can talk about in just a second, but Air Force and Naval Academy saying, yeah, there’s no problem. But yet we’ve kicked seven Coast Guard Academy cadets out for this very same reason. What sense does that make? Now at West Point, because there is no case yet protecting the Army, they have not eliminated their cadets yet. There’s five that remain unvaccinated. Five and a half. One guy took first shot after all this undue pressure and then said, well, if Congress is going to mandate that the mandate be lifted, so to speak, then I don’t want to take the second shot. So that was just last week. So it’s going through the machinations of, okay, how is this going to work out when they come back after Christmas? And another thing that concerns us, hopefully it won’t come to this, but if you’ve read the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act, what the words are in it, it says 30 days from the enactment of this. So we’re just hoping that the Navy I’m sorry, the Coast Guard and the Army won’t step up and accelerate their departures, so to speak, of the people that are serving. That’s one, we’re keeping a close eye on.
[00:12:47.910] – Pastor Todd Coconato
Well, it doesn’t make sense they wouldn’t. As you were talking in the green room, there’s so many different situations in the world, whether it be with China and Taiwan or what’s happening in Ukraine, and just different areas where the US has to be at a point of readiness. And why would we want to have soldiers? What was the number you said like 60,000 that were affected and I think 8000 that are out. Why would we want to have less? We’d want to have it all hands on deck, anybody that’s rational or logical, wouldn’t that be the case, General?
[00:13:16.510] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
You would think so, pastor Todd. And that’s one thing that has completely amazed us on DoD’s response to this. I mean, the press secretary said this week, which I just had to shake my head at. She said the Republicans don’t care about the troops basically, and the health and safety of the troops they push to have this vaccine mandate lifted. Absolutely not. We’ve been articulating and thankfully members of Congress listened to us that that was just wrong on so many levels. It’s probably breaking the law. Again, for the reminder of your audience breaking the law. In terms of the mandate itself, the mandate calls for full licensure. To our knowledge, there is no vaccine out there that has full licensure of the FDA. At least that’s been provided to the military. Probably breaking the law. You have things going on where religious accommodation requests seemingly seem to have been predestined, and we’re just going to dismiss them all thanks to Senator Lankford, another senator we’ve been in contact with that put a hold on all DoD nominations until he gets a satisfactory response as to why DoD has taken that action.
[00:14:35.020] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Just routinely dismissing all religious accommodations requests out of hand. Now you folks have done such a great job on really highlighting the safety and health issues associated with the vaccine. We kind of steered clear of that one, although we’d bring it up every now and then because there’s an overwhelming body, growing body of evidence now that says that. And lastly was the readiness piece. Why in the world would you want to when the Air Force, for example, is 1650 pilots short kick out the door and an additional 700 or a number close to that. So it’s been amazing to us. So how are we attacking the remedies pieces? How do we get it back? Same way, same three lines of effort. I shot a note to Pete Hegseth at Fox last week and said, AP, can you help us out here? And I sent him a bunch of emails and he wrote me back to General. I’m reading them all. We’ll try to find a way to highlight this. And Fox and Friends did two segments this weekend and one show on the remedies I saw last night on Special Report, Brett Baier had Senator Tim Scott, another person that we’ve engaged with on there, talking about, we got to make these people whole.
[00:16:01.650] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
The courts were making sure because unlike when the vaccine mandate was declared illegal in 2004, not many people know this, but the courts didn’t recommend any remedies. So we’ve gone back to the law firms and are trying to make sure that as these cases actually are decided because right now there’s only preliminary injunctions in these cases. Once they’re actually decided, could we please take it to the next step? And we’ve been assured, at least in the case of the Air Force and the Space Force, that that is going to be the case. And then again, so court of public opinions, the courts and the legislature just trying to press with our senatorial and congressional contacts, it’s just so wrong what we’re doing. And Senator Johnson introduced an amendment when the Senate was voting on the NDA to make this whole, to make the people whole, and we had four Republican senators vote against it. So for people in South Dakota, please contact Senator Rounds. For people in Utah, please contact Senator Romney. For people in Maine, please contact Senator Collins. For people in Louisiana, please contact Senator Cassidy and tell them that this is the right thing to do right now.
[00:17:23.330] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Right. Because we don’t do it right now. The further this goes on, people are going to be immersed in their second life because they’ve been kicked out and we’re going to get a few of them back. So do the right thing. Do it right now. And in Senator Cassidy’s case, he’s the only one that was quoted in the article, he said, well, these men and women basically, I’m paraphrasing here, but defied an order from their superiors. Well, there is no obligation to follow an order when it’s most probably illegal.
[00:17:57.890] – Pastor Todd Coconato
[00:17:59.130] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
And certainly in the case of religious accommodation request, it’s already been declared illegal for four different services. I’ve reached out to our senatorial comments and I hope it doesn’t go this long, well into the next year, but if we need to have hearings or whatever, we’re more than prepared to come and testify, as are some of the lawyers that are defending these great young men and women. So the same three avenues lines have attacked, if you will, hopefully will bring some success to the remedies piece. It’s just so sad to see it happen and it’s so unamerican than how much pressure was put upon people to get the vaccination numbers unvaccinated, numbers so low, just unconscionable type of things. I think Pastor Dave and I talked about the Coast Guard of capacity where they made them wear masks even indoors and outdoors, and they formed cadres to follow them around everywhere they went, even into the bathroom. I mean, this sounds like stuff out of a gulag.
[00:19:08.210] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
Exactly. I think somebody needs to general to inform Senator Cassidy that when we’re sworn in, as in the military, we’re sworn into the Constitution of the United States of America and we’re supposed to follow lawful orders.
[00:19:24.390] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Absolutely. Yeah, I hope so. I reached out to a gentleman who’s on the STARRS Board of Advisors who ran against now Senator Cassidy in the Republican primary and lost, but then later endorsed them. So I’m hoping the word gets to him that way or through some of our other congressmen, too.
[00:19:45.290] – Pastor Todd Coconato
Yeah. And Senator Jack, you mentioned, as we were talking about this earlier, but with the pilots, how many you said, I think there was already like 700 short and then another 600. I might be getting the numbers off, but that is mind boggling to me because you have such an understanding of the Air Force being at Ramsey. That’s like one of our biggest spaces around the world. And you know what that means because the court of public opinion is so important, as you mentioned several times to the folks that are watching this. Can you kind of explain, general, how much training goes into one of these pilots, say, like a Raptor pilot or somebody that’s flying one of these really state of the art, stealth, fifth generation aircraft? I mean, how much money and resources goes in? And then why would they just dismiss somebody so quickly when that training is so significant?
[00:20:36.490] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Well, in the Air Force’s case, thankfully, they haven’t dismissed that many of them yet. They’ve just grounded them. So I look at that, they’ve wasted yours and my taxpayers money. So first of all, for the numbers, 1650 was the number, I believe that came out of the Heritage report that found the Air Force oh, by the way, very weak.
[00:20:58.550] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
[00:21:00.290] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
And 700 pilots are in a lawsuit of over 1000 people with one of the cases that has yet to be decided. Now, all those pilots aren’t necessarily Air Force, but when you’re 1650 short, you’re right. You don’t want to make the bleeding any worse. So now, how about the training? Well, first of all, you go through a year’s worth of pilot training and that’s after you’ve been screened in a screening course. And so there’s a year’s worth of undergraduate pilot training that they call it, where you fly both in prop planes and T six and then in some fighters like the T 38. Although I believe the Air Force is retiring those. So well over a million dollars. Well, I mean, what I went through in 1975, I think it was tabbed at about a million and a half. So well over that. Then you go on to follow on training, which, depending upon the weapon system, usually lasts anywhere from a year to a year and a half more. And then there’s the continual upgrade process that you go to in order to be, for example, flight lead or in the community I grew up in, to be an aircraft commander and instructor pilot.
[00:22:21.000] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
That’s another couple of years. And a lot of these pilots weren’t just newbies. That saved years and 350 of them. They did an informal study of 350 of those pilots. And just those 350 out of 700 cost we as United States taxpayers $7.8 billion. Wow. $7.8 billion. So and that’s that’s coming from pilots who, you know, are actually serving. Now, one guy that we’ve been very close with. In fact, we help him get some exposure. Early on was an F 16 student pilot. He was sat down a year ago. September, hasn’t flown since. So think of all that wasted time and effort and training, how much time it’s going to take them to retrain up to this point. Now in some cases, for example, in Air Education and Training Command, the numbered Air Force commander just this past month reinstated the instructor pilots. And I think once this vaccine mandate goes, why did he do that? Just think of a pipeline and if you don’t have all these pilots coming through, you’re going to experience a shortage for years to come. As as goes through this like holes. Consider it to be and just that one undergraduate pilot training base, Vance.
[00:23:49.480] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
There were 16 instructor pilots that were grounded. I think it’s in the best interest of the Air Force and national security to get these people back in the air. But they sat down for a long time. So it’s just a terrible challenge and we need to make the people whole and we need to move on from here. And I’m not sure why Secretary Austin is still maintaining that this was a good thing and we should maintain the mandate. Just look at the reasons I just ticked off. Probably illegal. You violated the First Amendment. Most probably. At least the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. As four courts have found more and more people are coming through. I did a zoom. Our Coast Guard friends asked me to be on a zoom a week ago Sunday. And there were, I want to say, 45 or so Coast Guards, men and women on that. And just to hear their stories and to hear the stories about their colleagues who are experiencing physical harm from the vaccine where their family members are, it’s just such a travesty. I was looking at the chat as I was watching the zoom and I started to make a word document out of some of the comments that are being made.
[00:25:17.080] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
But one that has stuck with me that I don’t need to refer to was, “The Coast Guard has sucked our soul out of us.”
[00:25:23.980] – Pastor Todd Coconato
[00:25:26.870] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
That’s horrific. . . . And welcome back to Lions in General. Pastor Todd. We have General Bishop with us. I want to tee up a couple of things that discuss with General Bishop that he’s talked to us in the past about. But I remember when this first exemption started to come from religious exemption, I was signing tons of these. Some of them would go through, some of them wouldn’t go through. And just like the general said, all of a sudden it’s like higher orders, rubber stamp completely no going on from there. And then we also want to talk to the general about how this is impact our recruiting numbers across the board.
[00:26:05.430] – Pastor Todd Coconato
Yeah, why don’t we go ahead and tackle those? General, where do you want to start?
[00:26:10.710] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Well, let me start with the blanket denials. I think I’ve mentioned this before with your Pastor Dave, and I really do hope that this comes to a satisfactory conclusion and that people are held accountable. But allegedly, and this is according to a whistleblower who has written sworn testimony, but it hasn’t been presented in court, it may be when the Dostard case comes to trial, if, according to the head lawyer, he can’t get the Department of Defense to go along with his request for depositions. So this one whistleblower says in his affidavit that the Secretary of the Air Force cleared a room of everybody out except the four and three star generals, and made the announcement that there would be nor could there be any religious accommodation requests in the Department of Defense. So thanks again to Senator Lankford. Why in the world would you do that? It smacks of a purge of anybody that has a deep religious belief. And so that’s how I answer the first one in Pastor David, what was the second one?
[00:27:35.010] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
What it’s done to our recruiting numbers? Because all our recruiting numbers across the board are down significantly.
[00:27:40.090] – Pastor Todd Coconato
[00:27:40.850] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Yeah, they are. Well, that’s definitely what it’s done to the recruiting numbers. Imagine just that. I worked for four years in the Air Force Academy of Missions, and one of the things we always tried to do in the four years I was there was we were trying to build a candidate pool, a qualified candidate pool, because the more you build the qualified candidate pool, the better your choices are to get a higher quality individual. Well, that candidate pool was down 25% this year. That’s just one example we’ve seen all in fact, this is one that, you know, when I say the collectively, to me, in the back of my mind, I believe that this is really what drove Congress to do what they did. And but it’s something that we’ve been talking about for the last year. This is what’s going to happen. And often missed in this discussion, though, Pastor Dave and Pastor Todd, I think, is the issue of retention. We have numerous examples of squadron commanders not liking what they’re seeing and saying, okay, I’m getting out. I mean, squadron commanders are your future colonels in the Air Force and your future generals.
[00:28:56.690] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
An F-15 squadron commander said, who’s vaccinated? I don’t like what I see happening and put in its papers, so they’re all anecdotal. But when you add all the antidotes together, it becomes a big story. And so retention, recruiting, and then I’ve met, I want to say, 15 of the people that have been eliminated, and all 15 are exactly the type of person we would want serving. They’re critical thinkers. They’re firm believers. They believe in our founding father’s vision for America, minority or not. I think I’ve met all seven of Coast Guard Academy cadets as an example, and all seven of those are black, Hispanic, or women. Yeah. So it’s just so, so sad to see and why we ever went down this road for something that if we had just waited a little longer, or let me put it this way, in August of 2021, maybe the vaccine mandate made some sense. But it’s incumbent upon military leaders to update your battle plan right, once the war starts rolling here. And by November of last year, just two months after we were being inundated with all this health and safety issues, let alone the question, I mean, we at STARRS spent probably two weeks chasing down emergency use authorization trying to get to ground truth on this.
[00:30:35.550] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Because you’d have some lawyers and some doctors say, well, yeah, it’s been approved. And you have others say, well, it’s been approved, but it doesn’t have FDA full licensure, and that’s what the lawyer says. Then you have other lawyers still serving telling us DoD is playing a shell game with the vernacular and with the laws surrounding EUA. So you just added all that stuff together, and it was pretty clear. That’s why we began last December on this campaign to make people whole and to get rid of this mandate. So we’re halfway there. But Pastor Dave, just to extend your question a little bit longer or a little bit deeper, I see these things, as I think I mentioned to you on my last show, as my wife put it to me, two tenets of the same cancerous tumor: being the mandate and this wokeness, I mean, you can just see them overlapping. And as much you’d like to think that shining sunlight on an issue raises a people’s awareness, and hopefully if it’s a bad issue, it would go away. Unfortunately, there’s a double-edged sword here, as I think we are discovering. We have shone the light now for two and a half years on the Marxist march of critical race theory into our military.
[00:31:59.270] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
And unfortunately, that I think, is having a negative impact on recruiting as well. It is because people are seeing, whoa, I can’t tell you how many emails and phone calls I’ve received from parents and fellow grads: “I don’t want my son or daughter going to the academy.” That’s the way they’re going down. So, I mean, I wrestle with that. How brightly do you shine that sunlight? It’s a fine line, I think I had a four star general write me last week and said, we all agree with what you’re doing. I think we all want the same result, but just be careful that your sunlight isn’t going through a magnifying glass and destroys the institution. Well, yeah, I agree with that, but how else do you end it? Nobody has come up with a suggestion on how else do you end it other than shining a spotlight on it.
[00:32:52.470] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
So here’s here’s a couple of new ones. Since I was just on, I think last month. Pastor David, I don’t know if you can believe it or not, but at West Point just last night, the superintendent put out a letter to the Long Gray Line teammates in West Point Community over the holiday break. This is what West Point is going to be up to. We’ll remove the portrait of Robert E. Lee in the Confederate uniform from Jefferson Hall and place it in storage. We will remove the stone bust of Robert E. Lee at Reconciliation Plaza and place it in storage. We remove the bronze plaque at the main entrance of Bartlett Hall and place on storage. I believe the plaque he’s talking about had a very small I mean, it was less than an inch high. It was like a history thing, and it had KKK in there, and so they were removing that. Also, by the end of this year, we are going to replace the streets, buildings, and areas throughout West Point named for individuals who served in the Confederacy. Specifically, Lee Road. Beauregard Place. Hardy Place. Lee Barracks. Lee Housing Area. Lee Child Development Center. Well, that goes on. That’s just a taste of it. I’m not a West Point grad, but if that isn’t Orwellian what is, I’d be offended. I’ve studied Robert E. Lee quite a bit in my life. I anguished with him over the decision of does he command the US Army or the Confederate army. I was there with him when he was at Antietam waiting for AP Hill to get up, which kind of turned that well, ended up being a draw, I guess we call it. I was there with him at Chancellorville when he mourned the loss of Stonewall Jackson, and there are so many good character lessons that you can learn from studying Robert E. Lee, but we just want to seem to erase them. So that’s West Point. I’ll stop there and see if you gents have any comments on that one and I can go on to the next academy.
[00:34:56.820] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
Yeah, go on to the next, because this is just, it’s, you can’t make this up. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever think that that would happen in the Marine Corps, let alone all these services impact our readiness in fighting ability to save this country.
[00:35:14.370] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Yeah. So I’ll go to my alma mater, the Air Force Academy, probably. It’s been fairly quiet since we got released to the national news media. The slides which famously said not mom and dad and not colorblind on it. All the media attention was on no more mom and dad. But really what the media attention should have been on was not colorblind. So we’re teaching cadets of today that we don’t want you to be colorblind anymore. And I don’t think that got enough. Media played relatively quiet, but it’s still going on. And the most recent example was last Wednesday, I got a call from a parent who is upset and asking me, what can we do? How do we stop this? One of the questions on his son’s history final was, now this is history. This isn’t predicting anything or looking in the future. “What can we do in the future in the United States Air Force and the United States Air Force Academy to increase diversity?” Now, is that a historical question for a history final? Thankfully, it’s a conservative organization and how much we can get mainstream America to listen to it.
[00:36:34.930] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
But I may have mentioned Heritage Foundation is sponsoring a panel to tee up issues for this next Congress to wrestle with regarding readiness in the military. And I’m very blessed and honored that Congressman Waltz asked me to be on that panel at the very first meeting. Thankfully, with Congressman Waltz’s strong support, we were able to get the vaccine mandate issue added. Thankfully, all the other work we’ve collectively have done have kind of taken that one off the table with the exception of remedies. But on the 9 January when the next meeting is, I’m sure that panel is going to be laser like, focused on, wokeness and what can we do? I’ve had three congressmen in the last month tell me, well, we have the power of the purse. We can eliminate funding for critical race theory. And I said that’s great, that’s a great start. However, it’s much deeper than that. It’s ingrained in the faculty, i.e. this exam question. At the Air Force Academy two years ago, I believe it was, we had six professors, permanent professors, just resigned and leave. Now one of them is the president of Norwich University just because they didn’t like this Marxist march that we’re on. So it’s going to be a tough challenge.
[00:38:02.890] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
At the Naval Academy. Let’s see. At the Naval Academy we have our kind of a counter group. I won’t say we formed them. They kind of formed themselves, but we’ve assisted them. They’re called a Calvert Group and it was a class of 69 out of there. But they released a letter to all Naval Academy grads, which in part says, unfortunately, it seems like all the academies are no longer a lighthouse for leadership, but are instead weather veins for social engineering. And that’s what weighs us.
[00:38:45.210] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
We get like the Dean of the Air Force Academy is coming to speak at an Association of Grads chapter in South Carolina. And that chapter president just happens to be the STARR’s general counsel. And he had kind of an offhanded conversation with the Dean’s action officer who’s working that, whose son goes to Hillsdale College. So it’s interesting, I’ve said many times when people tell me they don’t want to send their kids to… In fact, I told Dr. Arm this, I only recommend that people send their kids to college if they’re going to send them to Hillsdale.
[00:39:26.190] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
[00:39:27.670] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Maybe Liberty, but I know a lot more about Hillsdale.
[00:39:32.150] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
But yeah, they’ll understand the Constitution if they go to Hillsdale, that’s for sure.
[00:39:37.020] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
[00:39:39.270] – Pastor Todd Coconato
[00:39:40.180] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
You know, General, I’ve asked you this before, and I wish you would address this again with our audience. We talked many times. Where were the generals? Where were the colonels? Where are they today, the three, the four not stepping up? And I think you answered that great the last time. And I know General Boykin answered this for me and said it was done on purpose. So could you answer that? Why the generals, the current generals…it had to take retired generals like you and General McInerney and General Boykin and General Vallely and General Flynn to step up at this crucial moment of our country.
[00:40:16.070] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
I’ll give you a vignette from this morning. So on this West Point, what West Point is doing, there are a number of West Point grads, and a number of them are associated with STARRS. We try to help one another out. In fact, we have two West Point graduates who are members of our board of directors. One is a general, one’s a retired colonel, and one of the gents yesterday sent me that here’s what we’re doing at West Point over the holidays. So I sent an email blind copying the superintendent because somebody had responded when I had sent it out to my group. “Well, come on, Rod, you know the Sup is just a pawn.” And I answered it. Pastor Dave, I think this is a good answer to your question. I answered it by saying, yeah, he’s just a pawn. But we all know, any of us who have been in leadership positions know that when you get an order, there are three courses of action you can take. If you don’t agree with it, you can resign. That’s one. Number two, if it kind of makes you feel uneasy, you can do the bare minimum and just get by. Or number three, you can warmly embrace it. It seems like all the leaders of today are warmly embracing rather than standing up and speaking out. And so I copied the West Point superintendent and the Air Force Academy superintendent on my reply. And I got a reply from the superintendent, please remove me from your distribution.
[00:41:55.110] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
That answers it right there.
[00:41:56.860] – Pastor Todd Coconato
There you go.
[00:41:58.100] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
I think so why has it taken and I’m sure you’ve spoken this, talked about this with General Vallely and General McInerney. It’s disappointing that more of the retirees aren’t speaking up and standing out and speaking up. I think here’s an example. Sometimes they disagree. I got this letter from a retired three star friend when we were taking on the vaccine mandate. “Rod, you need to be sure STARRS wants to ride this horse. In the anti anthrax days, many a career was ruined by those who opposed it in many campaigns and many a career sidetracked. Valuable lesson from the past. So you don’t want to say you’re tilting at windmills.” It goes on to say “STARRS message that take on the woke have been the most effective, and so much of it was going out needs to be shorter, crisp, and to the point.” Yeah, that’s nice to say. Hard to do because it’s so complex. That being said, I agree with the STARRS board when we say we’re so happy we took on that vaccine mandate issue. There are 60,000 people that we had a part in playing that will be able to allow to continue to serve, and we just can’t forget about whatever thousand it is that are out there that we well, 8300, I think, have been kicked out.
[00:43:29.040] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
But there’s so many more remedies beyond that. And you guys, I’m sure, have thought of it. We put together an entire page on vaccine remedies just so people would understand how deep, how harmed people have been. Offer a return to active duty. Okay, that’s a good brainer. Provide back pay allowances. That’s a no brainer. I was on a zoom two weeks ago with Dr. Lee in, an Air Force colonel that left the service in 2004, and he still doesn’t have his military records corrected yet. So automatically do this. I mean, some people got Article 15. Some got letters of reprimand. People were kicked out of the service. Not all the same. It really took a toll on the younger folks, the younger airmen, the younger soldiers, and younger sailors because they could be kicked out without a board. And so many of those were given general discharges where almost all the officers have been given honorable discharges. So there’s a big injustice there that we need to correct. But loss of military medical care. You may have seen the article last week that Lieutenant Colonel Mike Berry, who’s the First Liberty who won the Seals case, maybe you’ve had him on. He lost all of his health insurance.
[00:44:54.430] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
It’s just absolutely insane what our country has done to our people that want to serve, our country, that believe in American values. And I just read a commentary from one Air Force person today in an email: “The bottom line for me, Sir, is betrayal.”
[00:45:18.450] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
It is. I know for you being a general, it’s hard for you to stomach me being just a low guy in the Marine Corps. It’s hard for me to stomach because there’s nothing worse than betrayal inside the military.
[00:45:32.980] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Well, leaders have a responsibility to ensure the morale and welfare and health and safety of their people. There was enough question out there. Even though we steered clear of really underscoring the health and safety issues, there was enough question out there. I kept writing to all the Air Force leaders I knew that are on active duty. Do you really want to take the chance of impacting someone’s career or someone’s health for the rest of their life, let alone their career? Why would you want to do that? Why are you putting so much faith in an experimental technology that had a fraction of the testing that most vaccines have that now the CDC has had to go back and change the definition of vaccine because it doesn’t prevent anybody from getting COVID, nor does it protect or prevent anybody from spreading it.
[00:46:32.110] – Pastor Todd Coconato
The whole thing is so bizarre. I mean, who is the driving force? For someone like me that’s not in the services. You have a unique vantage point. But what’s the driving force? Is it the CDC? Is it some shadow government people that we don’t know? Who is it that’s pushing this in your research as you go up the ladder?
[00:46:54.230] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Well, certainly the CDC has a large role to play and if they were more forthcoming with their pronouncements, rather than getting together with the FDA as an example and trying to hide the Pfizer testing for 55 years to avoid, I think they could be helpful. We do think they are a key. We have written to the doc there at the CDC, we’ve written to the head of the Veterans Administration making sure, just trying to lay a record that we’re holding you folks accountable. Yes, I will tell you what Congressman Waltz told me. Pastor Todd. In a conversation last month, he said he had one of the service chiefs in and the service chief said to him, well, this is all the secretary of defense, and we wish that he’d just end this thing so we could get it off our plate. Have it on good intel at the Coast Guard headquarters, too. They feel the same. They follow the Department of Defense even though they’re Department of Homeland Security. That being said, I have a suspicion that it was some people in the White House that were calling the shots. But yet when Congress was voting last week and the week before to eliminate the mandate, the way it came across to me anyway was the SECDEF is the one that came out and said, hey, I’m the guy that issued this mandate and I’m responsible for it.
[00:48:21.920] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
And then the White House seemed to back off, meaning on a Friday night we have Leader McCarthy on primetime saying I’ve got the President’s agreement that we’re going to back off. And then on Saturday we have the SECDEF saying no, I want to keep the mandate. And then we have the White House agreeing with a tweet from the good admiral there saying, yeah, the White House agrees. Maybe there’s a lot of politics involved, but certainly it’s that, to quote an Air Force lawyer friend of mine, that cabal at the head of our government, unfortunately, that for some reason, just turned a blind eye to what I consider to be, and I know you gentlemen do as well just so hard and fast. Evidence that this is not a good thing. I would always make, I was a commander of about 4000 people when the Anthrax vaccine mandate came down. And I’d like to think I critically thought, well, if you’re exposed to anthrax and you don’t have the shot, there’s a 90% chance you’re going to die. I didn’t have to deal with any religious accommodation request, but I feel in my heart that if I had to, I would have acknowledged them, a small population. I would have had a heart to heart and say, okay, you’re taking this risk on yourself, then I fully concur that if this isn’t something due to sincere religious beliefs, that’s how I would have handled. I didn’t have it. But a 90% chance of dying versus today with COVID a 0.2 chance of dying? I mean, where’s the common sense? Where’s the critical thinking and just disappointed in our government that we can’t as Americans, come together on just the facts? Just look at the facts.
[00:50:13.010] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
This is about the United States of America and our readiness to protect this great nation. It’s not about democrat, republican, independent. It’s about protecting us. And that’s what the military is here to do.
[00:50:26.170] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
You’re so right, pastor David. This mandate been about protecting the force. For example, if they had had and before we had any data, if they had had the vaccine in January, February, and March of 2020, based on the data that we had, was providing some efficacy at that time. STARRS has been advised by some outstanding doctors, I mean, distinguished graduates out of the Air Force Academy who haven’t been coerced, shall we say, by hospital, and the big medical community that has twisted their minds. And we have just I’m so blessed to have Dr. Scott Sturman, class of 72, distinguished graduate, Dr. Randy Percy, Dr. Lee of Truth for Health. I mean, they’ve really been what we would consider to be give us sound guidance. Dr. Sturman in particular, when he would see something and you go, what about this, doc? He goes, yeah, I think that one might be a right wing conspiracy theory. There’s not enough evidence yet for that one, but it was just straight down the line. And what he pointed out to us about a year ago is that our government was turning a blind eye to all the international studies that were showing the health and safety issues associated with the vaccine.
[00:51:56.950] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
We’ve had a number of retired Air Force doctors in particular say, where was the medical community on this? Just like we’ve had with the lawyers saying where was the legal profession? They should know that the steps they were taking. And advising I mean, how could anyone advise the Secretary of the Air Force to allegedly say, we won’t have any religious accommodation requests? Amazing. Beyond belief.
[00:52:24.010] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
It is beyond belief. So in closing, general Bishop, how can people support you in STARRS?
[00:52:31.330] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Okay, thank you for that plug. STARRS.us. And we’re pretty excited. Real quick, please visit our website. Like in the next maybe two or three days, we’ve got some professionals that were working on the website. It’s completely redesigned. It will positively be the best repository in the United States of America on anything that’s woke. It’s gathering the information, any articles and stuff, putting in a library we’ve hired. You gentlemen may know Matt Lohmeier. He was the Space Force Lieutenant Colonel that was booted from the Space Force writing a book called Irresistible Revolution, the Marxist goal of conquest and the undermining, I think, of the United States military. Space Force booted him out. He now is our own only paid employee. He’s going to work for us full time. Thankfully our fundraising efforts have gotten us enough money to pay him for about two quarters anyway. And he’s done just such a fabulous job for us in the last quarter that he’s been working where he was only working for $4,000 a month. But he’s got a small family. He feels so bad. This is what goes to the character of this person. He feels so bad about taking any money at all because he knows we’re all doing this out of the love of our country and kindness of our hearts.
[00:53:54.170] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
But we’ve hired him as our director of ops for working on a full length film documentary on his experience because he studied Marxism for two straight years at both the Air War College and Air Command Staff College, I guess, and the premier department of defense school for strategy that’s in the Air Force. It’s called SAS. And on the fundraising efforts, we’re hoping after the year we didn’t really need any money to go and help in this mandate. We have people like you, Pastor Dave, helping us out and get the word out. We built the relationship with the congressmen over the phone. Would like to have met with more of them in person. But if we’re going to extend the reach and one of our goals this year was to reach millions instead of tens of thousands. If we can reach millions with this message, hopefully we can build up enough energy and pizzazz, if you will, to get more people speaking up and take an issue with the critical race theory because it is divisive. We hear it all the time from cadets. Cadets will say, all my friends or most of my friends feel like this. Even my black friends, they’re overplaying their hand. I mean, we got so much input from them. So all these things are encouraging. And the good part for us old white haired guys, we’re getting younger generation and that can take over the fight.
[00:55:27.270] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
Yeah, that’s perfect. General, I tell you what, anything we can do to help you and support you, we’re here to help you and support you in any way. And first of all, thank you for your service. But also even more thankful for that. You could have sat back and retired, but you chose to fight for these men and women that serve our great country. And I thank you for that.
[00:55:49.580] – Pastor Todd Coconato
Yes, thank you, General.
[00:55:51.710] – LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
Thank you gentlemen both for that nice comment, Pastor Dave. And thank you again for the role that you’ve very important role that you’ve played.
[00:55:59.100] – Pastor Dave Scarlett
Thank you. That ends the latest episode of Lions and Generals. Please get involved. Help STARRSs out because as the general said, we’re only halfway there. We got to finish the battle. God bless you and go in His shalom.