The Navy thinks this will help recruitment? Not according this: Listen to the people.
The Navy brought on an active-duty drag queen to participate in a pilot program aimed at reaching a wider audience through popular social media platforms as the military faces severe recruiting woes, a Navy spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, stage name Harpy Daniels, announced the Navy invited him to become the first “Navy Digital Ambassador” in a November 2022 social media post, highlighting his journey from performing on deck in 2018 to becoming a “leader” and “advocate” of people who “were oppressed for years in the service.”
The Digital Ambassador initiative in which Kelley participated ran from October 2022 to March 2023 and was “designed to explore the digital environment to reach a wide range of potential candidates,” the Navy spokesperson said.
The Digital Ambassador initiative concluded in April, and the Navy is now evaluating the program to consider what form it will take in the future, the spokesperson told the DCNF.
“The Navy did not compensate YN2 Kelley or any others for being Navy Digital Ambassadors,” the spokesperson said.
Five active duty personnel participated, and no promotional or recruiting materials exist.
Kelley said he was “hand selected as one of four Navy Digital Ambassadors” in a social media post.
When reached for comment, Kelley referred the DCNF to his recruiter and the Navy’s ambassador program administrator.
Kelley, who identifies as non-binary, previously said he began dressing in drag and performing in shows long before joining the Navy, according to an interview conducted with Carl Herzog of the USS Constitution Museum in August.
He first started performing on ships after a sanctioned MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) lip syncing competition in 2017 while deployed on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, Herzog wrote. Kelley “continues to slay in performances that boost morale and show support for LGBTQ+ service members.”
He frequently posts videos on his Instagram and TikTok accounts, writing about how he found acceptance in the Navy and highlighting his shows.
Kelley said he faced harassment from outside the military after he was scheduled to perform at a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) event at Langley Joint Air Force Base in the summer of 2022 that “caused an uproar to many conservatives and Christian extremists.”
“I’m an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and being able to do drag is not just for me, but a tribute to many service members who were kicked out, harassed, bullied or worse for being openly gay during Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It shows representation, and that is truly needed for a culture and organization that has shunned us for so long,” he told the USS Constitution Museum.
The Navy committed to recruit and retain soldiers through fostering an inclusive culture and ensuring personnel feel “included and connected to mission and leaders at all levels,” according to the latest DEI policy updates.
A 2020 pamphlet on Inclusion and Diversity goals included the objective to develop “strategies using data to understand and eliminate barriers and ensure outreach to all segments of society.”
The Navy is seeking to boost its size to 347,000 officers and enlisted sailors in 2024, up from the current 341,736 serving in fiscal year 2023, according to Navy Times.
While the service squeaked by its recruiting targets in fiscal year 2022, it did so by delving deep into the delayed-entry pool, a program that allows people to accept contracts but remain on hold before shipping off to boot camp, according to a Navy press release.
The Navy is projected to fall 16%, or 6,000, recruits short of its fiscal year 2023 goal for enlisted sailors, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti told the House Armed Services Committee on April 19, while her written testimony puts the number at 8,000 recruits.
“To attract the most talented and diverse workforce, the Navy continues to evaluate its compensation package and admission requirements, and how it reaches potential recruits through advertising and career events,” the Navy’s budget proposal for 2024 states.
Lt. Alexis Travis also purports to be a Navy Digital Ambassador whose specialties include military leadership, DEI and mental health, according to a Reddit post she made in early 2023 and her Instagram profile.
“I’m hopeful that as time passes and we show how valuable it is, we can make it a real collateral or provide some other career recognition for the effort,” Travis said of the ambassador program in the Reddit post. “Then we’ll be able to attract a larger and more representative group.”
The ambassador program is just one of several ways the Navy is seeking to reach different populations to overcome what the spokesperson called “the most challenging recruiting environment since the start of the all-volunteer force.” And, it’s increasingly turning to digital platforms to attract younger audiences.
The Navy launched a series of ads tailored for Gen Z that ran on social media platforms like Instagram, as well as TV and video streaming services popular with young people, U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) News reported.
Only 2% of the youth population meets the requirements to join the Navy and are also open to serving, a spokesperson for the ad agency VMLY&R told USNI News.
“An effort is, indeed, being made to connect recruiting to the interests and concerns of Gen-Z,” Lt. Ian Clark and PO Third Class Kyle Atkinson, U.S. Navy wrote for the USNI journal in January 2023, citing a prominent Diversity and Inclusion section that appeared on the Navy recruiting website’s front page at the time.
By Micaela Burrow, The Daily Caller News Foundation
US Navy platformed ‘drag queen influencer’ to attract youth to the military in hiring crisis (Fox News, 3 MAY 23)
The U.S. Navy has revealed that it approached a “drag queen influencer” to help persuade new recruits to join the military.
Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, who goes by the stage name “Harpy Daniels,” announced back in November 2022 that he was the Navy’s “Digital Ambassador.” Kelley has over 1,300,000 likes on TikTok.
While Kelley’s Instagram bio shows that the performer’s opinions “are not endorsed by DoD or DoN,” the drag queen claims to have danced in drag for service officers on a number of different occasions, sharing one video from 2018.
The Digital Ambassador initiative that Kelley participated in ran from October 2022 to March 2023 and was “designed to explore the digital environment to reach a wide range of potential candidates,” a Navy spokesperson told Fox News Digital. The reason, the spokesperson added, was that the Navy is navigating “the most challenging recruiting environment it has faced since the start of the all-volunteer force.”
The spokesperson continued: “The Navy did not compensate YN2 Kelley or any others for being Navy Digital Ambassadors. The pilot has concluded and we are now evaluating the program and how it will exist in the future.” . . . . (read more)
What People Are Saying
(comments on the articles from the comment section and on social media)
“I served six years in the Navy, and was proud to have done so. I would never recommend that anyone join any of the service branches today. Woke insanity has ruined the once great armed forces of this nation. Yes, military recruitment is down. Way down. This all started with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and it’s gotten much worse now that the Obama and Biden administrations have done their best to purge our Armed Forces of those who hold fast to actual values. Our top military leaders either lack the moral courage to stand up against this demoralizing bunk, or they are part of the problem and are actually supporting it. Do we want a military devoid of all moral standards!”
“When the adults return to the Pentagon, a whole lotta people need to be fired. It is disruptive to recalibrate a large organization like the US military. It has been done in the past. It can be done in the future. If that doesn’t happen thousands will die in the next war and it is tracible to this stupid wokeiness.”
“Soooooo glad to be retired. There is no way I would ever serve for this government today.”
“As a former Naval Officer this was the most offensive portrayal of are dedicated military men, women and there families I have ever seen. Some day the people responsible for this will have to face the facts they disgraced our military, undermined our traditions and weakened our nation. I have two teenage children that would love to one day serve this nation in the military. I really can not support that under the current leadership. I am sure most veterans with children are thinking the same thing. This is a intentional aggressive act to weaken are nation! I am more than disgusted!”
“The Navy, as it faces a historic recruiting crisis, hires a drag queen to boost recruitment. I just typed that and I still don’t believe it. I am just flabbergasted. What are these people thinking? Are they thinking? The point must be to get Chinese, the Iranians and the Russians laughing so hard that they couldn’t fight a war if they wanted.”
“My Dad was a sailor and now my Grandson. I am sick to my stomach for what is happening to our Country. I will always be Proud of my Dad and my Grandson.”
“What kind of ‘recruits’ are they looking for? This crap is insulting to all Americans. Men that dream of being women are supposed to protect us? If this non sense is being done just to piss people off, it’s working.”
“I wonder if the Navy has done a projection of how many heterosexuals it’s discouraging from enlisting and reenlisting with its campaign to attract the deranged alphabet crowd.”
“THIS IS SHAMEFUL FOR THE NAVY! My Dad fought in WW2 in the Navy and so did my husband’s father. They gave their lives for this country.”
“Chasing a minority population isn’t going to work.”
“Does no one suspect the WH in all this stuff? How do those at the Pentagon go along? Is there no longer a backbone in our military that they go along with this insanity?”
“Our enemies must be celebrating the demise of our military. We are in full self-destruct mode.”
“There is no way I could serve today. This was not the Navy I joined. I know a lot of people make fun of the Navy, but this was not acceptable at any level in my day.”
“Former sailor here. No this is why people aren’t joining.”
“This kind of woke bullsht is what is driving good people away from joining. It’s why a lot are retiring.”
“I’m a vet and can honestly say I’d never want Any of my kids serving our country in todays woke military. Period.”
“This is not the Navy I left 24 years. I have to believe this violates many portions of the UCMJ.”
“My step son left the Navy about 3 weeks ago after 13 years. SO happy he left. He said it was an absolute shit show.”
“My Navy Veteran daughter is disgusted and ashamed that she served in this military branch.”
“My bestfriends grandson just recently refused to reenlist in the USN. Reason: too much social pressure from top ranking officers and senior NCOs. Too many Woke programs.”
“My condolences to Navy veterans as they watch their beloved Navy die.”
“It’s a world gone mad. I retired with 25 years that included a tour of duty in Vietnam and for what?”
“I served in the Marine Corp., my dad served in the Navy, My grandfather served in the Corp. too. Numerous Uncles and Cousins served in the Air Force, Army as well. Great Grandfather’s served in the Corp. or Army. It’s been something that almost every man in our family has done for ages either before or after college. My son is just about done with High School and is thinking military. I had been thinking about which branch he would want to go in. I may talk him out of it from what I’ve seen over the past few years. How could Drag Queens and WOKE policies help a fighting military force?”
“I am a young man but no way I would go in the Military I don’t want to be ordered to dress like a girl, I am a MAN. I don’t want to serve with mentally unstable or people with mental illness as the doctors say it is and people with mental illness should not be allowed to carry or purchase guns.”
“So sad. As a Navy Vet, I’m asham that the Navy would even allow this to happen. We have lost our way as a nation. This is not how we make young men and women into strong brave warriors. The Navy brass should all be fired for allowing this to happen. The military needs to go back to being a fighting force, not an experiment on people’s feelings. That kind of thinking will get military men and women killed. What are we going to do when China and Russia come knocking at our door; talk about our feelings? Just sad.”
“What happened to the Navy I so proudly served! As a woman I am furious! Being a woman in NOT a costume to wear! How dare they make a mockery of women and the military. It’s disgusting and needs to stop! This admin has turned our military into a social experiment and it is NOT ok!”
“Tells me that about 5 queens will join because of this. Also tells me that many, many more will be dissuaded from joining over this. A net loss in all.”
“I am now officially ashamed of my time in the Navy 1969-1975. If you need a drag queen to entice recruits, it is already down the tubes.”
“Served 1975-80 in US Marines Corps, I totally agree, and Thanks for your service, fellow at arms!”
“If that’s not using the Uniform for political purposes, I don’t know what is… Served 23 years, four of my direct household are signed up to serve, serving, and served! Considering asking my son to cancel his contract! Never thought I would say that……. This is a slap in the face! Another act that continues to degrade the U.S.”
“I’m a grandfather, have asked my grandsons to stand down and not participate with Biden’s military. They are the wrong race, wrong political affiliation, not “woke”. Not part of the nonbinary gender-confused nonsense. Let the democrats deploy and fight any war coming, just for them to stand guard on our borders if an invasion is attempted.”
“The military today is a farce not a force. I spent 22 years (1984-2006) on active duty (13B34, 79R4Q) in the army. Back then we trained to fight and win wars. Today the militray trains on extremism, gender identity, safe spaces and more. It’s no wonder that China has become the world’s #1 power!”
“My dad is Navy, my brother is currently in. I have two boys. At this moment, I wouldn’t let them sign up in any service. I will house them myself for the next 20 yrs before this. That’s heartbreaking to me.”
“The Navy has sunk to a new low. I am ashamed to admit that the Navy is doing this. The military has gone woke and it will hurt America. Just another way for the Chinese to gain control of America.”
“What a sad state our military leaders are in . . . glad I retired after 22 years of service in 1993. While on active duty we focussed on our missions and our training was based on that. We had real leadership and thank God we had capable leadership. I feel sorry for those who have to put up with our Woke leadership today.”
“As a one-time submariner, absolutely no. If this is what it takes to get men to enlist, those are men we don’t need.”
“I spent four years in the infantry in the Marines. I spent eight months in the desert during the first Gulf War; I served with 1st Battalion Fifth Marine Regiment (1/5). This is shameful and I’m glad that I am out right now!!”
“Time to trade in my navy veteran license plates and take the stickers off of my car. It is embarrassing to be associated with an organization that parades the mentally ill out as their brand ambassadors.”
“Retired Navy. Twenty years on submarines. Three boys. Two of whom could serve. Actively discouraged both from joining. The job of the military is to fight and win wars. All of the social experimentation is going to get people killed when we have to fight.”
“Something tells me recruitment will drop. It’s going to become almost embarrassing to serve!”
“Our military will prevail when you remove the woke agenda and the mentally ill and return the focus on national security and the capable protection of it. Until then, nobody wants to sign up and serve.”
“This doesn’t bode well for the Navy’s image. They aren’t helping their recruiting numbers, unless they’re seeking a bunch of effeminate men. Gross. Retired just in time.”
“So the Navy will use a drag queen to attract recruits, and perhaps get the miniscule portion of the population ‘interested’, but drive away the vast majority of normal, sane people in the process.”
“My husband retired recently from the military. We have two children of age to enlist. We have advised them not to even consider the military as an option. They are going into trade schools.”
“We still need our tough guys to protect our country. They aren’t joining the military because, tough guys aren’t going to go into battle with a bunch of guys that dress like little girls. Until our military brass gets that figured out, there is going to be a shortage of MAN power in the military. Got It?”
“I’m trying to convince my son to NOT take the Navy OCS track.”
“Yes because some dude that likes to dress as a chick will most certainly convince me to sign up. Glad I served and got out before all this insanity began.”
“Not the military I served in, not the country I served for.”
“So our military leadership really believes that someone who can’t even figure out their own biology will make good combat decisions? We have already lost the next war.”
“As a Navy veteran, I feel insulted and dishonored by this.”
“I’m an early seventies army veteran and my son did 9 years in the Navy. We are both ashamed of our military leaders.”
“As a USNA grad and former submarine officer, I do not want to see my children, or extended family members, joining the armed forces under this type of leadership.”
“28 years of active and Reserve duty. I never thought it would come to this. I’m ashamed and embarrassed for our country.”
“I am a 25 year Veteran of the Navy. This saddens me greatly. I never cared what my Sailors did in their private life as long as it did not affect the mission or others. But, now they are putting this type of lifestyle as the face of the new Navy. I am at a loss for words and ashamed of those in command who approve this new woke policy.”
“As a former Army NCO, I’m appalled at what our proud military has become.”
“In my 32 years of military service and currently retired Army officer, I’ve have never been so embarrassed by the Navy supporting Drag Queer recruiting. It’s not going to bring trans people in because those kind of people only think about themselves and not how they can serve to protect the United Stated of America.”
“My brother in law just retired from 25 years in the Army at Ft. Bragg as special forces. Been all over the world and done it all. Made a very good living. He said Sunday night that i should never let my 15 year old son join. Its an embarrassment.”
“My father was a part of the “Greatest Generation” serving in WWII as a 17yr. old Higgins boat driver taking Marines to fight on Japanese held islands. Then he went to Korea and finished w/ 2 tours to Vietnam. I served 22yrs. in the Air Force w/ 3 tours to the Middle East. My youngest daughter spent 4yrs. in the Virginia Tech Cadet Corp and once on active duty (2011) she experienced the complete joke the Armed Forces have become. She intended to make a career out of the AF but instead, served her 4yrs. and got the hell out.”
“As a navy veteran, I am embarrassed. I would not join now because I would not want to associated with this circus. Glad I got out before this happened.”
“I’m a Navy combat vet with the medals and PTSD to show for it from the days when men were men and women weren’t. I volunteered to go into harm’s way while working over 100 hours a week in a 110 degree hell hole for months on end. Cost me not 1 but 2 marriages. Went 4 months without seeing the sun: and I was on a surface ship. Always in the engine room. Always. And I was PROUD to do my part .Thank God almighty I am from a previous generation that didn’t have this BS going on and PUSHED by the Navy and D.O.D.”
“I personally have a very strong, masculine, level-headed, good son who had seen a recruiter, completed all his requirements, and last week came to me and told me that he just can’t “stomach being with a bunch of weirdos” so he changed his mind. Their loss!”
“My son and daughter will not sign up for the navy or any military branch because of this. It used to be the parents join military, and then the parents encourage the children to join. NOT ANYMORE!”
“I’m a 7 year Navy vet ( 86-91, 01-03 ), I have spoken to many former shipmates and even NROTC kids who tell me that they hate the way that the military is going woke. Is it any wonder why recruitment is down, and now this crap?! THIS crap is one of the reasons why the Navy is hurting for new recruits. And they are only making it worse!”
“I’m active duty Navy…thankfully I haven’t seen anything like this yet. The wokeness is shoved in our faces but we are too busy to really pay attention to it. This younger generation are already very accepting of people so there is no need for DEI.”
“It gets harder everyday to stay in… we are becoming a rudderless Navy and the wolves at the door are now. We only make ourselves appear weak, confused and unprepared to fight and defend.”
“I retired from the Air Force after 20 years as a MSgt because of a lot of this crap.”
“I am a military retiree and was continually amazed by the huge number of officers I ran across who (theoretically) would risk their lives in service to their country, but would do nothing that might risk their careers. “Why are we having a crisis of courage among our senior military ranks?” Because courageous officers don’t attain senior rank. Of all people, Lt Col Lohmeier should know that! Promotion depends on NOT speaking up against outlandish policies which undermine the effectiveness of the military.”
“As a retired Navy veteran this is shameful and insulting A total disgrace to the Navy, it’s veterans and all who have served or are currently serving. I am thoroughly disgusted by the actions of our military leaders and the entire administration.”
Leave a Comment