Memorial Day is a time to take stock of the present, reflect on the past, and renew our commitment to the future of America. Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.
I don't have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world. This Memorial Day of 1983, we honor those brave Americans who died in the service of their country. I think an ancient scholar put it well when he wrote: "Let us now praise famous men … All these were honored in their generation, and were the glory of their times. Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.'' As a tribute to their sacrifice, let us renew our resolve to remain strong enough to deter aggression, wise enough to preserve and protect our freedom, and thoughtful enough to promote lasting peace throughout the world.
Of the four Republican presidents over the last 40 years, three of them — Reagan, George H.W. Bush (USN), and George W. Bush (ANG) — have served our nation with honor and integrity. The fourth, Donald Trump, was a great advocate for our Armed Forces.
One of the many ways that Biden defames those who have died in the service of our nation is his oft-repeated lie that his son Beau was killed in Iraq. He repeated that lie again last week in Japan to Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, telling them: "My son was a major in the U.S. Army. We lost him in Iraq."
With that as a backdrop, ahead of our nation's annual Memorial Day observance honoring those who have actually died in the uniformed services of our nation, defending American Liberty in accordance with their sacred oaths "to support and defend" our Constitution, a large contingent of retired senior military officers is taking aim at Biden for his disgraceful assault on military readiness and morale.
The membership of the organization, Flag Officers 4 America, is described as follows: "We are retired military leaders who pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Although retired from active service, each of us feels bound by that oath to do what we can, in our capacity today, to protect our nation from the threats to her freedom."
We last heard from them when they petitioned Congress to hold Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley responsible for the catastrophically failed exfil from Afghanistan. Of course, that did not happen.
And lest you think that retired officers challenge a sitting commander-in-chief at no risk, as our military analyst Gen. B.B. Bell notes, the reason more retired officers are reluctant to stand up for our military ranks is that retirees could still be subject to an Article 88 UCMJ violation. Thus, those like Bell who do stand up for their fellow warriors deserve our respect and gratitude.
I am reprinting the letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries in full because it also serves as an exposition on the rot that DEI creates within any organization in which it's implemented. But when it metastasizes in our military ranks, that rot becomes very dangerous.
The flag officers note:
We respectfully request that Congress, pursuant to its constitutional powers "…to raise and support Armies…" and "… to provide and maintain a Navy…," take legislative action to remove all diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs from the Department of Defense (DoD). Additionally, we ask that you ensure no DEI related policies, programs, and funding are included in the 2024 NDAA. As our Nation faces looming threats from "foreign" adversaries/enemies, our military is under assault from a culture war stemming from "domestic" ideologically inspired political policies and practices. If not stopped now, they will forever change the military's warrior ethos essential to performing its mission of deterring aggression and failing that, to fight and win our Nation's wars. Our military must be laser focused on one mission — readiness, undiminished by the culture war engulfing our country.
For generations, our military was a meritocracy, which simply defined means selection and advancement based solely on merit and ability. Service Members (SMs) were judged not by the color of their skin but by their character, duty performance, and potential. Meritocracy, coupled with equal opportunity, created conditions for all to advance and excel, which stimulates healthy competition, thereby raising standards. Historically, our military has been one of, if not the most, diverse and inclusive institution in America.
The domestic cultural threat has an innocuous name: "diversity, equity, and inclusion" (DEI). But, in reality DEI is dividing, not uniting, our military and society. DEI's principles derive from critical race theory, which is rooted in cultural Marxism, where people are grouped into identity classes (typically by race), labeled as "oppressed" or "oppressors," and pitted against each other. Under the guise of DEI, some people are selected for career enhancing opportunities and advancement based on preferences given to identity groups based on race, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, etc. For example, the DoD twice admitted to using race in service academy admissions in its 2022 amicus brief in the pending Supreme Court college admissions cases.
Our military has practiced "equality" by giving equal opportunities for all to achieve. The equality approach ignores skin color, gender, or ethnicity seeing all SMs as equal, with a common set of values and mission. This does not diminish their individuality, but rather celebrates their dedication to duty and a higher noble calling of selfless service to our Nation.
DEI's "Equity" sounds benign, but in practice it lowers standards. While equality provides equal opportunities, equity's goal is equal outcomes. To achieve equal outcomes using identity group characteristics, standards must be lowered to accommodate the desired equity outcomes. Lower standards reduce performance where even slight differences in capability impact readiness and can determine war fighting mission success or failure.
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) practices use identity-based preferences in selections for career schools and promotions. As with equity, D&I lowers standards by not always selecting the best qualified to become pilots, academy cadets, leaders at all ranks, etc. Identity based preferences create friction and distrust in the ranks, damaging unit cohesion, teamwork and unity of effort, further degrading readiness.
The "One Team, One Fight" battle motto describes a meritocracy-based military characterized by:
• a common mission and purpose;
• unqualified loyalty to the team and not to an individual's identity group;
• total trust and confidence in each other for their very lives from the foxhole to the highest level;
• teamwork/camaraderie resulting in the unit cohesion essential for warfighting readiness.
Meritocracy is essential for winning. In professional sports — where the mission is to win games — the best players are fielded to win, no matter their skin color. If meritocracy is used in sports where the consequence of losing a game is minor, why is it not essential in the military where the worst-case consequences of losing a major war are unimaginable losses of life, destruction, and perhaps our Nation? To win, the best qualified SMs must be selected to lead America's sons and daughters into life-and-death situations. Meritocracy wins games and it wins wars!
We have fought for our Nation and are sounding the alarm that DEI poses a grave danger to our military warfighting ethos and is degrading warfighting readiness. Social engineering, commonly called "wokeism," has no place in our military. China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea are not distracted by DEI programs; no doubt they are watching us. Equal opportunity and merit-based performance have been battle tested for generations and proven essential for success. DEI policies and practices must be eliminated from the DoD to protect our critical warfighting readiness.
(You can read the whole list of signatories here.)
May I remind you to strenuously object to and boycott "Memorial Day Sales." Memorial Day is NOT on sale. More than 1.3 million American Patriots have already paid the full price.