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Posted on Oct 16, 2020 Print this Article

Issue 63: October 2020

The 2020 Presidential Election is approaching fast, and issues of concern to CMR are in the news.  Interested observers may have noticed a concerted campaign to attack President Trump on matters of national defense, and to separate him from the troops he leads.

This edition of CMR E-Notes calls out former Defense Secretary James Mattis for his disappointing role in what appears to be a well-funded national campaign to turn active duty, retired, and military families against President Trump.  We are also sending you a detailed CMR Policy Analysis comparing the Republican and Democratic National Platforms on military/social issues of concern to CMR, which have been addressed by the Trump Administration several times in the past three and a half years.

CMR E-Notes #63 also highlights news about controversial “critical race theory” (CRT) training programs, which promote division and anti-American attitudes in the armed forces and civilian institutions nationwide.  CMR analyzed and reported on this issue just before it came up during the first debate between President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

In addition, this edition provides an update on controversies surrounding Marine Commandant General David Berger and his intent to eliminate gender-separate basic training.  Finally, CMR is reporting good news about President Trump’s intervention when leaders of the Navy SEALS tried to “de-masculinize” that community’s ethos and terminology.

At this turning point in history, voters should look for a Commander-in-Chief who supports the troops and their mission to defend America.

A. Retired Military Leaders Marching in Political Parade
Liberal media and well-funded activist groups are working hard to drive a wedge between President Donald J. Trump and the troops he leads:
Much to the dismay of erstwhile admirers, the name and published statements of former Defense Secretary General James Mattis have been weaponized in a concerted national campaign to replace President Trump with former Vice President Joe Biden. Retired officials whose names and status are being used to defeat President Trump will not have to bear the harmful consequences of reinstating controversial policies that weakened morale, discipline, and overall readiness. They should concern themselves with shooting wars, not political wars.
Furthermore, retired military participants in the campaign to replace Trump and Vice President Mike Pence with Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris are not setting a good example for active duty personnel. All personnel should review and compare the candidates’ records and cast their votes carefully, without engaging in divisive political activities. 
B. Where do the Presidential Candidates and Parties Stand?
CMR is a non-partisan public policy organization and we do not endorse candidates, but we do report on the positions of political candidates and the two major political parties every four years. The following article summarizes and compares the choices being offered to the voters by both major national parties in the 2020 Presidential Election.
The article linked above provides the text of ten Republican Party National Platform statements on issues such as women in the infantry, training standards, the All-Volunteer Force (not compulsory national service), “Draft Our Daughters” legislation to include women in Selective Service registration, religious liberty for chaplains and people of faith, special interest and LGBT Pride celebrations, due process in the military justice system, and the concepts of military superiority and Peace Through Strength. The article also links to the Democratic Party National Platform, for purposes of comparison.
Civilian control of the military is a fundamental principle and it comes with responsibilities. Every citizen must consider the issues, apply common sense, and get out and vote!
C. President Trump Moves to Keep “Wokeness” Out of the Pentagon
A few weeks after CMR posted our first article reporting and analyzing the harmful effects of “critical race theory” instruction in military schools, colleges, and service academies, the Trump Administration’s Office of Management & Budget (OMB) issued a Memorandum calling for an end to the controversial programs in all government agencies. 
Within weeks, President Trump took decisive action to stop government funding of toxic critical race theory programs that inspire hatred of America and division between people solely because of their race. CMR praised this action but also warned about actions in Congress and the Pentagon that could nullify President Trump’s intent:
The President’s September 22 Executive Order (EO) is very specific in identifying objectionable elements of controversial CRT training. The EO specifically applies to the United States Uniformed Services, including the U.S. armed forces, the military services, and ROTC instruction: 
CMR highlighted several passages of the Executive Order in a September 30 News Release, noting that President Trump’s Executive Order correctly forbids critical race theory indoctrination that causes individuals to ‘feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex.’ 
The Executive Order also rejects “a different vision of America” that is “rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.’ (emphasis added)
In particular, the EO bars training that promotes “Divisive concepts,” such the idea that “(1) One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (2) The U.S. is fundamentally racist or sexist . . . and (9) Meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.”
CMR was pleased to join with more than 130 organization leaders in endorsing this statement:
Given strong feelings on this issue, CMR has asked the administration to reconsider plans for a Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity & Inclusion, which Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced would be established in December. Such a committee would quickly operate as an in-house lobby for critical race theory programs and related demands.
It is not clear when a Conference Committee will iron out differences in the House and Senate versions of the pending National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2021, including problematic Diversity & Inclusion provisions that could make critical race theory a pervasive mandate in all military personnel policies and related issues. 
Senate business is mostly suspended due to coronavirus concerns, but CMR will continue to closely monitor and report on all developments. 
D. Will the Marine Corps Survive Political Correctness?
The following article reports on several ways that the Marine Corps has been implementing unneeded and harmful policies based on the notion that minimally qualified women are interchangeable with men in the combat arms: 
The current Commandant, Gen. David Berger, has dropped his former opposition to the elimination of separate-gender basic training – a unique training format that has been recognized as superior in transforming young men and women into Marines. Now has reported that Gen. Berger is considering a plan to close both Parris Island (SC) which historically has provided basic training to female recruits, and Camp Pendleton (CA), which has just begun the process of integrating female trainees, and to replace them with a new co-ed boot camp at a location yet to be determined. 
Gen. Berger’s stated rationale is not mission readiness or combat lethality. It is a social goal – gender diversity, imposed under pressure from Congress. In an interview, Gen. Berger said, “Nothing, the way we’re organized right now, lends itself to integrated recruit training.” In other words, the Marines would rather switch than fight.
Political leaders seem more likely to fight for what they and many others see as a key element in Marine Corps culture. Both South Carolina senators, Republicans Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, strongly oppose any move to close Parris Island. Graham said, “Ain’t Gonna Happen!” And Scott added, “I am confident that as they review plans for consolidated training, the Marine Corps will determine that Parris Island makes the most sense both financially and logistically to train Marines for decades to come. Parris Island will not close.”
Representatives Joe Wilson and Ralph Norman, both Republicans of South Carolina, introduced the “Parris Island Protection Act.”  The legislation, which will also be introduced in the Senate by Sen. Graham, would prohibit the use of federal funds to close or plan the closure of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island. CMR will follow this issue closely and report on developments.
E. Trump Halts Navy SEALS’ Order to “De-Sex-igrate” Gender-Specific Terms
It takes six months of grueling training, including the aptly named Hell Week during BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs) training, to produce a single special operator. The elite Special Operations Forces community has been open to women since December 2015, and some serve in SEAL support positions. 
However, few women have attempted, and none have passed, the physically demanding multi-phased training program needed to qualify as a SEAL. Navy officials nevertheless announced a plan to sex-neutralize certain words and phrases in the SEAL’s official creed and terminology. 
Words like “brotherhood” would have to go. Rear Adm. Collin P. Green, head of Naval Special Warfare Command, could have opted for “SEAL siblings,” but social justice warriors prefer “group of maritime warriors.” The SEAL ethos statement reading “A common man with uncommon desire to succeed,” would change to “Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed.” Another alteration would change “I am that man” to “I am that warrior.”
According to Navy Special Warfare spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup, changes were necessary to reflect the makeup of the Navy Special Warfare unit, even though no women have made it through the SEAL or SWCC (Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen) qualification training pipelines. This is no disgrace, since 80% - 85% of male aspirants have to drop out before finishing the course.   
To borrow Mike Huckabee’s phrase, the Navy’s “Emasculation Proclamation” was a needless affront to men living in the real world, not the imaginary co-ed combat world commonly seen in “action” movies portraying female actors doing super-human stunts. 
Some feminists see masculinity as a “disease,” but there is no justification for Pentagon capitulation to the philosophy of former Army advisor Prof. Madeline Morris. In a 1996 Duke University Law Journal article titled By Force of Arms: Rape, War, and Military Culture, Prof. Morris wrote, “the masculinist military construct relates specifically to the particular vision of masculinity as dominance, aggressiveness, and toughness embraced in military culture.” 
Suggesting that military training itself might be linked with sexual aggression, Morris proposed an “ungendered vision” for the military to downplay “masculinist” tendencies. That was during the Bill Clinton Administration, but President Trump is not going down that road.
On October 1, President Trump announced his intent to stop the Navy SEALs’ New Gender Order.  With typical directness President Trump tweeted, “I will be overturning this ridiculous order immediately!” Retired Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, famous for killing terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, spoke for many military men with this tweet: “Long Live the Non-Binaryhood.” 
Additional Articles of Interest:
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CMR E-Notes is a periodic publication of the Center for Military Readiness, an independent, non-partisan public policy organization, founded in 1993, which reports on and analyzes military/social issues. More information is available on CMR’s website:
Posted on Oct 16, 2020 Print this Article