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Posted on Feb 24, 2021 Print this Article

Issue 64: February 2021

This edition of CMR E-Notes reports on and analyzes only some of the harmful things that are being done to our military by the newly inaugurated administration of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris

From irresponsible executive orders reversing sound policies, to mandatory indoctrination in “woke” ideology, the new administration seems determined to push the military to the far left, regardless of the harm done to the troops.  In this and future editions of CMR E-Notes, we will hold President Biden accountable for his actions, starting with his executive orders restoring Obama-era transgender policies and re-imposing divisive critical race theory (CRT) training programs in military schools and academies.

This edition analyzes those issues and the upcoming Defense Department “stand downs,” which could end up promoting extremism in pursuit of extremists, and Air Force plans to design a maternity uniform for female aviators.    

I have also included a note about Rush Limbaugh, a staunch advocate for the military who lent support to CMR and me personally from our founding in 1993.                                                                                           

A.  Biden/Harris Administration Off to Bad Start with Military

For the past four years, the Trump/Pence Administration respected our military men and women by initiating sound policies putting morale, mission readiness, and America First.  On Inauguration Day however, Joseph Biden began signing a series of executive orders that will do serious harm to our military and other institutions of American life.

One of Biden’s first executive orders (EOs) prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in all government agencies, including the Department of Defense:

As the CMR article above explains, this is a major policy reversal that will likely be even more radical than what existed during the Obama/Biden administration.  The EO demands acceptance of the unscientific notion that gender is “assigned at birth,” a belief that disregards biological realities and the science of human DNA.

Full implementation will allow biological males who identify as female to share private facilities of women, which the EO specifically lists: “restrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams.”

Last year, the Supreme Court issued the controversial Bostock v. Clayton County decision, which mandated non-discrimination in employment based on gender identity.

In January, the Trump Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a 22-page memorandum explaining why the Bostock ruling did not apply to government policies such as education, housing, or constitutional rights of religious liberty.  Last July, CMR published an article analyzing reasons why the Bostock decision did not apply to the military:

Within hours of the Biden Inauguration, however, incoming DoJ attorneys revoked the Trump Justice Department memo and completely erased it from the Justice Department website and even the DoJ archives.

This immediate “memory-holing” of the Trump Justice Department Memo setting forth limits in the Bostock decision suggests that the administration will not tolerate any limits at all.  Any exceptions, including conscience clauses allowing for religious convictions that conflict with transgender ideology will not be permitted, regardless of the consequences.

B.  How Extreme Will the Purge of Extremism Be?

Another January 20 executive order revoked a Trump Administration directive ending divisive, racially charged critical race theory (CRT) instruction programs in all government agencies.  This means that Defense Department schools at all levels, from the military service academies to elementary schools for dependent children, likely will introduce abrasive CRT programs that accuse non-minorities of “white supremacy” and “systemic racism.”

This Executive Order also abolished President Trump’s Advisory 1776 Commission, chaired by Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry P. Arnn.  The 1776 Commission’s scholarly report presented an even-handed view of American history.  It also challenged major errors and “woke” critical race theory claims embodied in the New York Times’ slavery-centric “1619 Project.”

This background is important as the Department of Defense and all branches of the service prepare to follow the mandate of Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III to conduct single-day operational “stand downs” to contemplate and confront extremism in the ranks:

DoD regulations already prohibit extremist activities, but this effort seems driven by claims that since some veterans were involved with violent actions at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, the entire military is responsible.

The article above mentions several examples of anti-military prejudice and stresses the importance of even-handed perspective in identifying signs of extremist behavior on both ends of the political spectrum.  Tragedies have occurred when officials ignored signs that were easily visible in military personnel like Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, for politically correct reasons.

The article also draws attention to the newly released Task Force One Navy (TF1N) report, which includes a 5-point “Pledge” that makes sailors and Marines promise to fight things like racism and “ableism.”  The Pledge uses “woke” vocabulary words like “intersectionality” and “disparate impact.”  These concepts and mandates inevitably lead to percentage-based “diversity metrics,” another name for “quotas.”

In CMR’s view, the Defense Department should reinforce classic principles of non-discrimination and recognition of individual merit, without promoting leftist extremism in pursuit of extremists.

C.  Biden Orders Return to Obama Transgender Policies

On January 25, President Biden signed an executive order that specifically repealed the Trump Administration’s 2018 Defense Department policy regarding transgenders.

Contrary to claims the 2018 DoD policy was a “ban,” directives were not based on gender identity and did not bar enlistment or retention of transgenders as a class.  The 2018 policy was based on a medical condition, gender dysphoria, which affects personal readiness to deploy and other factors.

Except for certain “grandfather” provisions related to the 2016 Obama policy initiated by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, the 2018 Trump DoD policy accommodated transgender persons serving in their biological sex if they met deployability requirements and had been stable (without gender dysphoria) for 36 months.

As CMR explained in this article for The Federalist, military women will be most immediately and negatively affected by Biden’s directive.  Personal privacy is rare enough in military close quarters, but Biden is ordering women to share their private facilities with biological males who claim to be transgender.

Directives issued to implement the Obama/Carter policy, such as the 2016 “Military Transgender Policy Implementation Handbook,” brushed off concerns about personal discomfort or worse.  Women, said the guidebook, will just have to “get used to it.”

This is only one of many issues that developed during the months when the Obama/Carter policy was in effect:  Medical costs, for example, increased 300% for 994 persons diagnosed with gender dysphoria, who accounted for 30,000 mental health visits.

The Obama/Carter policy also involved extensive time lost due to medical treatments, suicide attempt rates eight times higher than others in the military, education programs that denied biological science, mandates forcing the use of “preferred gender” pronouns, plus ethical dilemmas for medical personnel, conflicts of conscience for chaplains and people of faith and, most importantly, operational problems related to non-deployability.

The Biden EO claims that a “meticulous, comprehensive” DoD study found that accommodation of transgenders in the military would have “minimal” negative effects.  It also claims that top leaders in all branches of the service told Congress that they were “not aware of any issues of unit cohesion, disciplinary problems, or issues of morale” under the Obama/Carter policy.

As CMR reported in this article, these claims were contradicted by former Defense Secretary James Mattis during congressional testimony on April 26, 2018:

RAND Corporation, a mostly academic DoD contractor, produced a deeply flawed report justifying what the Obama Administration had already decided to do in 2016.  According to Mattis, the military service chiefs serving under President Obama were not consulted before Secretary Carter announced his intent to reverse long-standing policy.

Secretary Mattis was highly critical of the alleged “study” by RAND and testified that the previous administration’s policy precluded reporting of any problems with the Obama/Carter policy up the chain of command.  “[T]he reporting is opaque,” said Mattis, “so the questions you’ve asked the service chiefs and the chairman are ones that right now the Carter policy prohibited.”  Rules did not allow “private information” to come up the chain of command.

During 2018 budget hearings, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) did not ask members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to comment on the many negative consequences that developed under the Obama/Carter policy, which a Pentagon Panel of Exerts reported and CMR analyzed in April 2018.  Instead, Sen. Gillibrand’s question and the chiefs’ answers focused on the well-being of transgender personnel who, they said, had been treated with “dignity and respect.”

This was a credit to military discipline, but the chiefs’ answers were misconstrued as comments about “unit cohesion” – a phrase that Sen. Gillibrand subtly redefined to get the responses she wanted.  (“Unit cohesion” is properly defined as mutual trust for survival in battle.)

Implementation details of the executive order are due in 60 days.  CMR will continue to report on this story and press for restoration of sound policies that strengthen military readiness, not weaken it.

D.  Air Force to Offer Maternity Flight Suits

Air Force efforts to provide one- or two-piece maternity flight suits for pregnant aviators are shedding light on inconvenient realities.  The Human Systems Division is pursuing a three-phase high-priority project to quickly field a one- or two-piece maternity flight suit.

Questions about maternal health, it seems, are being swept under the rug.  The 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces heard about pregnant aviators who dropped out of helicopter duty to avoid exposure to toxic fumes from jet fuel, radiation, excessive vibration, and high-decibel noise heard constantly on carriers.

Gender diversity quotas, it seems, are more important than women’s health.  It is doubtful that female pilots are being informed of substantial risks for unborn children of pregnant aviators on flight status.  Retired Rear Adm. Hugh Scott, a former Navy medical doctor and expert in undersea medicine has explained the issues clearly:

“Because developing embryos and fetuses undergo complex morphological changes that can be affected detrimentally by alterations in physical forces during a pregnancy it is best to avoid known risks such as those associated with high intensities of vibration, high noise intensities, and radiation including cosmic radiation especially by any pregnant aviators or members of the flight crew.

“Fetal exposure to high intensities of vibration, noise and cosmic radiation poses a significant danger to the normal development of the embryo/fetus.  Exposure to high noise intensity has been associated with development of noise induced hearing loss, as well as with prematurity and intrauterine growth retardation.

“At high altitudes, there is a risk to the embryo /fetus from exposure to cosmic radiation, as well as other forms of radiation, like microwaves from avionic electronic devices.  Short and long wave radiation also have been cited for having worsened pregnancy outcomes. All this means a higher rate of congenital malformation, low birth weight, infertility, and spontaneous abortion because of overexposure to these forms of radiation.”

Congress and the Acting Secretary of the Air Force, John P. Roth, should ask an obvious question: Why is there a need for special maternity flight uniforms if women cannot be in flight status while pregnant?

Air Force officials also should ask, 1) How much will this effort quantifiably improve operational combat readiness and lethality? And 2) How much will this effort cost the taxpayers?  If the answer to #1 is “zero”, the answer to #2 also should be “zero.”

E.  Thank you, Rush Limbaugh

The recent news that Rush Limbaugh had passed away was incredibly sad, even though it was expected after the announcement of his cancer diagnosis last year.  The talented talk radio star seemed to reach out to every conservative in America at one time or another, and I was lucky to be one of them.

Rush interviewed me for the Limbaugh Letter in 1997 – only four years after I founded the Center for Military Readiness.  He loved the military, and it was a great honor to talk with him and to put the spotlight on policies would make military life more difficult and dangerous.

At the time, CMR was fighting for the right to publish the truth about Double Standards in Naval Aviation training, which led to the tragic death of pioneering F-14 pilot Lt. Kara Hultgreen.  The Limbaugh Letter exposure helped CMR to survive and grow despite almost a quarter million dollars in legal fees.

Over the years, when issues of concern to CMR came up during the show, I sometimes sent him information that he quoted on the air, always with kind words.  In June 2018, he called me a “BST”“Brilliant Strategic Thinker” – a compliment that said more about him than me.

Rush Limbaugh, you see, wanted conservatives to succeed.  And he knew that praise and encouragement through the golden EIB microphone would help conservatives to succeed.

He was a genuinely nice man and supportive of scores of others he knew were doing the right things.  God bless you, Rush!  We will miss you a lot.  Thank you for everything you did for America and the men and women who volunteer to serve.  –– Elaine

F.  Articles of Interest:

These articles and more indicate that experimental policies that try to treat women like men in formerly all-male combat units such as the infantry are not working:

Posted on Feb 24, 2021 Print this Article