“Sir, Yes, Sir!” is how military personnel show respect for a superior. “Sir” or Ma’am” demonstrates selflessness, discipline, service, and order. Winning wars depends on that unblinking focus on others, mission, and discipline, not yourself. Yet here we are, tossing tradition for made-up nonsense, leftist manners, swapping chess for Chinese checkers.
A year ago, Biden’s marshmallow military issued guidance tossing “gender specific” traditions, replacing the English language, as practiced for the past millennium, with newfangled, non-gender “pronouns.”
Suddenly gone were first, second, and third person singular and plural pronouns, distinguishing subject and object, longstanding identifiers for men and women. In their place we got Orwellian oddities.
No longer authorized in fitness reports, awards, speeches, letters of commendation, citations, death notifications, honorable discharges, or any other reason were references to one’s sex or gender.
Specifically “unauthorized” were uses of pronouns or gender-specific terms, including “he/she” or “best male/female,” as well as any reference to age or race. This bizarre twist was only made more incognizable by the rationale offered for it.
Wrote the androgenous, all-knowing “diversity and inclusion” Gods, the godless godfathers of guidance, a sudden shift would “improve interoperability, efficiency, creativity, and lethality.” Seriously?
For starters, who taught these witless wonders what those words mean? Interoperability has to do with allied technical interfaces, same operating fuels, ammo, spare parts, doctrine. Efficiency is not improved by ambiguity, creativity has much to do with winning but nothing to do with gender, and lethality? Really?
The whole thing is such a crock it is hard to talk sensibly about, but here is what has been happening. Fitness reports now are all about “they” and “them,” not “he, him, she, and her.”
So a CO or selection board might expect to read: “They were exceptional them, the best they of the year, met all the top standards for them, and treated all they and they with respect, inclusive and diverse.” Opening of a speech, rather than “Ladies and Gentlemen,” might start, “Good Morning, they and they.”
A letter of commendation might say: “They performed at an exceptional level, exceeding all expectations for they or they, kept their dress or dress pants crisp, consistently referred to all other they and them as they and them, were best in their age bracket regardless of age, sensitive, on time to all mandatory gender training sessions, offered a disproportionate number of subordinates gender transition surgery, used their pronouns consistently, asked others their pronouns, gave all a fair and equal chance of winning, did not distinguish at any time or in any way based on performance, effort, or attitude.”
There we go! Now say, that is a model they! Or you can only imagine the death notice, coming to a non-mother or non-father, as these people want to blur parents, and as Speaker Pelosi outlawed reference to grandmothers and grandfathers, as the Air Force Academy now outlaws reference to Mom and Dad.
“Dear They: It is with regret that I write to confirm the death of your them, killed in action in defense of fellow they, who at the height of combat defended other they, sensitive at all times to their gender, and always a sensitive, interoperable, efficient, creative, and lethal they. May this letter bring comfort.”
If this nonsensical new guidance makes no sense to you, and frankly has our Chinese, Russian, Iranian, North Korean, Cuban, Venezuelan, and other adversaries laughing so hard their patently binary ribs hurt, then pause with me for a moment of good news.
Last week, the military quietly reversed a small part of this one-act, absurdist play, a heckling homerun the likes of which would never make it on Broadway, by saying they would honor gender in a few, little unimportant places, like – their major awards.
When the Manual of Military Decorations and Awards went woke in August 2023, and “bizarrely introduced the made-up word ‘themselves’ to replace ‘himself’ or ‘herself,’ Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) objected.
He called it “woke propaganda,” political quackery gone wild, called out this “embrace of far-left gender ideology” a “subversion of the English language.”
Cotton pointed out readiness and respect for fighting is tanking, recruiting and retention, readiness, ships and planes down, as we debate pronouns.
In a small win, until a full return to common sense, two genders, readiness, and real war fighting, Defense “quietly dropped ‘themselves’ from the manual.”
What can you say? Every themself, they, them, and non-binary bonehead in leadership on Biden’s team, plus those who support them, should be proud.
If not proud of our warfighters, will to win, history of success, selflessness, discipline, service, and order, they should be proud awards go to men and women, not “they.” Now, if we can stop “They, yes, They!,” return to “Sir, yes, Sir!”
Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.
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