'Gender neutral restrooms' grace U.S. military academies

 May 21, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

It was just one more sign that Marxist "woke" ideology has infiltrated the U.S. military and its service academies.

Last month, a sign directing United States Air Force Academy cadets to a "Gender Neutral Restroom" could be found in the hall of one of the nation’s most esteemed military service academies. Prior to this story’s publication on WND, the sign, provided to WND by a cadet, was removed.

Of course, the sign points to a much larger, systemic problem that continues to plague the nation’s military: The Marxist policies of the far Left. WND spoke with Air Force Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Rod Bishop, chairman of Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services, Inc., or STARRS – an organization standing against "woke" ideology in the U.S. military and its service academies.

In conversation with some of the U.S. Air Force Academy cadets, Bishop notes that on the one hand, many are "too scared to speak up," but on the other, some cadets are growing increasingly determined to stop "the push of leftist ideologies."

So while he praises the courage of cadets willing to confide in him and share their stories, Bishop told WND, "Our military needs a real cultural change." For him, there is "no question that neo-Marxist ideology has captured the minds" of many of today’s military leaders.

The retired Air Force general explained, "Washington D.C. civilian political ideologues have forced divisive Critical Race Theory and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion upon the military." As a result, he told WND, "many uniformed leaders have themselves drank the Kool-Aid and honestly believe that supporting this ideology is the road to go down to build a more 'inclusive' force."

"Instead of listening to the large majority of their own people who are saying the way in which DEI is implemented is divisive, discriminatory, demoralizing, demeaning and creates resentment," Bishop explained, "leadership seems laser-focused on ensuring it is – as the superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy once stated – 'pushed into every nook and cranny' of the organization under their command."

According to Bishop, leaders like USAFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark and other "military leaders seem to be blind to the Marxist roots of DEI," adding that they "have failed to realize the intent of the ideology is to divide – and as an instrument of division, it is meeting with success."

Evidence of its success is found in dramatically falling retention rates, he noted.

"Recruiting is in the tank, and there’s discord among those serving," Bishop pointed out. “Truly, the Department of Defense is in need of a serious cultural change that will end its promotion of this cultural Marxism!"

"Besides the demoralizing effect of the manner in which DEI is implemented and the associated negative impact upon retention and recruiting it is having, the greatest harm caused by the ideology is the resentment it causes," Bishop explained to WND.

"The military thrives on unity, it excels when men and women join together in a cohesive effort," he explained. "DEI plunges a knife into this essential element of a successful military by treating people differently."

"From service academy admissions, to officer promotions, to assignments," said Bishop, "the [so-called] oppressed (minorities, gays, transgenders, and in some cases, women) are 'pushed' by discriminatory practices to have a leg up because of the identity group of which they are a part." As a result, he said, "Merit takes a back seat, assimilation is ignored, and unity is destroyed."

When asked if there is an end in sight, Bishop said there has been some progress across the nation. Over 30 states have either passed legislation – or have legislation pending – that eliminates or limits DEI. "More and more universities are walking away from the ideology and in the corporate world," he said, "DEI hiring is down significantly when compared to recent years." For these reasons, he said, somewhat hopefully, "perhaps our nation is beginning to turn a corner."

Yet, he warned, "our military is under the thumb of the political ideologues who are wedded to the ideology." And as a result, "Change has to come from the top," alluding to "a new administration and some 'house cleaning' within DOD or from Congress, which has the authority granted to it from our Constitution to legislate the change so badly needed."

Even if this were to occur, he said, "the indoctrination is embedded in DOD faculties, schools, training centers and more. So for the change to be complete, it will take years"

Meanwhile, an investigation into the effects of DEI programs in the U.S. military has been launched by the House Oversight Committee. In a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wisc., Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and others have signed a letter to the chair of the Pentagon's Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, retired Gen. Lester Lyles. The letter points out that “under the guise of DEI, promotions are being rewarded based on sex, gender, ethnicity, and race at the expense of merit.” And as a result, House investigators are probing to learn more about what information will be included in DACODAI’s annual DEI report presented to the Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“While it seems unfathomable that the DOD and DACODAI continue to ignore all the negative input they receive on the divisiveness of DEI,” Bishop told WND, “STARRS is delighted to learn that Congress is listening and will be examining the injection of this Marxist-based ideology in more depth.”

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