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Stop Undercutting Our Military Capability

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

On Aug. 30, 2018, the Navy Times featured an article on the so-called “Drag Queen-Happy Daniels” portrayed by a Yeoman Third Class Petty Officer at a sanctioned Morale Welfare Recreation (MWR) event on board the carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) in Yokuska, Japan. The Petty Officer involved is an avowed homosexual who is also the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for the carrier’s Reagan Gay, Lesbian and Supporting Sailors Association. There is only one reason such an association exists and that is to promote the gay lifestyle in the Navy.


The fact that there apparently has been no outcry from either the ship’s commanding officer or the carrier group’s flag officer is symptomatic of a much larger problem. The root cause goes back to not only the repeal of the 1993 public law that precluded homosexuals from serving in the military but also to the Obama administration’s “diversity” mandate that states that diversity is a strategic imperative critical to mission readiness and accomplishment. This is nonsense and is nothing more than faculty lounge logic. It was nothing but a cover for the forced implementation of former President Obama’s social engineering mandates which did nothing to improve force readiness and capabilities. The repeal of the 1993 public law led to the forced acceptance of open homosexuality in our military forces.

This occurred despite Center for Military Readiness President Elaine Donnelly’s excellent testimony before the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on Personnel on July 23, 2008. Donnelly clearly identified the consequences of repealing the 1993 Public Law, which used to state that homosexuals were not eligible to serve in the military. Unfortunately, the 111th Congress repealed the 1993 law on the third try during the 2010 lame-duck session, and former President Obama implemented the repeal on Dec. 22, 2011, after certification by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen that repeal of the 1993 law was consistent with military readiness, effectiveness and unit cohesion.


Clearly, such is not the case. The spectacle of a “drag queen” performing on a warship indicates that repeal of the 1993 law has had a negative impact on the judgement of military leaders, unit integrity, discipline and cohesiveness, which are essential for the “will to win.”

A military online “Workplace Survey” for 2014 claimed there were over 10,000 reports of male-on-male advances, and trends have not improved. As an example, in 2018, you have the case of Staff Sergeant Jonathan “Johnny” Santaro, a squad leader in the 101st Airborne Division, a known homosexual and a predator who would stalk newly reported males. There are many such cases.

President Trump’s recent decision to ban transgender personnel from being recruited in the military clearly was the right decision. No more qualified expert than Dr. Paul McHugh, former head psychologist at John’s Hopkins University Hospital, has stated that transgenderism is not a physical issue, it is a psychological condition that needs understanding and competent, non-politicized treatment. It is not a civil rights issue and should never be forced on the military. However, with the hijacking of the American Psychological Association (APA) by the left, the organization now has enough votes to classify gender dysphoria (transgenderism) as perfectly “normal.” The APA should be decertified and no longer used by the Department of Defense as the key reference organization.

The bottom line is that no one has a “right” to serve in the military. The Commander-in-Chief, the President, sets the standards. Anyone who cannot meet those standards that have stood the test of time must be rejected.


The question that now needs to be answered is, what happened to our military leadership? The short answer is that under the Obama administration they had been traumatized by “military correctness” which has infected all echelons of command. It is the primary reason that there were no serious objections raised to Obama’s diversity or social engineering mandates. But it goes much deeper. For example, why haven’t all the military’s training manuals been restored that clearly linked Islam to terrorism but were purged by the Obama administration?  The result was to deny our military personnel the critical background information on the enemy they were fighting. In that sense, why does the Department of Defense continue to use the Obama administration propaganda terminology in describing terrorist acts committed by Islamists by calling it violent extremism? Why haven’t all those disastrous social engineering mandates been cancelled?

We are being challenged throughout the world by determined enemies, e.g., China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. Our military force readiness and cohesion cannot continue to be undercut by officials both inside and out of government promoting the LGBT agenda. Civilian laws and different lifestyles that may be acceptable in a civil society should not be forced on the institution of the military.

The military as an institution is not an equal opportunity employer. The military’s mandate is to protect and defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Therefore, the military as an institution must have laws and regulations that apply 24/7, on-base and off-base, to ensure the maintenance of good order and discipline needed to successfully complete its mission. In that sense the intent of the 1993 law needs to be reestablished as well as cancelling all the Obama administration’s social engineering mandates that detract from readiness and discipline. Such action would guarantee that morale will go sky high.


James A. Lyons, U.S. Navy retired Admiral, was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

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