Top United States Military leaders have come under fire for using official Armed Forces' communication channels to address Fox News host Tucker Carlson's criticisms. Carlson dedicated a segment on his show last week to criticizing President Joe Biden's "identity politics" moves that focus on gender and not protecting Americans.
"China has quickly developed the world's largest naval force. In 2015, China had 254 battleships. Now they have more than 360 and many of them are more capable of anything in the American fleet," Carlson said in his segment last week.
The Fox News host played a clip of President Joe Biden talking about "advances" made to the military, including updating regulations on how a woman's hair is styled and providing uniforms in maternity sizes.
"Pregnant women are going to fight our wars," Carlson said sarcastically. "It's a mockery of the U.S. Military."
Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Scott Stalker took to his official Twitter account to fire back at Carlson, calling the Fox News host's segment "drama TV." According to Stalker, Carlson has a right to an opinion but it's based on "zero days of Military experience."
"He was talking specifically about pregnant women in the Armed Forces and how it makes us less lethal and less fit and less ready. Let me tell you where he's wrong," Stalker explained. "Those decisions were made by medical professionals, by commanders and by our civilian leadership that allows for women to have more time with their children to recuperate, to get fit and ready and to take that time that's necessary, that our medical professionals know that is needed, which actually makes us a more lethal and ready and fit force."
Carlson fired back, saying the Military didn't actually address his concerns, but instead ran a public relations campaign against his show.
"Unless you have served in the Military yourself, you haven't earned that right [to criticize the Armed Forces]. Really?" Carlson asked rhetorically. "Can only cops talk about police brutality? If you haven't been elected to office are you allowed to criticize Congress?"
Stalker responded, yet, again, defending his initial response to Carlson's segment. According to Stalker, he was making a "nonpolitical statement" about his "servicemembers and teammates in the United States Armed Forces."
"I don't make political comments and I certainly don't attack our media," the Military leader said. He expanded saying he respects the media and their ability to offer their opinions, something he sees as a necessity.
"We go to war with the values of our nation. We value women. We value families and we value teammates in one another and so that's why I had to say what I had to say," Stalker said.
My response to your responses. Thank you, be kind and have a nice weekend. pic.twitter.com/zPvSmBWeiX— U.S. Space Command, Command Senior Enlisted Leader (@US_SpaceComCSEL) March 12, 2021
The II Marine Expeditionary Force's official Twitter account replied to the segment, slamming Carlson as a "boomer."
What it looks like in today’s armed forces @TuckerCarlson— II MEF Information Group (@iimigofficial) March 12, 2021
Get right before you get left, boomer
?????????#Women #WeAreMarines #TuckerCarlson #FoxNews #marines #currentlyserving #USMCWomen https://t.co/eAi3pMCKyc pic.twitter.com/3ISzaZxLJa
When someone asked the servicemembers to focus on China and not Carlson, II Marine Expeditionary Force replied by saying they would "take a knee" in support of "female warfighters."
Please focus on China and not Tucker Carlson— Scott Malkinson (@BerryCrunch24) March 12, 2021
We are human and that tweet was intended to support our female warfighters. We can do better and we will collectively take a knee, review our procedures, and get back in the fight. Our focus is to train, fight, and win.— II MEF Information Group (@iimigofficial) March 13, 2021
A couple of veterans, including The Daily Caller's Virginia Kruta and former Vets for Trump Co-chair Jessie Jane Duff chimed in, saying they took issue with the Biden administration's Military priorities. They also noted the appalling nature of an official Military account being used to attack a civilian.
I have.— Virginia Kruta (@VAKruta) March 13, 2021
And Tucker's point was that the priority should always be mission first — and the current administration is telegraphing a very different set of priorities.
At no point did he say that pregnant women shouldn't serve or couldn't serve honorably.
This has to be a joke coming from an OFFICIAL @USMC III MEF account.— Jessie Jane Duff (@JessieJaneDuff) March 13, 2021
I find it repulsive that Biden talked about maternity uniforms when honoring 2 females promotion to General. And you're offended over Tucker for calling out absurd comments at a promotion?
Where is @DoD_IG?
You are a bunch of clowns if you think your attacks on civilians on Twitter actually supports female warfighters.— Jessie Jane Duff (@JessieJaneDuff) March 13, 2021
Your righteous indignation using an official Marine Corps III MEF account is embarrassing to all Marines.
Promote the Corps instead of angry tweets at civilians.
President Biden talking about maternity uniforms during a nationally televised promotion of 2 female Generals was an asinine thing to discuss instead of their professional excellence.@Tucker was right. The CIC was embarrassing our military readiness.— Jessie Jane Duff (@JessieJaneDuff) March 13, 2021
As quite a few of us pointed out, the entire ordeal was inappropriate.
Where the hell is @DoD_IG? Why is there an endless stream of this crap coming out of official DoD social media accounts? When did it become OK for some pencil pushing flunky manning a DoD Twitter account to get into arguments with & insult the public?— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) March 13, 2021
I have. You are out of line for using this official military account for voicing your opinions and berating civilians! We served for ALL Americans regardless of politics.— Code of Vets ™ (@codeofvets) March 13, 2021
Pregnant women do NOT belong in combat.
Carlson seemingly ended the back and forth with a final segment saying, "If the woke generals treat us like they've treated the Taliban, we'll be fine."
Tucker Carlson: "If the woke generals treat us like they've treated the Taliban, we'll be fine."pic.twitter.com/71qFYi7AbY— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 14, 2021
The II Marine Expeditionary Force's official account has since deleted a few of these tweets. They issued a number of replies to tweets, backpedaling what was said.
"We are human and we messed up. We intended to speak up for female Marines and it was an effort to support them. They are a crucial part to our corps and we need them to know that. We will adjust fire and ensure the utmost professionalism in our tweets," one response said.
"We are here to train, fight and win. That tweet was intended to defend our women in uniform. We understand it was aggressive and we will reflect and do better," another response said.