NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) – A joint U.S. Army-Air Force base hosted a “kid-friendly” drag show on July 30 in the latest sign of progressive ideology’s hold on America’s armed forces.
American Military News reported that Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE) hosted its first ever “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summer Festival” meant to “provide education, increase collaboration through outreach efforts, and recognize the diverse composition of JBLE.” The event was approved by Col. Gregory Beaulieu, commander of the 633d Air Base Wing.
The base shared a handful of tame photos on Facebook after the event, though none revealed the drag show or even a hint of the event’s LGBT aspects beyond one attendee’s handheld Pride flag. “The 633d ABW is supportive of including events that may grow awareness and expand perspectives,” the post said. “The event committee purposely advertised the performers to empower individuals and their families to choose which portions of the event they wish to attend.”
Notably, the post included a disclaimer that the ability to comment on it had been turned off, ostensibly because while “[w]e pride ourselves on having an open forum with our teammates,” “some of the language and personal attacks in the comment section below violate our comment policy and will not be tolerated.”
One negative reaction the page was not able to suppress may shed light on why the base opted not to show the public the drag show. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one JBLE worker told The Daily Wire that the show was “burlesque, it’s hyper-sexualized, it’s not something appropriate for children.”
The event’s drag performer, Joshua Kelley a.k.a. “Harpy Daniels,” is known as “the Navy Drag Queen” who “decided to join the Navy in February 2016” partly to follow in his father’s footsteps but also for “financial stability, something Kelley was struggling to maintain while pursuing drag,” which was “my number one passion,” according to the Navy Times.
This is not the first drag show to be hosted on a military base in recent years.
The steady rise of “woke” ideology within the military, which has persisted since the Clinton years despite the presidencies of Republicans George W. Bush and Donald Trump, has if anything been intensified by President Joe Biden, who quickly moved to open the military to recruits suffering from gender dysphoria.
Upon taking office, Biden Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a force-wide stand down “requiring all units to discuss the threat of extremism within 60 days,” as the first step in “a concerted effort to better educate ourselves and our people about the scope of this problem and to develop sustainable ways to eliminate the corrosive effects that extremist ideology and conduct have on the workforce.”
As part of this review, the Pentagon produced training materials identifying pro-life Americans and government critics as potential “extremists” and solicited input from far-left groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, who was removed from command of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base over his criticism of “woke” ideology in the military, says that videos presenting Americans and whites as “evil” were “sent out to every base (and) service member,” who “were asked to watch (them) in preparation for” the extremism stand down.
Biden’s Pentagon leaders are also enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates on American service men and women, provoking lawsuits and threatening soldier and pilot shortages in the tens of thousands, which only adds to broader problems of force strength, troop morale, and public confidence.
During a Pentagon press briefing in April on the Army’s budget for Fiscal Year 2023, Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo announced the Army had “proactively made a decision to temporarily reduce our end strength from 485,000 Soldiers to 476,000 in FY ’22, and 473,000 in FY ’23.” Military Times reported at the time that this “could leave the service at its smallest size since 1940, when it had just over 269,000 troops.”
Further, Gallup and Ronald Reagan Institute polls have both shown that the public has lost confidence in the military’s leaders, which presumably also has a significant effect on prospective soldiers’ willingness to sign up.
Perhaps most alarming, in March 2021 Yahoo News revealed a simulation the U.S. Air Force ran the previous fall to assess America’s ability to handle a Chinese biological attack, which culminated in disaster — and, according to one official, was not an outlier.
“More than a decade ago, our war games indicated that the Chinese were doing a good job of investing in military capabilities that would make our preferred model of expeditionary warfare, where we push forces forward and operate out of relatively safe bases and sanctuaries, increasingly difficult,” Air Force Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration and requirements, told Yahoo at the time. “The definitive answer if the U.S. military doesn’t change course is that we’re going to lose fast. In that case, an American president would likely be presented with almost a fait accompli.”