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“Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away”
— Buffalo Springfield “For What It’s Worth”
This morning as I was browsing my morning newsfeed from Military.Com, an item from the Navy side of the house caught my eye. Under the headline of “Navy says ‘liking’ or sharing extremists’ posts on social media can get you in trouble,” the Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral John Nowell, was quoted: “You may not personally know any shipmates with extremist beliefs, but I assure you that those forces of darkness are among us.”
I actually pushed my notepad back from me and tried to contemplate what I was reading. “Forces of Darkness?” What in the h*ll was he talking about? Are members of our Armed Forces somehow being possessed by supernatural powers? Will some of them have heads that spin 360 degrees? (Which, come to think of it, might come in handy while standing watch.)
Perhaps the good Admiral was thinking along the lines of something like Invasion of the Body Snatchers in which previously squared-away sailors are now being replaced by beings from giant seed pods. Could the Admiral possibly be suffering from Capgras Delusion?
Perhaps I’m being a bit facetious, but when I see senior officers (those with stars on their shoulders) making outlandish statements such as this, I have to wonder (as I have in previous posts), if common sense has departed the military. In addition, I find myself thinking the unthinkable; Have they forgotten who our enemies truly are?
But, as the TV commercials say; wait, there’s more. On the SecDef’s mandated “stand-down” day, all Navy personnel will have to repeat their oath of enlistment (or office) and “discuss what actions betray that promise.” (I suspect that all branches of the military will follow suit.)
For those of you who haven’t been in the military, the oath of enlistment is a fairly serious deal that occurs only during the initial enlistment and subsequent reenlistments. It’s not meant to be trotted out as a bit of cheap theater, but, in today’s military, nothing is off-limits. The traditions that we knew (across all the services) are now empty shells; anachronisms from another era that do not belong in today’s “woke” military.
When I was still on active duty, I recall an Air Force general who said, “I have lived my life and led my career with the abiding belief that when each of us who wear this uniform or choose to defend this nation are called, we will do the right thing.” Now, we have military “leaders” who do not even trust those in the ranks; by their own actions, sow discord throughout their commands. These “leaders” are no longer capable of knowing what the “right thing” entails. Sadly, they do not belong in our military.Published in