Veterans Day is a tribute to perhaps the most patriotic element of our Democratic Republic. It is also a time for reflection on the state of our nation today. Is this country worth fighting for? Those that have fought for it firmly believe it is.
Our American ethos often wanders through social changes and experimentation, through teachings and leanings that some agree with and some don’t. Somehow, our process has always brought the wanderings back to some sense of normalcy when it introduces the potential for the real-world loss of the principles of our Constitution.No other nation allows excursions like we do and no other nation has a self-correcting mechanism like ours. But we are on the precipice of losing that balancing factor. While our military may have historically been relatively immune from those vagaries of social experimentation that is no longer the case. Our current national policies, germinated during the forced feeding of racist agendas, have grown as a virus in our legacy patriotic DNA. Indoctrinating next generation leaders with a sense of hatred for the nation and divisive, victim- suppressor based ideology has reduced the pool of future leader candidates. It has had a real effect on the basic principles of pride and unity. Is it any wonder recruiting is facing alarming challenges?
The Turks originated a famous saying that “the Fish stinks from the head down”. In translation, it means that “if the servant is disorderly, it is because the master is so”. So, why should you be concerned about Supreme Court decisions? Why should you be worried about the erosion of ethics and integrity in our school systems? Why should election security be challenged? Because all of those issues and more will shape the future of our leadership core. It often seems like our patriotic veteran warriors may be the only ones that care. Why is that?
As Jim Webb, former Secretary of the Navy, said, wars are led by warriors but fought by civilians. If the warrior leadership element is so critical, where do we find or develop them?
Our military leadership accession paths have two alternatives: the Service Academies or the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) path. Both have been influenced by curricula supported by the woke agenda. We are the land of the free because we (used to be) the home of the brave. But many of our highly trained military communities are being discharged due to many of the same policies. Weak recruiting realities imply relaxation of standards; excising trained forces implies a short path to a hollow force. All at a time of increasing global danger and complexity where leadership is the critical ingredient to survival of our nation as we know it today.
The last bastion that should be endorsing the woke agenda is the military and the Service Academies. The guiding principles of those who have gone before must still be a strong voice in this decision. They have real life experiences which most of our nation today do not recognize or share.
When you thank your veterans, thank them for continuing the good fight.
Mr. Burbage is a Naval Academy graduate, former Navy Test pilot and industry leader. He is working with a group of like minded individuals concerned with the ongoing movement to fundamentally change the focus of our military and specifically our Service Academies.