• Pushing The Woke Agenda On The Military: A Preview In A 1973 Letter From A Combat Veteran

    March 11, 2024
    Views: 3290

    Republished from STARRS.us

    First, a commentary by Scott McQuarrie (President, Veterans for Fairness and Merit, USMA ’72) about the below article by John Lucas:

    The below article cites events of 50 years ago that were prescient. The author, John Lucas, is a USMA graduate, former Infantry officer and Vietnam veteran.

    The article illustrates, through the eyes of low level (where combat occurs) unit commanders who had led troops of all races in difficult combat, what happens when soldiers hear the Army legitimize focus on racial differences and delegitimize (expressly or implicitly) the concept of assimilation to a colorblind culture where identity preferences are subordinated to unqualified commitment to the mission and to each other, regardless of racial or ethnic differences.

    The delegitimization of assimilation and legitimization of focus on identity differences immediately yields to tribalization, weakening unit cohesion.

    CPT Ammons and CPT Lucas, both of whom had led troops (of all races) in difficult combat, and thus had witnessed that assimilation is both possible and necessary for unit cohesion and maximum combat effectiveness, understood this instinctively.

    The unraveling of colorblindness as a military cultural imperative thus began, it appears, when EO training in the 1970s failed to emphasize the primacy of assimilation as an imperative and that discussion of identity differences was for the limited purpose of better enabling everyone to treat each other with dignity and respect and to eliminate racial stereotypes.

    Planners failed to realize that absent such contextual emphasis, tribalization would result, eroding unit cohesion and combat effectiveness.

    To the uninitiated, therefore, “recognition of identity differences” without retaining commitment to assimilation regardless of those differences was not appreciated as a threat to colorblindness’ remaining a cultural imperative.

    The elimination of colorblindness as a military cultural imperative later seems to have become deliberate with the MLDC report and ascent of DEI in the military. “Diversity and Inclusion,” in DoD practice, means considering race in personnel actions.

    A former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army told me recently that, “Once we go down that road (losing colorblindness as a military cultural imperative), there is no way back.”

    Those words have haunted me. DEI is pervasive in senior military leadership. One cannot be promoted beyond major, much less as a GO, without embracing DEI, or at least pretending to embrace it.

    What is the way back?

    How many warfighters will die, and how many military missions will fail, before someone in authority commands the military to return to a culture where assimilation without regard to race is primary, where “colorblindness” (subordination of identity differences and unlimited commitment to the mission and to teammates, regardless of color), equal opportunity and pure merit are once again military cultural imperatives and recognized as essential to unit cohesion and maximal combat effectiveness?

    Pushing the Woke Agenda on the Military
    A preview in a 1973 letter from a combat veteran

    By John A. Lucas, USMA ’69
    Army Ranger and Special Forces Green Beret; served with the 1st Calvary Division in Vietnam

    First published on John’s Bravo Blue Substack

    Upon my return from Vietnam in 1971, I was assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington where I was an infantry company commander.

    One of the lifelong friendships that I developed during that time was with Peter Ammon, who was a fellow company commander in 4/39 Infantry.

    Like many of us, Peter had recently returned from Vietnam where he served with the famed 101st Airborne Division. However, he made several intermediate stops in various hospitals before arriving at Ft. Lewis, due to the loss of a lower leg in combat.

    Peter was among the best officers with whom I have ever served. I never knew any other officer whom I respected more. He was always – and sometimes brutally – honest. Some would say ‘to a fault,’ because his honesty could clash with his own self–interest. Nevertheless, Peter never compromised his principles, even though that would cost him later.

    Although some units in Vietnam were marked by racial strife during the latter years of the war (predominantly rear echelon, not frontline combat units), racial divisions were not among the major problems at Fort Lewis when I arrived.

    We were more concerned about things such as the overall status of morale given the widespread anti-military sentiment at the time, the resulting comparative lower quality of recruits we were getting after the draft was eliminated, and the lack of funding sufficient to support adequate training. These problems, not racial tensions, occupied our everyday lives.

    Nevertheless, in ‘72 or ‘73, a new Army bureaucracy, began to arise. New positions and offices were created to educate us all about racial issues and differences.

    Every officer and NCO in the division was required to attend classes on race relations.

    It was my observation at the time that after attending these classes, soldiers returned to their units with increasingly divided and hostile views about race.

    When I personally complied with the mandatory attendance requirement, my observations of the class confirmed that the approach, intended or not, did nothing to create racial harmony but, in fact, had the opposite effect.

    The classes affirmatively created divisiveness with units, which was potentially destructive to military readiness and performance.

    Within just the last few years, the race relations classes of the 1970’s have morphed into a woke, Marxist agenda that is being force-fed to our military personnel.

    I have addresses some of this previously in “To Win Our Nation’s Wars”? (subtitled, “Lions Led by Donkeys”).

    For a more recent example, take a look this Space Command Lieutenant Colonel (now promoted to full Colonel, one step below general), who advises his audience to “set out your symbols of pride, share your pronouns in your emails, particularly if you’re a person who doesn’t think need to ….

    Today, shortly after seeing an article that included that video, I happened to run across a copy of a letter that my friend Peter wrote in 1973 to our division commander, Major General Fulton, about the destructive race relations classes we were being required to attend.

    Although in 1973 no one had heard of “DEI,” race relations classes then foreshadowed what is happening to our military today.

    Upon reading Peter’s letter, I was immediately struck by how applicable his concerns and recommendations are to today’s military, even though he wrote it over 50 years ago.

    I therefore reproduce Peter’s 50-year-old letter in full so that you may draw your own conclusions.

    (STARRS NOTE: If it’s hard to read, we’ve transcribed the text after the letter. Click to enlarge)

    2 November 1973

    SUBJECT: Race Relations Instruction

    Dear General William B. Fulton,

    1. I am highly concerned about the approach that the Army’s Race Relations Program has displayed in attempts in furthering better human relations. I have just attended a mandatory race relations class and feel the entire attitude needs rejuvenated and the emphasis is placed on the wrong subjects.

    The approach is not conducive to a closer bond, but stresses awareness on how everyone is supposed to be different and be understood differently by race, rather than as individuals and soldiers.

    The total race relations program seems to be designed to have everyone knowledgeable of the varying backgrounds, different upbringings, and special idiosyncrasies and stereotypes that are placed upon them.

    We have been forced to learn how this group is different from that groups what this group calls their vernaculars; or why groups have developed certain stereotypes.

    Isn’t this opposite from what we want and need to spend our time on? Why accent and instruct our differences when we are trying to gain harmony?

    If people are instructed that this minority is so different from the next, then they will begin to think and act as though that is what is expected, rather than being an individual.

    2. Is not the goal to have everyone realize and respond to the fact that this nation was built upon the goal of having been endowed with unalienable rights?

    Then why not accentuate the positive. Accentuate the things we have in common.

    Stress the facts that we do have in common to build the unity and harmony that must prevail if we all are in fact to be received as a country of humans.

    3. We are too involved in making sure that we understand each minority, when it is the individual that the concern and emphasis must be placed on. Why not stress what we as individuals have in common.

    First we are humans. Suddenly, we all have a bond that we can relate to and build upon to operate effectively as a unit, not the minority cooperating with the majority?

    When each soldier is considered an an “individual”, there is no minority or majority!

    We should eliminate the fact in our mind that there are minorities at all, and that all of us have some things in common and must be considered as individuals.

    Accentuate the positive, not make everyone feel that he is different, that he has peculiarities, or that he should feel or react the same because he falls in a particular category.

    This grouping always seems to have only one thing in common—like a race. I use race only because up until now race was the only single breakdown someone who was thought to be “different” could be associated with.

    You see, we should all strive to relate to at least the things we have in common. We must start with a bond of being human. Now we can add things that affect us all as individuals and expand and accentuate our common bonds rather then our peculiarities.

    Why must everything have a divisional aspect? When asked, “What is he, is he Black?”, my firm reply is, “He is a soldier.”

    I am aware that green, yellow, and purple can be utilized to identify thing better, but our outlook and attitude must not be to stereotype due to anything.

    We in the Army are faced with an excellent opportunity to have not only bonds of being humans, but of being soldiers, and of having a single goal—that of accomplishing our mission. We must all conform to these facts or we should not be in the Army.

    In this age of sophistication, can’t we find a better identification system that could bond us together rather than differentiating us as classes or groups?

    4. Pride in our heritage, ancestry, and lineage is something that is realized, or should be realized, on an individual basis.

    However, in our mind should be the belief that heritage is only a part of us and it should be secondary to being an individual whose foremost goal is to accomplish our mission as American soldiers.

    Wouldn’t it be a step in the right direction, if, especially when attending the race relations seminars, everyone had filled to under the “race* column, American.

    It would be highly gratifying to consider us all as American soldiers with a cause, and also as individuals.

    5. I was appalled by the exercise that we participated to that examined our discrimination rather than building on what we in the service have in common.

    I was given a list of ten individuals with some background information and personal traits on each (see Incl), and asked if only six were to accompany me in the only bomb shelter prior to a final nuclear explosion, which six individuals would I select!! For the next FULL HOUR 27 professional soldiers discussed individual preferences as to who would be selected!

    This mental process of evaluation forced those who participated to touch upon a forbidden realm which was neither necessary nor human. We don’t need practice on sharping up our order of prejudice.

    Are we so off-base? We could have used that one hour to discuss how we can work closer together because of our Service bonds or interests, rather than practicing and refreshing our discrimination.

    Because of the negative approach to everything presented, the ensuing discussions were antagonistic and a total waste as far as furthering or learning how to work together. We could have spent seven hours relating in fruitful discussion and who knows what solutions or progress could have been made, if only the attitude and approach had bean positive rather than running down the other guy.

    6. Four highly disgruntled Commanders have expressed to me their discontent upon completion of their companies’ race relations seminars.

    After their companies were addressed by the race relations teams, there was a shocking polarization of individuals into groups. Previously their units had operated as platoons, however by the end of the seminars they departed as groups of minorities.

    The realization of what had taken place over the work of instruction was evident. They had been educated to relate as minorities, not as individual soldiers working together with a common mission. The resultant happenings forced the Commanders to place as their priority the reversal of this disastrous trend.

    7. My company will soon undergo the week of race relations seminars. After experiencing seven hours of negative conditioning with the race relations team, and considering the resulting outcomes to similar units, I feel it would not benefit the “Individual Relations* within my company to be exposed to this approach.

    Because of my deep concern about the negative approach that the race relations team has taken, I feel it is highly significant that the team reverse its attitude prior to presenting material to my troops. In order to further individual relation, I will be present to ensure that a positive attitude has been adopted.

    6. I strongly recommend that the race relations efforts at all levels adopt a similar positive attitude directed towards solving and furthering individual relations that might evolve from particular problems of a soldier.

    Race relations can only be bettered if the positive side and common bonds which we have are stressed. Let’s investigate how we can better work together, not learning why we shouldn’t! The key is the individual.

    There is no room for discrimination in the Army, because we have a mission which will be accomplished.

    Respectfully yours,

    Peter J. Ammon
    CPT, Infantry



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    THANK YOU for the coverage of this, and tracing it back to its roots. The attack on our military strength is one of the most diabolically effective attacks on the Republic. What we have left today is almost pathetic. NO disrespect intended to good soldiers who may remain, but I don't see how there can be many left.

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