By: Marc King
This was the headline in the Military Times yesterday… Defense Secretary Orders 60-day Stand-Down to Confront Extremism in the Military…
Just two weeks in the Biden Administration and one week after he was confirmed the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin has issued an “All Activities” message that all branches of the military are…
“to conduct a 60-day stand-down on the issue of extremism in the military, prompted by the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and subsequent reports of both active-duty and former service members attending a rally calling to overturn the 2020 election and the riot that ensued.”
This comes on the heals of a report that the FBI was called in to vet the loyalty of the 25,000 National Guard troops called to duty to provide security for the inauguration of Joe Biden.
So, let us look at what is really happening here by starting with the definition of “Stand Down”.
Stand downs are ordered somewhat routinely by individual units and their commanders across all branches of the military when that unit has some unusual or unexpected event occur. This is most often driven by an accident due to equipment or a training failure and the Commander calls a halt to all activities until the root cause of the problem can be determined and corrected. This is conducted at the unit level, could be a Company, Battalion or Brigade… a single Ship or a fleet of ships… a single aircraft or an entire squadron of planes… or perhaps a combination of all these types of units who are ready to respond to a call for help from beleaguered US personnel in Benghazi, Libya but are told to “STAND DOWN”.
It was just this week that we heard our military leaders say we are at risk for a nuclear war with China or Russia… North Korea has started to fire missiles again, freedom of navigation exercises in the Taiwan Straits are being challenged by China, Russian fighters are buzzing our ships in the Black Sea … is this really a good time to stand down?
Never in the history of the US military has the entire organization been told to stand down while an official witch hunt is conducted to see if there are extremists serving in the military. Now keep in mind that so far no one has offered up a definition of how the military defines “extremism”.
I think it would be fair to say that most people in the military today are extremists when compared to the rest of society. This is an all-volunteer military! It is not driven by mass culture of society of today… It is in fact a culture that is driven by extreme patriotism for the country. Why else would theses patriots intentionally places themselves in harms way… to the point of possibly losing their life!
Since the US Military is a microcosm of society in general, men, woman, gay, trans, religious, atheist, clean and drug addicted… it is necessary to anticipate that there will be some members in uniform who hold extreme political positions even as they serve the country and the Constitution. However simply voting for a particular candidate or even making a political position known on social media does not make one an insurrectionist. It simply makes you part of “We the People” … who believe and support the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. As for those few who might standout while serving — let the unit commanders do their jobs. They know how to deal with any kind of activities that interrupt the “Good Order and Discipline” of their units.
And if the bar is set so low that any deviation in thought or deed from the Administrations radical agenda results in the expulsion of service members for a lack of political conformity or failure to pass an ideological test, then I submit that 1. We need to return to mandatory conscription to keep the ranks filled and 2. We are in a great deal of danger. The US Military’s focus up till now has always been outward — If we are now looking inward we will not see the danger that world poses… and that will be a catastrophic failure on the part of the Administration.
The author served in the US Army for 23 years. His service includes 2 combat tours of duty including Viet Nam as well as service in the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Secretary of the Army. He holds the Combat Infantrymen’s Badge, 2 awards of the Army Legion of Merit, 3 Bronze Stars and the US Army Air Medal.
Note from editor, Troy Smith: I wanted to give a special thank you to Marc King for his service to our great Country, and for his continued fight for liberty and justice. Marc will be a regular contributor at Launch Liberty. Thank you Marc, and welcome to Launch Liberty!