Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The American military is famous for its intense and effective training, training that emphasizes respect, honor, and courage. But under the Obama administration, US armed forces have begun to train in a new area: Gender re-education. In a message addressed to the entire US Navy, one of the corps’ highest ranking officials announced a new regimen of trainings that focuses on gender identity, transgenderism, and sexual politics. Enlistees in the US Navy will now sit under state-sponsored teaching on sexual psychology, and be expected to conform to standards of “diversity,” “tolerance,” and “inclusion”—which of course means, conformity to the most contemporary forms of progressive identity politics.

For years, those on the side of the sexual revolution have sought to sexualize and politicize the armed forces. In one sense, this latest turn of events shouldn’t shock anyone who has been paying attention. But in another sense, this is a particularly aggressive move from the federal government. This kind of gender reeducation is a blatantly hostile move against the millions of US soldiers who have deeply held religious beliefs about sexuality and gender. By one sweeping act of power, the US military has taken an official stance against traditional views of gender, views that until just a few years ago were considered uncontroversial and common-sense. This is yet another example of how the Obama White House has consistently sought to make culture war in every imaginable sphere or public life and public service.

Imagine as a parent proudly sending your son off to receive elite military training at Fort Knox. You entrust him to the country’s finest officers so that he can receive the best possible instruction in the world. What you have no way of knowing is that your child is being required by his superiors to parrot views on sex and gender that have nothing to do with his leadership skills, but have everything to do with going against yours and his deeply held beliefs.

The American military thrives because of officers who know how to make recruits into wartime leaders. But federal administrators now want to use the military to make recruits into progressive culture warriors. That’s not something that anyone who cherishes the  legacy of brave men and women can celebrate.