Edition 8 30 Aug 2021

     During these contentious times, as Marxist ideology continues to grow a foothold in America, it is easy to become dejected about America's future. It’s vital for those of us in the battle to maintain a sense of humor. If you want a chuckle, and a nostalgic reminder of a very different time in our history, click below to see a video clip of President Reagan joking about life in the former Soviet Union. Click the photo to see the video.

Lt Col Matthew Lohmeier Separating from the Military

     If you have read the previous STARRS newsletters, you know that one of the catalyzing events for the organization was the removal from command of Lt Col Matthew Lohmeier, after he published his book, “Irresistible Revolution” about the teaching of Marxism in the US military. Lt Col Lohmeier recently announced that he has decided to separate from active duty and enter civilian life. While we at STARRS are saddened by the announcement, especially since Matt was denied the early retirement he requested, we believe that Space Force’s loss will be the country’s gain.  For  more on Matt’s story, and what his future holds, please click the link below to read this article in the Epoch Times: 

Read The Article
A DOD Official Exposes The Intellectual
Bankruptcy Of Diversity

By Claude M. McQuarrie III, STARRS Supporter 

            It is rare that U.S. Department of Defense officials, blinded by their zealous pursuit of the latest variant of U.S. military diversity policy, reveal that policy’s intellectual vacuousness. Recent comments by the Navy’s top, uniformed personnel officer, however, did just that, exposing the Pentagon diversity policy’s intellectual bankruptcy and providing a focus for those who, following their commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law, genuinely believe America’s sons and daughters in uniform deserve the best leadership available.                  

            On August 3, 2021, VADM John Nowell, Jr., Chief of Naval Personnel, made public comments arguing for reinstating the use of photographs in selection boards, justifying that position by saying that not using photographs is hurting “diversity.” He lamented that the Navy’s recent “data” (accumulated after the policy had been changed so it no longer included official photographs in personnel files the promotion boards used) show the new practice has hurt “diversity.” Rather than acknowledging that such evidence proves “diversity” policies undermine meritocracy in the military, Admiral Nowell’s further comments revealed the dishonest disregard for objective evidence and truth that pervades the pursuit of anti-white, racial discrimination in the name of “diversity” in our military.

He said, “It’s a meritocracy. We’re only going to pick the best of the best, but we’re very clear with our language … that we want them to consider diversity across all areas. Right?” “And therefore … I think having a clear picture on this just makes it easier. So, actually, our data show that it would support adding photos back in.”

Admiral Nowell also said, “I think we should consider reinstating photos in selection boards.” “We look at, for instance, the one-star board over the last five years, and we can show you where, as you look at diversity, it went down with photos removed.” (Emphasis added)

So, the Navy’s data show that when “color-blind” promotion boards do not use photos, they select the “best” – but that these results differ (fewer minority selectees, i.e., “diversity … went down”) compared to the selections (more minorities) when promotion boards do use photos that show candidates’ skin color (facilitating the use of racial preferences).

The Navy’s data are strong evidence of the negative effect that using racial preferences has on meritocracy and therefore the quality of the selection board outcome. Shockingly, that conclusion apparently escaped this 3-star flag officer whose job is to oversee Navy personnel policy. Ever true to the mantra that diversity policies never lower quality or involve lowering standards to make minorities “more successful,” he predictably claims the process, when influenced by photo-enabled racial preferences, is still a meritocracy.

Admiral Nowell’s explanation of the Navy’s data proves that “diversity” (when considered by a promotion board) means “racial preferences.” Would he admit that considering “diversity” (race) in a promotion board is, in practice, the extension of racial preferences? Not likely. Just call it “diversity.” That places the topic beyond the reach of critical thinking (and legal) analysis and discussion.

If only the “best of the best” will be chosen, why does a board need to know each candidate’s skin color? There is no evidence showing that skin color correlates positively with demonstrated performance and/or performance potential at a higher rank. Nor is there evidence to show that skin color correlates with the various traits and characteristics that make one an effective leader, such as integrity, judgment, professional competence, empathy, loyalty, et al.

Instead, these comments reveal the intellectually bankrupt attempt by those in power to deny that “diversity” inspired, race-based affirmative action in military promotions involves both anti-white discrimination and lowering standards. Admiral Nowell gives no substantive rationale for how and why skin color must be considered to identify the “best of the best.” He gives no explanation for how what is called “diversity” makes one candidate better than other candidates (the “best”). All that is said is the word “diversity,” and we are then expected to accept that as justifying ending the discussion and warranting a change in policy.

No, Admiral, the use of racial preferences in promotion boards is not a meritocracy. Racial preferences are, instead, antithetical to meritocracy. To claim that their use is (or is even consistent with) a meritocracy is a lie. Racial preferences use skin color where there is no evidence that race has anything to do with one candidate’s merit versus that of another. Injecting race is nothing more than a substitute for merit, using subjective, dubious (and clearly unproven, as to merit) notions that are based on skin color.

Defense Secretary Austin’s recent guidance that senior military leaders, and officers in general, will “look like” the rest of the force (i.e., racial demographic parity -- apparently wearing the same uniform is no longer enough) is apparently the driving force. It, too, is intellectually vacuous and an undeniable admission that quality is being sacrificed for the sake of racial demographic parity.

Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen want competence in their leaders’ ability to get them on and off the battlefield, accomplishing the mission with minimal loss of life. They care little for “diversity-hired” substitutes for the leadership they need and deserve. Hal Moore’s men, and those test to the fact that his battalion’s soldiers cared not awho have studied the battle at LZ X-Ray, would att all what his (or his subordinate leaders’) skin color was. Those who survived did so because of Colonel Moore’s superior leadership and the bravery of Soldiers and Airmen of all colors and ethnicities.

The Chief of Naval Personnel’s “meritocracy” claim is dishonest doublespeak. It is untrue on its face. Its context -- race-based preferences in military promotions -- is extremely bad policy for a long list of reasons. His words also reflect a betrayal of our Constitution and DOD’s systemic violation of Section 601 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Until our courts intervene, for so long as the U.S. military continues down its current path, its ability to defend the Nation will “progressively” weaken.

Equally troubling is the Pentagon’s implicit moral failure. One of America’s legendary combat leaders, Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, USMC (ret.), has observed: “America’s Moms and Dads gift their children for the purpose of defending the country. Our moral responsibility is to provide them the best possible leadership and, to the extent possible, return them safely to the gifting family.” Substituting the best possible leadership with diversity promotions to satisfy a political agenda would be an egregious moral failure, worsened only by DOD’s facially dishonest claims of meritocracy.

 

Mr. McQuarrie is a former U.S. Army officer, having served first in the Infantry and then in the Judge Advocate Generals Corps. He is a retired litigation partner from the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. The opinions expressed are his alone and are not those of the Department of Defense or of Norton Rose Fulbright.

Link:  A DOD Official Exposes The Intellectual Bankruptcy Of Diversity - American Thinker

Personal Stories Contrasting Capitalism and Communism

By STARRS Member, Col, USAF (Ret), USAFA 1987

     In late 1989 I was a young first lieutenant stationed at Comiso Air Station on the island of Sicily. I joined a group of junior officers for a few days of skiing in the Alps. The Berlin Wall had just opened, and East Berliners were tasting freedom for the first time since WWII. I decided to take a day off from skiing and travelled by train to Berlin to see the historic event firsthand.

     After traveling all-night, I arrived in Berlin mid-morning and found my way to the wall. People were climbing all over it. Others were working hard to chisel off their own piece of history. Already, huge holes were appearing that we could look through to see East Berlin. Even though I was obviously seeing in color when I stuck my head into one of the holes, it almost looked like black and white on the other side. Everything was dirty and drab. The buildings looked awful, grey and dreary. Turning my gaze toward the nearby open gate, there were people lined up as far as I could see, dressed in drab clothing, waiting to process through the gate and experience the west, maybe even meet up with family members they had not seen since the wall cut off East Berlin from the west. After asking a man if I could use his crowbar and taking my own personal piece off the wall, I headed for McDonalds for breakfast. I think everyone from East Berlin was there! It was packed.

     A couple years later, I went back to Berlin and could not find any remnants of the wall except those that had been preserved as memorials and testaments to the horrors. Looking across to where I saw the dreary buildings through the wall, there was now a brightly colored, clean Toyota car dealership. A major change in a very short time!

     When the news spread like fire around the world that the wall had opened, my parents were hosting a foreign exchange student from Kazakhstan. He had arrived with eczema all over his body. His mom had spent years trying to get medicine for him. One trip to an American doctor yielded a cream and a couple other medications that cleared it up quickly. He described life in the Soviet Union in detail. If someone had a problem with a tooth, they just pulled it; no fillings, caps, etc. He was overwhelmed at the fully stocked shelves in huge grocery stores, not to mention all the choices! If you needed shoes there, you took what was available regardless of style, color or even size. He stated that the government decided what your educational focus would be and what job you would have. My mom often tells of going on a walk with him through one of the nicer parts of town and how amazed he was at the huge houses. Mom explained to him that with the jobs his parents had (his father was an electrical engineer and mom was a university math professor), they would live in such a house if they were in the US. Instead, they lived in a one-bedroom apartment. He had grown up mostly with his grandparents because they were high up in the “Party” and therefore they had a second bedroom. When the wall came down, his teacher noticed all the excitement confused him. She brought in an officer from the nearby Air Force base to explain what the Berlin Wall was, the oppression it enforced and the horrors that befell anyone trying to escape through or over it. He was horrified. He had had no idea about any of it. That is the result of governments controlling the media and silencing any dissenting narratives.

     President Ronald Reagan said, “Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don't need it and hell where they already have it.” As for our future, he said If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.” We must not let this be the generation that brings down the “shining city on a hill!”

What Critical Race Theory is Really About

By Chris Jeffries, USAFA 1987

     When I first joined STARRS, I had no idea what Critical Race Theory (CRT) was. But friends and classmates from the Air Force Academy who I respect gave me an introduction and I started learning. As I read through the articles in the newsletter, I found that we have a wealth of information that provides a counter argument to that presented by CRT exponents. But it wasn’t until I read Gen Bishop’s letter to USAFA Superintendent LTG Clark, that I understood why this battle is so important. In it, he said that when Marxism didn’t take hold in the west, Marxists progressed from Critical Theory through Critical Legal Theory to Critical Race Theory. Because the concepts of “oppressor vs oppressed” didn’t resonate in the US, leftists here morphed the ideology to use race as the dividing factor. After this “aha moment,” I decided to write an article on how CRT is being used as a trojan horse to get Marxist ideas taught in schools, corporations, the government, and the military under the guise of understanding racism in America. As I was researching my theme, I found that someone (Christopher F. Rufo) had already written an excellent article on the subject, and it was published in the New York Post. Mr. Rufo is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and his article gives a brief but thorough expose’ of CRT. He starts with a history of Marxism, then proceeds to explain how CRT came about. He quotes CRT exponents to reveal what their end goals are. These include the redistribution of land, property and wealth as well as overturning the Declaration of Independence and destroying the Constitution. He gives many examples to show widespread CRT is in our society. He explains why attempts to halt the advancement of CRT have been ineffective thus far. He concludes with some ideas on how to counter CRT when confronted with it in our own lives. If you want a better understanding of “what Critical Race Theory is really about” click the link below.

Read The Article
STARRS Navy Update, Part II

By STARRS Member Brent Ramsey

     In Part I, we raised questions about the Navy’s establishment of Task Force One Navy (TF1N) and whether that decision was based on sound rationale or was politically motivated. In this section, we will analyze the report itself. 

     The TF1N order is full of the language of Critical Race Theory (CRT) like “systemic racism," “diversity," “lived experience," “inclusion” and “structural and interpersonal biases”. The order was issued 35 days after the beginning of a nation-wide convulsive reaction to the death of a single black man in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer. Curiously, there is zero evidence that person’s unfortunate death had anything to do with race. The police officer was arrested, charged, tried, and convicted on criminal charges only. The officer was not charged with a hate crime. Could the Navy be reacting to public events that have nothing to do with what is going on in the Navy and how the Navy recruits, trains, manages its personnel? The TF1N report was issued on 26 January 2021. The report has 56 recommendations which if implemented will fundamentally change the Navy by changing standards, arguably to lower levels, in order to have Navy officer demographics match national demographics. Will having a few thousand more Black and Hispanic officers make our Navy better and more capable to defeat enemies? 

     Within STARRS and within the Navy community at large concerns have been raised about how this initiative is going to impact readiness, recruiting, morale, and retention. The report appears to be the Navy’s wholesale endorsement of portions of Critical Race Theory (CRT). Our concern that the Navy is endorsing CRT is based on the fact that in their TF1N report they use the language of CRT as follows: 

     The word diversity appears 213 times, the word inclusion appears 135 times, the word equity appears 15 times and the word belonging appears 6 times.  These terms are language of CRT. The entire foundation of TF1N’s push for diversity is found on page 6 of the report with this remarkable statement and we quote from the report: “In order to baseline where the Navy is today on I&D, TF1N gathered Navy demographic trends and compared these to United States Census population data and benchmarked against other organizations (Appendix I). These statistics are important because diverse teams are 58 percent more likely than non-diverse teams to accurately assess a situation.[1] In addition, gender-diverse organizations are 15 percent more likely to outperform other organizations and diverse organizations are 35 percent more likely to outperform their non-diverse counterparts.[2]

     The references the report cites do not prove that diversity does what the Navy claims it does. The first reference admits that some studies show that diversity aids performance and other studies do not. It also says clearly that the evidence of the studies is “equivocal”. The second study is equally troubling with the conclusion that “the relationship between diversity and performance highlighted in the research is a correlation, not a causal link.”

     The evidence supporting the Navy’s contention that diversity makes for better team performance in an operational setting is not based on any conclusive study. The truth is the Navy’s push for diversity is not backed up by studies of military organizations, as far as the author has been able to discover. Evidence upon which to build a foundation on diversity for the Navy for recruiting, retention, morale, advancement, and readiness should be based on actual data, not hopes and dreams. The TF1N report makes clear the Navy’s intent to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the key tenets of Critical Race Theory, full speed ahead and with extremely shallow rationale for doing so. Such dearth of evidence for the value of diversity as it relates to the Navy’s operational effectiveness and lethality is a warning sign that the Navy is headed for the shoals.

     In Part III we will look at a recent report commissioned by Congress concerning the Surface Navy and its struggles in recent years and what impact the diversity emphasis is having on readiness.

[1] “Ethnic Diversity Deflates Price Bubbles,” December 30, 2014, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

[2] “Diversity Matters,” McKinsey & Company, February 2, 2015.

 

Medal of Honor Recipient
SSG Leroy A Petry, US Army

By STARRS Board Member, Patti Stuart, USAFA 1987

     Modern-day hero Leroy Petry was born in New Mexico in 1979. Shortly after graduating from Saint Catherine’s Indian High School in Santa Fe, he fulfilled his dream of enlisting in the U.S. Army. He immediately volunteered for the 75th Ranger Regiment because of its venerable history, as well as Leroy’s strong sense of duty and service. After training at Fort Benning, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion of the 75th. He served in various roles including Squad Leader, Operations Sergeant and Weapons Squad leader, deploying eight times to overseas contingency operations, including two tours in Iraq and six tours in Afghanistan. 

     On May 26, 2008, while serving as Weapons Squad Leader in Afghanistan’s Paktia Province, SSgt Petry was tasked to execute a rare daylight raid to capture a high-value target. During clearing operations in the courtyard outside the target house, two insurgents inside opened fire with AK-47s, spraying the courtyard and hitting him in both legs. Fellow Ranger, Pvt 1st Class Lucas Robinson, was struck in his side. The two took cover behind a chicken coop, calling for assistance from another team member. Petry threw a thermobaric grenade (a special weapon generating an unusually high temp/high pressure explosion) at the enemies enabling Sgt Daniel Higgins to quickly assist his pinned teammates. While Higgins assessed the wounds to Petry and Robinson, the insurgents lobbed a grenade toward the men. Though it did not land directly in their midst, it nonetheless injured both Robinson and Higgins. Another grenade was lobbed immediately afterwards, landing mere feet from the three men. Without hesitation and without regard to his own safety, SSgt Petry snatched the grenade up and hurled it toward the insurgents. Unfortunately, the grenade denotated just after leaving Petry’s hand. The explosion blew his hand off. Still keeping his cool in the face of this horrific turn of events, he put a tourniquet on his stump of an arm and radioed for help. Other Rangers soon arrived, reinforcing the effort, aiding the injured and, ultimately, ensuring mission success. 

     A determined patriot, Petry continued to serve after his injury, now with a prosthetic arm. Assigned to the Special Operations Command’s Warrior Care Program – the Care Coalition – Petry helped his injured brothers/sisters-in-arms navigate through their painful recoveries, rehabilitations and reintegrations, through the empathy he shared from kindred experiences. A humble man, Petry often says that he considers those who did not come home to be “the real heroes”. His prosthetic arm bears the names of all the lost 2nd Battalion Rangers, so that their names and memories will always be close to him.  Petry is a husband and the father of four children - roles he values as his most important. 

     Recently, the Military Times asked Petry what advice he would give to young Americans. His response is inspiring: “Every day you think you are having a hard time, look to your left and to your right. There’s going to be somebody that’s having it harder than you are. And it’s on those days that you go pick them up…Because it makes a difference in people’s lives.” In that same interview, he strongly advocates using the time you have to make a difference in others’ lives and making our communities a better place to live. 

Watch The Interview
Evidence of Indoctrination in the Military

As concern grows nationally over the teaching of Critical Race Theory and related Marxist ideology at our military academies, more and more individuals and organizations are contacting the leadership at USAFA, USMA and USNA demanding more transparency. Multiple prominent media outlets have recently reported on the struggle. The article linked below is by Joseph Clark and appeared on the Washington Times website. It details the efforts of “watchdog organizations” to get the Department of Defense and the military academies to come clean about the perceived indoctrination of cadets and midshipmen, and the refusal thus far to allow oversight. The article even mentions Gen Bishop and what STARRS is doing to combat this insidious threat.

Read The Article

The Department of Defense and military academy leadership seem to be taking a two-pronged approach to addressing concerns about the teaching of CRT. The first, as mentioned above, is to withhold requested information. The second, is to obfuscate the truth by claiming that the cadets are being taught how to think, not what to think. Evidence for this second tactic is presented in the articles linked below. The first is from the Washington Examiner, by Mike Brest, and the second is from the Daily Caller, by Brianna Lyman. The third is from Fox News, by Michael Lee.

Washington Examiner
Daily Caller
Fox News
American Marxism Review in STARRS Book Club

By STARRS member, Scott Sturman

 

     Mark Levin’s newest best seller provides a concise, yet thorough, history of Marxism and describes how its pernicious teachings are infecting American society. Critical Race Theory, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice movements serve as interlinked instruments to meet these ends. The author concludes with a call to arms and provides the reader with a list of solutions to counteract the Marxist agenda. 

     An example of Levin’s call to action occurred when a group of retired military officers formed STARRS, whose mission is to oppose racism and radicalism in the military and educate the American public that these programs undermine the military’s ability to protect and defend the country. STARRS galvanized around Lt. Colonel Matt Lohmeier, who sacrificed his Air Force career when his bestselling book, Irresistible Revolution, alerted     the nation about the infiltration of Marxist doctrines into the military. Read the full book review here: 

American Marxism Review
Spenser Rapone Update

Many of you will no doubt be familiar with, or at least aware of, the story of Spenser Rapone. Rapone was the infamous “communist cadet” in the class of 2016 at West Point. He was photographed at his graduation from USMA wearing a Che Guevara shirt under his uniform. If you’re curious as to what happened to him, click on the link below to read the full story by someone known simply as “streiff” at RedState.com. In short, he was eventually administratively discharged and is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Texas, Austin.

Full Story Here
Our Educational Mission in Action

     On August 19, 2021, Lt Gen Rod Bishop, STARRS President and BOD Chairman, appeared on Debbie Georgatos’ Vimeo program America, Can We Talk? I encourage everyone to take an hour and view the video linked below. Gen Bishop was the sole guest, and the host was very supportive. Even if you have read every newsletter and have a firm grasp of what STARRS is about, this video is worth the time to watch it. Here is a summary:

     Gen Bishop gives an intro to STARRS with a short history. He talks about how the AFA Football coaching staff produced a video after the death of George Floyd that contained multiple uses of “Black Lives Matter,” and how STARRS fought to have it taken down from their Facebook page because of its political nature. He talks about the dangers of teaching CRT in the military, and how it promotes divisiveness rather than unity. He touches on the anti-American themes that are prevalent in CRT. He describes how STARRS helped Chase Standage, a USNA midshipman, get reinstated after he was kicked out for anti-Antifa and anti-BLM tweets. He discusses the diversity training video that AFA appointees are required to watch prior to arriving for BCT. He says that parents of current doolies have voiced anger and disappointment over “woke” speeches at this summer’s Acceptance Parade. He talks about how USAFA has announced the creation of a “safe space” in the Cadet Library along with a Diversity & Inclusion reading room. He touches on the fact that every cadet is given a copy of George Takei’s graphic novel “They Called Us Enemy” which is endorsed by AFA leadership. He explains the role of the military academies’ Boards of Visitors, and how President Biden has illegally suspended them. Debbie asks Gen Bishop what the academies should do to “free themselves from this obsession with CRT” and Gen Bishop answers with several ideas. They briefly discuss Matt Lohmeier’s book, “Irresistible Revolution.” Gen Bishop concludes by encouraging us to not just be against CRT, but be FOR something. Including American ideals, unity over division, the flag and the National Anthem.

Watch The Interview

     Please support STARRS’ mission to unify, not divide, ensure that the U.S. military remains free of politics, and to educate Americans of the danger of neo-Marxism and Critical Race Theory ideology, by sending donations to:  STARRS, PO Box 468, Monument, CO 80132



*** STARRS is a newly formed corporation, whose 501(c)3 status is pending with the IRS. Once approval for our educational mission is received, STARRS will be a qualified organization eligible to receive deductible charitable contributions, effective 26 April 2021.***