U.S. Navy Now Using Drag Queens To Recruit Troops – As Recruitment Plummets

The US Navy is struggling to meet its recruitment targets for fiscal year 2023, so its leadership has decided to enlist Drag Queen Harpy Daniels to help increase the branch’s numbers. Harpy Daniels, whose real name is Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, is an active-duty drag queen who identifies as non-binary. The Navy has hired Kelley as a “Navy Digital Ambassador” as part of its Digital Ambassador initiative, which aims to use digital platforms to reach potential candidates for military recruitment. Kelley announced his new role on Instagram in November, highlighting his past experience performing in drag for the Navy and his position as a “leader” and “advocate” for oppressed individuals in the service.

Kelley expressed gratitude for being able to share his drag experience with fellow sailors during his time with the Navy from 2016 to present. He believed that this experience has given him the strength, courage, and ambition to continue advocating for and representing queer sailors. 

The Digital Ambassador program, which Kelley participated in as a drag queen ambassador, has ended in April, and the Navy is currently assessing the program’s effectiveness to determine its future direction.

The US Navy’s decision to hire a drag queen as a digital ambassador comes at a time when the branch is projected to miss its recruitment targets for the 2023 fiscal year, along with the Army and Air Force, who are also projected to fall short of their goals. This is a concern as recruitment shortfalls may indicate a lack of interest or trust in the military as an institution.

The Defense Department, under President Joe Biden’s administration, has been pushing military leaders to adopt diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) ideology, which some view as divisive and discriminatory, favoring certain groups over others based on characteristics like skin color or sexual orientation rather than merit. This approach can result in qualified individuals being passed over in favor of those who meet preferred identitarian standards.

In May 2021, the then-Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Harker, released a memo that laid out a plan of action to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the Navy. The memo instructed the Navy’s assistant secretary and chief diversity officer to lead and oversee all DEI efforts throughout the department, synchronize key policies and initiatives, and develop a strategy to advance DEI across the enterprise.

The Defense Department’s adoption of DEI ideology continues to spread throughout the military. The Navy, for example, released an instructional video last June that advised service members on creating a “safe space” by using “correct” pronouns and avoiding misgendering others. The Army has also produced similar material aimed at instructing soldiers on issues related to gender identity.




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