Eight years ago, my son was still on active duty serving his last duty station with the Navy Leap Frogs. By then, he had been to war and deployed multiple times with his SEAL Teams. The Leap Frogs are a parachute demonstration team that jumps into sports events like MLB and NFL games. Their “mission” was to impress a new generation of Americans with a “You can do that too” spirit. In one respect, the Leap Frogs were the face of the Navy. The tip of the spear. Maybe young Americans would one day join the Navy because they shook hands with a SEAL who jumped out of the sky.
One winter day, my kid’s commanding officer called him and told him to pack a bag. He had been selected for a new Navy TV ad campaign. He and other combat veteran SEALs were flown to Mammoth Mountain, given winter gear and weapons, and directed to look mean, nasty and stealthy. They spent the day doing that. SEALs, playing SEALs. My son was one of the Ghillie-suited snipers in the ad. A few months later, the TV ad started its run. It was called the “Pin Map” ad. His appearance in the commercial starts at 33 seconds.
The full ad depicts sailors doing sailor stuff. Stuff the Navy used to be known for: defending the country, deploying to dangerous parts of the globe, and lending a hand during disasters. The Navy had “pins” all over the globe. Look out, bad guys, the Navy is everywhere.
My son’s Ghillie suit-clad image also appeared on snowboards (given away by the Navy) and because his image was government property and not copyrighted, it was used (stolen) by companies to sell everything from insurance to shoes. How much was he “paid” for the Navy ad? Nothing. It was part of the job.
Things have changed. The days of the Navy promoting patriotism, service, and teamwork are, apparently, over. Individualism and being “your authentic self” are what’s important to the modern Navy.
The 2023 Navy is a far cry from the Navy of 1945 or 2015. The Now-Navy is an international joke. The Navy has fully embraced intersectionality and absurd, non-warfighting nonsense. The Navy’s first of five digital ambassadors is a dude who doesn’t even know what sex he is. The Navy’s new “face” isn’t a SEAL, it’s a drag queen. Joshua Kelley claims he’s non-binary. Kelley, whose Drag Queen stage name is Harpy Daniels (what is it with the last name Daniels?) admits that he joined the Navy to fund his drag queen lifestyle. Harpy has bawled its (non-binary) eyes out describing how emotional Harpy gets when Harpy is identified by Harpy’s preferred (they/them) pronouns. Imagine, if you will, Harpy’s commanding officer using “his” and Harpy having a conniption and the officer, knowing that his modern Navy career just went down the toilet because he used the wrong pronoun, asking Harpy to forgive him and not to write him up for the now egregious sin of “dead-pronouning.” Yes — I made that term up.
The Navy was quick to emphasize that Harpy wasn’t “paid” to do the ad — as if that would turn down the outrage. My son wasn’t paid either. They did it because the Navy gave them orders. So, yes, they were paid a Navy salary.
In 2015, the “Pin Map” ad was patriotic. It likely inspired men and women to serve and to have pride in service. The Navy didn’t have any trouble filling its recruitment goal. It also, likely, caused our enemies to pause and consider if they wanted to push us. No more. Recruitment is way down. Rob O’Neill was disgusted. So are most veterans and, no doubt, active service members who can’t wait to end their contracts. O’Neill doesn’t recognize this Navy.
Our destruction won’t come from outside the house but rather from within. At present, the Village People are running the show.
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