Did MTG really say joining the military is "throwing your life away?"

Did MTG really say joining the military is "throwing your life away?"
AP Photo/Ben Gray

This was an unfortunate headline that Newsweek picked up and ran with yesterday. During an appearance on Lou Dobbs’ podcast last week, Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green actually did describe the decision to enlist in America’s military as being like “throwing your life away.” That’s a terrible image to put out there, particularly at a time when the United States is struggling to meet its recruiting goals for the armed forces. But there’s also some context missing from the rest of the conversation. Rather than trashing the military, MTG was actually criticizing Defense Department policies imposed under the Biden administration, claiming that those policies have driven members out of the service, discouraged others from joining, and unnecessarily risked the lives of the men and women who serve.

Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has said joining the military is like “throwing your life away” due to President Joe Biden’s foreign policies.

Speaking to former Fox News host Lou Dobbs’ podcast on April 9, Greene listed other reasons why people should not join the military, including the vaccine mandate and “woke” training.

Greene made the remarks after Dobbs questioned the “quality of people” that are in the Defense Department in Biden’s administration and suggested that the military was struggling to attract new recruits because people have “seen the way they’re treated.”

Both Dobbs and Taylor Green were making a number of points arguing against a variety of policies, some better than others. For example, Dobbs asked why people would volunteer to be “boots on the ground to fight wars abroad.” Not for nothing, sir, but that’s sort of the entire purpose of the military. You don’t sign up just to repaint the barracks back here in the states.

But the flip side to that coin is worth considering. They brought up the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and how some of our troops were in danger of being “left behind” like so many others were when we pulled out of Kabul. That lesson probably doesn’t do much to inspire or encourage young people who are considering enlisting. They also brought up the situation in Ukraine and how it’s still possible that we might end up in a shooting war with Russia. I would counter that such a scenario might actually drive up recruitment. If Putin forces us into the next world war, we will need brave people to answer the call in what would clearly be a very dangerous situation. But only if they have confidence in the President and the leadership in the military to lead them wisely.

I can’t really argue with Taylor Green’s assessment that some potential recruits would be turned off by the vaccine mandate for the military. Some of the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy have been seen among younger, healthier people who are the least likely to have a seriously detrimental outcome from the disease and who may still be unsure about the new technologies used to develop the vaccines. And unless the administration’s mandate applying to all military members is rescinded, those people will probably stay in the civilian world.

I would also agree that all of the woke training that’s being imposed on the troops is turning many of them off, as both Dobbs and Taylor Green suggested. People sign up to learn how to fight and defend the nation, not how to become politically correct. Whether you’re talking about LGBT issues, racial divisions, or whatever else, there should really only be one standard for the American military. Everyone should be “colorblind” and every other sort of “blind.” The only color that matters is the color of your uniform and who you date in your off hours is up to you. Leave all of that at the door and treat your fellow troops equally with the respect they deserve.

Still, as I said at the top, this segment is going to be making the rounds in the media now and it’s not going to be good for military recruiting or morale. And it comes at a particularly unfortunate time when the Army just missed its recruiting goals for the second half of 2021 and has now resorted to offering $50,000 signing bonuses for those willing to enlist for six years.

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