Navy drag queen influencer has House GOP cranking up heat on Defense Secretary Austin

FIRST ON FOX: Several House Republicans called on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to “put an end to any drag shows and any ‘drag queen influencers’ performing in our military.” Rep. Mark Alford, R-Mo., led a letter with seven of his House GOP colleagues to Austin as well as Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro after the Navy approached a “drag queen influencer” to drum up recruitment numbers. “We’re at a time where America’s youth has very little desire to serve and protect our nation,” Alford said. “The Navy’s decision to use drag queens as a recruitment tool is outrageous and a disgrace to those who have previously served.” US NAVY PLATFORMED ‘DRAG QUEEN INFLUENCER’ TO ATTRACT YOUTH TO THE MILITARY IN HIRING CRISIS “Instead of pushing woke ideologies, the Department of Defense should be promoting patriotism, pride in one’s country, and American greatness,” the Missouri Republican continued. “We deserve to know why this decision was made and who ultimately made it.” In the letter, the GOP lawmakers wrote that they were “extremely concerned about reports that the United States Navy met with a ‘drag queen influencer’ in an attempt to persuade new recruits to join the military.” “Reports mention Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley announced back in November 2022 that he was the Navy’s ‘Digital Ambassador,’” the letter reads. “If true, this is unacceptable and will exacerbate the already historic recruitment crisis our country is facing.” “As you know, recent estimates show that only 9% of America’s youth are interested in military service,” they continued. “This troubling reality has led to the Army missing their recruitment goals for last year by 15,000 soldiers or 25 percent.” “Also, the other branches barely hit their active-duty recruitment goals as well,” the lawmakers wrote. “This crisis has even forced the Navy to increase their age limit from 39 to 41 in an attempt to increase recruitment.” The Republicans said that woke “ideology and drag queen shows have no place in our military” and warned it “will only serve to hurt our recruitment.” “We should be focused on deterring China and other adversaries, not drag shows which do nothing to enhance our deterrence and warfighting capabilities,” they wrote. “If these reports are true, we request you put an end to any drag shows and any ‘drag queen influencers’ performing in our military.” The lawmakers also asked Austin if he could confirm the Navy’s appointment of Kelley as the digital ambassador of the branch, who made the decision to do so, and to explain “in detail with supporting data how drag shows improve recruitment and readiness.” Joining Alford on the letter were several of his GOP colleagues: Reps. Ronny Jackson and Pat Fallon of Texas, Cory Mills of Florida, Jim Banks of Indiana, Jen Kiggans of Virginia, Rich McCormick of Georgia and Guam Delegate James Moylan. A Pentagon spokesperson told Fox News Digital that as “with all of his correspondence, the Secretary will respond to this letter in due course.” A spokesperson for the Navy pointed Fox News Digital to Austin’s office when asked for comment. On Wednesday, the Navy revealed that it approached a “drag queen influencer” to help persuade new recruits to join the military. Kelley, who goes by the stage name “Harpy Daniels,” announced in November 2022 that he was the Navy’s digital ambassador. Kelley has more than 1,300,000 likes on TikTok. While Kelley’s Instagram bio shows that the performer’s opinions “are not endorsed by DoD or DoN,” the drag queen claims to have danced in drag for service officers on a number of occasions, sharing one video from 2018. The Digital Ambassador initiative in which Kelley participated ran from October 2022 to March 2023 and was “designed to explore the digital environment to reach a wide range of potential candidates,” a Navy spokesperson told Fox News Digital. The reason, the spokesperson added, was that the Navy is navigating “the most challenging recruiting environment it has faced since the start of the all-volunteer force.” The spokesperson wrote, “The Navy did not compensate YN2 Kelley or any others for being Navy Digital Ambassadors. The pilot has concluded and we are now evaluating the program and how it will exist in the future.” The Navy’s attempts to increase interest among young people comes amid a historic recruitment crisis. A survey from the Ronald Reagan Institute found that 13% of 18- to 29-year-olds are “highly willing” to join the military, 25% are “somewhat willing” and 26% are “not willing at all.” Kelley has also posted directly about serving as a “digital ambassador” for the Navy on Instagram.
Go to Source

Scroll to Top