A Navy SEAL who was part of the operation to take out Osama Bin Laden bashed his military branch’s decision to utilize a drag queen as a recruiter.
Robert J. O’Neill, a former member of SEAL Team Six, who has earned multiple silver and bronze stars for his eight years of combat, blasted the Navy for hiring drag queen Harpy Daniels as digital ambassador.
“Alright. The U.S. Navy is now using an enlisted sailor Drag Queen as a recruiter. I’m done,” he tweeted on Wednesday morning.
“China is going to destroy us. YOU GOT THIS NAVY. I can’t believe I fought for this bulls–t.”
Alright. The U.S. Navy is now using an enlisted sailor Drag Queen as a recruiter. I’m done. China is going to destroy us. YOU GOT THIS NAVY. I can’t believe I fought for this bullshit.
— Robert J. O'Neill (@mchooyah) May 3, 2023
O’Neill was referring to Yeoman Second Class Joshua Kelley, a non-binary active-duty sailor, who moonlights as a drag queen.
Kelley, who uses the pronouns she/her, announced that she was the first “Navy Digital Ambassador” in a November 2022 Instagram post that highlighted how she has performed drag for fellow sailors during deployment.
The military has a huge recruiting/retention crisis because they went woke. How did they try to fix it? By going more woke. Meet Joshua Kelley. Drag name Harpy Daniels. U.S. Navy named him Digital Ambassador to recruit new demos to join the Navy. Insane. pic.twitter.com/2DWOAIgWr4
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 2, 2023
“From joining to 2016 and being able to share my drag experience on my off time with my fellow sailors has been a blessing,” Kelley wrote.
Kelley noted that she has “grown not just as a drag queen, but [as a] leader,” while advocating for the LGBTQ+ community in the military.
The digital ambassador program, which ran from October 2022 to March of this year was “designed to explore the digital environment to reach a wide range of potential candidates,” according to the Daily Caller.
This is not the same military I served under…
Our enemies LAUGH at us. pic.twitter.com/XPa8ta7Q1p
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) May 2, 2023
The unconventional recruitment strategy came as the Navy is projected to fall 8,000 sailors short of their 2023 enlistment goals, while only 2 percent of American youths are fit and willing to serve.
Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti testified to the House Armed Services Committee that the Navy was “using all available levers” to increase recruiting, which includes making “an effort” to align the military branch with “the interests and concerns of Gen Z.”
The Navy even updated its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement to appeal to a wider scope of potential sailors.
“With nearly 50 percent of recruitable talent coming from diverse talent, the Navy must be deliberate to create a culture where every person, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to succeed,” the statement reads.
Kelley’s video’s recently resurfaced online, has garnered outrage from service members and social media users alike.
“U.S. Navy are now using Drag Queen Joshua Kelley (AKA Harpy Daniels) to attract new enlistment,” one person tweeted. “This must strike fear in our enemies.”
U.S. Navy are now using Drag Queen Joshua Kelley (AKA Harpy Daniels) to attract new enlistment.
This must strike fear in our enemies. pic.twitter.com/pH3n8pUyOw
— C Young (@cathyyoung421) May 3, 2023
“China and Russia are laughing their asses off right now,” wrote another.
“This is not the same military I served under… Our enemies LAUGH at us,” wrote podcaster Graham Allen.
Kelley clapped back at Allen in a Tuesday Instagram post. “You want to tear down service members and use my content without a tag so you don’t look homophobic or transphobic,” she began.
Kelley noted that queer people in the military were oppressed until 2011, and for an additional ten years more if they identify as transgender.
“You only want to support the military when it benefits you and doesn’t involve queer people,” she accused Allen.
“As a service member, a queen, and an open queer person,” Kelley concluded. “You don’t scare me and you won’t stop the LGBTQ+ community [from] thriving! Haters only hate when we’re winning.”