Pete Riehm
Duty, honor, & country versus equity, race, & woke
By Pete Riehm
May 27, 2021

Generally, Americans have little if any confidence in or trust of our federal government. The CDC has pretty much bungled the pandemic doing more damage than the Chinese virus. The FBI will relentlessly investigate every political hoax, but has little interest in real political corruption. The Department of Homeland security doesn’t realize it has created the biggest humanitarian and security crisis on the border in our lifetimes. The rest of the Federal Government is busy scheming invasive ways to meddle in our lives. And to top it all off, the federal government lies to the people about almost everything. It’s beyond spin; it’s outright deliberate distortions and malicious misrepresentations.

The popular opinion of the Federal government has been abysmal and declining for decades, but during that time, the U.S. military has steadily held the esteem and regard of the American people. Our all-volunteer force is made up of ordinary Americans from all walks of life serving heroically and honorably in all manner of extraordinary circumstances. The troops make us proud; and Americans genuinely appreciate and respect the selfless sacrifices of our neighbors willing to go into harm’s way to defend our nation and uphold freedom.

The military is the ultimate meritocracy. Members of the Armed Forces are recruited and promoted for their capabilities and performance. If America wants to be secure and win wars, it must be that way. America can only prevail in conflict if we put forth our best and brightest regardless of background. The U.S. military has a long proud history of defeating our enemies and keeping our nation safe, but our military is sadly under assault from within, from their leaders, and from the very government they protect.

Despite decades of demonstrable equality and inclusion, Biden’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has embarked on a witch hunt looking for ostensible extremism, racism, and white supremacy. Oddly enough, the country has looked to the military as the model for a fair society since at least the 1990s. Every gender and racial barrier was broken years ago; every race and women have served at every level of the military for about a half a century, but these were not token appointments or selections. Those service members regardless of gender or race earned their positions. There was no backlash, consternation, or disdain. Americans embrace excellence; they never resent anyone who is competent and dedicated.

Now our military is being undermined with the nonsensical notions of “critical race theory” that only seeks to divide our troops along racial lines. It literally teaches troops to hate the country they serve; it’s disgusting and heinous. Most of it is superfluous silliness and naked Marxism; it attacks our Constitutional Republic as fatally flawed. The cornerstone of this crap is “equity.” Completely counter to excellence, equity is the concept of equal outcomes which means everyone regardless of capability or talent is accorded the same position and promotions. It is the recipe for mediocrity; it is the formula for failure. And worse, it’s intentional! Make no mistake; this “woke” revolution is designed to weaken our military.

The sole purpose of the American military is to defend the nation and win wars. Even while breaking societal barriers, the military always kept at its core that anything that did not advance readiness or improve our capacity to wage war was a distraction and had no place in military policy.

With Memorial Day again upon us, perhaps it would be helpful to revisit and understand the core values of our military versus the “woke” drivel being foisted on our military. In 1962, General Douglas MacArthur gave his famous “Duty, Honor, and Country” speech; he eloquently detailed the foundations of dedication to service and devotion to country. Every American should read it because any summary or recounting is wholly inadequate.

The duty of the military is quite simply to defend the nation and our uniquely American culture. Every military member must approach that duty with honor to do only what is moral and right. And above all, the military must preserve and protect the country that embodies justice and liberty for all. MacArthur admonished the military to remain above politics and steadfastly focused on “Duty, Honor, and Country!”

Absolutely anti-American, equity, race and woke is an all-out sinister attack on the American military to make it dysfunctional and ineffective. It is a thinly disguised insurrection to weaken America. The average Americans in the ranks embrace and understand “Duty, Honor, and Country;” pray they can withstand their corrupt and cynical leaders.

“I also shook out the fold of my garment and said, “So may God shake out every man from his house and from his labor who does not keep this promise. So may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said “Amen” and praised the LORD. And the people did as they had promised” (Nehemiah 5:13).

Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8 pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at Email him at or on Parler @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm

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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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