November 10, 2016
Written by Lorra B.
Trump’s win in Tuesday night’s presidential run left many Americans shocked and our military members were no acceptation. At the Pentagon, service members indicated that they never expected Trump to actually pull off the election, though many were elated at the news and compared the win to the day Osama Bin Laden was killed, according to Checkpoint.
One Army officer stated, “More than one person has compared it to the day Osama [Bin Laden] was killed. “I guess there’s a feeling among soldiers that Trump will care about them and fix everything they see as broken about the Army.”
Programs Manager for the Defense Department, Air Force Maj. Todd Watson, who voted for Trump, stated, “I stayed up until about 1:30 in the morning, and I couldn’t believe it. “A lot of times what he said concerned me, and I thought he would have had a better time if he would have used a different tact. I was bothered by a lot of the same stuff most folks were put off by, but at the end of the day, I don’t know if the lesser of two evils was the right terminology … but it was a vote against Hillary Clinton.”
Watson just does not trust Clinton and defined Trump as “an outsider who will try to inject something different into the system,” he said.
Though there is plenty of reservation over Trump’s win, the military seems to be embracing it as well.
In California, at the Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, soldiers were reported to have cheered as Trump won the election. Overseas, however, the tone was much more subdued. One soldier serving in Afghanistan stated that no one really discussed the election…that the “troops were more focused on what was going to be for dinner that night,” reports Checkpoint.
Back here in the states, a U.S. Navy officer not wishing to be identified, was amazed by Trump’s win saying, “It was kind of shocking. It just seemed like by all the polls that were coming out; everybody seemed to be saying Clinton was a shoo-in. I didn’t vote for either one of them,” reports Military.com.
Many military members remain suspicious of Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information and the double standard it implies to them, that they would have received severe punishments had they handled the information as she had. They, therefore, were leaning for Trump to win.
Service members’ beliefs are that Trump will bring change to ‘military’s cultural issues, including gender integration.’
Gender integration is a bigger issue in the military than most Americans are aware, which Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter finalized in December of 2015. Many service members wish for Trump to reverse the combat roles for women.
“Two active-duty enlisted infantry Marines, one at a sniper school and another in an infantry battalion, said some members of their units hope Trump looks at the data provided by the Marine Corps on its gender integration studies and comes to a conclusion that isn’t “political” and hopefully reverses the decision to allow women in combat roles. In 2014, the Marines started a nine-month experiment with a gender integrated infantry unit that concluded with mixed results,” according to a report by Checkpoint.
A female Army lieutenant, on the other hand, is concerned that the progress she deems having been made for women will be lost stating, “It is especially disheartening to see my male peers, subordinates, and superiors celebrate with such reckless abandon. “Last night’s results only reinforce that the misogyny, racism, and homophobia we have been fighting to stamp out in our formations have found a powerful outlet and will be given new life.”
Pentagon Brass have worries of their own about Trump and believe he may not fully grasp how the military should be run or how to defend our country.
Carter released a statement to the Pentagon concerning the election:
“I am very proud of the way each and every one of you conducted yourselves during this campaign, standing apart from politics and instead focusing on your sacred mission of providing security. I am committed to overseeing the orderly transition to the next Commander-in-Chief. I know I can count on you to execute all your duties with the excellence our citizens know they can expect.”
Trump plans to boost the size of the military and in September called for an increase for the Army of about 540,000 active-duty soldiers, the Navy an increase of 350 surface ships and submarines, the Air Force an increase of 1,200 fighter aircraft and an increase to the Marine Corps to 36 battalions. The Reserve and Guard figures have not been taken into account.
Soldiers were reported to have said that if the people and Congress got behind Trump to make these changes they could, and should, be made.
Watson stated, “I think a guy like Trump is going to work hard and get darn close … My hope is he can do a lot of what he says he is going to do.”
The sky is the limit and opportunities abound…Will Trump rise to the occasion and will Congress get behind him to ‘make America Great Again?’ The world watches and waits.
Written by Lorra B.