That Damn Pandemic and the Ultimate School Board

In the summer of 2020, in the height of a global pandemic, an assault on the United States started in a number of cities across the United States. Burning, looting, murders, often without lawful intervention, were common threads. But those places were “somewhere else”, not here where we lived. Unless you lived there.

Here where we lived, our kids were suffering through a year of virtual confinement and mask wearing as an alternative to the school environment we grew up with. A new educational system evolved with virtual classrooms. Parents, also confined to home and the “virtual Business environment” suddenly got a glimpse of what was actually being taught. For years they had gone about their work focus and assumed teaching was still “like we remembered it”. it was a rude awakening and an awareness that may never have happened were it not for “that damn pandemic”.

Looking over the shoulder of the “kids in the kitchen attending class” was traumatic. Even more so when teachers appealed to prevent parents from watching. Digging into the details revealed many curious but buried facts in the evolution of school curriculum as early as elementary school.  Suddenly, parents were able to experience the content of much of the new educational curriculum centered on critical race theory being broadcast into their home. This awareness resulted in the “revolt” against School Boards we are seeing today. The proponents of indoctrinating the next generation of our society with a race based oppressor and oppressed ideology and a distorted view of our history became a target for enraged parents. In the parent’s view, School Boards and teachers should be trusted wards of our children, not advocates for radical change. The momentum of this movement would not likely have been challenged were it not for “that damn pandemic”.  

So..what does this have to do with our military?

It comes down to two fundamental societal elements. Families and Tribes. The formal definition of family is that it is the basic unit of society, traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children. The movement to eliminate the nuclear family had been underway since the Great Society initiative of the Johnson Administration that incentivized fatherless families among the poor and underprivileged. The roots of Marxism began growing and accelerated with the opportunism of the BLM movement. The group cleverly leveraged the emotional branding of the phrase to gain support among the clueless and uneducated but openly stated an objective to further eliminate the nuclear family as a key step to achieving their educational objectives. A tribe is a social group composed of numerous families, or generations having a shared ancestry and language. The military family is in reality a very large tribe of people that includes several generations that have fought and died to defend our Constitution and our American way of life. These elements are powerful forces in controlling the pendulum swings that either drive us toward an unacceptable future or bring us back to a sense of stability. Like the parental awakening to the danger of the Socialist/Marxist agenda infiltrating our school systems, there is a new awakening that the same cancer is infiltrating our military.

Like the local School Board when facing an outraged parental group, fireworks ignite. Our military veterans mirror the parent community, concerned that their offspring, the next generation of military leaders, are now experiencing the same infiltration as our school systems. The line between studying ideologies that are diametrically opposed to our Constitution to understand evolving threats to our way of life and indoctrinating our youth and military inductees into that ideology are subtle but have dramatically different objectives. Our military leadership has always been the world standard in developing the warrior culture. It is now the “Ultimate School Board” trying to respond to the enraged parent community that is committed to taking back our unique American military culture. Parents entrust their children to teachers and schools and have expectations for the experiences of the education process. When they find the process has taken a dark turn, they will eventually react, although sometimes late to need. In a very similar way, when political military leadership takes a similar turn, the veteran/alumni parental group will also stand up and be counted.

There has been a withering rebuttal of our military leadership in the last few months but, in reality, it goes back several years. There is sand in the gears of our well-oiled military machine. It comes from two directions, the “School Board” agenda pushing social experimentation into the military and the “Parental” objection to dilution of the warrior culture so important to maintaining our leadership on the world stage. My money’s on the parents.

About the Author:

Capt. Tom Burbage is a Naval Academy graduate, former Navy Test pilot and industry leader. He is working with a group of concerned individuals to change the focus of our military and specifically our Service Academies.


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