Military leaders and veterans groups slammed Carlson after the commentator suggested on his Tuesday-night segment that the increasing numbers of female service members in the US military were weakening the US armed forces.
During his show, Carlson showed an Air Force photo of a 1st lieutenant modeling a maternity uniform, calling the uniform a “mockery of the US military.”
“While China’s military becomes more masculine as it’s assembled the world’s largest navy, our military, as Joe Biden says, needs to become more feminine — whatever feminine means anymore since men and women no longer exist,” Carlson said, NBC News reported. “The bottom line is it’s out of control and the Pentagon is going along with it. Again, this is a mockery of the US military and its core mission, which is winning wars.”
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) March 10, 2021
Responding on Thursday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said it was proud of its military's diversity, and would not be taking advice from a “talk show host or the Chinese military.”
“Maybe those folks feel like they have something to prove, that's on them,” Kirby added. “We know we’re the greatest military in the world today, and even for all the things we need to improve.”
Kirby also said he hoped Carlson would “realize the mistake he made and express some regret about the manner in which he essentially demeaned the entire US military and how we defend and how we serve this country.”
Several active military members, veterans and veterans groups also slammed Carlson’s comments.
“I served with women who risked their lives to protect our country. Tucker did not,” Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-NJ, a former Navy helicopter pilot, wrote in a tweet. “While he denigrates those who serve, our military remains the best fighting force due, in large part, to our amazing servicewomen.”
— Rep. Mikie Sherrill (@RepSherrill) March 11, 2021
— U.S. Space Command, Command Senior Enlisted Leader (@US_SpaceComCSEL) March 11, 2021
— Patrick Donahoe (@PatDonahoeArmy) March 11, 2021
Scott Stalker, command senior enlisted leader of the US Space Command, also called Carlson’s comments “drama TV” on Twitter, stating that Carlson’s statements were based on “zero days” of service.