Retired US Navy Commander Julianna Vida has slammed a Republican lawmaker’s criticism of the use of a drag queen to boost recruitment.
Vida told Fox News that Alabama’s Senator Tommy Tuberville’s position was destructive and works to undermine the Navy’s ability to recruit new members.
The senator declared the Navy’s ad to be the branch’s ‘Bud Light moment,’ referring to recent controversy that erupted out of the Anheuser-Busch brand’s use of transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney as a spokesperson.
She called the drag queen promotional campaign a critical method to welcome traditionally excluded segments of our population.
Tuberville warned the military branch had become preoccupied with identity politics after it announced that Joshua Kelley, who goes by the stage name Harpy Daniels, had been promoted to become its Digital Ambassador.
Vida, a 30-year veteran who is a member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees, said that the conservative senator’s criticism is merely a ‘trope’ that plays well exclusively to a socially conservative base.
She said that harnessing the power of social media to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community is a way for the Navy to appeal to all people in a society who are willing and able to volunteer their lives to the service of the nation.