Drag Influencer Claiming To Have Worked With U.S. Navy For Completes 6-Month Promotion

A spokeswoman acknowledged to Fox News on Wednesday that the Pentagon used an enlisted "drag queen influencer" as a "digital ambassador" on social media to recruit new personnel amid a record decline. The spokesperson insisted that the program had come to an end and the sailor had not received payment.

US military Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, popularly known as drag performer "Harpy Daniels," announced on Instagram in November that the military had asked the sailor to "be the first navy digital ambassador!" The "USN/Drag Queen / Non-Binary Sailor & Queen" tagline on the Harpy Daniels Instagram profile is accompanied by a disclaimer stating the user's views are not supported by the US Navy or the Department of Defence.


"I appreciate the Navy for providing me this chance. I don't speak for the Navy; I'm just reporting my own experience there! In an Instagram picture, the performer said, "Hooyah, and let's go Slay!"

The Pentagon is dealing with "the most challenging recruitment environment it has faced since the start of the all-volunteer force," the official said, adding that the digital ambassador program was "designed to explore the digital environment to reach a wide range of potential candidates."

They went on to say that neither YN2 Kelley nor any other navy digital ambassadors received any payment from the military. "We are currently assessing the program and its future development."

The Pentagon's efforts to diversify have come under heightened criticism as the digital ambassador program came to an end. Republicans in the House and Senate presented legislation in February to limit the participation of transgender people in the armed forces. They did this after accusing President Joe Biden of using the military as a "woke social experiment." The following month, House Democrats responded with a measure that would outlaw discrimination against transgender recruits by the Department of Defence.

Last month, the Pentagon revealed that only the Marine Corps would meet its recruitment objective for the year, with the army, navy, and air force all on track to miss their targets by thousands. The fundamental reason for the shortage is the diminishing number of candidates who are physically and psychologically qualified, but critics of the Pentagon's 'woke' PR makeover contend that this strategy is actually turning away potential recruits.

Until 2011, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy required LGBTQ service members to conceal their sexual orientation. This 1993 policy actually relaxed a previous blanket prohibition on gay recruitment. The Harpy Daniels identity, according to Kelley, is "a tribute to many service members who were kicked out, harassed, bullied, or worse for being openly gay during Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Get latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

© 2024 Wayne Dupree, Privacy Policy