What military brass can learn from Super Bowl LVII

We know the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl LVII will be played in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12, 2023. We do not yet know which two teams will compete to be the last one standing. Regardless of which teams do play, it would be interesting to assemble senior military leaders to watch the game to ensure they grasp an important lesson the game will reveal.

What we do know about the two competing Super Bowl finalists already is that they achieved the mission goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the season and sought progressively to achieve. These goals included identifying the best talent possible at each position, training them to perform as a team, winning enough games to make it to the playoffs to compete in the Super Bowl and winning that final contest to claim its trophy. Whichever team it is that wins on Feb. 12, the question for our military leaders is this: What was the singularly most important attribute exhibited by the Super Bowl victor?

While the answer will be obvious – performance – this is where a fundamental difference will manifest itself – for while the NFL coach and military leader should apply the same performance yardstick, they do not. As the primary mission for both is, whether upon the playing field or the battlefield, to field the best possible team of warriors, the question then arises: Why use different yardsticks? A glaring statistic in professional football explains how different yardsticks are applied.

In 2020, seven out of 10 NFL players were black. This tells us that winning positions to play on the 2023 Super Bowl team were related strictly to individual performance on the field with zero focus on the team’s diversity makeup. The purpose of diversity, supposedly, is to put together a team that is fairly reflective of society’s racial makeup. But an NFL that fields black players by a ratio of 7-to-3 over non-black players is not representative of the racial balance in America – it is representative of how coaches, whose livelihoods turn on their team’s success, look at performance through glasses with colorblind lenses.

As far as NFL coaches are concerned, when a player tries out for a team position, that player lacks a racial imprint. He is just a number. This allows the individual selection process for team members to become one that is purely performance-based.

While snowflakes might consider what follows to be a racist observation, statistics don’t lie. And statistics from other professional sports support the fact that, all being equal, blacks are better natural athletes than whites. The demographic profile for blacks playing in the National Basketball Association was a whopping 81.1% in 2020. Only Major League Baseball had a profile far more balanced as a mirror representation of society with a 6.8% black-player membership.

But while the NFL coach strictly uses a performance-related yardstick, our military leaders apply one, imposed upon them by a commander in chief who five times dodged serving in the military, pushing a diversity factor that goes beyond race to include sex and gender identity as well.

The immediate impact of applying such a military yardstick should be obvious. While the NFL’s yardstick will give a starting position nod to the most qualified performer, the military’s yardstick may not, should the most qualified performer fail to meet diversity standards. For the NFL coach, the end result is he knows every team position is filled by an A-team member; however, for the military commander, this will not be the case.

Needless to say, this should be a major concern since what occurs on the battlefield is obviously of much grater importance than what occurs on the playing field. While a less than most-qualified sports performer may be the cause for losing a game, a less than most-qualified warrior on the battlefield can get others killed. Yet, despite increasing criticism from defense experts that embracing a progressive agenda is harming performance, senior military leaders blindly embrace Biden’s policies.

We will never hear the NFL being criticized for its lopsided representation favoring black players over white for one simple reason: team owners, players and fans all want to be associated with winning – so diversity be damned.

At a time military budgeting should be maximized to meet expanding global challenges, such funding is being wasted on inclusion initiatives. The military should take heed of the recent problem commercial air travelers suffered due to industry funds being similarly misdirected to social programs rather than meeting the needs of the aviation industry.

In the aftermath of an FAA computer outage on Jan. 11 that caused it to ground thousands of domestic flights, pilots were asked about the administration’s 2023 budgeting for the FAA and Department of Transportation (DOT). Most were upset money was being tossed at needless personnel programs while the FAA’s technological infrastructure is in desperate need of work.

As an example, after DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg returned from his two months of maternity leave after only being on the job six months, he turned his attention to spending money and time to one such senseless endeavor. Buttigieg took offense that informational updates in the industry, which for years have been known as “Notice to Airman” (NOTAM), referenced the male gender and sought to change it. Today, while such notices have the same acronym, it stands for “Notice to Air Missions.” Obviously, this ridiculous act of wokeism did nothing to improve passenger safety, but at least Buttigieg felt better.

J.P. Tristiani, an aviation expert, who is both a pilot and a veteran, made an observation about the FAA and DOT that is just as applicable to the military as well. “Ridiculous,” he said, as “neither the DOT nor FAA should be involved in being a social ‘petri dish’ investing in such nonsense.”

Like the military that has a responsibility for the safety of its warriors, ensuring they are finely honed and equipped to prevail on the battlefield, Tristiani notes the FAA has a responsibility to ensure passenger safety at all times and that investing in nonessential issues “has nothing to do with the highest standards and training … required in this highly technical industry.”

Undoubtedly, our Defense Department leaders enjoyed the pro-military press triggered by the 2022 movie “Top Gun: Maverick.” The plot involved the training of a select group of top gun U.S. Navy pilots for a covert mission, requiring split-second timing and coordination, against an enemy target – a mission that ultimately was successfully completed.

Our military leaders probably were pleased with the diversity representation of the pilots in the film. But, in reality, success of such a mission would have turned on which performance yardstick was applied to field the aerial team. Any pilot entrusted with this mission would want to know beforehand, regardless of the group’s ultimate diversity representation, that every aircraft involved was being flown by an A-team member. This is not an assurance that can readily be given today due to the yardstick Biden has foolishly imposed upon the military.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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