In an unprecedented move, President Biden requested the resignation of 18 former Trump administration officials, including myself, who were appointed to serve on the Board of Visitors of the Naval Academy, West Point, and the Air Force Academy. In its partisan blacklisting of political opponents, the Biden administration has broken with tradition of previous presidents.
In a Wednesday press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki called into question the qualifications of me and everyone else appointed by President Trump. These statements and actions have nothing to do with my qualifications or the qualifications of anyone else the president is ousting.
For the past year, the boards haven’t been allowed to meet. The reason for the Biden administration’s actions is clear: They want to inject far-left ideology such as critical race theory into the curriculum of the service academies without the pushback or oversight that Congress intended when the boards were established.
As far as the qualifications of those who were terminated, they include: Meaghan Mobbs, an Afghanistan veteran and West Point graduate; Lt. Gen. Guy Swan, former commander of U.S. Army North and vice president of the Association of the U.S. Army; Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster; and former Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Jack Keane. Biden and Psaki can disparage these public servants all they want, but their credentials speak for themselves.
Ironically, Gen. McMaster is receiving West Point’s highest honor this Saturday, Sept. 11, days after being booted from the service academy board. As Meaghan Mobbs said, “It is tragic that this great institution is now being subjected to and hijacked by partisan action that serves no purpose and no greater good.”
This administration is attacking the qualifications of people who have served our country and is setting a dangerous precedent by politicizing these institutions. Our military and the service academy boards should be beyond the reach of petty political stunts like this.
While it has been an unspoken tradition that previous White House press secretaries don’t criticize the job of the current holder of that job, Jen took to the podium to personally question my qualification and service. Each of us chooses how to serve this nation. I won’t ever question how anyone does that, including Jen Psaki. However, I won’t sit back and allow anyone to question my service, qualifications, or patriotism from the White House podium.
Joining the military and wearing the uniform of this amazing country remains one of the greatest decisions of my life. For 22 years, I have had the honor of serving alongside some of the most talented, patriotic and brave individuals America has to offer. I’m a proud graduate of the U.S. Naval War College. I have done multiple tours, and politics has never entered into my service. I have served under five presidents of both parties; when you wear the uniform, you serve the commander-in-chief. We take an oath, as officers, to the Constitution, not to a political party.
The service academies have traditionally been no-go zones for partisan politics. These hallowed institutions are where people come together to give their best and ensure our military’s future officers have the tools and education they need to successfully lead. Until now, just days before the 9/11 anniversary, no administration ever attempted to turn the service academies into an ideological weapon. Remember, it was Joe Biden who, in his inauguration, pledged to bring America together and unite our nation.
It is disappointing and tragic that just days from the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks that President Biden and the White House press secretary have chosen to act in this manner. Instead of unifying America, this president is tearing us apart by engaging in partisan politics when he should be working to bring stranded Americans home from Afghanistan.
Sean Spicer is host of “Spicer & Co.” weekdays on Newsmax, president of RigWil LLC consulting firm, and adviser to Republican candidates. The former White House press secretary has been a House of Representatives communicator, National Republican Congressional Committee strategist, assistant U.S. trade representative and Republican National Committee communications director.