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Gen. Milley says drag shows on military bases ‘shouldn’t be happening’

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify to the Senate Appropriations Committee, June 17, 2021. (DoD Photo by Chad J. McNeeley)
April 03, 2023

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley recently said that he doesn’t agree with drag events on U.S. military bases and thinks they “shouldn’t be happening.”

During a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) questioned Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Milley about multiple drag events held on U.S. military bases, including a “Drag Queen Storytime” for children at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, which was eventually canceled following backlash.

After Gaetz listed off several news headlines highlighting drag events on military bases, Milley said, “I’d like to take a look at those myself and find out what actually is going on there because that’s the first I’m hearing about that kind of stuff. I’d like to take a look at those because I don’t agree with those. I think those things shouldn’t be happening.”

During the hearing, Gaetz also asked Austin “how much taxpayer money” should be used to fund “drag queen story hours on military bases.”

“Drag queen story hours is not something that the department funds,” Austin responded.

“Well, wait a second. That’s actually not what the record seems to suggest,” Gaetz continued. “You were going to fund one at Ramstein Air Force Base. That one got canceled, but that’s [Department of Defense] insignia. That’s a drag queen story hour for children.”

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“Then also at Malmstrom Air Force Base outside of Great Falls, Montana, you had a drag queen story hour for kids. At Joint Base Langley-Eustis, you put on a drag queen story hour on a Saturday for the first ever kid-friendly diversity, equity and inclusion summer festival,” Gaetz added. “At Nellis Air Force Base, you had the ‘Drag You Nellis’ on June 17. Who funded these things, Mr. Secretary?”

“Listen, drag shows are not something that the Department of Defense supports or funds,” Austin replied.

Gaetz pressed Austin, asking, “Why are they happening on military bases? I just showed you the evidence. Why are they happening?”

“I will say again,” Austin said. “This is not something that we support or fund.”

Gaetz concluded by asserting Austin’s repeated claim is not supported by the evidence.