by WorldTribune Staff, June 1, 2021
A farmer and officer in the Texas State Guard is taking a stand against what he called the chain of command’s indoctrination of the Guard “with themes of cultural Marxism and critical race theory.” His experience provides clues as to what other U.S. military forces may have been subjected in the early weeks of the Biden Administration.
Andy Hopper, a Warrant Officer assigned to Camp Mabry in Austin and candidate for the state Senate, wrote that he still feels the Guard “is made up of the most outstanding Texans,” but that, on May 22, “my unshakable pride in the Guard was rattled” when the Texas Guard was called to attend mandatory “anti-extremism” training.
“During monthly drill, we were ordered into an auditorium at Camp Mabry and indoctrinated with themes of cultural Marxism and critical race theory that characterizes the same DoD ‘extremism’ training that has been forced upon all federal troops since the January 6 rally for President Trump in Washington, D.C.”
Ultimately, Hopper wrote, “what I witnessed on May 22 was a case of leadership boldly weaponizing the chain of command to indoctrinate a left-wing political agenda of cultural Marxism, critical race theory, and moral relativism upon Military Forces of the State of Texas.”
He added: “I rose to forcefully remind the officers that they were misusing the chain of command to indoctrinate their political beliefs.”
Those carrying out the training session also drove home the point that “any belief or opinion of an independent Texas” was to be considered an “extreme” position, Hopper noted.
“Students were counseled to quickly remove any ‘SECEDE’ or ‘TEXIT’ bumper stickers from their cars. Clearly, the instructors and general officers seated in the front row had forgotten that Rep. Steve Toth, who is a Major in the Texas State Guard, co-authored HB1359, the Texas Independence Referendum Act (or ‘TEXIT’ bill). This bill had many authors and co-authors, including Reps. Kyle Biedermann, James White, Jeff Cason, Bryan Slaton, and Phil Stephenson,” Hopper noted.
Polls show that a majority of Republicans and over 30 percent of Democrats support Texas Independence.
“How can popularly held, mainstream views be considered ‘extreme?’ The answer is that these views are extreme to bureaucrats from Washington, D.C.,” Hopper wrote.
“I can tell you from experience that the idea of Texas Independence is not extreme in the Lone Star State. In the fall of 2020, I ran for Senate District 30. In less than a month, my family and friends knocked on around 4,000 doors. I became extremely familiar with the values of the 14 rural counties northwest of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. I met a lot of amazing Texans. A few of them are now my closest friends. One was even my opponent in the SD 30 race, a salon owner named Shelley Luther. I learned many things from Shelley and her husband, Tim, not the least of which is that standing firm for your convictions is not easy or safe, but it is necessary. In the end, we have to live with ourselves. Principles matter.”
Unlike the federal training, Hopper said the Camp Mabry training occurred “with a room full of Texas general officers,” which included the Commanding General of the Texas State Guard, Maj. Gen. Robert Bodisch,
“Texas is somewhat unique in that the Texas Military Forces is made up of no less than three branches: the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard,” Hopper noted. “The reporting structure is complex, but the bottom line is that the State Guard only reports to the Governor of Texas and cannot be federalized. The Department of Defense is not in our reporting structure and Washington D.C. has no role in the command of our state military forces.”
The training, Hopper noted, “was given by one senior NCO and several lawyers, and was preceded by a short reminder of the oath of office given by the CG. The reason given pertained to the ‘attack’ on the Capitol which led to the genesis of the prescribed training, and included the order of Biden’s Secretary of Defense to perform the mandatory training. Specifically, troops were told that there was a list of extremist organizations and that soldiers with ‘extreme’ views would be investigated. Troops were encouraged to report others that they felt held ‘extreme’ views.”
During a question and answer session, Hopper said the Texas Guard learned that “although it wasn’t clear who had the list of extremist organizations, that the NRA was known to be on the list. Troops were reminded that membership in the NRA would not necessarily be extreme, but that fundraising or recruiting members certainly would be. Specific examples of extremists who had been rooted out of the military in the past were given, and all of the examples presented to the class were of white, presumably ‘right-wing’ extremists that had done something overtly illegal.”
During the question and answer session, Hopper said he stood “and reminded the instructors that Article 1, Section 24 of the Texas Bill of Rights states that the ‘military shall be at all times subordinate to the civil authority.’ I asked what civil authority had ordered this training. One thing was clear: the Texas Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Tracy R. Norris, ordered Bodisch to conduct the DoD training, but no civil authority was offered. It should also be noted that while the Texas State Guard is a state agency, no other state agency has been asked to take ‘extremist’ training.”