Military and Police

Why the Salcido Story Matters

“So, to some, this story of a teacher voicing his opinion may mean nothing, but it means everything to the future defense of our nation and way of life.”

On January 26, in a viral video, Gregory Salcido asked his students to “think about the people who you know who are over there—your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever—they’re dumbs**ts. They’re not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people.”

He even went as far as saying “that military service members are ‘the freakin’ lowest of our low. Not morally—I’m not saying they make bad moral decisions—they’re not talented people.” He voiced his personal opinions of the failure of US warfighting policies in the Middle East and Vietnam.

But a lot of the media coverage of this story focuses on the teacher and his words instead of his ideology. One truly problematic fact remains about this ideology.

He’s not the only one who believes it.

Sure, we’ve known for a long time that people thought this way. The only reason it’s major news is that he got caught on video saying it.

Look at any left-leaning college professor, journalist, or major media outlet—or that one Starbucks barista that’s “in the resistance”—and you find hundreds of examples of the same poisonous ideology. That serving in the military isn’t noble. That only failures, social deviants, and the uneducated enlist in the armed forces. That the military is filled with killers and thugs whose only purpose is to perpetuate American imperialism.

This is the problem. The only thing Salcido did was highlight the fact that his opinion isn’t in the minority anymore. It’s being said and taught in our schools, papers, and in the media—that serving in the military isn’t a viable career and holds the same stigma as trade jobs, and it’s killing enlistment numbers.

Only about 20 percent to as low as 13 percent of people meet the standards necessary to enlist. In recent years, US recruiting efforts have been stunted due to candidates being overweight or having tattoos or drug and criminal records that disqualify the majority. Now, adding on the ideology as the majority opinion, you will see fewer and fewer qualified recruits choosing to serve over time. For the most part, most of the recruiting in the US is centered around certain families and communities with a history of military service.

Thus, the end result (if recruiting numbers continue to drop) is that the US would reinstate the draft just to keep manpower and readiness at minimal levels. Sec. Mattis has continually stated that military readiness is eroding. Weapons and equipment modernization are still needed to bring military readiness levels up to meet near-peer adversaries like Russia, and to add on problems of manpower retention and recruitment would be detrimental to our nation’s defense. If this poisonous ideology continues, more generations of young men and women will choose not to serve, placing a greater burden on the US and military families with a history of service.

So, to some, this story of a teacher voicing his opinion may mean nothing, but it means everything to the future defense of our nation and way of life.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Coy Mack

Coy Mack is the co-host of The Hooch podcast. Coy is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, serving in Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion 7th Marines in 2008.

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