Gary Volesky suspended from military after tweet mocking Jill Biden
“Glad to see you finally know what a woman is,” Volesky replied in a tweet that has since been deleted, according to USA Today, which reported the news earlier on Saturday.
For almost 50 years, women have had the right to decide for themselves about their bodies.
Today, that right has been stolen from us.
And though we are devastated by this injustice, we will not remain silent. We will not sit idly by as the progress we have already made recedes.
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) June 24, 2022
Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith told the Washington Post in a statement that Lt. Gen. Theodore Martin, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center, suspended Volesky from his senior mentor contract “pending the outcome of commander’s investigation. In the role, Volesky was among retired military officers or retired senior civilian officials who provide mentorship and training to Army officers, staff and students.
Volesky did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday afternoon. The White House declined to comment.
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Volesky, 60, is a decorated officer with a long military career. Before retiring from the military and being hired as a mentor, Volesky commanded I Corps, a major military formation, and led Joint Force Base Lewis-McChord from 2017 to 2020. From 2014 to 2017, he was commanded the 101st Airborne Division, renowned for its role on D-Day during World War II. From 2012 to 2014, he was the head of the army’s public affairs division.
Volesky served in the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan. He was awarded a Silver Star, the third highest military combat honor, for his involvement in military efforts in northeast Baghdad. He is a member of the advisory board of Unified Business Technologies, an information technology company headquartered in Michigan.
Volesky’s response to Biden’s tweet echoes an interaction between Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings this year. Blackburn, who has criticized a bill to strengthen LGBTQ protections, pressed Jackson to define the word “woman” in reference to transgender rights.
Transgender issues have taken on a new dimension following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, particularly around the use of the word ‘women’ to describe those affected by restrictions on abortion. Critics of transgender women – sometimes called trans-exclusive radical feminists (TERFs) – have denounced what they say is the inability to call themselves “women” as gender-inclusive language becomes more commonly used. On Monday, artists Bette Midler and Macy Gray came under fire for their recent comments on transgender issues.
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Volesky posted other political tweets, including a July 2021 response to a tweet from Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) in which she announced she would serve on the select committee investigating the attack. of January 6, 2021 against the United States Capitol by supporters of then President Donald Trump. She wrote: “Our oath to the Constitution must be above partisan politics.
Volesky tweeted in response, “It’s a matter of partisan politics.”
The political messages of retired military personnel are not new.
In 2016, retired Navy General John Allen endorsed Hillary Clinton for the presidency, while retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn called for Clinton to be locked up, and he later served as an adviser. to Trump’s national security before being fired for lying to federal investigators. . In 2019, retired Army General Stanley McChrystal called Trump “immoral” and said he didn’t believe the then-president was being truthful. Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven wrote a Washington Post opinion piece in 2020 criticizing Trump for undermining “every major American institution.”