Masters explicitly called for a wholesale firing of the generals at least seven times between August 2021 and March 2022, according to a VICE News review of his remarks, and harshly criticized military leadership numerous other times. “I think you probably want to fire most or all the generals and replace them with apolitical colonels, who will probably have conservative politics,” he said during a September 2021 Twitter Spaces event hosted by Josiah Lippincott, whose Twitter account has since been suspended, according to a recording of the event obtained by VICE News.In November, Masters put out a tweet calling the top generals “woke corporate bozos” and released an accompanying video where he proclaimed “our military leadership is totally incompetent.”
“I would love to see all the generals get fired. You take the most conservative colonels, you promote them to general.”
Peter Feaver, a former Navy lieutenant commander who served on the National Security Council during both President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush’s administrations and the author of multiple books on civil-military relations, said Masters and other conservatives were misunderstanding military leadership with their criticism of “woke” leadership.
“We just have to get serious again. And it means purging the military of the left-wing generals.”
“If you want to do something that would politicize the force and undermine lethality you could hardly design a more effective tool than to fire all the senior military leaders and then replace them with people chosen solely for their political views and not their professional merit. That is what Masters seems to be proposing,” he said. “That's close to what Stalin and Putin did. And that didn't work out well for them. Master’s cure is far worse than the disease.”Masters and his campaign didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.Much of Masters’ specific ire has been directed at Gen. Mark Milley, who Trump appointed chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in late 2018. Masters and other conservatives were enraged by Milley’s defense of a course at the U.S. Military Academy that included study of critical race theory last summer.
“That's close to what Stalin and Putin did. And that didn't work out well for them. Master’s cure is far worse than the disease.”