2018 interview.While the program concluded in April, Kelley's role came to light again in recent days, sparking renewed debate about drag queen ambassadors, part of a wider conversation regarding drag shows and LGBTQ+ expression.Critics have expressed concerns over Drag Queen Story Hour, readings for children by drag performers at libraries, and have also voiced outrage over Jack Daniel's use of drag queens in marketing.Kelley's role as a digital ambassador—which the Navy described as an attempt to reach a wider range of potential recruits—provoked criticism from many online, while some defended the appointment.
Five active personnel were chosen for the role and did not receive compensation for their work.Robby Starbuck, a music producer who ran in a Republican congressional primary in 2022, described the initiative as "insane" on Tuesday.
He added: "The military has a huge recruiting/retention crisis because they went woke. How did they try to fix it? By going more woke."Republican Representative Jim Banks of Indiana wrote that "Biden DoD's [Department of Defense] recruitment is as good as Bud Light's marketing," an apparent nod to the backlash the beer brand has received over a partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.A U.S.
Navy spokesperson told Newsweek: "The Navy is proud of and stands by any person who is willing to take an oath to put their life on the line in defense of this nation."Much like the country we serve, our Navy is stronger when we draw upon our diverse resources, skills, capabilities and talents.