Veterans On Duty (VOD) was founded in 2022 by veterans of the Global War on Terror. Our purpose is to fight for policies that guarantee the longevity of the American way of life. We live in dangerous times. Threats to the American homeland today are worse than during the Cold War. We have watched with concern as elected officials have weakened our country and its Armed Forces. VOD will fight to elect, educate, and energize Americans who share our passion for preserving the blessings of American liberty.
An America That Wins
VOD believes that a large, major-power war would be the single most traumatic event in our Nation’s long history—worse even than World Wars I and II. If an enemy chooses to test us in battle, the U.S. Armed Forces must be primed and ready.
The sole purpose of a military is to train for war and, if called upon, win that war. The United States must never seek war or conflict, but if war and conflict find us, we must be prepared to settle it on our terms and on our timeline. Victory must come as fast as possible with the lowest possible cost in life. The American people have a right to insist that their military functions as designed: as a war-winning engine that will not rest until total victory is realized. But America does not have a preordained right to success on the battlefield. If we do not fight for a military that wins, we must resign ourselves to a military that loses. And with it, the consequences that follow.
In a time of unprecedented threats to the American homeland, the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps are their smallest size since the days before World War II. The Air Force is its smallest and oldest in history. Many bomber pilots fly the same aircraft their grandfathers flew in Korea and Vietnam. This represents an unprecedented risk to our national security—a risk Americans should find intolerable.
America must never make herself an easy target. Because the combined threat from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and transnational terrorism has surpassed the threat posed by the Soviet Union, VOD believes the military must, at a minimum, return to Cold War-levels of military readiness and strength. As America is a proud maritime power—and given China’s new claim to the world’s largest navy—our military rebuild must start with our fleet. But all elements of our Armed Forces, from the land to the sea to the skies to space and cyberspace, must be made ready for the harsh realities of 21st-century conflict.
When our sons and daughters go into battle, the American people must have the assurance that they go in with the best training, equipment, and leadership in the world. But political leaders have let our servicemembers down. They have allowed the rot of politics to take root in the military and used taxpayer money to fund the decay. They have turned the Pentagon into a glorified jobs program—with its number of civilian federal employees at its highest in history—when the services maintain the lowest troop levels in decades. They insist the military distract itself from true threats like China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and transnational terrorism and instead concentrate on divisive political issues—most notably, controversial and racist diversity, equity, and inclusion policies. They have crushed our troops with mountains of paperwork at the expense of hard, physical training and realistic battle planning. This profound lack of focus weakens our national security and diminishes the reputation of America’s Armed Forces. It is long past time for Americans to say “enough.”
Success on the battlefield cannot be achieved solely by American troops but by the combined might of our allied forces. We advocate for strengthened ties with our treaty allies and partners, provided those friends and allies pay their fair share of the defense burden. The United States should use strong diplomatic efforts to persuade allied nations to commit to greater defense spending and combat training, and ensure they follow through. We should seek to increase opportunities to train with our allies whenever feasible to ensure seamless allied combat operations and intelligence sharing. It is only by ensuring the strength of those who will fight alongside us in battle that we decrease the chances of a difficult and protracted conflict with capable rivals like China and Russia.