Navy Recruitment Down, Their Solution Is a Drag Queen Ad Campaign

( – There are many reasons for the U.S. armed forces all being under their recruitment goals. Perhaps near the top is the perceived ‘woke agenda’ of the branches. Enter Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, otherwise known as drag queen “Harpy Daniels.” The United States Navy has decided to raise their recruitment numbers the solution is to go more woke. They say a media campaign featuring Kelley as both himself and his Daniels persona will “attract the most talented and diverse workforce.”

Kelley took to his social media account on the Chinese run TikTok and Meta’s Instagram to detail his experiences of bringing drag performances onboard his vessel. He sees himself as a champion and “advocate” for people like himself who have been “oppressed” within the U.S. armed services for years. Kelley wrote to his followers that he is proud to be one of the Navy’s new digital ambassadors. He ended his statement by saying “hooya, and let’s go slay!” Digital ambassadors are part of a program where people are chosen by the Navy to reach a wide-range of potential recruits on social media. Thus far the program features five different active-duty personnel to highlight and drive up recruitment of which ‘Harpy Daniels’ is one. 

Kelley says he was doing drag prior to joining the Navy and feared once he joined the Navy would have influenced him to stop doing it. However, he says how elated he was when he performed a drag lip sync show while deployed on the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan in 2017 and 2018. He says that ship life can be difficult and stressful and for him performing in drag onboard is his passion and art. Kelley said his goal within the Navy is to reach officer rank while simultaneously building his drag following to build “safe spaces for queer individuals” and to hopefully one day appear on the television show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

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