Military Don’t Tread on Me Patch

By | March 28, 2021

[March 28, 2021]  You just gotta love the U.S. military.  Once again, the Navy is considering banning their First Navy Jack patch.  “Disappointing” is what one Navy petty officer said to me over coffee.  I believe this sentiment is common when Navy personnel see their senior leaders as overly concerned about the patch with the motto Don’t Tread on Me.

With new leadership at the Department of Defense, some military troops are seeing a troubling trend.  And, this is not new.  The U.S. military has long focused on warfighting.  They also give their personnel plenty of freedom, typically restricting political speech when in uniform or not allowing classified information to be openly disseminated.

In 2013, a former SEAL and author, Carl Higbie, wrote that some Navy units had banned the first Navy Jack patch because it was associated with the tea party.  The Navy backed down and denied this ban was a consideration.1  Navy personnel typically wear a camouflage version of the first Navy Jack.

A new development is scrutinizing military workforce social media accounts, articles, and statements they made regarding the recent presidential election.  For example, those that expressed reservations about possible voting improprieties have been targeted for disciplinary action.  Many retired flag officers I’ve spoken to have a real problem with the way our troops are being treated.

The new Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, is also a concern because he is not stopping these actions.  He seems to encourage it.  To me, the biggest problem is DoD’s failure to focus its efforts (as measured in resource allocation and command directives) on warfighting and the emerging threats from China and unconventional warfare.

DoD priorities should not be about transgender issues and other issues that have nothing to do with their primary mission to deter America’s enemies.  We will see more wokeism at work in the DoD, and we will all be less safe because of it.

Banning the Don’t Tread on Me patch is symbolic of government misplaced priorities and a societal lack of understanding about the seriousness of maintaining a powerful military.  We are about to enter an era of a “woke” military and that is a problem more serious than we can imagine.


  1. Navy: No Ban on ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Patch – WSJ


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

22 thoughts on “Military Don’t Tread on Me Patch

  1. Army Vet

    There is an internal battle going on that nearly every American does not see. It is on-going within the military. There is the new generation that believes the military’s primary function is to support new social experiments into what a man or woman is or is not. They want men in dresses and dancing with a tutu. They see the US military as a reflection of toxic manhood. They want to destroy it from within. And on the other side are American Patriots. Who will win?

    1. Mark Evans

      Army Vet, we miss you here at Gen. Satterfield’s leadership site. Please write more of your hard-hitting articles. 👍

  2. Joe Omerrod

    It is really scary when I realize the direction our military is headed. When their primary task is to give way for transgenderism and ignore the pressing issue of deterring our enemies, then all is lost. Gen, now SecDef Lloyd Austin (the first black SecDef) will go down in history as helping destroy the United States military and our nation (from within).

    1. Purse 5

      Joe, you are soooo right. Gen. Satterfield has given us a real analysis and I fear that he is right on top of what is happening. Note that Army Vet has written about it in the past. I hope both write more articles on it to expose the destruction to the disinfectant of publicity.

    2. Wendy Holmes

      Yes, this is real scary. Just imagine that the first black DoD head Lloyd Austin is also the first to help destroy the DoD’s ability to wage war. Hmmmm, I see a problem here.

  3. Harry B. Donner

    Powerful article. It is appreciated. Gen. Satterfield, please consider a second part to this article where you explain things in greater depth. Thanks.

  4. Army Vet

    I personally know several senior officers who worked for the new Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin when he was a General in the US Army. I’m sad to report that altho he is a really smart guy, he cannot be trusted to make hard decisions that require him to put his career on the line. They are convinced he will help usher in this radical leftist idea of PC culture and such because he thinks blacks have been put down and need to be compensated. He is, in fact, a soft racist because he believes blacks are not smart enough to better themselves.

    1. Scotty Bush

      Wow, Army Vet. Strong words. I hope you are not right about Lloyd Austin. I hope he stands against the woke ideology that I see infiltrating all sectors of society. I’d hoped the US military would be able to resist.

  5. Max Foster

    For those that want to jump straight to the heart of Gen. Satterfield’s article, read his last paragraph, “Banning the Don’t Tread on Me patch is symbolic of government misplaced priorities and a societal lack of understanding about the seriousness of maintaining a powerful military. We are about to enter an era of a “woke” military and that is a problem more serious than we can imagine.” If that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

    1. Jerome Smith

      Good point Max. This is another reason we must stand up against anti-Americanism, the force that brought down so many tyrannical governments and struck at the heart of terrorism around the world.

  6. Nick Lighthouse

    Let’s not forget that any organization reflects the most senior leader’s personality and desires. Now we will have an Army like Joe “china” Biden. Wow, how will that work out.

  7. Willie Shrumburger

    Excellent article, once again Gen. Satterfield and appreciate you alerting those of us who don’t have personal links to those in the military. Our soldiers are being purged – those that are true patriots who just want a strong military with strong warriors. Sad. Very very sad.

  8. Tony Cappalo

    Great article but Gen. Satterfield, you caught me off guard on your concluding paragraph. Wokeism has been infecting our military for a long time. Now the disease – and it is a disease that kills (our capabilities) – will begin to kill off our ability to deter enemies.

  9. Rev. Michael Cain

    For those who have not noticed, go to Gen. Satterfield’s DAILY FAVORITES tab and read two articles on the impact of a “woke” military and what it means to all of us. This is scary.

    1. Jeff Blackwater

      Yes, I’m afraid that it is happening. Our most senior leaders simply do not care about the common soldier, sailor, Marine, airman. They only care about their career and if that means going ‘woke’ based upon what Pres Joe Biden says, then so be it. I call it simple cowardice.

      1. Fred Weber

        Yep,, that is a common way of thinking about it but I’m more convinced there is a real lack of moral courage.

    2. Tom Bushmaster

      I agree with you both that this is not just scary but also so very sad. I see it in the troops who eat lunch near where I live. They are being indoctrinated to HATE their country because we are so RACIST. Go figure that it didn’t take long for Joe Biden to instill his radical anti-Americanism in our military.

    3. JT Patterson

      Thanks Rev Cain for the note. I didn’t notice it, so appreciate the heads up. 👍

      1. Silly Man

        This is just too sad. Now, it is up to us to do something about it and not just whine about what is happening.


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