Marines Apologize, Will 'Adjust Fire' After Twitter War of Words Over Tucker Carlson

The II Marine Expeditionary Force has issued an apology for engaging in a Twitter spat with right-wing commentators over recent remarks made by Fox News host Tucker Carlson about what he claimed is the feminization of the U.S. military.

Carlson, whose popularity is owed in part to his inflammatory coverage of identity politics issues, sparked fury among military figures and others last week when he complained that President Joe Biden was presiding over America's transition to a more "feminine" military.

"Pregnant women are going to fight our wars," Carlson said Tuesday. "While China's military becomes more masculine as it has assembled the world's largest navy, our military needs to become—as Joe Biden says—more feminine."

II MEF's Information Center Twitter account added its voice to the criticism of the far-right television host on Friday, posting a picture of a female Marine carrying a comrade. "What it looks like in today's armed forces @TuckerCarlson," the account wrote. "Get right before you get left, boomer."

One user replied saying: "Please focus on China and not Tucker Carlson," prompting a dismissive rebuttal from the Marines account that read: "Come back when you've served and been pregnant."

Right-wing figures shared the exchange and criticized the Marines account for both shaming an American citizen and engaging in the politicized back and forth over Carlson's comments.

Far-right activist and conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec—long criticized for spreading far-right propaganda and disinformation—asked on Twitter: "Are these official statements from the @iimigofficial about how the Marines view U.S. civilians?"

Fellow far-right commentator, conspiracy theorist and anti-feminist Mike Cernovich said the Marines account had declared a "propaganda war on Tucker Carlson," telling followers: "The military isn't what you think it is. Time to cut budget in half."

Right-wing political strategist Bryan Dean Wright, meanwhile, said the Marines' posts were inappropriate coming from a non-partisan organization.

"With U.S. Marines tweeting partisan views on Govt accounts—and keeping their jobs all the while—we've crossed a red line," Wright wrote. "The Republic will not stand long when our military, intelligence, & law enforcement become political tools," he said, adding: "We are in desperate trouble."

The II MEF account later apologized in a reply to a tweet sent by Fox 11 Los Angeles reporter Bill Melugin, who said it was "pretty wild to see this tweet from an official US military account."

The II MEF account said: "We are human and we messed up. We intended to speak up for female Marines and it was an effort to support them. They are a crucial part to our corps and we need them to know that. We will adjust fire and ensure the utmost professionalism in our tweets."

Carlson's comments were roundly condemned by serving and former military officials. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said he shared the "revulsion" expressed after Carlson's show, adding: "What we absolutely won't do is take personnel advice from a talk show host or the Chinese military."

Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston was among those who came out to defend their female comrades. Grinston said Carlson's remarks were "divisive" and did not reflect the military's values.

"Women lead our most lethal units with character. They will dominate ANY future battlefield we're called to fight on," Grinston wrote. "We have THE MOST professional, educated, agile, and strongest NCO Corps in the world."

Tucker Carlson on stage in Los Angeles
This photo shows Tucker Carlson onstage during Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Politicon