A conservative legal group is demanding the Navy launch an investigation into branch drag queen Harpy Daniels for allegedly violating existing military protocols by engaging in partisan politics and disrespecting his superiors.
In a letter sent to high-ranking Naval officials on Monday, America First Legal (AFL) contends that Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley — an active-duty drag queen who goes by the stage name Harpy Daniels and identifies as “nonbinary” — has “repeatedly engaged in partisan activity, behaved in ways that discredit the military, publicly criticized his command, and misused his uniform for personal gain.”
Last month, The Daily Caller reported that the Navy had recruited Kelley to be a “Navy Digital Ambassador.” According to the report, the Digital Ambassador pilot program ran from October 2022 to March 2023 and was designed to “explore the digital environment to reach a wide range of potential candidates” for military recruitment.
In its letter, AFL highlighted several instances of Kelley purportedly violating existing military codes. While the Defense Department prohibits active-duty service members from “solicit[ing] votes for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause,” Kelley has issued numerous social media posts supportive of Democrats and antagonistic toward Republicans.
During the 2018 midterms, Kelley allegedly retweeted posts calling for people to elect Georgia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and “vote in a Democratic majority in the midterms and in the White House in 2020.” He also issued a tweet of his own on Nov. 9, 2018, celebrating congressional Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, writing “The Blue Wave is here and taking Storm.”
Such partisan behavior continued into the 2020 election, in which Kelley tweeted that “[I]f [he] was out of uniform [he’d] speak so much more of [his] political view.”
“[J]ust know I mailed my vote and it was blue,” he wrote on Oct. 13.
Roughly two weeks before that post, Kelley accused then-President Donald Trump, the commander-in-chief of the U.S. military, of “agree[ing] to white supremacy” and told his Twitter followers to “Please vote, if not yet registered!! #Democrat.” Kelley also retweeted a Sept. 29, 2020, post leveling the same accusation against Trump that included the caption, “Vote this piece of sh-t out.”
In addition to Trump, Kelley has also seemingly displayed similar acts of disrespect toward senior military service members. On June 11, 2019, for example, Kelley tweeted, “All of 7th fleet is lazy.” According to AFL, this claim pertains to “at least two Admirals … and two Master Chief Petty Officers.”
“The Navy cannot have one standard for political conservatives … or nonpartisan individuals … and another more generous standard for YN2 Kelley and others who share his views,” AFL Counsel Jacob Meckler wrote. “Therefore, we respectfully write to request that you open an immediate investigation into YN2 Joshua Kelley’s conduct to prevent further damage to the Navy’s reputation and promptly restore good order and discipline within the ranks.”
Kelley appears to have deleted his Twitter account following AFL’s publication of the letter.