“What we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk show host,” Mr Kirby said.
Mr Carlson made the comments while discussing a Chinese initiative to increase “masculinity” among its military ranks.
“While China’s military becomes more masculine as its assembled the world’s largest navy, our military, as Joe Biden says, needs to become more feminine — whatever feminine means anymore since men and women no longer exist,” Mr Carlson said. “The bottom line is it’s out of control and the Pentagon is going along with it. Again, this is a mockery of the U.S. military and its core mission, which is winning wars.”
Mr Kirby said the Department of Defense was not interested in Mr Carlson’s commentary or the troop readiness tactics employed by the Chinese military.
“Maybe those folks feel like they have something to prove, that’s on them,” Mr Kirby said. “We know we’re the greatest military in the world today, and even for all the things we need to improve.”
Mr Kirby went on to say that the US military is “better and more effective” when it is representative of all American people.
Mr Carlson’s comments sparked backlash among military and veterans groups, many of which pointed out that the Fox News host never served in the military.
Rep. Mike Sherrill, who formerly flew helicopters in the US Navy, criticised Mr Carlson for his comments.
“I served with women who risked their lives to protect our country. Tucker did not,” Mr Sherrill said. “While he denigrates those who serve, our military remains the best fighting force due, in large part, to our amazing servicewomen.”
Scott Stalker, the senior enlisted leader of the US Space Command who has served for 28 years, said Mr Carlson’s comments were little more than “drama TV” and dismissed his critique because it was based on “actually zero days” of military service.
“Those decisions were made by medical professionals, by commanders and our civilian leadership, that allows for women to have more time with their children to recuperate, to get fit and ready,” Mr Stalker said.