I started this current series to discuss what is wrong with our country and what we need to do to fix it. While I have discussed some of the topics that I will be including in this series, they have been included in other articles. In this series I will concentrate on a single topic. This will also mean that some of the articles may be slightly shorter than my readers have grown accustomed to, however they will still be written with the same attention to detail. This series will have no set number of articles and will continue to grow as I come across additional subjects.
The Woke Takeover of the U.S. Military Endangers Us All
A lieutenant colonel was dismissed from his post after bashing and critical race theory.
Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier was fired this month as commander of a U.S. Space Force unit. His “offense”? Speaking the truth about critical race theory’s rapid inroads among America’s armed forces.
The woke left views the military as a crucial ideological battlefield. And much of the brass and civilian leadership at the Pentagon are prepared to fight—on behalf of the woke cause. Lohmeier, it seems, was an early casualty in this ideological offensive, but likely not the last.
Imposing anti-American racial ideologies on our troops directly threatens our national security, by spreading ideas that undermine confidence in the principles underpinning our Constitution, trust in our system of government and traditional values that promote unity, cohesion and equality among service members. That’s classic CRT.
Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Space guardians take an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and all that it stands for. Instructing them that our Constitution, and the beliefs incorporated into it by the Founders, were meant to perpetuate white supremacy is reprehensible; it cries for urgent congressional examination and pushback. Yet that’s precisely what troops are being taught, according to Lohmeier.
As a reward for blowing the whistle, Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, the head of Space Operations Command, reportedly removed Lohmeier as commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron.
Lohmeier described to radio host Steve Gruber the “intensive teaching that I heard at my base—that at the time the country ratified the United States Constitution, it codified white supremacy as the law of the land. If you want to disagree with that, then you start [being] labeled all manner of things, including racist.”
Lohmeier felt called to write a book about the crisis, because he worried that military leaders are inculcating the troops in fundamentally contradictory and distorted narratives about the nation, its history and identity. He “recognized those narratives as being Marxist in nature.”
On another show, Lohmeier shared more concerns that motivated him to speak out, saying that “the diversity, inclusion and equity industry and the trainings we are receiving in the military” are further examples of Marxist ideas that included critical race theory.
A Pentagon official told CNN that Lohmeier had been relieved of his duties “due to loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead.” Officials are also investigating whether his comments amount to proscribed partisan commentary.
But what, exactly, did the Pentagon find objectionable in what Lohmeier said? His concerns seem entirely warranted. One of us (Wood) served two decades in the Marine Corps and can find nothing Lohmeier said in either interview that could be considered political, insubordinate or disrespectful.
The firing has served one useful purpose, however: It has drawn attention to the administration’s apparent intent to introduce wrong-headed and highly inflammatory Marxist ideologies into military ranks.
Lohmeier’s exposé jibes with ideological indoctrination underway in other branches. Consider the Navy’s Professional Reading Program. It includes books that portray America as systemically racist and promotes the view that the Constitution was written to perpetuate white supremacy. That the Space Force has now relieved a unit commander for expressing his concerns about this type of education and training material within his service suggests this is no isolated case.
The Defense Department is now reportedly considering hiring a private company to monitor the free speech of military personal on social media, using key words or algorithms that by their very nature reflect the perspective of those who select the words and write the algorithms. The relentless drive to enforce conformity within the military with a preferred leftist narrative is troubling, especially as it reinforces the Marxist tendency Lohmeier warned about.
The American people and our elected representatives should not only be aware of what is going on within the Department of Defense, but speak out as boldly and courageously as has Lohmeier. As a nation, we call upon our military to defend what is best of America. Efforts to undermine and disparage that are unconscionable, harmful not only to our security, but also to the very essence of what the United States represents. It should not be tolerated.
The Problem with a ‘Woke’ Military
A push for progressive policies in the military bureaucracy threatens the unity and meritocracy that make our armed forces effective.
The author used to belong to a war-fighting organization, where we were taught a shared set of Army values. We were taught mission accomplishment before all else, enforced by “mission first and people always.” Within the Department of Defense (DoD) Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan we are told that “diversity is a strategic imperative — critical to mission readiness and accomplishment.” We are also told, by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, that it must be a priority for the military “to look like America and not only in the ranks, but our leadership should look like America.” On the surface, this sounds okay. But it flips what had long been a soldier’s commitment to the Army and mission: The new priority turns the Army into a social experiment at the cost of mission readiness. The new push within the DoD for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goes well beyond measures to ensure equal opportunity and instead looks to create preferences that have nothing to do with merit. Our military will suffer if it does not change course.
Believing that the Army should be and has been the best example of a meritocracy in the history of the world has become a forbidden position. The only acceptable position now is full acceptance of all elements of DEI. Examples abound, from the more benign recent recruiting messages depicting cartoon stories — one of an “activist” soldier — all the way to creating a new permanent DEI infrastructure to push policies in line with critical race theory. That I am not allowed to openly hold the position that war-fighting and combat readiness should be the Army’s top priority, while being force-fed a radical DEI agenda, demonstrates the open erosion of mission-first principles within the military.
This is a real and serious change, and politician veterans such as Senator Tom Cotton and Representative Dan Crenshaw are right to be worried about it. The Army used to be a values-based organization focused on mission accomplishment above all else. These values were drilled into every soldier during initial entry training and reinforced at unit level. This was done through two long-standing Army traditions, an inability to spell and the overwhelming need to make everything an acronym. So we settled on LDRSHIP (pronounced “leadership”): loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. These values were all pitched toward the idea of leaving your past behind, as you had become part of an organization with a larger purpose. Diversity is not our strength; our shared values and singularity of purpose toward mission accomplishment is our strength. In fact, to “fight and win our nation’s wars,” we need conformity toward the mission-first mindset. We were taught that what came before the Army did not matter. All that matters was how you form a team to accomplish a wide range of demanding mission sets.
The Army does not exist to care for soldiers. Soldiers should not join the Army to be cared for by the Army. It is called “service” for a reason, and military members are still the most respected profession in the country because of the acknowledgment of the sacrifices required for service. Soldiers enter the Army fully understanding the individual sacrifices required for service. While individual welfare is important, it is secondary to mission accomplishment.
By definition, the Army is not inclusive. You can be excluded from service for a wide range of reasons, many (though not all) of which are out of the control of the potential recruit. We have all heard that over 70 percent of our youth are not qualified for military service, because we are exclusively looking for people who can meet the physical and physiological demands of service. If Austin really wanted a military that “look[ed] like America,” he would have to abandon such requirements entirely. Now of course, military exclusivity should be directly related to one’s ability or inability to perform the role one is potentially being recruited for. But to say that DEI policies are always strategic imperatives, without offering any evidence as to why, is simply fantasy.
It is true that recruiting from a broad breadth of society will strengthen the military, by ensuring the whole of the country is vested in defense of the nation. However, the idea that celebrating and promoting “diversity and inclusion” — emphasizing things such as race, religion, gender, or other non-merit-based traits instead of focusing on common culture and combat readiness — enhances the Army lacks evidence. In fact, DEI should not be used in any decisions within military manning or policy after initial recruitment. Attempting to highlight these external “traits” as bearing weight in making decisions for assignments, policy, or training ignores what the real strength of the military is. Unity of purpose and a shared set of core military values of individual merit is what binds us, not lumping people into “diversity” buckets.
Instead of focusing on war-fighting principles and shared values, the Army has decided to engage in a constant bombardment in the name of equity, from rolling out ill-conceived training on everything from unconscious bias to critical race theory and standing up DEI offices at every level. The Special Operations Command Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2021 outlines what the rest of the force can expect: “Establish corporate diversity and inclusion infrastructure throughout the enterprise . . . to build a permanent framework for sustained, meaningful efforts.” The idea is to create a new permanent bureaucracy to enforce “equity” regardless of merit. The document even boasts, under best practices, that they have added “unconscious bias [training and] . . . diversity and inclusion modules to its Executive Training with the goal of advancing and messaging diversity and inclusion.”
The Army People Strategy from September 2020 has an entire annex dedicated to “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” This document calls for the creation of permanent organizations with the following as an ultimate goal: “Army resources all DEI agencies and staff to levels that allow continuous monitoring, assessing, and updating of DEI policies, programs, and procedures which seek to prevent biases against any Soldier or Civilian.” In other words, you will comply or else, and diversity is a strategic imperative because we say so. “The Army . . . must also understand how to communicate why DEI is critical to the success of the Army profession and how to appreciate, leverage, and integrate principles of DEI into all aspects of its operations.” (Emphasis added.)
I fully expect to see DEI officers at every level — who will operate outside of the command they are there to “support” — to ensure that quotas are met and that radicalized, race-based training is conducted. The strategy states that it is imperative to “ensure DEI principles and policies are integrated into the Army Campaign Plan, Army People Strategy, and Army talent-management processes for all military and civilian personnel.” In other words, goals and targets will be met regardless of the effect on the fighting force, and the new DEI bureaucracy will be there to ensure your compliance. It goes on to say that the Army will “establish and implement procedures for achieving desired Army diversity outcomes through diversity policy and talent management principles and practices.” (Emphasis added.) Let there be no doubt, this is well beyond equal opportunity: This is race- and sex-based preferences.
Military skills are unique, so your past experiences lend you little aid. The military truly is a humbling experience to all. It forces people to either rise to the occasion or fall by the wayside, neither of which has anything to do with race, sex, or other immutable (but superfluous) traits. The only way to succeed is to conform to the military team mindset and judge those around you by how they contribute to the team and mission, while rejecting those who refuse to honor the military values and individual merit. To remain the fighting force this country needs, military leaders should discard this nonsense that the military is systemically oppressive and requires DEI-based correction. They should instead highlight the military as the example where your past does not matter, but only your willingness to work toward a common mission does. Show the military for what it is: an organization in which our unity and our values are our strength.
These DEI efforts are not designed to unite us but instead look to create a permanent structure to ensure that “woke” policies are enforced throughout the Army, with little or no thought given to mission priorities. I have yet to see a single document about DEI that makes a creditable case that DEI efforts are designed foremost with mission accomplishment in mind. These new DEI policies and offices are not designed to unite us. Indeed, they go well beyond a simple distraction from mission priorities. They are being pushed as the priority. Bring back war-fighting and mission-first mindset as our priorities. After all, it is only the defense of the free world at stake.
What Critics of the “Woke” Army Don’t Understand
Military commanders have long felt their personnel should understand the country they are defending.
The Army has recently come under attack by congressional Republicans for committing the crime of being too “woke.” The prosecution’s exhibit A, waved at a House hearing last week, is a course taught at West Point—the Army’s military academy—called “The Politics of Race, Gender, Class, and Sexuality.” Also noted, in ominous tones, was a recent daylong stand-down of all Army personnel to discuss white supremacy and extremism within the ranks.
Is this, critics on Capitol Hill and Fox News have asked, what our fighting men and women should be thinking about? If they’re taught about racial disparities, won’t they cease to regard one another as equals on the battlefield?
Here are some important facts to keep in mind. First, West Point has had a social science department since just after World War II, when senior Army officers realized that military leaders would have to know more about politics, society, and history to function in an expansive, democratic America. Requiring cadets to take some social sciences courses, and even creating a “Sosh” major, did not detract from their military drills and training.
Second, the course at West Point on race, gender, class, and sexuality was created and incorporated into the curriculum in 1999—long before “woke” or “critical race theory” became buzzwords. It was proposed and designed by a professor of foreign policy at the time, Maj. Isaiah Wilson, who went on to rank first in his class at the Army’s Command and General Staff College, was hired by Gen. David Petraeus to be his chief of plans during the Iraq war, and is now president of the Joint Special Operations University. In other words, he’s no softie. The professor teaching the course now, a civilian named Rachel Yon, took it over from Wilson in 2012—again, predating the kerfuffle over wokeness and CRT. (Yon was one of Wilson’s professors at West Point when he was a student in the ’90s; in other words, she’s not a fashionable hire.)
Third, Wilson thought it was important to teach such a class at West Point because, like many American institutions, the Army has never been a mainstay of racial or gender equality—and, as more Blacks and women rose through the ranks, the presence of prejudice was emerging as an issue, so the rank and file should at least be aware of it. (Wilson himself is African American.)
Nor has the issue vanished in the last 22 years. Senior officers have recently expressed alarm over the finding that many members of white-supremacist militias were once (or still are) in the armed forces. In response, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin appointed a commission to explore how to root out extremism. The daylong shutdown to discuss the problem—which critics have also complained about—was part of the campaign.
A pivotal shift in the open acknowledgment of the problem—and even of a systematic racial bias within the Army and within West Point—came just last year, during the protests over the police murder of George Floyd. These protests coincided with a bourgeoning movement to change the names of 10 Army bases, all in southern states, that bore the names of slaveholding Confederate generals.
In an article in the Atlantic almost exactly a year ago, Petraeus wrote that, in his years as an active-duty officer, often stationed at those bases,
I never thought much about these men—about the nature of their service during the Civil War. Nor did I think about the message those names sent to the many African Americans serving on these installations—messages that should have been noted by all of us.
Nor, when he was a cadet and later a professor at West Point, did Petraeus question the veneration on display toward Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who was a great commander but also—like all the other Confederate officers—guilty of treason. “We were not encouraged to think about the cause for which” Lee had fought, he wrote, “at least not in our military history classes.”
Petraeus told me that it was only after he retired from the Army, in 2011, that he “started thinking about how strange it was that the leaders of the fight against the Union were more widely honored—with their names on federal forts, roads, barracks, gates, housing areas, etc.—than were those who fought for the country.” These thoughts deepened as he read several biographies of Pres. Ulysses S. Grant, the Union Army commander and later two-term president, who was honored hardly at all either at West Point or at Army bases. Petraeus said that he had “been mulling for some time” that the Army should publicly address this dishonor. “The events of recent weeks,” he said, referring to the Floyd murder and the subsequent protests, “were the catalyst” to writing his Atlantic essay.
That brings us to Secretary Austin and to Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were both slammed by congressional Republicans at a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week. Florida Reps. Matt Gaetz and Michael Waltz, the latter a former Army Green Beret, led the charge, citing cadets and their parents who were disturbed by the stand-down to discuss extremism and the divisiveness of classes on race.
“Thanks for your anecdotal input,” Austin replied. “I have gotten 10 times that amount of input, 50 times that amount of input, on the other side that has said, ‘Hey, we’re glad to have had the ability to have a conversation with ourselves and with our leadership.’”
Milley dug in deeper. “I want to understand white rage—and I’m white,” he said. “What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America. I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country which we are here to defend?”
A few things are worth noting here, as well.
First, nether Austin nor Milley would like to be dealing with these sorts of issues. Both have commanded troops in battle. (Austin is a retired four-star Army general.) Milley graduated from Princeton and holds an M.A. in international relations from Columbia, but, a retired officer who knows him told me, “he likes to portray himself as a guy who got to Princeton by being a hockey player and proceeded to be part of the bottom half of the class that helped the top half achieve what they did.” Still, they see that race and gender are not merely social issues but national-security issues and that dealing with these thorny problems is part of their jobs.
Second, their critics, most of whom had never heard of critical race theory a year ago and couldn’t define it now, are simply using the debate as a way to score points against Democrats—and, in some cases, to shove race, including suppression of Black voters in elections, off the table as a valid issue.
However, third, the critics do have a point. In various institutions, CRT has been distorted beyond all recognition by both sides of the debate; race as a determinative issue has been overstated and has sharpened social tensions. One retired senior Army officer, who asked not to be identified, not wanting to become a part of this debate, told me,
As a general proposition, I am concerned that, over the years, the military has devoted an inordinate amount of time/attention to social issues of the day and a variety of topics not related to preparation for operations. That said, if we screw up these issues—as we have from time to time—then the aftermath can distract enormously as well… So, it’s tough to get the right balance.
It would be good to have a substantive debate on this issue, but that’s become hard, if not impossible, now that it’s devolved into a tool of partisan warfare.
Milley and other officers like him have been trained to avoid partisan fights for as long as they’re in uniform (and even beyond). But they’re not the ones who are indulging in politics. They know the history. In the late 1940s, racial integration of the troops was denounced by many as turning the military into a social experiment, to the detriment of national security. In more recent years, similar objections have been filed against letting women and openly declared gays join the military. In all these cases, the flaps have passed; the inclusion of the once-excluded has become normal—and the nation is still secure (or, to the extent it isn’t, our lapses have nothing to do with the presence of Black or gay servicemen and servicewomen).
Milley has his own experience in political exploitation. Last July, he followed President Trump from the White House to Lafayette Square, not knowing that he was being used in a photo-op to legitimize the tear-gassing of protesters just minutes earlier. He soon apologized for his presence and gradually began moving away from Trump’s orbit, taking his duties as an independent military adviser more properly. The whole incident has no doubt shaped his actions since—and led him to shed any shyness in firing back at politically motivated attacks from congressmen.
There is another bit of history that the congressional Republicans should keep in mind. Sen. Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade collapsed when he went a bridge too far and accused several Army war heroes of Red treason. In 1954, the defense lawyer for one of the accused soldiers, finally said from the witness stand, “Senator, may we not drop this?… Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Not long after, McCarthy was censured by his once-cowed Senate colleagues.
Today’s congress has long abandoned a great deal of decency on many grounds. Nor do military officers enjoy the same presumptive respect that they once did, in part perhaps because fewer members of Congress—fewer Americans generally—have ever served. (Donald Trump not only suffered no political damage, but still won the election, after deriding John McCain’s record as a war hero.) Still, there probably are limits to how far Republicans can go in yelling at decorated generals, or using the military as a prop in their attacks on Democrats. Those limits probably haven’t yet been reached; there’s more shouting to come.
Top Leaders Again Reject Claims that Military Is Becoming Too ‘Woke’
The service chiefs for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have recently pushed back against the assertion that the armed services are “increasingly woke and more concerned about social issues than warfighting.’’
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz were asked that question by Robert Work, a former deputy defense secretary and moderator for the virtual panel at the annual West naval conference.
The comments are the latest in a string of top military officials defending policies aimed at making the military more inclusive and combating extremism in the ranks.
“I think it’s an assertion that isn’t really grounded on facts,” Gilday said. “We know that there’s strength in diversity; that is a scientifically proven fact.’’
Gilday explained that he saw his efforts to harness and address diversity within the Navy as a way to build a stronger force.
“We know that esprit de corps within particularly our small units or ships, as an example, is an incredibly important part of combat effectiveness,” Gilday said.
A Defense Department report on diversity in December 2020 noted that, across all branches, officers were less diverse than the eligible civilian population — with Blacks, Hispanics and Asians all being underrepresented.
“Notably, the officer corps is significantly less racially and ethnically diverse than the enlisted population,” the report said.
Among the enlisted, Blacks, Hispanics, and people of multiracial origins are overrepresented in the active-duty numbers while white people are significantly less represented.
This is not the first time Gilday has defended his methods on diversity within the Navy. On June 15, Gilday faced pointed questions from Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., during a House Armed Services Committee hearing over his inclusion of Ibram X. Kendi’s “How To Be An Antiracist” on his reading list.
“I am not going to sit here and defend cherry-picked quotes from somebody’s book,” Gilday said in response to Banks’ questions. “This is a bigger issue than Kendi’s book. What this is really about is trying to paint the United States military, and the United States Navy as weak, as woke.
“We are not weak. We are strong.’’
Berger echoed the sentiments of Gilday on Wednesday and also alluded to remarks made by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley at a congressional hearing last week.
“There’s some places on Earth, maybe more than a handful, where you’re not allowed to read books. … You’re only allowed to read this, and you’re only allowed to espouse that,” Berger said.
“The great part about Americans — it’s not run that way.’’
In a heated exchange with Republican lawmakers recently, Milley argued that service members need to be widely read on the different ideas and theories circulating in American society.
“We want our service members to read widely,” Berger explained. “We want them to actually think, not be programmed, not be told, ‘You must agree with this.’”
Berger and Schultz also noted that diversity and acceptance are key to the armed forces since their recruits are drawn from a “free thinking society.”
“For us in the Coast Guard, it’s a strategic imperative that we look more like the nation we serve,” Schultz said.
These remarks come amid a chorus of conservative lawmakers and commentators who have been decrying DoD programs and efforts aimed at improving diversity and inclusion, accommodating women, or to root out extremists in the ranks. These criticisms often have been framed as political correctness or “wokeness” run amok.
In May, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, a former Navy SEAL, launched a webpage inviting service members to blow the whistle anonymously on “woke ideology” in the military.
Many programs that have come under attack are aimed at closing gaps in representation, especially among officers and specific communities. Last September, the Air Force announced new recruiting targets that hope to address, among other things, the stark lack of diversity among its pilots.
According to the Air Force, about 86% of its aviators are currently white men.
As of March 2021, a full 95% of all SEAL and combatant-craft crew (SWCC) officers were white and just 2% were Black, according to Naval Special Warfare statistics provided to the AP. The officers corps of Army Special Forces is 87% white, and also 2% Black.
Even know the military assert that they are mission ready for any contingency, the Congress is still not ready to climb on board the Woke bus.
A woke military is no defense at all — why Defense bill in current form must not pass
The proposed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will encourage critical race theory indoctrination and other “woke” policies while reducing our military preparedness.
Forty-one Republican senators can stand together against the blinding liberal programs in the NDAA per the Senate rules. They can make sure that vaccine mandates go away before they agree to forward the bill to the House.
Republicans in the House also have the leverage to prevent passage of the bill because Democrats need Republican votes to pass the bill. We should stand united against the NDAA until the elimination of vax mandates. Our military will still be adequately funded, but freed from the woke nonsense from the left.
Military spending is a constitutionally authorized obligation. But, that obligation should not be diluted by the “wokeness” that has infected the current NDAA.
Currently thousands of military men and women, in whom we place significant trust and in whom we have invested heavily, are at risk of being tossed from the military because they do not want to receive Biden’s mandated COVID vax.
We are about to lose tremendous men and women from our military, many of whom are
highly trained. This is to be expected from an administration that has opened our border and encouraged our enemies around the world.
The unconstitutional vax mandates are bad enough, but the Biden administration and some of our military leaders have become missionaries of the left. They are focused on finding white supremacy in the military. They are convinced that our biggest national threat is climate change. Not the Chinese, not North Korea, nor any other of the increasingly bellicose international actors.
As we endure national embarrassment due to the Biden team’s projected weakness around the world, we also watch the increasing number of sorties by China’s military encroaching on Taiwan. It may be suggested that China’s President Xi is bemused at our emphasis on wokeness.
The NDAA perpetuates the woke, CRT indoctrination, funding for transition surgeries, and drafting of women, and lacks accountability for the Afghanistan debacle. There is a path to slow this down. In the Senate 60 votes are required to pass the NDAA.
That means if 41 of the Republican senators stick together, they will have leverage to end vax mandates, and other bad policies in the Democrats’ version of the NDAA.
In the House, there have been two significant pieces of legislation that Republicans aided Democrats in passing. The first was the “infrastructure” bill, which would have failed but for Republican votes. When Democrats did not have enough votes to pass that bill, Republicans in Congress crossed over to provide the winning vote margin for the “infrastructure” package that was more Green New Deal than roads and transportation.
Similarly, the NDAA was voted on in the House earlier this year. In that vote, 37 Democrats voted against the NDAA, and Republicans gave the NDAA the winning margin, despite inclusion of provisions that those same Republicans have regularly opposed. Republicans now have a second chance to control the NDAA. If Republicans look at the bill in its entirety, not just at the parts that fund our military, they will see the social engineering advocacy by the left.
If Republicans unitedly oppose the NDAA in this go-around, the Democrats will be unable to pass the bill by themselves. Only with the help of Republicans can the woke NDAA bill get enough votes to pass.
Taking this bill down is our only opportunity to “de-woke” the NDAA. Taking it down is Republicans’ leverage to protect our military men and women from the social engineering advancing in our military at the direction of President Biden.
If we stop this version of the NDAA we can end the military vax mandates and produce a defense spending package that focuses on national security.
A woke military is No Defense At All.
Andy Biggs represents Arizona’s 5th District and is chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. Freedom Caucus members Jody Hice represents Georgia’s 10th District, Michael Cloud represents the 27th District of Texas, Warren Davidson represents Ohio’s 8th District and Ralph Norman represents South Carolina’s 5th District.
I am going to conclude this article on our Woke military with individuals who should know where we stand, our soldiers.
American Warriors concerned with woke military leadership: ‘Destroying the fabric’ of why soldiers fight
More often than not, serving in the United States military leaves an indelible mark of pride on the men and women who join that fraternity, yet today many are worried military leaders are more concerned with ideology than they are with developing a lethal force to defend the nation.
Fox News spoke with three such veterans in Phoenix during Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest, all of whom addressed the four-day event.
“The Pentagon has been infected with wokeism the same way so many other institutions have,” said Fox News host Pete Hegseth, who served as a U.S. Army platoon leader. Hegseth said under the Obama presidency certain generals were chosen “based on their political points of view, not based on their pedigree for killing the enemy” because they would comply with “new priorities.”
That sentiment was shared by former Army Ranger and founder of the Warrior Poet Society, John Lovell. “The military has a very specific and strategic job, and that’s to keep our country safe,” Lovell said. “And when you thrust them in to be the front line of a sociological experiment which has a pernicious ideology that makes people hate the United States, a soldier can very quickly start to despise the very thing he’s supposed to be protecting.”
Earlier this month the Air Force authorized – but did not require – the use of gender pronouns in electronic signature boxes for communications within the department, a move panned by the veterans.
Former Navy SEAL and 3 of 7 founder Chadd Wright reflected on when he joined the military, “It was Don’t ask, Don’t tell. There was none of this stuff,” he said. “It’s a weird environment … I think it is detrimental to mission focus.”
“[On] my Instagram profile, my pronoun is listed as attack helicopter, so you can let everyone know exactly where you are,” said Lovell.
Hegseth railed against the “upside-down priorities” and said that while in the National Guard – which he only recently left – “the obsession of commands and command groups was compliance with the latest politically correct policy coming out of the Pentagon.”
The trio of troops also slammed military leadership focusing on race rather than building a cohesive force. This past June, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley defended his study of critical race theory before Congress.
“I’ve read Mao Zedong, I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist,” Milley said. “So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend? And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, non-commissioned officers of being, quote, ‘woke’ or something else, because we’re studying some theories that are out there.”
A week later, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby clarified that the Defense Department does not “espouse or embrace” CRT.
“The military is the most un-racist organization on the face of the Earth,” said Wright. “When you’re serving a team in the Navy, the Army … nobody cares who’s Black, nobody cares who’s White, nobody cares who’s Mexican, nobody cares about any of that. It’s all about the mission, man.”
Hegseth agreed, “I think our society has plenty of problems. Our history has plenty of sins in its past and we know that. But if we’re teaching young kids that coming into the military, that they’re the problem because of the color of their skin, you’re not making our military more effective at what it does.”
Hegseth railed at Milley’s “totally misplaced priorities,” saying the general “wants to be liked in the polite crowd amongst the political class.”
Lovell was also pointed in his criticism of Milley, questioning the general’s true intentions. “My question for the general would be is – are you studying the enemy’s playbook to war against them or to join them?” he said, “Judging by things like the Afghanistan withdrawal, it looks like we’re more interested in supplying them all kinds of weapons that will absolutely be used and have been used to kill innocents. And so I wonder, is the general reading to join them or to defeat them? And it looks like the former, not the latter.”
A common theme among these men was the concern they share about the future of America’s military under its current leadership.
Wright’s concern wasn’t for the men and women performing the missions – they “deeply care about the fabric of America” – but that leadership often become politicians and “politics right now are pretty ugly.”
Lovell bluntly stated he is worried about the military’s future under current leadership “because it’s going to lead to a lot of innocent lives being killed.” He called upon the words of Ancient Greek general Thucydides who said, “The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.” Lovell closed, saying, “We have to have strong military leadership that cares about pragmatic in real-world results to keep people physically safe.”
As a father, Hegseth said he always hoped his children would serve in the military or go to West Point, something he said would be “such a proud moment.” But for the first time ever, he says he is second-guessing that dream. “Do I really think they’re entering an institution that reflects the American values the way we should?”
“I want to be optimistic,” Hegseth said in closing, “I would say right now I’m teetering quite a bit.”
The Rise of Wokeness in the Military
I will be the first one to admit that I have no real experience in the military. What I have learned is from the reading of countless tomes on the military, and watching enumerable documentaries on the subject, this however does in no way make me an expert, because I have never had the boots on the ground like our veterans have. Well, you all know the title of my blog, it only makes sense to me that anything that distracts from or takes time away from training is not in any way beneficial to our security. How can being woke help you to march, fight, dodge bullets or anything else that these veterans may encounter in military engagements? How can it keep them safe? If it can’t do any of these things it is useless. Soldiers and warriors develop strong bonds when they are elbow to elbow in fighting and protecting our country. Not prancing around in a pink tootoo and proclaiming that they are sorry for slavery.
heritage.org, “The Woke Takeover of the U.S. Military Endangers Us All.” By Delta Wood and Mike Gonzalez; slate.com, “What Critics of the “Woke” Army Don’t Understand: Military commanders have long felt their personnel should understand the country they are defending.” BY FRED KAPLAN; ationalreview.com, “The Problem with a ‘Woke’ Military.” By Robert M. Berg; military.com, “Top Leaders Again Reject Claims that Military Is Becoming Too ‘Woke’.” By Konstantin Toropin; thehill.com, “A woke military is no defense at all — why Defense bill in current form must not pass.” BY REPS. ANDY BIGGS (R-ARIZ.), JODY HICE (R-GA.), MICHAEL CLOUD (R-TEXAS), WARREN DAVIDSON (R-OHIO) AND RALPH NORMAN (R-S.C.), ; foxnews.com, “American Warriors concerned with woke military leadership: ‘Destroying the fabric’ of why soldiers fight: Pete Hegseth rails against the ‘upside-down priorities’ coming from the Pentagon.” By Jeff Field; Imprimis, “The Rise of wikeness in the Military.” By Thomas Spoehr;
What Is Wrong With Our Country?