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Press Release Published: Jan 11, 2024

Hearing Wrap Up: DoD’s Progressive Agenda Hinders U.S. Military Readiness

WASHINGTON—The Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs held a hearing titled, “The Risks of Progressive Ideologies in the U.S. Military.” Members discussed with subject matter experts how politically driven Department of Defense (DoD) priorities infiltrating curriculum and training are affecting military readiness. Members also discussed the military’s prioritization of progressive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs and other social priorities versus other military needs which are driving down morale and recruiting numbers.

Key Takeaways:

The DoD has infused progressive ideology into the curriculum and training of the U.S. military, which has no relevant purpose to warfighting. Despite recently failing its sixth consecutive audit, the DoD is requesting more funding to expand its unhelpful and non-essential DEI based program.

  • Matthew Lohmeier— Former Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Space Force—broke down the DEI initiatives being pushed on service members and the desire for these initiatives to be removed: “Servicemembers who wear the uniform of their country do not want to see these things in the military workplace or at their bases. In most cases, this is true regardless of their race or political worldview. Despite that reality, Pentagon officials requested $140 million to expand woke Diversity initiatives in FY2024, up from $68 million and $86.5 million in 2022 and 2023, respectively, and all but three members of this subcommittee voted in favor of it. There are few things taxpayers such as myself feel is less essential to the mission of our military than expanding Diversity mandates and indoctrination.”

The DEI agenda being forced into military procedure has opened the door for race and sex-based quotas superseding the merit-based system. This is a direct factor in the growing issue of the U.S. military missing recruiting targets.

  • Will Thibaeu— American Military Project — warned of the threats of continued politicization of the military: “History is littered with examples of militaries whose consideration of political ideology precipitated a collapse in military professionalism, all of which served as a precursor to the collapse of their respective nations. America should not wait to find out if we can outrun the drumbeat of such history.”

Member Highlights:

Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) examined the harmful ideologies being promulgated by military bureaucracy.

Rep. Grothman: “Is this bureaucracy necessary? Could you comment on it? What do they do?”

Mr. Thibaeu: “It’s a good question what they do Mr. Chairman. The problem that I have is the policies that result from such a bureaucracy. And there is, like you alluded to in your opening remarks, a lot of well-intentioned training, perhaps some of which is necessary. But what is not necessary is race and sex-based quotas that are prevalent in at least two branches of the military. And if it’s a bureaucracy that serves to fulfill those policies that I think do more than simply educate people about bias or promote equal opportunity but in fact promote a system of race and sex-based discrimination, that is problematic and they shouldn’t be receiving any money.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) zeroed in on the non-mission critical, progressive ideology that does nothing to enhance military warfighting capabilities.

Rep. Foxx: “Would learning about whiteness and white rage help promote unit cohesion or a team centered culture?”

Mr. Lohmeier: “The answer is: anyone who is focused on warfighting doesn’t naturally think to talk about these things in the military workplace. We are focused on a particular mission in defense of the country and to deter conflict and to win our nation’s wars.”

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) discussed what has happened in recent years to decrease lethality and morale in the military due to DEI initiatives such as decreased in standards sheerly for diversity’s sake.

Rep. Biggs: “Mr. Lohmeier, what has happened over the last three years that has caused lethality to deteriorate in the military?”

Mr. Lohmeier: “There’s been an overt politicization of the military workplace and the forcing of trainings that are anti-American, that criticize our founding fathers, that allege that white supremacy is a problem within the military ranks which has never been proven and all of that rhetoric that occurred when Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin took office, led to a bunch of moaning and complaining behind closed doors of our service members and I heard it as a commander.”

Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), who waived onto the subcommittee hearing, discussed how authors of DEI and CRT initiatives describe methods that are inherently racist because they use race to take or give positions within the military away, leading to a zero-sum game.

Rep. Waltz: “What these authors say is that ‘if you are white you are incapable of not being racist’ that in and of itself, is racist sir. And by the way, these [authors] were lecturers at the Air Force academy. That is divisive, destructive, and wrong. Finally, we have data that shows as Mr. Lohmeier has testified to, 62% of active-duty military members are seeing a politicized military. 65% would recommend their child not join, and now we are in a recruiting crisis. This is why these hearings are so necessary.”

CLICK HERE to watch the hearing.