(FiveNation.com)- In a recent interview, the Chief of Staff for the US Air Force and the commandant of the US Marine Corps both defended the Defense Department’s diversity and inclusion policies, arguing that focusing on “woke” policies does not diminish military readiness but instead helps service members feel “included.”
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown said in an interview with Defense One that people who enlist in the military want to see others who look like them because it makes them “want to be part of a team” and feel as if they are included.
Both Brown and US Marine Corps commandant Gen. David Berger dismissed the criticism over the military’s push for diversity and inclusion, arguing that the policies build “cohesive” teams “no matter their background.”
Berger told Defense One that while some have argued that the focus on diversity and inclusion would drive Marines out of the Corps, he has not seen any evidence that this is happening.
When discussing the current decline in recruitment, Gen. Brown told Defense One that current service members must build relationships with the younger generation so they can see what “tremendous opportunities” military service provides them.
Earlier this month, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Republican lawmakers are calling for cuts to the Pentagon’s diversity and inclusion programs.
Republican Congressman Jim Banks told the Free Beacon, “Wokeness is weakness.” He said cutting diversity and inclusion programs from the Pentagon budget would boost morale, cohesion, and retention while making the military stronger.
Armed Services Committee Republican Mike Waltz told the Free Beacon that Congress should redirect Pentagon funding to critical war-fighting programs that would better prepare the US for a possible confrontation with countries like China and Iran.
In early March, Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi blasted the Biden administration for turning the Pentagon into an institution “spearheading toxic social policies” rather than “military strength.”