We Must Reject Wokeness in our Military

America’s military is a collection of proud and storied branches of service.  These institutions have protected our nation and molded men and women according to unstinting standards of excellence.  Today, our military is a shining example of what makes our nation the greatest on earth – it is truly a place where the color of one’s skin matters not one iota – rather, it is the content of one’s character which determines advancement and achievement. In this way, our military encapsulates America’s story: one of dynamism issuing from intrepidity.  To this day, I am grateful for the effect my military service has had on my life.

America’s military, however, is now in danger.  Where our military should bring people of all races together to build a better, stronger, and more secure America, now leftist, woke academicians seek to destroy our nation’s hard-fought progress.

Our security rests on the capabilities of the men and women who serve.  They must be trained to fight and win and have the tools to do so.  But what if their training is corrupted to enforce political ends, subverting the military’s warrior ethos?  Our nation’s security, and the lives of those men and women, will be compromised.

Our nation’s military power is being eroded by the imposition of anti-American values through training regimes that repackage Marxist dogma under the guise of equity, inclusion, and wokeness.  Racism is proposed as the arbiter in all relationships and is supposedly still concealed within the fabric of America’s military institutions.

Though our services have vanquished systemic racism, the Pentagon has decided to subtly push instances of it through the imposition of countervailing racism, by inducing antagonism and gross attribution in what passes for “training.”  Occurrences of racism cannot be fought with more racism.  Prejudicial offenses to humanity and to military order must be extinguished through leadership, not bureaucracy.

As a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and as a former tank officer who faced the Soviet Union, I can think of no more damaging affront to our nation’s security than pitting our servicemen and women against each other based upon the melanin in their skin.

There can be only one standard in our military: excellence.  Anything else will undermine the core values of faith, honor, duty, and service to others that are the pillars of our military power.

But that is not the case in today’s military or its sacred training institutions.  West Point is now employing aspects of critical race theory in its administration, a manufactured framework that posits that racism is inextricably tied to America’s foundational institutions, including our military.  The Air Force, for its part, extols valuation based upon “identity, culture, and background.”  Thus, emphasis is placed on appearances at the expense of unity and contribution.  These are not solutions but command inadequacies.

On its “Foundational” reading list for sailors, the Chief of Naval Operations Professional Reading Program includes Ibram X. Kendi's book, How to Be an Antiracist.  Every soldier swears an oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”  Kendi refers to our foundational document as, “a color-blind Constitution for a White Supremacist America.” Such a stance undermines military order and is antithetical to the principles for which our soldiers fight. In response to intense pressure, this book has just been dropped from this year’s reading list.

It is shared purpose that has forged America’s armed forces into a band of brothers and sisters who look far beyond their superficial differences to fortify themselves within the common bonds of humanity that God has bestowed.  We must never let these bonds be broken; we must stamp out political indoctrination and the perverse assertion that Americans be separated by race.

The Biden Administration’s insistence that our military is beset by racial injustice crowds out necessary training and the maintenance of complex weapon systems.  This will inevitably cause unnecessary deaths in combat training and severe losses in time of war.

The emphasis on indoctrination has also served to deprioritize the fielding of new weapons desperately needed by our country.  Let us return to greatness through our understanding that we are one people; let us honor, through our actions, the principles for which our country stands and the great legacy of the military which serves to protect them.