Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has ignited a contentious debate by defending his Pentagon plan, aimed at addressing recruiting challenges within the military. Here’s the full story.
Are ‘Woke’ Policies of the Military Contributing to a Recruitment Crisis?
In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, the 2024 presidential candidate argued that the military’s focus on so-called “woke” policies was alienating potential recruits and contributing to the recruitment crisis.
DeSantis unveiled a comprehensive plan earlier that seeks to eliminate diversity initiatives, punish former military leaders engaging in politics, and end programs related to climate change preparedness for national defense.
Also, he proposed to revoke the policy allowing transgender personnel to serve in their preferred sex, reinstate personnel dismissed for refusing vaccines, and cease Department of Defense efforts to combat extremism.
The plan also calls for implementing gender-neutral standards for women and men in the armed forces, along with opposing the inclusion of women in a military draft.
Discrimination Is More Concerning Than ‘Wokeness’
While DeSantis maintains that “wokeness” is a major deterrent for potential recruits, research conducted by the Army and obtained by CNN suggests otherwise.
According to the research, concerns over discrimination against women and racial or ethnic minorities ranked higher than worries about the Army emphasizing “wokeness” as a barrier to entry.
Respondents identified “putting the rest of my life on hold” as the most significant barrier, followed by concerns about discrimination. Worries about the Army’s emphasis on “wokeness” ranked lower on the list.
In the face of contradictory research, DeSantis defended his stance saying, “Well, but I think there’s an issue about, like, not everyone really knows what wokeness is. I mean, I’ve defined it, but a lot of people who rail against wokeness can’t even define it.”
The Army Provides a Clear Definition of ‘Wokeness’
The Army’s report, however, provides a clear definition of “wokeness” as diversity/equity training and marginalizing those with conservative views.
The Governor’s anti-woke policy proposals align with actions he has taken in Florida, where he banned universities from spending on diversity and inclusion programs, prohibited training on privilege in society, and eliminated certain teachings about race.
DeSantis said, “Go to a [Veterans of Foreign Wars] hall, go to an American Legion. There’s a huge amount of concern about the direction– that the military is going with all this. And here’s the thing, things like DEI and all that stuff, it hasn’t worked in other aspects of society.”
However, senior enlisted US military leaders pushed back against such claims in a congressional hearing, asserting that the force is not being politicized by “woke” initiatives.
“He doesn’t believe it either. It’s all for show.”
They emphasized that focusing on diversity and inclusion efforts was not among the primary reasons young Americans were not joining the military.
Several social media users shared their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “Lol what military does he think he’s going to have?”
Another user commented, “He doesn’t believe it either. It’s all for show.”
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / The Old Major. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: Edition CNN