Pentagon chiefs have been blasted after proposing a $114million budget for “woke” policies including diversity training and racial justice education.
Leaders will be required to defend their budget proposal this week after lawmakers hit back at the Army’s recruiting campaigns which highlight diversity in the force and a 2021 Pentagon directive for leaders to discuss extremism in the ranks.
Mike Pompeo, former US secretary of state described plans as a "terrible idea".
Speaking on social media, he said: "This money should go to keeping America safe. Not promoting toxic wokeness."
Mike Pompeo, former US secretary of state described plans as a 'terrible idea'
The Pentagon has argued that the services’ recruiting troubles are primarily due to the "strong civilian job market" and widening societal divides.
It added that diversity and extremism training takes up a tiny amount of troops’ time.
On Thursday joint Chief Chair Gen Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will testify before the House Defense Appropriations panel to make the case for the administration’s Pentagon budget.
In 2021, Milley become embroiled in a fiery debate as he defended open-mindedness in the ranks during a House Armed Services hearing.
His spokesperson, Col David Butler says Milley preps for budget season by sitting around a table answering practice questions.
Butler said: "Gen. Milley combines the data in the binders with 43 years of experience in the military and several years in combat to be able to answer lawmakers’ questions.
"He takes his responsibility to testify to Congress very seriously. He believes and knows that members of Congress are representatives of the American people."
Leaders of the military branches are preparing to use data to combat congressional criticism on the issue, according to Politico.
On Thursday joint Chief Chair Gen Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will testify before the House Defense Appropriations panel to make the case for the administration’s Pentagon budget
"The Army’s mission remains to fight and win the nation’s wars. At the end of the day, to accomplish our mission we must build cohesive teams founded on respect and acceptance,” the talking points state.
"Nothing in the Army’s personnel policies … are implemented to detract from that mission. Data does not support such claims."
It adds: "Our recruiting challenges are not new and are not a result of a ‘woke’ agenda."