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Nearly 70 Percent of Military Personnel Have Witnessed “Growing Politicization” of Armed Forces, New Poll Reveals

Nearly 70 Percent of Military Personnel Have Witnessed “Growing Politicization” of Armed Forces, New Poll Reveals

Similar numbers of military personnel are “concerned” about this development, and 80 percent report that their trust of the military has decreased “a great deal” or “some” because of policy changes allowing unrestricted service by transgender individuals in the military.

A new poll released Monday by the Heritage Foundation “of active U.S. military members reveals that 68 percent have witnessed some or a significant level of politicization in the military, and 65 percent of those polled say that it is a concern.” When asked “to what extent would politicization of the military impact your decision to encourage your children to join the military, 68 percent said it would to at least some degree.

When asked to what degree certain events had decreased their “trust in the military,” service members’ top three concerns were “changing of policy to allow unrestricted service by transgender individuals in the military” (80% reported decreased trust in the military by “a great deal” or “some”); “the withdrawal from Afghanistan” (71%); and “focus on climate change as a top national security threat” (70%).

An annual poll conducted by the Reagan Institute has revealed a sharp decline in Americans’ confidence in the military, with Americans’ expressing a 70 percent approval rate for the military in 2017, which has dropped dramatically to 48 percent in November 2022. “No other public institution asked about — including the Supreme Court, Congress, the presidency, the news media or law enforcement — has seen such a sharp decline in public trust over this time,” the poll noted. Interestingly, the number one reason for the drop in the public’s confidence in the military is “[m]ilitary leadership becoming overly politicized,” with “62 percent saying it decreased their trust.”

What service members are witnessing is reflected in Army documents recently obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board. These documents show that the Army trains its personnel on “pronoun usage . . . and a serviceman who wants ‘to discuss his newly confirmed pregnancy.'” The training also notes that “[a]nyone may encounter individuals in barracks, bathrooms, or shower facilities with physical characteristics of the opposite sex,” but transgender soldiers aren’t “required or expected to modify or adjust their behavior based on the fact that they do not ‘match’ other Soldiers.”

The WSJ Editorial Board concludes, “[t]his type of re-education was accelerated by President Biden’s 2021 executive order directing agencies to ‘increase the availability and use of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility training.’ It’s a form of political indoctrination intended to impose woke values on the . . . U.S. military.”

The Heritage Foundation poll results contradict Congressional testimony by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark A. Milley, who testified in June 2022 in a heated exchange before the House Armed Services Committee, and seemed to contradict each other. When pressed by Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) about a course at West Point that discussed Critical Race Theory and a seminar on “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage,” Secretary Austin responded “We do not teach critical race theory. We don’t embrace critical race theory,” and explained that even discussing it was “a spurious conversation.” But Chairman Milley, in later testimony, explained that West Point “is a university” and “I want to understand white rage and I’m white, and I want to understand it,” seemingly in defense of the West Point course and seminar discussed.

Legal Insurrection’s own deep-dive into critical race theory teachings at CriticalRace.Org seems to support the poll results, showing deeply political content being taught at every military service academy, including the Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

For example, at the Air Force Academy, mandatory diversity training included a video on the subject of Black Lives Matter and “involved eliminating the words ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ in an effort to coach inclusion language usage as part of the diversity and inclusion training.” Additionally, the Air Force Academy provides a “Cadet Wing Diversity and Inclusion Program,” where graduates are given a purple rope to wear across their left shoulder “symbolizing their position as a diversity representative” so that they can “advise students on diversity.”

At the Naval Academy, my alma mater, “the academy’s ‘Midshipman Diversity Team’ is ‘developing a midshipman-led, comprehensive plan to identify midshipman-level shortfalls within our Naval Academy family with the goal of proposing a plan to resolve these issues of privilege, bias, and racial injustice.'” Additionally, the academy’s “Center for Teaching and Learning has several faculty resources including PowerPoint Presentations on topics such as . . . ‘How to Create an Anti-Racist Classroom: Developing and Implementing an Anti-Racist Pedagogy,’ Video Presentations on ‘Teaching Race,’ and books such as ‘How to Be an Anti-Racist’ by Ibram X. Kendi,” despite Chief of Naval Operations Michael Gilday deleting that book from his recommended reading list after major backlash.

The other service academies are similar, which underscores the results of the Heritage Foundation poll discussed at the beginning of this post.

On a personal note, I am having trouble recalling anything political remotely similar to the above roiling the military during my time on active duty as it is today. This development is deeply disheartening from a subjective, personal perspective, as it is clear that the color-blind meritocracy that once ruled the day is rapidly being replaced by one requiring adherence to diversity dogma, or at best turning a blind eye to the latest political initiatives. It is also disheartening objectively speaking: not only does training on “diversity,” “inclusion,” and proper responses to sharing bathroom facilities with personnel having genitals of the opposite gender necessarily detract from the ever-present imperative to train relentlessly to fight and win our nation’s wars, but overly politicizing the military is likely responsible, at least in part, for the military’s extreme difficulty in meeting its recruitment goals.


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Why should we be surprised by Democrats copying Soviet kommissar tactics?
For them, it comes naturally.

Unbelievable, No decent man/woman will join at this rate. To become a prisoner of Woke??

25 years of service under my belt. Today, I would get out as soon as possible. And I would never recommend going into the service to anyone until the situation changes.

    25 years too. I’d be thrown out of today’s military. Heartbreaking but I no longer encourage people to join.

    CommoChief in reply to NavyMustang. | February 3, 2023 at 3:46 pm

    When asked for my advice it’s a no across the board for a career, a no for females and a very qualified maybe to the males. Even then they must be willing to STFU when all they encounter all this woke nonsense. The only reason, in the current climate, to sign up are the very generous post 9/11 benefits for college where they would be confronted with woke nonsense as well.

    A single AD enlistment and then maybe into a local NG unit where there may, depending upon location, be less chance of being made to bear the consequences of the woke ideology. That’s about as much of an endorsement as I could make which is a very sad thing for someone with 24+ years of service to realize.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to CommoChief. | February 3, 2023 at 4:40 pm

      That “single AD enlistment and then maybe into a local NG unit” now carries a significant risk of being used, for political reasons, to suppress your fellow citizens and their rights under the Constitution. Noting that my father got his citizenship for his service in WW-II, and that while [during the Vietnam War] I was rejected for service because my back was too screwed up, but I did 28 years fighting felons as a Peace Officer; I would advise anyone I considered to be patriotic to refrain from joining.

      Subotai Bahadur

        CommoChief in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | February 3, 2023 at 8:44 pm

        Would someone potentially face a choice between not good options as a member of the military? Sure but they would have a similar set of choices if such an order was given and they were a civilian. Everyone would have a decision to make on that day, not just those in the military.

    diver64 in reply to NavyMustang. | February 4, 2023 at 6:43 am

    I was in for less than that but my daughter is 15yrs in active right now. She is so disgusted at what is going on that she is just waiting it out for her 20yrs and her husband who is about the same is doing it too.

E Howard Hunt | February 3, 2023 at 8:42 am

It is not hard to understand the allure of mass indoctrination in communist ideology. We disagree with it, but it was a comprehensive take on how man should order his affairs. But indoctrination based on obeisance to mentally ill sexual perverts and scientifically illiterate climate alarmists is madness.

no reason at all to be afraid of our military being weaponized to squash dissent.

Remember this next time you see “rebuilt the military” as a talking point.

68 percent of the military are willing to admit the growing politicization and ‘woke’ being jammed into the military, which leaves 32 percent smart enough to keep their big mouths shut since loose comments to supposed ‘private’ organizations will invariably wind up in a file somewhere to mangle their career. I’m sure there are some True Believers in that third who see the military as the perfect place to enact their woketopia since they see it as millions of people who are forced to obey the commands of their appointed ‘enlightened’ leaders, but what they fail to see is wokeness is the exact opposite of trust. A woke organization will tear itself apart from the inside since it requires every person to be their own political commissar to enforce the people’s will on each other, and that sounds familiar, right Comrade?

    James Nault in reply to georgfelis. | February 3, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    I agree with your idea that the poll probably under-represents those who have witnessed politicization but are afraid to say so.

the fundamental mission of the military is the defense of our freedoms up to and including the risk/loss of their own lives if needs be–to task men and women to that sort of purpose, to require that sort of commitment, it is critical that they are able to trust one another as well as the chain of command all the way up to the c-in-c

ANYTHING that detracts from that trust, that focus is detrimental to their mission

personally, would not want anyone so profoundly confused as to even their own biological identity to be involved in ANY decision-making capacity as could/would effect our efforts to fullfill our mission–the stakes are life & death

How many of these “woke” troops would be happy to “just follow orders” if they were commanded to go after civilians who were labeled “domestic terrorists” because of their political/ religious beliefs?

    Dathurtz in reply to nordic prince. | February 3, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    Woke didn’t even exist when the military cleared out that veterans camp a while back.

    I have long thought it delusional to think the military members won’t do as ordered.

One step closer.

I enlisted in the army in the 70’s. It was hard enough for women back then, but I can’t imagine having to share barracks, showers, etc with men. It is a disaster waiting to happen.