Rep. Crenshaw says military leaders 'prioritizing woke training over actual war fighting' after Navy report
Crenshaw: The priorities of this administration are ‘appalling’
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, reacts to the White House planning to evacuate Afghanistan interpreters.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, said Thursday that U.S. military leaders are “prioritizing woke training over actual war fighting” following lawmakers’ investigation into the Navy‘s culture.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. – along with Crenshaw, a retired Navy SEAL, and fellow Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin – directed an investigation into Navy culture, following three major incidents between 2016 and 2017 that resulted in the death of 17 sailors. They found that 94% of the sailors interviewed thought the military branch is facing a leadership and culture crisis.
“Unfortunately, the findings of our report aren’t surprising,” Crenshaw tweeted. “We’ve known military leaders are prioritizing woke training over actual war fighting. It’s what we constantly hear from service members. It doesn’t make this any less concerning. It’s a threat to national security.”
Retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and retired Navy Rear Amd. Mark Montgomery prepared the report titled, “A Report on the Fighting Culture of the United States Navy’s Surface Fleet,” conducting long-form interviews with 77 active and retired sailors over the last year — more than half of which said the 2016 and 2017 incidents were directly correlated with culture and leadership problems.
The report noted that one anonymous lieutenant currently on active duty said, “Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy.”
“It’s criminal. They think my only value is as a Black woman. But you cut our ship open with a missile and we’ll all bleed the same color,” the lieutenant continued.
Other complaints within the U.S. Navy outlined in the report include distracted leaders, excessive fear of bad publicity and the loss of focus on growing good ship-handlers.
“Sailors and officers lack sufficient resiliency and are unprepared for the difficulties of combat, in part because their training has deemphasized persistent exposure to adversity,” the report noted.
A Navy spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News that the service welcomes “the insights and report findings, many of which are consistent with areas we have addressed and taken action on.”
“We look forward to continuing our work with Congress to ensure we have the most capable ships crewed by the most capable Sailors, as well as a surface force that is fit for the challenges of the 21st century,” the spokesperson continued.
Republican lawmakers have been speaking out against some of the military’s recent training and recruitment initiatives.
Several Republican members of Congress in March voiced concerns about some of the books included on the Navy’s 2021 reading list.
Banks, who serves in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a Supply Corps officer and deployed to Afghanistan in 2014 and 2015, sent a letter to Adm. Michael Gilday on Feb. 26 arguing that the views promoted in Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist” on the Chief of Naval Operations Professional Reading Program (CNO-PRP) are “explicitly anti-American.” Gilday said he would not be making any changes.
Republican Reps. Doug Lamborn of Colorado and Vicky Hartzler of Missouri on March 11 also sent a letter to the admiral expressing concern about the inclusion of “How to be an Antiracist,” as well as Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” and Jason Pierceson’s “Sexual Minorities and Politics.”
The Navy also faced criticism in March after leaked slides from the military’s “extremism” training said sailors could not discuss “politically partisan” subjects on duty but that advocating for Black Lives Matter while on duty was acceptable.
In May, the Defense Department came under fire from conservatives at the time after Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier was removed from his post after speaking out against Marxism in the military. Conservatives came to the aid of Lohmeier after his sacking, and Republican lawmakers demanded he be reinstated.
The Navy revised its slides after multiple reports came out highlighting the political bias in the military branch’s training. Other military branches including the Army and Air Force have faced criticism recently for pushing “woke” narratives in advertisements and on social media.
Crenshaw and Cotton, who served in the Army Reserve, in May launched a whistleblower form for military service members so that the armed forces don’t “fall to woke ideology.” The form is available on Crenshaw’s website, which states that submissions will be shared with Cotton’s office.
Fox News’ Houston Keane, Kelly Laco and Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.
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