Congressional Republicans Open Probe Into DEI Advisory Board at the Pentagon

‘DoD’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion over mission effectiveness and capability concerns our nation’s national security and safety,’ the House members write.

David B. Gleason via Wikimedia Commons CC2.0
The Pentagon, headquarters of America's Defense department. David B. Gleason via Wikimedia Commons CC2.0

A House subcommittee has opened an investigation into the diversity, equity, and inclusion advisory board at the Pentagon in the lead-up to a report that is expected to make recommendations for DEI policies in the military. 

In a letter to the chairman of the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Congressman Jim Banks and Congressman Glenn Grothman say that the Defense Department is putting merit behind race, sex, and gender at the expense of mission readiness. 

“The Subcommittee remains concerned that under the guise of DEI, promotions are being rewarded based on sex, gender, ethnicity, and race at the expense of merit. In 2022, DoD established the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion to provide independent advice and recommendations on matters and policies related to DEI in the Armed Forces. The Subcommittee understands [the advisory committee] is working to release a final report,” Messrs. Banks and Grothman said in a statement. “Therefore, the Subcommittee is requesting information and an update regarding the publication of this report as soon as possible.”

The lawmakers are asking the advisory committee to turn over “all documents related to the methodology to be used to complete [the] final report to the Secretary of Defense” and “documents related to [the] final report, including materials relied on in the report such as interviews qualitative and quantitative analysis, and inputs from outside organizations.” They also want to see “all documents containing any preliminary findings.”

Their new probe follows a January hearing where former military leaders testified about the dangers of not making merit the first and only requirement for promotion in the American military. 

One retired Army Ranger, Will Thibeau, testified that merit must be “the exclusive lens” through which military and civilian leaders consider promotions for members of the armed forces. 

“Diversity exists in our social mores as something the military must embrace and promote as if the Armed Forces march to the beat of a corporate or university drum,” Mr. Thibeau said. “In reality, the existence of a professional, permanent military demands the institution exist apart from the ideologies and policies prevalent in modern-day America.”


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