March 23, 2023

Senator Schmitt Questions Biden Military Officials on Military Recruitment, DEI Initiatives

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Schmitt questioned Biden military officials from the Army, Navy, and Air Force about lagging recruitment, specifically about funding for and deployment of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and trainings.

Watch the full questioning by clicking here.

Senator Schmitt’s opening remarks as delivered:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I suppose what you’re hearing today is a voice of frustration that our military, the most honored and respected military in the world, certainly among the American people, that this administration is hellbent on politicizing that, that the offspring of identity politics, which is incredibly divisive, has now made its way through DEI trainings in these branches.

And I think you’re hearing that from a number of Senators, which is reflective of what is happening across the country, what we hear from our citizens. It is naïve to believe that this is not divisive among recruits, or people in the military. 

We have heard from members of the military who have said that they resent being subjected to this, this totem pole of grievances, this oppressor vs. oppressed.

The military has been a shining example of what a meritocracy can mean. People from the humblest of beginnings can rise to the highest of ranks, do heroic things, parades can be thrown in New York City for these heroes. And that this flippant desire to inject politics now is dividing this committee, it’s dividing this country, it’s completely unnecessary.

The United States of America is an idea, the American idea that everybody is born with certain rights, and they can pursue their dreams, and we believe in equality of opportunities. This sort of obsession with this equity agenda, that you all are defending here today with just sort of a word salad is divisive. And the military, literally, has stood as this most respected institution where people can achieve great things and protect this country. 

And here we are in a committee hearing when China is militarizing islands, they mean business. And we’re having to spend time talking about DOD’s $114 million dollar budget request for diversity, equity, and inclusion training – this stuff is nuts. 

I want to ask each of you: have you heard, is there any intelligence that you’ve heard that communist China is somehow intimidated or deterred by our DEI initiatives? I’ll take that as a collective no. 

And so our focus here is maddening to a lot of members as I think you’ve heard.