May 16, 2024

Senator Schmitt Spars with Navy Secretary over Recruitment Challenges, Priorities 

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt pressed Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro on the impact DEI training courses and COVID vaccine mandates have had on Navy recruitment, and pushed back against the Navy’s prioritization of climate change over keeping pace with America’s adversaries:


  • The Navy has attained less than 70% of its recruitment goal for the first half of FY2024.
    • The Navy is expected to be short roughly 6,700 sailors from their FY2024 recruitment goal of 40,600.
    • The recruitment goal in FY2023 was 37,700. The Navy fell short of this goal by 20%.
  • Last June, Secretary Del Toro hosted a Department of the Navy DEI Summit with senior Navy, and Marine Corps leaders. “In order to maintain our strategic edge, the Navy and Marine Corps team must operationalize innovative and cohesive initiatives, rooted in DEI’s goals,” said Secretary Del Toro at DEI summit.
  • The Navy’s DEI 101 online training facilitator guide focuses on the need to nurture a culture that “values diversity and emphasizes inclusion.”
  • Recent DoD climate surveys report just 2% of the workforce lists racism as a problem.
  • The Navy ceded the title of the world’s largest Navy to Communist China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in 2020.
  • Currently, the Navy is retiring more ships than it is building, shrinking the Navy as the PLAN continues to grow.