By Aaron Flanigan, AMAC
Earlier this year, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley—previously branded by President Donald Trump as a woke “television general”—took to CNN to complain that accusations of wokeism in the U.S. military are vastly overhyped.
But despite Milley’s claim that the military has not been infected by woke ideology, there is a growing mountain of evidence pointing to the military brass’s descent into social, cultural, and political leftism.
Here are ten prominent examples that every American should be aware of.
1. Milley’s Defiant 2020 Resignation Letter
Ironically, few people have done more to corroborate accusations of wokeism in the military than Mark Milley himself.
At the peak of the June 2020 Black Lives Matter riots, Milley drafted a resignation letter to President Donald Trump that alleged Trump was “doing great and irreparable harm” to the nation.
“The events of the last couple weeks have caused me to do deep soul-searching, and I can no longer faithfully support and execute your orders as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Milley wrote in the leaked letter, which he never sent to the President. “I believe that you have made a concerted effort over time to politicize the United States military. I thought that I could change that. I’ve come to the realization that I cannot, and I need to step aside and let someone else try to do that.”
But instead of submitting the letter and tendering his resignation, The New Yorker reported that Milley ultimately decided to remain in his role and “fight” Trump from within the administration. “F*** that s***,” Milley reportedly told his staff. “I’ll just fight him.”
In other words, per the New Yorker, Milley openly admitted to insubordination and a willing violation of his oath to defend the Constitution and the rule of law by sabotaging civilian leadership of the military.
2. Milley Sought To Undermine Trump By Speaking To A Chinese Military Official
In another alarming incident, Milley reportedly spoke to a Chinese military official behind Trump’s back to promise he would provide advance warning in the event of a U.S. attack—yet another jarring act of insubordination.
When this story broke in late 2021, Milley received relentless criticism from conservatives and former military leaders, including an onslaught of calls for his resignation, requests for him to testify before Congress, and even accusations of treason.
Milley’s actions and attitude reflect the concerning belief of some high-ranking military officials that they have a right to subvert the interests of the duly elected commander-in-chief if they feel compelled to do so.
3. CRT Books Included On Navy Reading List
In one of the most notorious instances of wokeism in the military under the Biden administration, the Navy Professional Reading Program added books to their reading list that openly promote leftist creeds.
One such book is How to Be Antiracist, a work by prominent leftist scholar Ibram X. Kendi which explicitly argues that “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination” and “capitalism is essentially racist.”
In a June 2021 congressional hearing, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday, when questioned by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) on whether he agreed with Kendi’s assertion that capitalism is racist, amazingly refused to answer the question. Instead, he insisted that he would “have to go back to the book to take a look at that.”
Additionally, during a separate congressional hearing, Milley justified the inclusion of objectionable reading materials by announcing that he wants to “understand white rage” – lending credence to Critical Race Theory’s contentious ideas and further calling into question Milley’s integrity and commitment to nonpartisanship.
4. Navy Indoctrinating Recruits With Pronoun Videos
In June 2022, the U.S. Navy came under fire for forcing new recruits to watch training videos on “proper pronoun usage.” A four-minute-long video, which was posted to the website of the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, declares, “Using someone’s pronouns is a simple way to affirm someone’s identity.”
The hosts of the video emphasize the need to create “a safe space for everybody” through the use of “inclusive language”—including using gender-neutral language when uncertain of someone’s “gender identity.”
As Robert J. O’Neill, who served on the Navy SEAL team that took down Osama Bin Laden, quipped on Twitter in response to the video, “Let me make it simple for the entire U.S. Navy: Your pronouns are shipmate/shipmates. There. I just saved the taxpayers millions by avoiding ridiculously useless training.”
In a similar incident from last year, the Marine Corps announced that they were considering banning usage of “sir” and “ma’am” by recruits in order to avoid “misgendering” someone.
5. DEI Hiring Standards At The DOD
Biden Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has suggested implementing “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” hiring standards, most commonly seen in left-wing corporate boardrooms and college campuses, in the military—a decision that would place factors like race, gender, and sexual orientation ahead of merit for determining promotions and commendations.
6. Military Paying For “Gender Transition” Surgeries
In yet another egregious instance of wokeism in the military, the U.S. Army currently pays for “gender transition surgeries” for service members. As Military.com reported in June 2021, “Transgender soldiers can openly serve in the Army and the force will provide hormone therapy, mental health care, and surgeries they might require, according to a force-wide memo.”
Notably, such treatments are still highly experimental, with ongoing debate in the medical community about their safety and efficacy.
However, this practice may soon be coming to an end, as House Republicans recently passed a landmark bill that would prohibit taxpayer coverage of “transition” surgeries and medically unnecessary hormone prescriptions.
7. Military Funding Abortion Travel Funds
Even as conservatives have made great strides in protecting unborn life, the U.S. military has openly funded out-of-state travel funds for individuals who serve in the Armed Forces and want an abortion.
This July, Biden National Security spokesman John Kirby declared that abortion is a “sacred obligation” of the U.S. military, implying that abortion access is vital to military readiness. “Our policies, whether they are diversity, inclusion, and equity, whether they’re about transgender individuals who qualify, physically and mentally to serve, to be able to do it with dignity, or whether it is about female service members, 1 in 5, or female family members being able to count on the kinds of health care, reproductive care specifically, that they need to serve, that is a foundational sacred obligation of military leaders across the river,” Kirby stated from the White House podium.
Thankfully, this summer’s House military spending bill also prohibits the use of Department of Defense funds to pay for costs related to elective abortions. Democrats’ intense belief that it is a sacred obligation to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions for military personnel and their families underscores that today’s military appears to be more committed to defending radical abortion and DEI policies than it is to defending America’s national security.
8. Subsidizing “Family Friendly” Drag Shows And Travel To Pride Events
Along with funding travel for elective abortions, the U.S. Air Force this year also authorized travel costs for service members to attend “pride” events.
According to a June 1 Air Force memo, Air and Space Force commanders were permitted to use “unit funds” to pay for members to “travel to, and participate in, this year’s [Department of the Air Force] Pride events if approved by their individual supervisory authority.”
No matter one’s feeling about LGBTQ+ issues, paying for service members to attend pride parades is an inherently political act and does not contribute to military readiness.
Furthermore, earlier this year, the Air Force issued a separate memo that “empowers” Air Force officials to “plan and conduct” activities” related to “rainbow month”—including drag shows. That memo came shortly after the U.S. Navy brought on a “drag queen” as a “Navy Digital Ambassador.”
9. Joe Biden Used U.S. Marines As A Prop For Divisive Political Speech
In one of the most jarring instances of the left’s political weaponization of the military, Joe Biden—in perhaps the most divisive speech ever delivered by a sitting U.S. president —used the U.S. Marines Corps as a political prop by forcing two Marines to flank him as he demonized the Republican Party as an “extreme threat to our democracy” and declared conservatives to be enemies of the state.
As even CNN host Brianna Keilar was forced to admit on Twitter following the speech, “Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical. Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies in the face of that.”
10. 2023 DOD Budget Includes Funds To Root Out “Extremist” Activity
According to the Heritage Foundation, the Department of Defense’s 2023 budget requested $34.2 million to root out “extremist” political activity—even though a study conducted by the Department itself found that less than 0.005 percent of the two million active military personnel were linked to any activity that can be reliably described as “extremist.” And of course, to most Democrats, charges of “extremism” can be applied to anyone who is even marginally right-of-center, which suggests that the U.S. military apparatus is actively interested in targeting its conservative service members.
As the world stands on the brink of nuclear war and tensions with overseas rivals such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea continue to intensify, having a strong military is vitally important. For the good of not just the United States, but of the entire world, military and government leaders would be wise to address the military’s wokeism problem—and quickly.
What People are Saying
(Comments on the article)
“As a retired Army officer (serving both enlisted and officer ranks) I was always supportive and proud to serve. After leaving the service I taught high school students at a technical school for 25 years. I always discussed the many career opportunities the students had, and the military was always one discussed in detail (the Pros and Cons), separating truth from the Left’s deception and lies regarding the military.
However, I can no longer recommend the military to any young person today, including any of my 20 grandchildren. The Left-wing, America-hating, Socialists have infiltrated America’s once proud military with their perverted, destructive insanity. Void of all common sense, the top brass are self-serving, egotistical cowards, who put their careers and elitist status far ahead of Duty, Honor and Country. These ideologue’s best day wouldn’t equal the worst day of a deadbeat private briefly serving under Gen George S. Patton. Most of today’s top brass are gutless cowards and political pawns (butt lickers) of the corrupt and evil Left-wing zealots. Tragic indeed. Where have America’s true, America-loving, patriotic military leaders gone???”
“As a 20 year retired veteran I take exception to everything this present administration is doing to destroy and degrade every man and woman that has ever served this nation in time of war or peace. We do not have a woke military, we have military leaders who need to resign or be court-martialed. Why anyone would even consider such a thing is mind bogging, it will absolutely destroy the effectiveness of all our military, who would want to serve knowing they would be branded as a deviate, as the whole woke thing implies. We don’t need woke, we need to wake up and realize that this is leading us into a place where if forced to defend this country from attack, we won’t have anyone willing to say as they have in the past, “Here am I send me” it will be, “Hell no, I won’t go!“
“As a 26+ year US Navy Retiree, I am disgusted by what I see in our military in today’s world. I live near and access a Naval installation regularly and my blood pressure goes through the roof every time I do.”
“I am a retired military officer. At one time, I recommended military service for the young folks I thought were worthy of the title of “soldier”. Now, I discourage all young folks from even thinking about joining the WOKE military. The military is no longer an organization that deserves the cream of our youth.”
“As a retired military veteran it breaks my heart to see what is happening to today’s military.”
“From what I understand (have a son in military), the “boots on the ground”, so far, anyway, ignore all this woke crap and carry on. Of course, that may not be true as one attempts to advance (son is younger, and “just” a Lt at this time.”
“As a retired Navy Captain, having served 37 years in a U.S. Navy which was not at all similar to this nonsensical charade imitating our U.S. Military, I will first say how relieved I am having retired before all of this came about. Yet, I am very concerned as to what our military has become, and fearful for all of us as to whom we now have as defenders of our nation and supposedly protecting our country’s allies (whom appear to be slinking away one-by-one). I would not, will not, cannot propose military service as an option for young people today. It is sad and certainly makes me wonder where these so-called senior officers now in positions to lead our military services… where in the heck they came from. I never would have realized such ilk wore the uniform of a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine. These folks must’ve been hiding in the ranks until signaled to step forward, and evidently, they did indeed saunter forth and are now in charge. God, help us.”
“I wonder if any of the DOD leaders ever talk about the concept of “protect and defend the United States”? Seems like that is secondary to all of the CRT, DEI, Transgender, and other left-wing philosophies that they continue to focus on these days. It is very sad for our country, it is very dangerous for our country, and it surely limits their recruiting efforts nationwide. I would suspect that the retention of the soldiers, sailors, and marines is at the lowest point ever. I would think that there is significant lack of respect for the DOD by many members of the military. With this scenario, how do our allies trust our defense capabilities?”
“Eight grandchildren, six are grandsons. Advising to NOT join military or accept commissions. Retired Marine and followed uncles into Corp!”
“Incredible!! As the son of a career Army officer, I’m ashamed of those in command that support this “woke” foolishness. They are traitors to our country and are nothing but political hacks intent of bringing our country to its knees. I applaud the Navy Seal who spoke out against the use of “proper” pronouns. What a load of BS! Our military is not well served today and is increasingly weakened by Democrat leadership, if you can call it that. I cannot! God bless those of our troops that stand and fight to uphold our long held traditions in this country, and not those idiotic ideas they’re being asked to buy into today. It’s time for a major house cleaning, top to bottom, including a court martial of “general” Milley, with a demotion to buck private and a loss of all military retirement benefits!”
“Every one of these examples turns my stomach!! I am a staunch military supporter, my Dad was in the military, my uncle was a Naval officer who served until he passed away and my brother, a West Point graduate, also spent his whole career serving this country. It brings tears to my eyes seeing this willful and deliberate destruction of our military. And make no mistake about it, this IS all done knowingly, in order to decimate our military, which was once the Gold Standard, far above any other.”
“I proudly served my country as a Navy Seabee, now I am embarrassed by what they are becoming. The military had strict rules for a reason, how tough are we going to be if, God forbid, we end up in World War III.”
“The ten examples in the article can also be considered 10 reasons why the military has trouble meeting its recruiting goals. the military should stop with the woke claptrap and stick to protecting our national security and fighting our wars.”
“Washington, Grant, Lee, Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and MacArthur are all rolling over in their graves. They ask, “What happened to our military”. What happened to duty, honor, and country? I served for 39 years, 35 of them on active duty. ”
“I have said it many times throughout my career. The military is not and cannot become a social experiment for the elite politicians and American oligarchs. This has been going on for many decades but has significantly increased within the past few years. There is a direct correlation to this type of wokeism and failure to meet recruitment goals. Sickeningly, this is by design.”