DOD Marxism Open Letter Woke Agenda

180 Retired Generals and Admirals Request Congress Remove Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Funding from DoD

Citing national security concerns, 180 retired generals and admirals ask Congress to ensure no diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies, programs, and funding are included in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.

In a May 2023 letter (below) to the leadership of the House Armed Services and Defense Appropriations committees, these retired flag officers warn the DEI programs are undermining the military’s ability to first deter war and failing that, to fight and win our Nation’s wars.

As Flag officers who have fought for our Nation, the officers are sounding the alarm that DEI poses a serious danger to our military’s warrior ethos and is degrading warfighting readiness.

They argue that equal opportunity and a meritocratic system that judges people, not based on skin color or any other identity characteristic, but rather by their character, performance, and potential has been battle tested for generations and proven essential for military success.

Conversely, DEI policies and practices are rooted in cultural Marxism which promotes divisiveness not unity, in the ranks must be eliminated from the DoD.

As our nation faces looming threats from “foreign” adversaries/enemies, the flag officers argue that our military is under assault from a culture war stemming from “domestic” ideologically inspired policies and practices.

“Equity” lowers standards, they argue, while equality provides opportunities for all to achieve. Equity’s goal is equal outcomes. To achieve equal outcomes using identity group characteristics, standards must be lowered to accommodate the desired equity outcomes. Lower standards reduce performance where even slight differences in capability impact readiness and can determine war fighting mission success or failure.

Diversity and inclusion practices promote identity-based preferences for selections into career enhancing schools, promotions, and key assignments. As with equity, they lower standards by not always selecting the best qualified.

Identity group-based preferences create friction and distrust in the ranks, damaging unit cohesion, teamwork and unity of effort, further degrading military readiness.

To safeguard the Nation from national security threats, the flag officers insist that DEI programs, policies, and funding must be eliminated from the DoD policies, programs, and funding in the 2024 NDAA.

They say our military must be laser focused on one thing-being ready to fight and win our Nation’s wars and not distracted by social engineering programs such as DEI.

For further information, contact:
FlagOfficers4America at 202-982-5763 or


Letter in PDF format

Flag officer and want to sign the letter? Contact Flag Officers 4 America

Not a flag officer or in the military but want to sign a petition to end DEI and Woke politics in the military? Fill out form on the Committee to Support and Defend website

Speaker McCarthy, House Minority Leader Jeffries, Chairman Rogers and Chairman Calvert,

We respectfully request that Congress, pursuant to its constitutional powers “…to raise and support Armies…” and “… to provide and maintain a Navy…,” take legislative action to remove all diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs from the Department of Defense (DoD).

Additionally, we ask that you ensure no DEI related policies, programs, and funding are included in the 2024 NDAA.

As our Nation faces looming threats from “foreign” adversaries/enemies, our military is under assault from a culture war stemming from “domestic” ideologically inspired political policies and practices.

If not stopped now, they will forever change the military’s warrior ethos essential to performing its mission of deterring aggression and failing that, to fight and win our Nation’s wars. Our military must be laser focused on one mission—readiness, undiminished by the culture war engulfing our country.

For generations, our military was a meritocracy, which simply defined means selection and advancement based solely on merit and ability.

Service Members (SMs) were judged not by the color of their skin but by their character, duty performance, and potential. Meritocracy, coupled with equal opportunity, created conditions for all to advance and excel, which stimulates healthy competition, thereby raising standards.

Historically, our military has been one of, if not the most, diverse and inclusive institution in America.

The domestic cultural threat has an innocuous name: “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI). But, in reality DEI is dividing, not uniting, our military and society.

DEI’s principles derive from critical race theory, which is rooted in cultural Marxism, where people are grouped into identity classes (typically by race), labeled as “oppressed” or “oppressors,” and pitted against each other.

Under the guise of DEI, some people are selected for career enhancing opportunities and advancement based on preferences given to identity groups based on race, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, etc.

For example, the DoD twice admitted to using race in service academy admissions in its 2022 amicus brief in the pending Supreme Court college admissions cases.

Our military has practiced “equality” by giving equal opportunities for all to achieve. The equality approach ignores skin color, gender, or ethnicity seeing all Service Members as equal, with a common set of values and mission. This does not diminish their individuality, but rather celebrates their dedication to duty and a higher noble calling of selfless service to our Nation.

DEI’s “Equity” sounds benign, but in practice it lowers standards. While equality provides equal opportunities, equity’s goal is equal outcomes. To achieve equal outcomes using identity group characteristics, standards must be lowered to accommodate the desired equity outcomes. Lower standards reduce performance where even slight differences in capability impact readiness and can determine war fighting mission success or failure.

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) practices use identity-based preferences in selections for career schools and promotions. As with equity, D&I lowers standards by not always selecting the best qualified to become pilots, academy cadets, leaders at all ranks, etc.

Identity based preferences create friction and distrust in the ranks, damaging unit cohesion, teamwork and unity of effort, further degrading readiness.

The “One Team, One Fight” battle motto describes a meritocracy-based military characterized by:

  • a common mission and purpose;
  • unqualified loyalty to the team and not to an individual’s identity group;
  • total trust and confidence in each other for their very lives from the foxhole to the highest level;
  • teamwork/camaraderie resulting in the unit cohesion essential for warfighting readiness.

Meritocracy is essential for winning. In professional sports – where the mission is to win games – the best players are fielded to win, no matter their skin color.

If meritocracy is used in sports where the consequence of losing a game is minor, why is it not essential in the military where the worst-case consequences of losing a major war are unimaginable losses of life, destruction, and perhaps our Nation?

To win, the best qualified Service Members must be selected to lead America’s sons and daughters into life and death situations. Meritocracy wins games and it wins wars!

We have fought for our Nation and are sounding the alarm that DEI poses a grave danger to our military warfighting ethos and is degrading warfighting readiness.

Social engineering, commonly called “wokeism,” has no place in our military.

China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea are not distracted by DEI programs; no doubt they are watching us.

Equal opportunity and merit-based performance have been battle tested for generations and proven essential for success. DEI policies and practices must be eliminated from the DoD to protect our critical warfighting readiness.

Respectfully submitted,

3 Four-Star  |  28 Three-Star  |  87  Two-Star  |  62 One-Star

  1. MG Anders B. Aadland, USA (ret)
  2. BG Dale F. Andres, USA (ret)
  3. RADM Philip Anselmo, USN, (ret)
  4. MG Joe Arbuckle, USA (ret)
  5. BG Edwin J. Arnold, Jr. USA (ret)
  6. BG John C. Arick, USMC (ret)
  7. BG Ernest C. Audino, USA (ret)
  8. RADM Jon Bayless, USN (ret)
  9. RDML James Best, USN (ret)
  10. LTG Rod Bishop, USAF (ret)
  11. BG Stephen M. Bliss, USA (ret)
  12. BG William Bloomer, USMC (ret)
  13. BG Don Bolduc, USA (ret)
  14. MG William Bowdon, USMC (ret)
  15. LTG William G. Boykin, USA (ret)
  16. MG Edward Bracken, USAF (ret)
  17. MG Pat Brady, USA MOH (ret)
  18. RADM Bruce Bremer, USN (ret)
  19. RADM Peter J. Brown, USCG (ret)
  20. LTG Richard “Tex” Brown III, USAF (ret)
  21. BG Frank Bruno, USAF (ret)
  22. VADM Toney Michael Bucchi, USN (ret)
  23. MG David P. Burford, USA (ret)
  24. MG Bobby Butcher, USMC (ret)
  25. RADM John T. Byrd, USN (ret)
  26. MG Henry Canterbury, USAF (ret)
  27. RADM James J. Carey, USN (ret)
  28. BG Jim Cash, USAF (ret)
  29. LTG Dennis Cavin, USA (ret)
  30. LTG James E. Chambers, USAF (ret)
  31. MG Carroll D. Childers, USA (ret)
  32. BG Lawrence L. Christensen, USAF (ret)
  33. RDML Ronald Christenson, USN (ret)
  34. RADM Arthur Clark, USN (ret)
  35. MG Peter Clegg, USA (ret)
  36. MG Jay Closner, USAF (ret)
  37. MG Tom Cole, USA (ret)
  38. MG Richard L. Comer, USAF (ret)
  39. MG David Commons, USAF (ret)
  40. BG Keith B. Connolly, USAF (ret)
  41. BG James N. Coombes, USAF (ret)
  42. Gen. Terrance R. Dake, USMC (ret)
  43. BG Duane Deal, USAF (ret)
  44. BG Howard DeWolf, USAF (ret)
  45. MG Robert Dickerson, USMC (ret)
  46. BG James Dienst, USAF (ret)
  47. MG James L. Dozier, USA (ret)
  48. BG Philip M. Drew, USAF (ret)
  49. General Michael Dugan, USAF (ret)
  50. MG Felix Dupre, USAF (ret)
  51. MG Neil L. Eddins, USAF (ret)
  52. RADM Ernest Elliot, SC, USN (ret)
  53. VADM George w. Emery, USN (ret)
  54. MG Wade Farris, USAF (ret)
  55. BG Steven J. Feldmann, USA (ret)
  56. RADM James H. flately III, USN (ret)
  57. LTG Michael Flynn, USA (ret)
  58. BG Rufus Forrest, USAF (ret)
  59. MG Larry D. Fortner, USAF (ret)
  60. BG Jerome Foust, USA (ret)
  61. BG Jimmy E. Fowler, USA (ret)
  62. BG C. William Fox, Jr. M.D., USA (ret)
  63. RADM J. Cameron Fraser, USN (ret)
  64. MG John T. Furlow, USA (ret)
  65. MG Brian I. Geehan, USA (ret0
  66. MG Francis C. Gideon, Jr. USAF (ret)
  67. MG Lee V. Greer, USAF (ret)
  68. MG Thomas Griffith, USAF (ret)
  69. RDML M.R. Groothousen, Sr, USN (ret)
  70. BG John H. Grueser, USAF (ret)
  71. MG Otto K. Habedank, USAF (ret)
  72. MG Kenneth Hagemann, USAF (ret)
  73. RADM D.M. Hagen, USN (ret)
  74. Gen. Alfred Hansen, USAF (ret)
  75. BG Murray A. Hansen, USAF (ret)
  76. RDML John g. Hekman, USN (ret)
  77. VADM Peter M. Hekman, USN (ret)
  78. RADM Larry L. Hereth, USCG (ret)
  79. MG Harald G. Hermes, USAF (ret)
  80. BG James M. Hesson, USA (ret)
  81. MG William b. Hobgood, USA (ret
  82. BG Stanislaus J. Hoey, USA (ret)
  83. MG Bob Hollingsworth, USMC (ret)
  84. BG Thomas W. Honeywill, USAF (ret)
  85. BG Francis A. Hughes, USA (ret)
  86. MG Jim Hunt, USAF (ret)
  87. MG Dewitt T. Irby, Jr., USA (ret)
  88. MG Donald L. Jacka, USA (ret)
  89. MG Alan Johnson, USA (ret)
  90. LTG James H. Johnson, Jr. USA (ret)
  91. BG James M. Johnston III, USAF (ret)
  92. BG Charles Jones, USAF (ret)
  93. BG Robert R. Jordan, USA (ret)
  94. RDML Herbert C. Kaler, USN (ret)
  95. MG Anthony R. Kropp, USA (ret)
  96. RADM Chuck Kubic, CEC, USN (ret)
  97. BG Jerry L. Laws, USA (ret)
  98. RDML Bobby C. Lee, USN (ret)
  99. VADM Dean Lee, USCG (ret)
  100. MG James E. Livingston, USMC, MOH
  101. MG John D. Logeman, USAF (ret)
  102. MG Donald Logeais, USAF (ret)
  103. BG John Lotz, USAF (ret)
  104. BG Robert W. Lovell, USAF (ret)
  105. RDML John T. Lyons III, USN (ret)
  106. MG James C. McCombs, USAF (ret)
  107. LTG Fred McCorkle, USMC (ret)
  108. LTG Thomas McInerney, USAF (ret)
  109. RADM John H. McKinley, USN (ret)
  110. MG Tim McMahon, USAF (ret)
  111. BG Michael P. McRaney, USAF (ret)
  112. BG Ronald Scott Mangum, USA (ret)
  113. BG Jeffrey Marshall, USA (ret)
  114. BG Joe Mensching, USAF (ret)
  115. RADM William F. Merlin, USCG (ret)
  116. MG John F. Miller, Jr, USAF (ret)
  117. RDML James Alan Morgart, USN (ret)
  118. RADM John A. Moriarty, USN (ret)
  119. RADM David R. Morris, USN (ret)
  120. BG Benton Murdock, USA (ret)
  121. RADM William E. Newman, USN (ret)
  122. RADM Phillip R. Olson. USN (ret)
  123. MG Ray O’Mara, USAF (ret)
  124. MG Joe Owens, USA (ret)
  125. VADM Jimmy Pappas, USN (ret)
  126. RADM Russ Penniman, USN (ret)
  127. MG Richard Perraut, USAF (ret)
  128. BG Christopher J. Petty, ARNG (ret)
  129. RADM William W. Pickavance, Jr. USN (ret)
  130. RADM Leonard Picotte, USN (ret)
  131. VADM John Poindexter, USN (ret)
  132. MG David S. Post, USAF (ret)
  133. RDML J.J. Quinn, USN (ret)
  134. MG Bentley B. Rayburn, USAF (ret)
  135. LTG Clifford Rees, Jr., USAF (ret)
  136. MG Ron Richard, USMC (ret)
  137. LTG James C. Riley, USA (ret)
  138. BG Teddy Rinebarger, USAF (ret)
  139. MG H. Douglas Robertson, USA (ret)
  140. RDML William D. Rodriguez, USN (ret)
  141. MG Edward Sauley, USAF (ret)
  142. RADM Norman T. Saunders, USCG (ret)
  143. BG Mark Scheid, USA (ret)
  144. MG John P. Schoeppner, Jr. USAF (ret)
  145. LTG Richard M. Scofield, USAF (ret)
  146. RADM Paul S. Semko, USN (ret)
  147. LTG E.G. ”Buck” Shuler, Jr. USAF (ret)
  148. MG Paul M. Van Sickle, USAF (ret)
  149. BG Tracey Siems, USAF (ret)
  150. MG Darwin H. Simpson, USA (ret)
  151. BG Donald Smith, USAF (ret)
  152. LTG Hubert G. Smith, USA (ret)
  153. BG Ralph Smith, Jr. USAF (ret)
  154. MG Ronald C. Spivey, USAF (ret)
  155. LTG Tom Spoehr, USA (ret)
  156. BG Mark Stearns, USAF (ret)
  157. MG James N. Stewart, USAF (ret)
  158. MG Gerald Still, USAF (ret)
  159. BG Joseph Stringham, USA (ret)
  160. MG Kevin J. Sullivan, USAF (ret)
  161. RADM Jeremy D. Taylor, USN (ret)
  162. LT Gen. David Teal, USAF (ret)
  163. VADM Howard B. Thorsen, USCG (ret)
  164. LTG William Thurman, USAF (ret)
  165. LTG Garry Trexler, USAF (ret)
  166. BG Richard J. Valente, USA (ret)
  167. MG Paul Vallely, USA (ret)
  168. RADM Larry G. Vogt, USN (ret)
  169. BG David B. Warner, USAF (ret)
  170. LTG Ronald L. Watts, USA (ret)
  171. MG Kenneth W. Weir, USMCR (ret)
  172. BG Bill Welch, USAF (ret)
  173. BG David L. Weeks, USA (ret)
  174. MG John M. White, USAF (ret)
  175. BG Robert E. Windham, USA (ret)
  176. RADM H. Denny Wisely, USN (ret)
  177. LTG John Woodmansee, JR. USA (ret)
  178. BG Robert V. Woods, USAF (ret)
  179. LTG John L. Woodward, Jr. USAF (ret)
  180. RADM Robert O. Wray, Jr., USN (ret)


  • As a Vietnam veteran and an absolute patriot, I am absolutely disgusted at the military crt and dei initiative being used by the current government. I am overjoyed that I am not alone. Please keep me posted on your efforts.

    • Thanks for you cmt, you are not alone for sure. Many of us in STARRS and other groups are doing all we can to rid our military of CRT/DEI. The message is starting to get out and some legislation in congress has been drafted to remove CRT/DEI from the DOD. Contact your congressional reps to lend your support. You can stay posted on this STARRS website.

      MG (ret) Joe Arbuckle, USA

  • As a Marine VN veteran I am extremely disappointed in the very low representation of Marine flag officers on this list. When the country club branch fields 72 signatures, and my branch can only find 11 willing to speak out, something is seriously wrong. Where are the past Commandants??? This nonsense is a cancer in our military, and must be torn out root and branch.

    • Thx for your cmt Talmadge and for your VN service. I was an Army infantry lLT in VN. Right on about the cancer in our military called CRT/DEI.
      A big reason you do not see more USMC flag officer signatures is that the mailing list we have for retired flags is only a small percentage of the total number of all retired DOD flags. Our list is formed mostly by word of mouth and is not representative of the percents in each service. More USMC flag signers would be warmly welcomed. Personally, I’m disappointed in the low number of retired 4 stars who sign. Thanks for your support!

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