DOD Woke Agenda

CMR Challenges New Congress to End Woke-ism in the Military

By Elaine Donnelly
President of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR)
Member of the STARRS Board of Advisors

The armed forces’ Recruiting Crisis of 2022 will continue and worsen in 2023 unless Congress acts to restore sound priorities that are being weakened by woke ideology.

National security depends on the All-Volunteer Force.  Congress, which has the constitutional responsibility for oversight, must not allow Defense Department leaders to continue and extend woke policies that are alienating the military’s core constituency: traditional, patriotic families.

The Center for Military Readiness calls on the new 118th Congress to oppose, change, or repeal “woke” policies in the military that are weakening morale and readiness, and to support sound priorities that would make our military stronger.

CMR Challenge for 2023: Woke-ism in Our Military

Woke policies impose progressive ideologies and take them to extremes with enforced compliance, even if they hurt the institution. 

“The Center for Military Readiness has challenged Congress to end woke-ism in the military by addressing ten issues, linked here.  In summary, Congress should


  • Pentagon Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) metrics and percentage-based quotas
  • Divisive critical race theory (CRT) instructions in military schools and academies
  • Anti-extremist programs skewed by leftist ideology
  • Registration of Women with Selective Service for a possible future draft
  • Attempts to re-define Selective Service with steps toward National Service
  • Sex-normed (different) training standards for men and women in (infantry) combat
  • Unreasonable COVID vaccine mandates that exclude or discharge willing personnel
  • Relaxed eligibility rules for persons with a history of disqualifying behavioral problems
  • Sexualized military base entertainment that alienates families and disrespects women

Re-Evaluate and Revise to Promote Readiness:

  • Consequences of imposing “gender diversity” on direct ground combat (infantry) units
  • The consequences of “sex-neutral” (identical) standards” that cause disproportionate injuries, higher attrition rates, and non-deployability among women
  • Impact of transgender policies that accommodate gender dysphoria in the military, including violations of personal privacy in female-only living facilities and athletics
  • Impact of gender dysphoria policies on medical ethics and rights of religious liberty


  • Reality-based health care programs that protect children from woke activists who promote transgender treatments and sometimes surgeries without parental involvement
  • Non-discrimination and recognition of merit in enlistment and promotion polices
  • Command accountability for due process and justice in matters of sexual assault
  • Military parents’ rights to seek information about the curriculum, teaching practices, and books used in Department of Defense Education (DoDEA) schools
  • “Peace Through Strength” and American military superiority

“If there are conflicts between woke social causes or career interests and the needs of the military, the needs of the military must come first.  We hope that pro-defense lawmakers will aggressively defend sound policies that strengthen our military, not weaken it.”

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The Center for Military Readiness, founded in 1993, is celebrating its 30th anniversary as an independent, non-partisan public policy organization that reports on and analyzes military/social issues.  Elaine Donnelly can be reached at [email protected], and more information is available at

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