The Department of Defense recently deployed its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access committee, declaring diversity to be “a strategic imperative critical to mission readiness and accomplishment.”
In doing so, they demonstrated exactly what’s wrong with DEI initiatives.
Many would argue that “mission critical” for the Department of Defense is protecting our borders and people from aggressive external threats. In business, mission-critical is providing value and equity returns for their owners. For publicly held companies, shareholders are the owners.
The military achieves its goals by fielding the best-prepared, best-equipped, and best-led fighting forces. Businesses achieve their goals by hiring the best and brightest, by innovating faster and better, and by competing and winning in the marketplace.
But today’s DEI initiatives do nothing to help achieve any of these goals.
People perform their best in a positive, productive, and mutually respectful workplace culture. Employees should be motivated to work and succeed in a workplace that honors their efforts and respects their careers.
DEI divides the workplace by race, gender, and other factors, and promotes individuals based on metrics other than effort and accomplishment. It shames parts of the workforce by convincing them of evil intent toward others and preaching to them how they don’t deserve the careers they’ve worked so hard to build. Who wants to come to the office for that?
DEI picks winners and losers, creating a “privileged” class of workers. Not only is this disrespectful to those who were passed over, but also to those who were promoted and left to wonder if they had truly earned the role.
Oddly enough, the workplace knows when a promotion has been assigned by lifting up good work or when a promotion has been denied in order to fill a quota or meet a DEI goal. The resulting suspicions and distrust create a toxic and divisive workplace.
The same is true in higher education. Students with diverse backgrounds might wonder whether they truly earned a spot or were simply accepted due to DEI programs. And their classmates will certainly wonder as well – whether it is true or not. That’s a no-win situation for these students, who are left wondering what their accomplishments really yielded, and left to contend with the resulting pettiness and distrust that such programs create.
Now let’s imagine how these issues play out in the high-stakes world of the U.S. Military. In defense, DEI is not mission critical. Its mission detrimental. It might also be lethal. Imagine if the resulting division and pettiness that we see in DEI-affected business affects the military. Do we really want to put a divided, resentful force plagued with the problems of DEI in charge of protecting us from foreign adversaries? An army cannot fight effectively if it is divided
Our military units must be cohesive fighting machines ready to take on the worst our enemies throw at us. Mission critical is having the very best people in place to handle the task as a unit. There is no room for pettiness and grievances when lives and national security are at stake.
Most Americans believe everyone should have equal rights to work hard, pursue self-improvement, and build their families and careers. That’s the American dream. We all start from a different place, and we all have challenges to overcome. But, we promote overall diversity and mutual respect by lifting each other up, not by tearing down one group, one skin color, one gender, or one ideology.
Meritocracy, whether in the military or civilian words, creates challenging and rewarding workplace cultures, which help provide satisfying careers for America’s employees and the sense of unity needed to bring Americans together.
By Andrew Crapuchettes, the founder and CEO of RedBalloon, which was founded in 2021 as the solution to the ever-growing problem of government overreach and “cancel culture” invading the American workplace.
Leave a Comment