(Press Release) House Armed Services Military Readiness Subcommittee Chairman Mike Waltz (FL-6) and Military Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Jim Banks (IN-3) requested information from U.S. Military Academy at West Point Superintendent, Lieutenant General Steve Gilland, on a mandatory role-play guide focusing on gender-neutral terms for cadets and other activities at the academy.
The letter follows concerns received from cadets uncomfortable with the politicized nature of these sessions and other activities that have taken place at West Point.
The training scenario document received by Reps. Waltz & Banks titled “It’s Not That Complicated” under “CADET FACILITATOR GUIDE 2023 Role Play Scenario #4,” cadets are asked to participate in a role play exercise focused on “Understanding and respecting the pronouns people prefer.”
“Over the last two years we’ve seen a disturbing trend taking place at our military academies that puts politics over service,” said Military Readiness Subcommittee Chairman Mike Waltz. “
“We have an obligation to ensure military academies such as West Point are prioritizing the education and training of future military officers rather than implementing the political priorities of the Biden Administration. Every minute our soldiers spend in sensitivity training is a minute they could be at the rifle range. Chinese and Russian soldiers certainly won’t be focused on what pronoun a U.S. soldier uses.”
“Cadets were forced to participate in preferred pronoun play acting during training time allotted to prevent sexual assault in the military,” said Military Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Jim Banks.
“This exemplifies how divisive and radical left wing ideologies are creeping into our service academies and edging out consensus and reasonable goals. Chairman Waltz and I will continue to hold accountable partisan officials who are poisoning our military with wokeness.”
The letter also requests compensation information regarding a 2021 guest lecture by Dr. Carol Anderson on “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage” and whether Critical Race Theory is still included in a course syllabus as it was previously confirmed by previous West Point Superintendent, General Darryl Williams.
You Can Read the Full Letter Below:
Dear Lieutenant General Gilland,
Thank you for your continued service to our country and commitment to educate and train our nation’s future U.S. Army officers.
We recently obtained a document for training exercises during a “Dean’s Weekend” at West Point that we feel disrupts and distracts from the education and training that is needed to shape our future military leaders. We also understand that these training courses were mandatory for all cadets, led by cadets, and supervised by faculty.
In one of the Dean’s Weekend training scenarios titled “It’s Not That Complicated” under “CADET FACILITATOR GUIDE 2023 Role Play Scenario #4,” cadets are asked to participate in a role play exercise focused on “Understanding and respecting the pronouns people prefer.”
The facilitator guide displays an instructional role play scenario centered around misidentifying gender-neutral pronouns. As Chairmen of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, and the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, we are concerned these kinds of exercises distract from the core mission of West Point in developing future wartime officers and further erodes trust in our military with politicized, social trainings.
According to the document, “The Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (DoD SAPRO) has mandated that USMA assess the effectiveness of our prevention programming. The survey we are asking you to take today will support our ability to do this.”
It is unclear to us as veterans how an exercise regarding preferred pronouns pertains to sexual assault prevention in the military or service academies.
We feel an exercise of this nature is problematic, dismissive of mainstream viewpoints, and unnecessarily creates conflict between cadets with opposing cultural views, all of which negatively affects unit cohesion.
Moreover, this exercise represents yet another instance of West Point leadership implementing policies and directives that encourage cadets to focus on their differences rather than subordinate them to collectively accomplish the overall mission and purpose.
The first is the antithesis of a team, the latter is the essence of a team.
This training scenario follows a pattern of disturbing developments out of West Point and other service academies over the past few years surrounding the politized concepts being taught at the Academy.
In April 2021, your predecessor, General Darryl A. Williams, confirmed in a letter to Rep. Waltz that West Point had hosted a lecture by Dr. Carol Anderson of Emory University in February 2021 that featured a slide titled “Understanding Your Whiteness and White Rage.” According to General Williams, 40 cadets and approximately 100 additional personnel attended the guest lecture.
As Rep. Waltz previously noted in his April 2021 letter to General Williams, Dr. Anderson has a history of politically charged views, including inflammatory language directed at former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, and we maintain it was inappropriate to host her as a guest lecturer.
Additionally, General Williams also confirmed in the same April 2021 response that Critical Race Theory is included in a course syllabus, “SS392-the Politics of Race, Gender, and Sexuality.”
As veterans, we feel strongly that the teaching of Critical Race Theory is detrimental to unit cohesion, destructive to morale, undermines the mission to serve our country, and has affected recruitment.
In light of these examples, we ask that you please provide responses to the following no later than April 3, 2023 (IDC about date just think we should put in a deadline):
- Can you confirm the authenticity of the Cadet Facilitator Guide and role play scenario explained above?
- If authentic, did DoD SAPRO develop the materials for West Point cadets or were the training exercises developed by cadets and/or faculty?
- If authentic, was there a substantial increase or history of complaints from non-binary or transgender cadets that precipitated this training?
- If developed by West Point, what office developed the role play scenario? Were scenario consultants contracted to develop the exercise and if, so how much were they paid and from which accounts?
- Was Dr. Carol Anderson paid or contracted to guest lecture at West Point? If so, how much was she compensated for her work and from which accounts?
- Can you confirm whether Critical Race Theory is still included in a course syllabus at the academy?
- Can you please share how many employees work in West Point’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality Opportunity and how much the Academy budgets for this office? From which department account is the office funded?
We look forward to your prompt responses to these inquiries.
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