Log In

Reset Password

Report warns of Navy’s woke, diversity training trumping war readiness

Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, realizes the importance of training and warfighting when it comes to dealing with superpower adversaries like China and the Soviet Union.

China’s dramatic increase in defense spending and aggressive behavior in the vital Indo-Pacific region is a big reason why a commonsense defense strategy is so important.

Inhofe recently warned that Chinese military modernization has been nothing short of astounding and that “their ability to move fast and increase production rates is leaving us in the dust.”

A new report, commissioned by Republicans on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, reveals how the Navy’s top brass seems more focused on wokeness and diversity training than on winning wars, thus leaving sailors feeling unprepared to face a 21st century conflict with China. It concludes that a “major peer-level conflict” in the 21st century will likely play out largely in the naval theaters of operations.

The report was ordered by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, an Army veteran; Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, a Navy reservist; Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Navy SEAL veteran; and Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Marine veteran.

They commissioned the report after a series of major naval incidents, including the deadly collision of two destroyers at sea, the surrender of a small craft to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Persian Gulf, and a fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego.

Banks noted in a statement that the report doesn’t mince words.

“At a time when the Navy’s readiness is more critical than ever before, this report depicts a Navy leadership that’s distracted from the number one threat to American national security: The Chinese Communist Party,” he stated. “As China’s Navy exceeds ours in size, the U.S. Navy must be ready to face any threat.”

Written by retired Marine Lt. Gen. Robert E. Schmidle and retired Navy Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, the new report reveals that since the Cold War, the Navy has been drifting more toward a culture of careerism, political correctness and risk aversion than actually training its sailors on how to fight and win.

Montgomery said it shows that military forces are not strong enough to protect vital American national security interests. According to the Department of Defense, current military services are smaller and less combat ready than they have been in many years. Furthermore, each military service has been forced to cut critical needs in areas such as training, maintenance and modernization due to budgetary constraints.

The report found a lack of resources and consistency in surface warfare training programs and a lack of commitment to surface ship maintenance. Before 2003, surface warfare officers attended weeks of hands-on and simulated training in a classroom, but after 2003, they were given 23 CDs. In addition, steaming days were dramatically reduced.

It also concludes that:

• While programs to encourage diversity, human sex trafficking prevention, suicide prevention, sexual assault prevention, and others are appropriate, they come with a cost. The non-combat curricula consume Navy resources, clog inboxes, create administrative quagmires, and monopolize precious training time.

• By weighing down sailors with non-combat related training and administrative burdens, both Congress and Navy leaders risk sending them into battle less prepared and less focused than their opponents.

The report made several major recommendations, including getting “politics and media out of the wardroom” and “eliminating distractions” while concentrating on training, doctrine, and warfighting fundamentals.

In-depth interviews with sailors of different ranks and jobs revealed a frustration with non-essential training that was “overwhelming.”

“Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy,” one active duty lieutenant said in the report.

“It’s criminal,” she added. “They think my only value is as a black woman. But you cut our ship open with a missile and we’ll all bleed the same color.”

A recently retired senior enlisted leader also referenced the top brass’s focus on diversity training over basic operational skills.

“I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training. I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship handling training,” he noted.

“The Navy treats warfighting readiness as a compliance issue,” said one career commander. “You might even use the term compliance-centered warfare as opposed to adversary-centered warfare or warfighter-centered warfare.”

Two months ago, Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, commander of 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, was fired for comments made during a podcast promoting his new book, “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military,” which claims Marxist ideologies are becoming prevalent in the U.S. military.

“This decision was based on public comments made by Lt. Col. Lohmeier in a recent podcast,” a Space Force spokesperson said in an email.

Lohmeier said he’s received much support from active-duty members on the book’s release.

An oft-repeated message is to thank him for speaking up … because “we don’t have a voice anymore.”

By Jim Zbick | tneditor@tnonline.com

The foregoing opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board or Times News LLC.