Sen. Cotton grills Defense Secretary Austin in testy exchange over 'woke' military

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A budget hearing on Capitol Hill turned testy, not about the enemy abroad, but over what some see as a new enemy growing in the ranks — the so-called 'woke' military.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was grilled by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday over a so-called 'woke' military.

"Do you believe that any member of the military should be treated differently based on their skin color and sex? Again yes or no will do," Cotton asked during the hearing. "No, I do not believe that and that is why we have diversity equity and inclusion focus in the military," Austin responded.

US MILITARY OFFERED 'WOKE' PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES ON DIVERSITY

The Arkansas senator and former Army infantry officer said he and Congressman Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, a former Navy SEAL, had received "several hundred" messages from irate service members complaining the Pentagon's 'extremism and diversity' training is dividing the forces and taking time away from critical training for war.

"One Marine told us that a military history training session was replaced with mandatory training on police brutality, White privilege and systemic racism," Cotton said, adding that several officers from that Marine Corps unit "are now leaving" the military as a result of the training.

"A member of the Special Operations community has told us that they are being instructed that, 'The U.S. special operations community is racist,'" Cotton added.

Some lawmakers said it's not just the new training that is slowing down the military.

REPUBLICANS SCRAMBLE TO STAMP OUT 'WOKE' POLITICAL BIAS, CANCEL CULTURE IN THE US MILITARY

A staggering 71% of young people are ineligible to join the military, according to the Pentagon due to obesity, a lack of a high school diploma or having a criminal record. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., a former college football coach, said a $715 billion defense budget is worthless if you don't have the right people on the team. He said if a draft was held today in America, only a fraction…
Lucas Tomlinson
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