An Army general admitted to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) that the Army’s transgender inclusion policies are "probably not" helping recruitment.
Gaetz pressed Gen. James McConville during a Wednesday Pentagon budget hearing on whether recruitment of a key military demographic, "men from the American South," might suffer from the Army's transgender inclusion policies, such as its guidelines allowing biological men to shower with female soldiers.
"Do you think you’re going to recruit more of them with this kind of stuff?" Gaetz asked McConville.
"Probably not," the general replied.
Allowing men to shower with women in the military DOES NOT build a more cohesive unit.
Even Army Chief of Staff General McConville admitted that this weird force-feeding of DEI from the Army will not help with our nation’s military recruitment crisis. pic.twitter.com/PEAvfUUPkD
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) April 19, 2023
Gaetz argued during the hearing that the policy of transgender inclusion hindered the goal of building a "cohesive team," telling Army Secretary Christine Wormuth that condoning "people with male genitalia showering with your female soldiers" would hurt recruitment of women.
"I don’t think it’s going to be a big positive recruiting pitch to women that when someone shows up with male genitalia in their shower stall, that we tell them that we’re trying to build a cohesive team," Gaetz told Wormuth.
Wormuth pushed back against Gaetz's critiques of the transgender policies, saying, "Women are more worried about being sexually harassed in the Army than they are about the kinds of things that you’re bringing up."
The U.S. military has faced challenges to recruiting in recent years, such as a growing epidemic of obesity and mental health problems in the American population. With 77 percent of young Americans currently deemed unfit for military service, the Department of Defense has loosened restrictions on recruits with mental health problems. The Air Force this month increased its body fat allowance for recruits in order to combat the dismal recruitment numbers.
The Biden administration has introduced diversity, equity, and inclusion measures into its military branches, with an Air Force division implementing a policy of gender neutral written communications last year to improve "lethality."
"We must embrace, promote, and unleash the potential of diversity and inclusion," read a Pacific Air Forces order obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Army missed its FY 2022 recruitment goal by 25 percent, or 15,000 soldiers, and expects continued decline in 2023.