America’s military service academies are using "anti-racist" and critical race theory teaching tools to train their faculty and future officers.
Administrators at West Point are embracing the radical racial politics that have taken hold over many American campuses, according to documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. The prestigious military institution will not only adapt critical race theory into its curriculum but will also use such practices in admissions. A West Point diversity and inclusion plan for 2020 to 2025 said that in order for the academy to remain competitive with the civilian sector among potential applicants, the school must appeal to the sensibilities of "America’s younger generation." Inclusivity will matter just as much as marksmanship, according to the documents.
"The Armed Forces represent the nation it defends, including reflecting our nation's diversity," the document reads. "It is imperative that we leverage all aspects of the nation’s diversity … to create and sustain an inclusive organization that attracts the best that the nation has to offer. We must create an environment that appeals to the aspirations of American’s younger generation. Only then will we be successful in competing with the civilian sector for the highest quality recruits."
Radical race-based training for future officers alarmed Iraq war veteran and West Point graduate Rep. Mark Green (R., Tenn.). The officer corps of the United States Army should be focused on maintaining an effective fighting force against growing threats from China and Russia, Green said, rather than sowing domestic discord.
"It’s pretty concerning that our military service academies seem to be more focused on teaching critical race theory than military strategy," Green said. "This ongoing assault on our military by the radical left is damaging to our readiness and our competitive advantage…. When it comes to training our nation’s future combat leaders, we need our service academies to train soldiers—not woke social justice warriors."
West Point did not respond to a request for comment.
The march toward critical race theory within the military's ranks shows no signs of slowing down. Another West Point report from June 2020 suggested all inbound officers and faculty undergo "inclusive training." Along with this training came a reading list offering the foundations of knowledge on "diversity, inclusion, and equity." The list included highly contested works such as Ibram X. Kendi’s 2019 book How to be an Antiracist and a Ta-Nehisi Coates article titled "The Case for Reparations." A critique on racial grounds of the American criminal justice system called The New Jim Crow and Nikole Hannah-Jones's podcast centered on her controversial 1619 Project rounded out the reading list.
An aide to Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) said the consequences of woke ideology at service academies could put American soldiers at risk, no matter the color of their skin.
"Part of the problem with critical race theory is that it’s a solution in search of a problem. Yes, the military has a few bad apples. No, it is not systemic," the aide said. "This is the type of thing where we do not see the full nefarious impact until we get into a shooting war and we bring a lot of Americans home in boxes regardless of their race, sex, creed, origin, or wealth."
The incursion of wokeness onto campus is not unique to West Point. Under pressure from student activists, the United States Naval Academy mandated "diversity, equity, and inclusion" training for students and faculty after complaints of a "toxic" culture. Some of the pressure on the Naval Academy has come from Congress. A bill pushed last year by Rep. Anthony Brown (D., Md.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) called for the collection of demographic data from the Naval Academy’s applicants and ranks, specifically focused on racial data. The bill's provisions passed in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act and now requires annual reports on the diversity of academy nominations, applications, acceptances, and appointments.
Brown told the Free Beacon he will continue to "advocate for policies to address the systemic and structural barriers that hold back applicants of color."
Gillibrand did not respond to a request for comment.
For former Navy captain Brent Sadler, an academy graduate and fellow at the Heritage Foundation, woke pressures jeopardize the Navy's mission.
"There is an outside pressure to try to politicize the military for whatever social issue that might be going on," Sadler said. "That is extremely costly."