Rather than diminish military readiness, woke policies such as gender pronoun training help soldiers feel "included," say top military officials.
"When people join our military, they want to look around and see somebody who looks like them," said Air Force chief of staff Gen. C.Q. Brown in an interview with Defense One. "They want to be part of a team [and] feel like they're included."
Brown, with Marine Corps commandant Gen. David Berger, dismissed concerns about woke policies in the military, praising the building of "cohesive" teams of service members, "no matter their background." Berger said he's seen "zero evidence" that such policies have reduced Marine focus.
The officials' comments come as House Republicans push to cut Pentagon spending on so-called diversity and inclusion training, including an Army program designed to train soldiers on using proper gender pronouns, the Washington Free Beacon reported. One Navy video shows how to create a "safe space" and use pronouns.
Republican senator Roger Wicker (Miss.) said the Biden administration is "shaping the Department of Defense into an institution that is spearheading toxic social policies instead of restoring military strength."
Other Republican members said the only military spending they support cutting is "wokeness."
"On the House Armed Services Committee—we are laser-focused on the threats we face and the capabilities we need to defeat them," committee chairman Mike Rogers (R., Ala.) told the Free Beacon.
He added that Republicans are "examining programs" to decide if they help achieve that goal. If not, he said, those programs will be cut.
The military is struggling with hitting recruitment numbers. The Army missed its goal by 15,000 people last year.
Brown said the Air Force can address recruiting problems by showing younger generations the "tremendous opportunities" in a military career.