Milley: Few Drag Queen Shows on Bases ≠ Military Going ‘Woke’

Drag Queen Shows on Military Bases: A Misrepresentation ‍of Military Priorities

“A handful of drag⁣ queen shows”‌ on military⁣ bases doesn’t mean that the military “went woke,” Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark Milley said Wednesday.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Washington Post, Milley said charges that the military is pushing “wokeness” and⁣ critical race theory are “overstated.”

“I’ll use drag queen shows as an example,” Milley said. “How many times ⁤it happened?⁤ It happened a few. That’s true. Probably shouldn’t happen. But it did. But to say that … the entire ‍military went‍ woke because a handful of drag queen shows that⁢ shouldn’t happen to ​begin with I think is an overstatement.”

Republican Criticism and Recruitment Crisis

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) in June flagged ​ six drag shows at military bases, the Washington Free Beacon reported. One at a Nevada Air‍ Force base, which the Pentagon canceled following a letter from Gaetz, was billed as “family-friendly” and had no ⁤minimum age requirement.

In another case, the Navy appointed a “nonbinary” drag⁢ queen to be a​ “digital ambassador” tasked with attracting “younger Americans amid recruitment shortages,” the Free Beacon ⁤ reported.

Those shortages have amounted to a⁤ “once-in-a-generation military recruitment crisis,” retired Army captain Jeremy Hunt told Congress in March. Hunt and other experts pointed to the military’s focus on “woke” initiatives, including Diversity, Equity, and⁣ Inclusion training, as the main reason for the crisis.

Republicans have strongly criticized that focus, backing bills to ban the drag shows and other “woke” initiatives.

The Army⁣ last year put its soldiers through “training on gender pronouns and coaching officers on when to offer soldiers ⁣gender transition surgery,” according to documents obtained by the Free Beacon. Meanwhile, the Navy trained sailors on “proper gender pronouns” in a video ‍”modeled after a children’s show.”

Public confidence in the⁤ military, ​meanwhile, ​has plunged to its⁤ lowest point in over two decades, polling‌ found last month.

Alongside DEI priorities, President Joe Biden announced in April that his administration will⁣ grade the military ⁤and other agencies on their efforts to “advance environmental justice” ⁤and deliver “benefits to disadvantaged communities.”

Milley in the interview admitted the “recruiting challenge” but said that “there’s never a ⁢single causal factor.” The general insisted that COVID-19 and a spike in ​recruits who failed ⁢the academic test to get into the military are more significant reasons ⁢for the crisis.

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