PENTAGON WATCH – Tied to a contentious hearing with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that I reported on last week, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) released a list of 28 written complaints from troops about woke indoctrination sessions that service members say paint the military as fundamentally racist. The complaints were included in a June 10 Memo from Senator Cotton to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subject: SECDEF/CJCS Posture Hearing.
These 28 examples are reportedly only a small number of hundreds received from the public whistleblower site launched by Cotton and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) two weeks ago inviting service members to complain about “woke ideology” in the military. Cotton, a Ranger qualified Army officer, served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne and in Afghanistan. Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL officer, lost an eye to an IED in Afghanistan in 2012.
The ‘training’ sessions described by the troops in the complaints often openly supported leftist groups while labeling conservative movements as ‘extremist.’
With written permission we will anonymously publish egregious complaints on social media and tell the country what’s happening in our military.
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) May 28, 2021
Defense One reported on some of these complaints:
…one service member balked at the training’s focus on far-right extremist groups, not other organizations like Black Lives Matter or Antifa.
“Anyone who has been face to face with them during the riots will tell you they are in fact well organized militant hate groups,” the service member wrote. “However, we are encouraged to stand with them, but not groups that stand for the Constitution.”
“Many struggle to connect on why we heavily condemned Jan 6 but refused to talk about the violent riots during the summer of 2020. Many had questions about groups like Antifa not being discussed during out [sic] extremism presentation,” another service member wrote.
One member of the military wrote that a Black Lives Matter flag hung on a naval installation in Africa “was offensive and distracting to me, especially in a combat zone.” When he asked about it, a commander told him the movement was “not political and non-partisan.”
Another allegedly wrote the senator to complain that a “forced” discussion session on racism occurred only after “the baseline assumption that systemic racism is real and an existing problem we have to face was locked in as fact.”
Another complained, “The training was about extremists. The only example of extremist groups that was given was white Supremist [sic] groups.” Yet another complained after hearing an senior leader advocate for Black Lives Matter, saying she “told us that we all need to support this cause because it is morally right.”
But, the service member complained, “This group is particularly hostile, and doesn’t align with my morals in any fashion. When Senior Non-Commissioned Officers inject their politics into the workplace, we lose our apolitical nature and ability to complete tasks with everyone around in a more effective nature.”
Senator Cotton’s memo noted many more complaints. Read here the entire June 10 Memo. ADN