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Policies for ‘nonbinary service members,’ critical race theory essential for national security, senior Pentagon official claims

The Pentagon’s second-highest-ranking official outlined a commitment to policies focused on “nonbinary service members” and mandating critical race theory training, claiming those points were keys to national security.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleene Hicks discussed the need to create a cultural change in the military at multiple Pride events, including most recently on June 5.

During a DoD Pride event for the Association of LGBTQI+ Service Members in June, Hicks discussed the Pentagon’s LGBTQ priorities vis-à-vis military “readiness,” a term which refers to the ability to deter potential adversaries, defend national interests and ensure that armed forces can meet their missions.

“We’ve heard concerns about … policies focused on the needs of nonbinary service members. Please know our commitment is resolute, just as it has been over the past three-and-a-half years, to continue our progress in full alignment with our focus on readiness and our focus on the well-being of our people, on which our readiness depends,” she said.

The Pentagon told Fox News Digital that policies for “nonbinary” service members didn’t exist at DoD.

“Deputy Secretary Hicks spoke about the need for Americans to choose public service in order to sustain our all-volunteer force, and the need to ensure health, safety and trust within our military as a matter of readiness,” a spokesperson for Hicks told Fox News Digital. “That would include listening to servicemember input on a wide variety of policies-not just the ones she highlighted on this occasion. She didn’t talk about, or imply, the importance of any particular policy in the context of national security.”

Hicks proceeded to outline how the Biden administration was addressing the “erosion of trust” in government institutions, and proposed to handle recruiting challenges by further entrenching DEI.

“This should alarm every freedom-loving American,” said Nicole Kiprilov at the Center for Military Excellence. Kiprilov went on to call Hicks’ remarks “simply self-loathing, anti-Americanism masquerading as ‘DEI.’”

“No wonder why we have a 25% recruitment deficit in our military,” she said.

According to a second video reviewed by Fox News, Hicks said in 2022 that it was essential for “warfighting success” to have training throughout the military regarding “unconscious bias,” a key term found in critical race theory (CRT).

CRT holds implicit biases are one of the mechanisms through which systemic racism in America is actively fueled.

“Recruiting, developing and retaining a highly skilled military and civilian workforce of diverse talent is essential to our warfighting success,” she said in her official remarks at a DoD Pride event in June 2022.

One of the policies related to the mission was, “Developing diversity and inclusion training requirements and course curriculum, including training to detect and respond to unconscious bias.”

“Recruiting, developing and retaining a highly skilled military and civilian workforce of diverse talent is essential to our warfighting success,” she said in her official remarks at a DoD Pride event in June 2022.

She added this agenda was a top priority for Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, the Secretary of Defense.

“While we should all be proud of these real, concrete steps forward, we know there is more work to be done. And make no mistake, doing so is a priority for Secretary [Lloyd] Austin,” she said.

She went on to claim that a climate that supports “dialogue” on DEI was key to national defense.

“Secretary Austin and I are committed to holding leaders at all levels responsible for fostering climates of inclusion that support dialog, including for LGBTQ+ community. This is a core readiness issue,” she said.

“We will continue to advance policies and programs to develop and nurture a leadership pipeline of diverse talent… We know that organizational climates… affect our warrior readiness. Therefore, we are directing initiatives to improve leaders’ skill development and foster more effective, inclusive team environments. We know that we must be agile, yet be deliberate in our approach. We must thoughtfully and fully consider how our actions today will contribute to a better tomorrow.”

While proponents of DEI, such as Hicks, argue that it strengthens the military, right-wing critics on Capitol Hill take aim at the zeal with which the Biden administration has pursued the agenda, in their view, at the expense of more pressing issues relating to national security.

“We’ve got to get this country, and certainly our military, back to being a true meritocracy,” Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., told Fox News Thursday. “Our military has been the ultimate meritocracy where people can achieve great things no matter what their background is and be heroes and be celebrated by the country — and instead, you’ve seen this woke effort with DEI in the military, and it is contrary to our American values.”

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