Pentagon's DEI efforts under scrutiny as House investigators launch new oversight probe

FIRST ON FOX: The House Oversight Committee is launching an investigation into the effects of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs on the U.S. military.

Reps. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., and Jim Banks, R-Ind., chairs of the Oversight panel’s subcommittees on national security and military personnel respectively, sent a letter to the head of the Pentagon’s Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (DACODAI) on Monday demanding to know what considerations and information sources are going into his annual DEI report to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The subcommittee chairs charged that “under the guise of DEI, promotions are being rewarded based on sex, gender, ethnicity, and race at the expense of merit.”

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“In 2022, DoD established the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (DACODAI) to provide independent advice and recommendations on matters and policies related to DEI in the Armed Forces,” they wrote to the panel’s chair, retired Gen. Lester Lyles. 

“The Subcommittee understands DACODAI is working to release a final report. Our warfighters deserve to be led by the best qualified leaders. Therefore, the Subcommittee is requesting information and an update regarding the publication of this report as soon as possible.”

The letter is signed by a dozen of Banks and Grothman’s fellow House Republicans.

“DoD’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion over mission effectiveness and capability concerns our nation’s national security and safety,” they wrote.

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The letter also cited a November 2023 report by Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services (STARRS), an anti-DEI nonprofit organization comprised of retired military members.

The 101-page document is largely a compilation of testimony from military recruits and their families expressing dismay at DEI training within the armed forces.

“The majority of cadets do not like this training and see it as divisive and bad for morale. But the academy continues to elevate the voices of cadets who agree with the training and want to spread leftist ideology further,” the report said. “A minority cadet wrote to STARRS and said: ‘I see so many bright young Cadets here who know what is going on is wrong but at the same time are too scared to speak up. The fear we feel, not being able to address our concerns only makes the lack of courage issue worse.’… Why would this cadet say this if the extent of DEI training (indoctrination really) is only 16 out of 2400 hours?”

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The Republican lawmakers wrote on Monday: “Their findings showed that many did not feel comfortable recommending military service because of the DEI policies instituted throughout DoD. Americans have the right to expect that their sons and daughters in uniform are led, trained, and equipped by the very best.”

They noted that the STARRS report was sent over to the military’s DEI panel but “it is unclear the extent to which DACODAI will incorporate that information into its final report.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the Pentagon for comment but did not hear back at press time.

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