John Kirby Rejects ‘Bogus Claim’ of Woke Policies Dragging Down Army Recruitment: ‘There’s No Wokeness in the Military’


John Kirby flatly rejected the common right-wing talking point that “woke” policies are weakening America’s military standards.

The National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications spoke to NewsNation host and Mediaite founder Dan Abrams on Wednesday about the recruitment shortage the Army has seen in recent months. To that point, Abrams asked Kirby for his thoughts about conservatives who’ve claimed that the military is no longer effective because of their own attempts to be more inclusive, gender neutral, and conscientious about social justice.

“Some on the right have suggested that it’s the administration’s policies, right?” Abrams said. “It’s the requirement of the vaccine, it’s the ‘woke policies’ in the military that’s leading less people to want to join. What do you make of that?”

“There’s no indications of that,” Kirby shot back as he pronounced it “a bogus claim.”

There’s no wokeness in the military. The military is — and it should be — a diverse organization. We’re supposed to represent and defend all Americans and our diversity. I’ve seen this myself, firsthand, aboard ships at sea. The diversity of the United States Military makes us stronger, makes us smarter, helps us make better decisions. There’s no wokeness. They’re driving a stake through a straw man, and we’ve seen no indications that culture concerns like that are having an impact on recruiting.

Kirby argued that the rollback of federal protections for abortion rights in Dobbs V. Jackson is actually having a detrimental effect on military retention. He based his argument on a Rand study that suggests that limiting women’s access to reproductive health care could impact the decisions of servicewomen on whether to stay in the military.

The statement from Kirby follows recent reporting on how the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado has taken steps to implement diversity training. The goal is to encourage the use of more inclusive language and to recognize diversity as a source of strength.

At the beginning of the training, cadets are assured that “what’s said here, stays in the room (let’s have each other’s backs)​,” and cadets were instructed not to “share people’s stories with their name/identifiers).”

The presentation also asks cadets to finish prompts like, “What I think about me in terms of who I am,” “What others think about me,” “What might be misunderstood about me” and “How squad/classmates can help me feel valued.”

At the end of the presentation, cadets are informed about additional D&I resources on the academy’s Colorado Springs campus, including a “D&I Reading Room” and “Affinity groups.”

Watch above via NewsNation.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: