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Posted on Feb 18, 2022 Print this Article

Issue 67: February 2022

This edition of CMR E-Notes calls out several examples of “woke-ism” in the Department of Defense.  The DoD’s recently released report on Extremism in the Armed Forces, for example, is skewed by leftist political forces who label any expression of dissent as “extremism.”

A.  CMR Challenges Defense Department “Anti-Extremist” Report

In December 2021, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin released a “Report on Countering Extremist Activity Within the Department of Defense” – an outgrowth of the worldwide standdown to examine extremism in the ranks, which Austin ordered shortly after the Inauguration.   

Secretary Austin’s obsession with radicalism in the ranks has not been proportionate or even-handed.  Out of more than two million military members, the Pentagon’s new report admitted that incidents are “rare . . . fewer than 100 over the past year.”

In this article, CMR explained how new regulations could apply to situations that otherwise would be protected by the First Amendment

With the politicized, woke culture taking hold in the Pentagon, interpretations of Secretary Austin’s policies, which will apply to social media communications including emojis, could ruin the careers of personnel who express conservative views.

According to a recent Roll Call report, General Mark Milley responded to an inquiry from Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member James Inhofe with a letter indicating that training sessions focused on these issues since January 2021 cost the armed forces nearly 6 million hours and about $1 million in additional expenses.

Milley tried to minimize the expense in terms of time and money: “This averages to just over 2 hours per service member in a total force of 2.46 million members and is comparable to other Joint Force periodic training requirements.” 

Inhofe countered by noting that the Pentagon documented fewer than one hundred cases of extremism in today’s forces, which works out to 58,000 hours of training for each instance. 

Republican Senators supporting Inhofe’s inquiry included Roger Wicker (MS), Deb Fischer (NB), Tom Cotton (AR), Mike Rounds (SD), Joni Ernst (IA), Thom Tillis (NC), Dan Sullivan (AK), Kevin Cramer (ND), Rick Scott (FL), Marsha Blackburn (TN), and Tommy Tuberville (AL). 

Senator Inhofe also criticized the Pentagon for being “more focused on promoting its leftist social agenda in the military instead of countering China, Russia, and Iran or creating an effective counterterrorism plan.” 

CMR will closely monitor what comes of this ill-advised Extremism Report and activities resulting from it.  Extremism of any kind has no place in the military, but policy makers must apply anti-extremism rules at both ends of the political spectrum, not just one.

B.  Biden Defense Department Looking for Ways to Deny Biological Realities recently reported that the Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking advice on how to accommodate “nonbinary” troops in the military. 

According to the article, the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is working with the Defense Department and consulting with at least three LGBT activist groups to craft mandates for military persons who identify as transgender or are “nonbinary.”  Organizations mentioned include the Michael D. Palm Center, SPARTA, a transgender military organization, and the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA).

When a spokesman for the IDA declined to answer CMR’s inquiries about the project, we submitted comparable questions to DoD Public Affairs.  Among other things, we asked the DoD to verify or refute anything included in the article and inquired about the contractor (IDA) reported to be managing the project, costs of the contract, and the due date for deliverables. 

In addition, CMR asked about the agendas of groups named in the article and points of controversy.  At a minimum, these include the ethics of medical treatments and surgeries that change appearance but not biological sex, plus concerns about personal privacy, women’s athletics, religious liberty, and other matters of concern. 

Some of these questions were answered in a second article by

Nonbinary: Definition Please

CMR put a key question to both the Defense Department and the Institute of Defense Analysis, but both declined to answer:

Is the Department of Defense operating under the premise that there is a third “nonbinary” sex among human beings?”

Without an answer to this question, it is not possible to recommend changes to accommodate in the military a group of people whose distinguishing characteristics are unknown, subjective, individualistic, or temporary.

Additional questions from our inquiry about a third “nonbinary” sex among human beings:

1.  What exactly do you mean when you refer to “non-binary” individuals?

2.  Are you operating on the belief that something other than XX or XY chromosomes determine the sex of an individual?  If so, what?

3.  Does the term “nonbinary” refer to a biological or scientifically defined category of human beings or is it a reference to the subjective identity of a given individual?

4.  If an individual’s defining marker is subjective identity, is this a fixed condition or can the individual subjectively decide to no longer be “nonbinary?”

5.  What are the characteristics or behaviors, if any, that are most strongly associated with a “nonbinary” person?

6.  What are the characteristics or behaviors, if any, that are most strongly associated with “nonbinary” children?

7.  How do “nonbinary” characteristics and behaviors relate to the tasks, duties, and responsibilities shared by members of the military in their service to the country?

8.  If “nonbinary” is manifested primarily by sexual expression or behavior, how would you accommodate the privacy concerns of “binary” individuals in the close quarters of military living?

9.  If “nonbinary” refers to a person’s subjective identity or sexual practices, how do those characteristics or behaviors improve unit cohesion, morale, combat effectiveness, and battlefield lethality?

Without properly defining and identifying the relevant population groups, it is not possible to reach any conclusions about the impact of open service by “nonbinary” individuals.  Hence the questions above.

On Inauguration Day, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order  (EO) prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation – a major policy reversal that was quickly followed by an EO affecting the military first.

That Executive Order revoked the Trump administration’s policy regarding persons who identify as transgender or are diagnosed with gender dysphoria:

With these orders, President Biden let down everyone in the armed forces, but especially military women, who will be ordered to share their private facilities with biological males who claim to be transgender. 

Transgender ideology, which demands acceptance of the unscientific notion that gender is “designated” or “assigned at birth,” disregards psychological and biological realities.  Medical personnel and people of faith who object on grounds of medical ethics or personal conviction soon will have no recourse but to enforce Biden’s “woke” ideology – or leave.

It remains to be seen whether the Defense Department will eliminate all recognition of female persons, currently known as “women” and “girls,” or whether it will it impose mandates that ignore biological realities.

CMR will continue to follow, report, and analyze whatever the Defense Department imposes on our troops next.

C.  Discharges of Military Personnel Rejecting COVID Mandates Reveal Questionable DoD Data

As thousands of personnel who challenge COVID vaccination mandates are discharged from the military, questions have been raised about the accuracy of military public health records and whether those records have been altered to support the COVID vaccination mandates.  This article, which is disturbing on many levels, presents data that is relevant to the debate:

Military medical doctors have informed the public that numbers of certain diagnoses were off the charts in 2021 compared to the 2016-2020 data.  The Department of Defense claimed that is not true and the 2016–2020 database numbers were wrong.  If that was the case, who was responsible for not maintaining an accurate database for those four years, prior to the COVID pandemic?

Either the 2016-2020 database was correct and there was a huge problem with 2021, or the people responsible for the database in 2016-2020 were incompetent and their misinformation may have compromised national defense.  It would be interesting to hear from officials who served during the Trump years – What do they say about how they maintained the database during those years?

Military people should be able to consult with their own doctors and make their own choices, within the bounds of what is reasonable and science based.  Most COVID mandates seem to be denying science, as well as common sense.

The military’s blanket denials of natural immunity and religious exemptions, even for chaplains, do not inspire confidence or trust.

D.  Retired Marine 3-Star Defines Sound Military Policy

CMR is pleased to feature on our website an outstanding commentary written by Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, USMC (Ret.):

General Newbold’s compelling essay was published by the military website Task & Purpose, and picked up by major media, including the Military Times Early Bird, Real Clear Defense, the Washington Examiner, Daily Wire, Epoch Times, Townhall, and a column by Kurt Schlichter.

Newbold accused current Pentagon leaders of having “a form of dementia when it comes to warfare” – It would help if they read and followed General Newbold’s advice.

Articles of Interest:

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CMR E-Notes is a periodic publication of the Center for Military Readiness. Founded in 1993, CMR is an independent, non-partisan public policy organization that reports on and analyzes military/social issues.  More information is available at

Posted on Feb 18, 2022 Print this Article