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Guest Commentary / June 30, 2021

The Chief of Naval Operations and CRT

Admiral Michael Gilday has lost his focus on Naval combat readiness.

By J.P. Jones

During House Armed Services Committee testimony last week, Gen. Mark Milley (USA), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended Marxist Critical Race Theory indoctrination in our military ranks — which will destroy the esprit de corp within those ranks between warriors of all races, ethnic backgrounds, etc.

His testimony followed that a week earlier from the current Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral Michael Gilday, who has had a long and distinguished career as a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) since graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1985. As the senior officer in the Navy, he is responsible for all the policies and regulations that guide our Sailors and ships, submarines, aircraft, and other equipment to ensure their readiness to confront threats from adversaries, and a plethora of other responsibilities, such as Non-Combat Evacuation Operations. He has received high praise from both his seniors and those who have served under him, and is the recipient of the Navy Commendation Medal (with Valor device) for his leadership during the most difficult circumstances.

In a nutshell, based upon his success at various Navy commands, ADM Gilday certainly seems to possess the bona fides to make him a successful Navy leader. After all, during his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), he stated, “The number of ships in the fleet, now at 296 ships, will decrease if the Navy continues to have flat or declining budgets.” It sounds like he is advocating for more new ships, which are sorely needed, especially as adversaries like China and Russia continue to enlarge and modernize their fleets.

However, upon closer inspection of some of policy documents coming down from the CNO, one has to wonder if his priorities are really in the best interest of the Navy. Policies such as paying for “gender reassignment” surgery and treatment for transgender Sailors beg the question: If the Navy doesn’t have enough money to purchase much-needed ships, submarines, aircraft, and weapons systems, can it really afford to pay upwards of $200,000 per person on top of hormone therapy and other medical treatments required if someone wishes to be of the opposite gender?

Add to this the CNO’s addition of activist Ibram X. Kendi’s highly controversial book, How to Be an Antiracist, to the “CNO’s Recommended Reading List” — a clear indication of his embracement of Critical Race Theory — and the CNO’s priorities seem that much more questionable. This book claims that the U.S. is a fundamentally racist nation, and that if an individual is not “antiracist” by Kendi’s standards, then that individual must be, by default, a racist. To him, there is no middle ground, wherein an individual has the freedom to just not be a practicing racist. A review of his book concludes that Kendi, “says we must fight discrimination with discrimination, and that it is racist to disagree.” Is this truly a book that the senior Navy leader should be recommending for his Officers and Sailors to read?

In May, the CNO’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Planning Actions memo was disseminated to the Navy. It spells out the CNO’s vision for the Navy with regards to enlistments, officer accessions, promotions, training, and even acquisition to ensure certain outcomes are met.

Equity,” which is outcome-based rather than equal opportunity, is the goal of this document. It states, “It is the policy of the Department of the Navy (DON) to continue making transformative and meaningful steps that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our policies, programs, and operations across the enterprise.” So, rather than ensuring equal opportunity, which is mandatory in federal law, Navy policy now seeks to ensure certain outcomes, in the name of “fairness.” This will only lead to hard quotas at selection boards and in contract competition to ensure diversity, regardless of whether or not a person selected to do a job, or a company selected to provide a product or service, is actually the most qualified to do so. This must not be the way business is done within any of the military branches, which must be prepared to defend our nation and, as required, our allies and partners overseas!

As a former Naval Officer and USNA graduate, I believe that, despite his long and distinguished career, it is time to replace the CNO with a better qualified Flag Officer who has not embraced “wokeness” and CRT and will ensure that our Navy is prepared to fight our nation’s wars by ensuring the best personnel and equipment are available, regardless of “diversity.” A recent review of CRT training curricula used at the Naval Academy shows the training is based upon Marxist dogma. Vladimir Lenin is credited with saying, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Our nation cannot afford to continue to give the Marxists our children or our Sailors any longer!

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