A growing number of predominantly conservative Americans have spoken out against the U.S. military’s increasing focus on social issues in recent years.
Many of these critics have described the ideology of military leaders as “woke,” using a term frequently applied to other institutions.
While some leftists falsely claim that conservatives are not able to define the word, it appears that some of those military leaders who push back against claims of wokeism are the ones who do not know what it means.
Woke: A pseudo-intellectual pastiche of postmodern and neo-Marxist tropes, dedicated to the idea that categories themselves do nothing but privilege and oppress;
Critical Race Theory: The proposition that all differences in outcome by race, ethnicity or virtually any other… https://t.co/Ks83M86vpg
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) September 10, 2023
During a recent CNN interview, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley was asked about his previous claims that “the military is not woke” and that “military officers should be reading Karl Marx.”
Host Fareed Zakaria then asked him directly: “Is the U.S. military too woke?”
After first responding “not at all,” Milley then clarified that he is “not even sure what that word truly means.”
His fundamental confusion on the topic did not prevent him from continuing his on-air diatribe.
“I would tell you that the military I see is a military that is exceptionally strong, it’s powerful, it’s ready,” Milley said, claiming that “the way we measure readiness is better now than they’ve been in years.”
Despite earlier acknowledging that he does not know what it means, he went on to take another shot at denouncing those who believe the military has fallen prey to the woke mindset.
“This military is a lot of things, but woke it is not,” he added. “So, I take exception to that. I think that people say those things for reasons that are their own reasons. But it’s not true. It’s not accurate.”
From there, Milley seemed to stumble over his attempt to justify his pronouncement.
“And it is not to say, by the way, that there is — there is not some things out there that are — could be fit into that category,” he said. “But I don’t think it certainly is — it is not a broad-brush description of the U.S. military as it exists today.”
Milley might not have been able to provide evidence that the military is not woke, but critics like U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) have repeatedly backed up their claims to the contrary.
A little over two years ago, Cotton compiled a list of whistleblower complaints about controversial changes within the branches of the military, such as replacing a history course with training sessions about White privilege and systemic racism.