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Navy SEALs spend more time on diversity training than warfighting, SEAL vets say

U.S. Navy Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) team members. (U.S. Navy/Released)
August 24, 2022

Multiple former U.S. Navy SEALs confirmed Donald Trump Jr.’s claim last week that members of the elite force are spending more time on diversity training than they are shooting under Commander-in-Chief Joe Biden’s presidency.

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“I have friends on SEAL teams that told me they spend more time now in diversity training than they do shooting,” Trump Jr. said at a Florida State House campaign event on Aug. 19.

Trump Jr. was attacked over the comments, prompting Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill — who is known for killing Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden — to corroborate Trump Jr.’s claims.

“He’s telling the truth. I’ve had this discussion with @DonaldJTrumpJr and so have other SEALs. Retention is an issue and so is recruitment,” O’Neill tweeted. “This is more than a political talking point. It’s happening and it’s not good.”

Retired Navy SEAL and Wisconsin congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden also confirmed the veracity of Trump Jr.’s comments.

“The amount of time that the military and special operations [are] spending on diversity, equity, and inclusion training is superseding a lot of the actual combat training,” Van Orden told Breitbart News.

“The military is spending an inordinate amount of time on the subjects that really don’t pertain to warfighting,” he continued, noting that sailors are severely lacking in basic skills – an issue that already led to the destruction of USS Bonhomme Richard. The warship was destroyed in an arson fire, but inadequate training delayed the fire response and contributed to the complete loss of the ship.

“If God forbid, we ever go to war with China, that’s exactly the ship we need because you embark Marines and helicopters on there. And that burnt to the keel because the sailors did not put out a cardboard fire and their chain of command couldn’t figure out who should be put out the fire and who should be in charge,” he said.

“I guarantee you with absolute certainty that every single sailor in that chain of command from the admiral down to the seamen on deck had all of their diversity equity and inclusion general military training done, because you can’t transfer or get promoted if you don’t have that done,” Van Orden added.

Van Orden said SEALs are required to complete diversity training, which takes away from critical warfighting training.

“And we only have X amount of hours in the day. And so you have a two hour training block. It’s not two hours — you’ve got to add half an hour ahead or half an hour after. So you’re looking at really three hours. So three hours is what, 600 hours? Just do the math on that, and then multiply that across the entire Department of Defense,” he said.

“We’re teaching them to recognize race and gender. And we’re not teaching them how to fix an M-4 or how to shoot them, or operate at high margins, or to fix a helicopter or to maintenance on a vessel or put out a fire,” Van Orden continued. “The sole purpose of the United States military has to be protecting American citizens. And how you do that is by training for war. For peace, train for war.”

Van Orden warned that the diversity training is “destructive” because it teaches troops to “divide ourselves from within.”

“It’s got to stop,” he insisted. “We treat everybody with dignity and respect, we can solve them both to protect all American citizens and it, regardless of your gender, your race, your creed, that’s all irrelevant. What we see as SEALs is we see an American citizen.”

“If you’re an American citizen or you’re one of our allies we’re gonna risk our lives for you, even if it means leaving our wives a widow or our children without fathers. So what would make somebody think that they have to put something else on top of that?” he added.

On Wednesday, a screenshot of an email from Rear Adm. Lex Walker, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, showed the top officer signing his email with rainbow he/him pronouns.

“Email from rear admiral Lex Walker, who serves as commander of Navy Recruiting Command, the Navy’s recruitment outfit for both enlisted sailors and prospective commissioned officers. Signs his emails with rainbow he/him pronouns,” tweeted journalist Jordan Schachtel.

Meanwhile, the Navy announced last week that it is offering up to $115,000 in enlistment bonuses and loan repayment incentives for recruits in certain occupational ratings amid military-wide struggles with recruiting.