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Elon Musk calls out military for diversity focus

Elon Musk. (Brendan Smialowski/La Nacion via ZUMA Press/TNS)
February 26, 2023

Twitter CEO Elon Musk called out the Defense Department on Sunday, alleging that the military has lost focus on national defense after the agency tweeted about a DEI diversity “summit” it held last week.

DoD’s tweet about the summit described diversity in the military as “a strategic imperative critical to mission readiness and accomplishment.”

Musk replied, “Your strategic imperative is defending the United States.”

The comment came as lawmakers target the military for policies and statements perceived as too politicized or progressive. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) also criticized the summit on Twitter.

READ MORE: Military’s ‘woke’ training documents made public

“As Chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, ensuring our military is focused on lethality and readiness, NOT wokeness and DEI, is my top priority,” Banks said, referring to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Earlier this month, a bill called the “Restoring Military Focus Act” was introduced to Congress that would “eliminate the unnecessary progressive agenda being pushed by the left that undermines the United States military,” according to a press release.

The bill was introduced in the House and Senate by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). The two lawmakers released an 18-page report last year called “WOKE WARFIGHTERS” that documented instances of military leaders promoting racially charged theories and criticized them for promoting individuality among LGBT service members.

DoD’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which hosted the summit, describes its “vision” as “foster[ing] a diverse and inclusive mission ready total force” and says its mission is to “[d]irect and oversee policies to promote a DoD culture of dignity and respect that values diversity and inclusion as readiness imperatives.”

The summit lasted from Feb. 15-17, according to a tweet from DoD. Participants had the opportunity to “immerse yourself with distinguished presenters and renowned experts in government, higher education, business, science, and technology.”

The tweet that Musk replied to contained a video showing summit attendees in a lecture-hall-like environment. The agency said it was hosting its first-ever summit of “experts” in diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility “because our people matter.”