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Pentagon wants $114 million for ‘diversity, inclusion’ programs

The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. (Dreamstime/TNS)
November 22, 2023

President Joe Biden’s Department of Defense is requesting roughly $114 million to fund the Pentagon’s newest diversity initiatives.

While the specific details of the Defense Department’s “diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility” (DEIA) programs have not been released, the Pentagon is planning to use the $114 million through multiple DEIA programs during fiscal year 2024, according to the “Defense Budget Overview.”

“The FY 2024 President’s Budget request demonstrates the DoD’s commitment to DEIA and includes $114.7 million for dedicated diversity and inclusion activities,” the department stated in its Strategic Management Plan for fiscal year 2022 to 2026.

“This funding across the Military Departments, OSD Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute is investing in programs and initiatives aimed at furthering DEIA and incorporating DEIA values, objectives, and considerations in how we do business and execute our missions,” the Department of Defense added.

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As part of its Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request, the Department of Defense wrote that all of its leaders are “responsible” for developing a “climate of inclusion” that promotes diversity, does not have “problematic behaviors,” and does not allow retaliation against people who file complaints.

The Department of Defense added, “Ultimately, recruiting and retaining a force with diverse backgrounds, thought, experience, expertise, and education enhances DoD’s global joint warfighter capabilities fundamental to all DoD activities.”

According to Fox News, the $114.7 million request by the Pentagon is the largest financial request by the military for DEIA programs. However, the Biden administration’s Defense Department has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on DEIA initiatives over the past couple of years.

In fiscal year 2022, the Pentagon requested $68 million for DEIA initiatives, according to The Daily Wire. For fiscal year 2023, the Pentagon requested $86.5 million.

In response to the Pentagon’s budget request for DEIA programs, the GOP House Oversight Committee tweeted, “Last week, the Pentagon failed its 6th consecutive audit. This week, they requested $114 million for DEI. The Biden Admin’s focus on progressivism over warfighting continues to exacerbate the military recruiting crisis and calls into question our level of military preparedness.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also released a statement criticizing the Biden administration for prioritizing DEIA programs instead of other military priorities at the Pentagon.

“The Pentagon has no idea where the hell all the taxpayer money that has been funding it went for the past 6 years, but they have the audacity to ask for more funding for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs?” she wrote. “Does Joe Biden want the military to be a lethal fighting force or a clown show??”