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Force-fed 'woke' agenda in military sparks social media dissent among rank and file

The Pentagon culture war heated up on Capitol Hill, when lawmakers grilled the nation's two top military leaders about imposing critical race theory on the force.

Updated: June 24, 2021 - 11:42pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

As conflict over Pentagon wokeness intensifies between uniformed and civilian adversaries, dissenters within the military have taken to social media aiming to win hearts and minds for the anti-woke faction.

"We're worried about teaching racism and creating racists within the military rather than making lethal soldiers," wrote one soldier on social media. "Way to go Woke."

"Bruh, they really pushing this shi- from the top brass now," wrote another.

The main war heated up Wednesday on Capitol Hill, when lawmakers grilled the nation's two top military leaders about critical race theory, and whether it is being pushed on the force in the guise of "anti-extremism."

Florida Republican Rep. Michael Waltz, a former Green Beret, addressed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, and asked why critical race theory is part of the curriculum at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

"This type of teaching, that is rooted in Marxism, that classifies people along class lines, an entire race of people as oppressor and oppressed," Waltz said. "I cannot think of anything more divisive and more destructive to unit morale."

Both Austin and Milley pushed back against Waltz and other members of Congress who questioned "woke" policies overall.

"We don't embrace critical race theory," Austin said. "And I think that's a spurious conversation. We are focused on extremist behaviors and not ideology, not people's thoughts, not people's political orientation. Behaviors is what we are focused on."

Milley defended the teaching of critical race theory.

"I've read Mao Zedong," Milley said. "I've read Karl Marx. I've read Lenin. That doesn't make me a communist. So, what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?"

Added Milley: "I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers of being, quote, 'woke' or something else because we're studying some theories that was out there."

Supporters praised Austin and Milley for holding the line against the challenges, and for speaking up on behalf of critical reading. A phalanx of service members, though, viewed the testimony as disingenuous — and took to social media to roast the two leaders, casting them as willing political pawns.

Particular ire was directed at four star Gen. Milley, whose uniform shows a military career marked by combat, attending Ranger School, and serving in a storied airborne infantry unit.

One post on the Instagram page for TerminalCWO, a page that posts about situations mostly within the Army, took Milley to task for his testimony.

"Don't listen to this trash," the webmaster posted. "Don't buy into the lies and the push to pull us apart."

One meme circulating among the force depicts Milley with a patch declaring "I 'heart' CRT," and sporting pink hair and a Black Lives Matter badge while saying, "I don't know why everyone keeps saying the Army is 'woke.' I'm offended."

The mockery is part of a soldier tradition wherein ordinary "Joes" gleefully stick it to the brass. 

"Joe Snuffy" for years has chronicled the misadventures of the Mississippi National Guard's 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team. Despite efforts from commanders to unmask Joe Snuffy, he has remained covert since 2018, calling out officials for allegations of toxic leadership, or for sending soldiers into 109-degree heat for long hours without food or water.

"Army WTF Moments!" for more than a decade has skewered both commanders and ordinary soldiers for perceived screw-ups. 

"Security Forces Abridged" blasted the Pentagon for keenly allotting money for transgender surgeries while holding off on chiropractic treatment for soldiers injured in training.

The escalating public — albeit pseudonymous — dissent is aimed partially at prompting military leaders to change, but also at spurring the force to speak up, and at pushing civilians to insist on change, one underground webmaster told Just the News.

"You guys are in charge," the webmaster said. "You might not know it, but when it comes to the military, you really do run the show."