Gen. Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently found himself at the center of a discussion about whether the U.S. military is too “woke.” In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Milley expressed uncertainty about the meaning of the term “woke” and defended the military’s readiness and strength.
CNN: “Is the U.S. military too woke?”
GENERAL MILLEY: “No, not at all… I’m not even sure what that word truly means” pic.twitter.com/kfxiUef4Di
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 18, 2023
During the interview, Zakaria raised the question of whether the U.S. military had become “woke” and suggested that military officers should be reading the works of Karl Marx. Milley responded by saying, “No, not at all,” but then admitted, “You know, I’m not even sure what that word truly means.”
Despite this uncertainty, Milley went on to emphasize the military’s exceptional strength and readiness, noting that its readiness rate was currently better than it had been in years. Milley firmly rejected the characterization of the military as “woke,” stating, “This military is a lot of things, but woke it is not.”
He acknowledged that some individuals might make such claims for their own reasons but insisted that it was not an accurate description of the U.S. military as a whole. This interview came in the wake of discussions about the military’s engagement with Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the concept of “white rage.”
Milley defended the military’s forced reading of CRT literature, stating it did not make him or the military “woke.” He also emphasized the importance of open-mindedness and education within the military.
In September 2022, it was reported that Air Force cadets were instructed not to use gender-specific terms like “Mom” or “Dad” and were encouraged to use gender-neutral language. This instruction was part of the cadets “Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) training.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has raised concerns about extremist and diversity training within the military, citing whistleblower complaints. These complaints include reports of military history training being replaced with sessions on police brutality, white privilege, and systemic racism — claiming it’s more like indoctrination instead of education.
Milley’s comments during the Zakaria interview serve as a revealing glimpse into the persistent tensions within the military, where the imposition of liberal or ‘woke’ politics is being shoved down our soldiers throats on the taxpayers dime.