Posted on June 26, 2023

Pentagon Nominees Blocked by GOP Senator Are Pushing Left-Wing Initiatives to Reshape Military

Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller, June 25, 2023

Several of the military officers whose promotions are held up due to a senator’s fight with the Pentagon have supported left-wing cultural stances and diversity initiatives, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of social media posts, Pentagon materials and public footage.

Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville has single-handedly blocked numerous officers’ confirmations in protest of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s directive that the military fund out-of-state travel for female troops seeking abortions, initiating a game of chicken between Tuberville and the Pentagon that shows no sign of stopping. Yet several of the candidates in line for promotion have a history of making political statements and backed or spearheaded internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives related to race and sexuality, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of publicly available information.


For example, Tuberville’s hold applies to Air Force Gen. Charles. Q. Brown, who was recently nominated to replace Gen. Mark Milley as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to NBC News. Brown gained notoriety when he made a rare public statement on race in the midst of nationwide rioting and protests following George Floyd’s murder in 2020.

In August, Brown ordered the Air Force’s recruiting wing to cultivate an applicant pool that meets racial and gender percentage quotas, a memo shows. The order was meant to ultimately increase diversity in the Air Force itself.

“I hire for diversity,” he told Air and Space Forces Magazine in 2020.

Additionally, with Brown as chief of staff, the Air Force commissioned a racial disparity review focusing on African-Americans, along with a second study of disparities between people of other ethnicities/gender identities and white, heterosexual males, according to an interview with U.S. News.


The Secretary of Defense also nominated Air Force Brig. Gen. Scott Cain for promotion to Major General in March, shortly after Tuberville announced his hold.

As the top officer at Eglin Air Force Base in 2020, Cain issued a “unity message” to Air Force peers at other installations, encouraging them to engage their teams in conversation about the “tragedy in Minneapolis,” referring to George Floyd’s death in the summer of 2020, “the unrest and pain in our country” that followed “and what all of this means for our lives and our service” as he had done with subordinate commanders at Eglin. Cain promoted tools he developed alongside Cecil Williams, the DEI director for Eglin, meant to facilitate those conversations.

“Some of the biases we carry with us, whether conscious or not, are a weakness that it’s time to change,” Cain said.

Cain oversaw the institution of a DEI office at Eglin, one of the first in the Air Force, calling it his “most significant long-standing accomplishment” in a June 2022 exit interview.


The office conducts activities related to “affirmative employment” and “inclusionary program management,” according to the website.


Williams highlighted the importance of unconscious bias training, forums and times to listen to servicemembers “rant” and express their perspectives, thanking Cain for his leadership in these areas.

Cain recently assumed command of the Air Force Research Laboratory, where he will be responsible for managing a research and development budget totaling $6 billion, according to a press release.

In the Army, Brig. Gen. Ronald Ragin has been waiting on his promotion to Major General and assignment as commanding general for the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe-Africa since February.

Speaking to ROTC cadets at a university panel discussion on “why representation matters” about the the Army’s Project Inclusion diversity initiative, Ragin said, “We’re gonna work hard and we’re gonna continue to strive to make sure that we’re the most diverse force in the Army, and that will allow us to dominate and win on future battlefields.”

Project Inclusion involved listening sessions, a review of the military justice system and removal of photos from promotion boards, according to a news release.

Ragin also initiated “Mentorship Rucks” that bring together a “vastly cultural and gender-diverse group” of junior officers; on an April 1 ruck, he reiterated his support of seeing greater gender, cultural, and racial diversity among the Army’s ranks, according to a press release.