U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., is championing the “Working to Address Recruiting and Retention to Improve Our Readiness (WARRIOR) Act,” insisting it “will provide much-needed reforms to prevent the Biden administration from further politicizing the Department of Defense and improve military readiness.”
When he brought out the bill last week, Waltz offered some of the reasons why he introduced the proposal.
“Under the Biden administration, the Pentagon has diverted its focus from lethality and have instead pushed initiatives that have politicized our warfighting ranks and harmed our military readiness,” said Waltz. “Our military faces the worst recruiting crisis since the Vietnam War because young Americans don’t want to join what was once a trusted institution that has become overly politicized and hyper-focused on DEI initiatives. The reforms proposed in this legislation will restore a merit-based culture to our ranks, audit unnecessary and political DEI programs, and require cost-benefit analysis reports for green-energy focused proposals.”
According to Waltz’s office, the proposal would:
1. Require the Department of Defense to institute a hiring freeze of Equal Opportunity and Equal Employment Opportunity personnel at a ratio of 1:2,000 EO/EEO staff to uniformed servicemembers.
2. Audit Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs within the Department that have caused greater division within the force. These programs are diverting focus and resources away from lethality and readiness against our potential adversaries.
a. The audit will require the Secretary of Defense to submit a submit a report to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, listing all FY22 DEI programs (including ongoing programs) within the Department., no later than December 1, 2023.
b. The report shall include a description of the purpose of the program and how many man-hours were spent participating in the program, billets and personnel (both civilian and uniformed) dedicated to each program, and the total costs associated with each program.
3. Bars the use of appropriations to fund DOD race-conscious selections, assignments, accessions, or promotions.
4. Prohibits the instruction or propagation of critical theories, such as critical race theory as part of military training or at the service academies.
5. Directs the service academies, to the maximum extent possible, to rely on uniformed military professors and Title 10 employees, except when it is determined that it is not possible to train a military member to perform those duties.
6. Prohibits the use of non-merit-based criteria in the consideration for selection for the military service academies.
7. Prohibits the use of appropriated funds to investigate extremism in the military.
8. Requires all military services to establish necessary physical qualifications for their occupational specialties and that each service establish a recurring gender-neutral physical fitness test to evaluate whether individuals physically qualify for their service, and continue to serve, in those specialties.
9. Requires a cost/benefit analysis be submitted to Congress before funds are appropriated to DOD environmental and green energy projects and efforts that affirms the proposed policies or programs will improve warfighting capabilities and there is no less expensive alternative available.
10. Appoints a Special Master to investigate across-the-board remedies for current and former service members adversely impacted by their refusal to comply with the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. This entity could process, award, and administer remedies that include restoration to service and backpay for those affected.
The proposal draws from suggestions from the Heritage Foundation’s National Independent Panel on Military Service and Readiness which Waltz led.
Waltz is the first Green Beret to serve in Congress and chairs the U.S. House Armed Services Committee Readiness Subcommittee.
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