The Army’s top official pushed back on the notion that the service is overly focused on racial, gender and social justice issues during a press conference to open the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference in D.C.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth was asked about concerns from the public and from lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the Army is “woke” following the ongoing investigation into Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe’s Twitter spat with Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson.
“I’m not sure what ‘woke’ means. I think woke means a lot of different things to different people,” Ms. Wormuth said.
“If ‘woke’ means we are not focused on war-fighting (or) we are not focused on readiness, that doesn’t reflect what I see at installations all around the country or overseas when I go and visit,” she said.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a West Point graduate who served five years on active duty, said Ms. Wormuth wasn’t being candid.
“Madam Secretary, you know exactly what woke means: dividing by race, promoting (critical race theory), turning Army green into climate change green. Soldiers don’t need safe spaces, they need a relentless focus on keeping America safe,” Mr. Pompeo wrote in a Twitter message.
While she denied the Army was “woke,” Ms. Wormuth defended the service’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion programs that have driven much of the criticism.
“We do have a wide range of soldiers in the Army and we’ve got to make them all feed included,” she said.