Sen. Eric Schmitt is advocating for measures to eliminate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs within the Pentagon as part of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Schmitt, R-Mo., argues that the focus on DEI negatively impacts military recruitment and readiness.

Schmitt successfully included several amendments in the NDAA passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee. These amendments include a permanent hiring freeze on DEI-related positions, preventing the reauthorization of the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, and prohibiting DEI contract clauses and a DEI minor degree at military academies.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Schmitt emphasized the need to return to a merit-based military system. He criticized DEI initiatives as divisive and contrary to American values, stating that they harm recruitment by promoting what he calls “cultural Marxism.”

Sen. Eric Schmitt aims to eliminate DEI programs at the Pentagon, arguing they undermine military readiness and unity.

Schmitt highlighted the detrimental effects of firing over 8,000 military personnel for not getting the COVID shot, combined with DEI initiatives, on recruitment. He asserted that DEI programs divide military personnel by race instead of focusing on common goals like national defense.

Optimistic about some Democratic support for his amendments, Schmitt expressed hope for bipartisan backing when the NDAA reaches the Senate floor for a full vote. He stressed the importance of maintaining a lethal fighting force free from “woke politics” and pledged to continue fighting against DEI programs in the military.

Schmitt reiterated that many service members oppose DEI initiatives, which he believes are discriminatory and pushed by the Biden administration’s political appointees.