US military offered 'woke' professional development courses on diversity, equity

US military offered 'woke' professional development courses on diversity, equity

The U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) recently offered personnel virtual professional development courses, including one “woke” class focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

JSOC offered to civilian and military personnel a list of 17 free online courses, including a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” conference in May and others on a litany of woke topics.

U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) public affairs officer Ken McGraw confirmed to Fox News on Thursday that the courses were offered to military personnel, saying the Department of Defense (DOD) “regularly notifies its employees of a wide variety of non-mandatory, professional education opportunities.”

“These courses are not unique to U.S. Special Operations Command or any USSOCOM subordinate command,” McGraw continued. “In this instance, JSOC notified their civilian and military personnel that DOD was offering 17 free, professional-development courses online, one of which is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

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“Employees can decide whether they want to attend any courses or not, to include how many courses and on what subjects,” he continued.

DOD spokesperson Lisa Lawrence also confirmed the email in a statement to Fox News on Thursday, saying the courses were offered but that no personnel were “encouraged” to take one course over another.

“The Department of Defense regularly offers non-mandatory, professional development courses to the workforce. The courses offered by the Department for professional development are not unique to JSOC or U.S. Special Operations Command,” Lawrence said.

“The training that was shared by JSOC’s Civilian Training Office to JSOC personnel included information related to a wide variety of non-mandatory, professional education courses from April to November,” she continued. “The specific course reference was one of 17 free courses being offered and happened to be the next course offered in May.”

“No one was encouraged to participate in any one course over another,” Lawrence added.

The “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” conference reportedly included panels on anti-racism and White supremacy as well as one on leaders addressing “systemic disparities” and mitigating “bias.”

DOD has come under heavy fire recently from conservatives after Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier was removed from his post after speaking out against Marxism in the military.

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Conservatives came to the aid of Lohmeier after his sacking, and Republican lawmakers demanded he be reinstated to his post.

Last week, House Armed Services Committee (HASC) member Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., decried cancel culture as “getting out of hand” and told Fox News that she was supporting legislation to ensure that American troops aren’t being indoctrinated into woke culture, which is more intolerant of conservative beliefs and values. 

In addition, HASC ranking member Mike Rogers, R-Ala., said in a news release that “the United States Armed Forces should be focused on preparing to face and win any battles against the threats posed by China and other foreign adversaries and not imposing political beliefs on those who chose to serve in uniform.”

Additionally, the U.S. Navy also came under criticism in March after leaked slides from the military’s “extremism” training said sailors could not discuss “politically partisan” subjects on duty but that it was OK to advocate for Black Lives Matter while on duty.

The Navy revised their slides after multiple reports came out highlighting the political bias in the military branch’s training.

Fox News’ Kelly Laco and Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.