Documents Reveal DOD Diverting Resources to Controversial DEI Training

DOD says it needs more funding for readiness and support of Israel and Ukraine, but it diverts current resources to controversial training.

(Washington, DC) – Today the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) released records in its current investigation into the Department of Defense’s (DOD) recent contracts and grants towards “woke” training programs. Documents obtained by FGI via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests provide details on multiple contracts in past years that related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Critical Race Theory (CRT), and other controversial concepts.

CRT is a controversial academic theory that asserts racial inequality is ongoing and endemic in America, rooted in legal systems, policies, economic markets, and education. Critics argue it is fundamentally at odds with the military’s meritocratic values. Nevertheless, CRT has found a way into the U.S. defense establishment.

In November 2021, the DOD awarded an indefinite delivery vehicle contract, a type of contract for the delivery of an unspecified quantity of goods or services over time, for DEI training. The contract ends in May 2028 and has paid out more than $600,000 so far, with the potential of approximately another $1.2 million. FGI’s FOIA request documents reveal that the contract included a list of “DEI Terms and Definitions,” which includes “antiracism,” “CRT,” “gaslighting,” “implicit bias,” “micro-aggression,” “privilege,” etc.

In July 2021, the DOD had awarded a project grant of approximately $758,000 to the University of Missouri System to create a development pipeline to channel superior STEM students toward naval careers. But the records reveal that part of the funding went towards scholarships to “meet our equity-focused programmatic goals” and “to boost recruitment of underrepresented minority.” The records further show that these students would have first consideration for several paid research internships.

Also, the DOD also awarded a purchase order of $11,400 for unconscious bias training. According to FGI’s FOIA records, the purpose of this training was both to increase diversity in hiring and to achieve a higher retention rate among “underrepresented” employees.

Pending FOIA requests and incoming records could reveal more controversial spending. This follows our showing how Navy officials disparaged critics of the Navy’s plans to observe Pride Month and how the Navy quietly removed Pride Month logos from their social media accounts after FGI’s revelation.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“With multiple conflicts currently ongoing across the globe and imminent threats to our national security, it is vital to maintain military readiness. We’re also told the military needs supplemental funding immediately. Yet, DOD chooses to divert scarce funds to controversial, divisive DEI and CRT-themed training. These programs have nothing to do with national security, and they steal time and resources from other training critical to readiness. Instead of unit cohesion, these efforts emphasize differences and potentially create conflicts among personnel. These policies result in prioritizing quota requirements and controversial training over ensuring maximum effectiveness. In this new year, we cannot afford more of this dysfunction in the military.”