By Jonathon Van Maren
Some years ago, I interviewed Stephen Mansfield on his book The Faith of the American Soldier. Embedding with soldiers on the ground in Iraq to research the beliefs of military service members as well as the role of chaplains in serving the troops, he produced a fascinating (and near-unique) account of faith under fire. But one developing aspect of the role of faith in the military, he told me, was the extent to which progressive activists were pushing a new agenda that many chaplains found incompatible with their beliefs. In a war for the hearts and minds of America’s fighting men and women, woke activists were winning — at least, in terms of institutional infiltration.
A recent report indicates that these trends are rapidly accelerating. According to the Daily Mail, an official report says, “the U.S. Navy is too woke for war because of risk averse, politically correct, control-freak top brass.” The report, which was prepared by Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery and Marine Lt. General Robert Schmidle and commissioned by members of Congress in response to two collisions involving Navy ships and the surrender of two seacraft to Iran, “claimed that the Navy’s surface warfare forces have systemic training and leadership issues, including a focus on diversity that overshadows basic readiness skills.”
After anonymously interviewing nearly eighty Naval officers, Montgomery and Schmidle found that 94% of those interviewed believed that recent failures — including the two collisions in the Pacific — were “part of a broader problem in Navy culture or leadership.”