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EXCLUSIVE – United States military service academies have taught or introduced some form of critical race theory or “anti-racism” training on future military leaders, according to CriticalRace.org, which monitors CRT curricula and training in higher education.
CriticalRace.org had previously examined CRT curricula and training in higher education, elite private schools and medical schools. The project from Legal Insurrection Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to campus free speech and academic freedom, has since expanded its database to include military academies.
“The good news is that CRT and related ideologies have not yet captured the military service academies the way they have overrun higher ed, professional schools, and increasingly K-12. The bad news is that these ideologies have established a beachhead at the military service academies and are likely to expand as part of a more general military wokeness campaign from the top down,” Legal Insurrection founder William A. Jacobson told Fox News Digital.
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Jacobson, a clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School, founded CriticalRace.org’s extensive database. The group’s latest venture explored the United States Air Force Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy, United States Naval Academy, United States Merchant Marine Academy and the United States Military Academy at West Point.
“The purpose of the military service academies is to educate and train our future military leaders. The public has a strong interest in what happens there. Whether these students will graduate with the skills and motivation needed to defend the nation is a matter of national interest and security,” Jacobson said. “The military leadership needs to consider whether training military officers in ideologies that separate Americans by race and other group characteristics, and that incessantly demonize the United States as systemically evil, serves a valid military or national security purpose.”
CriticalRace.org found that all five federal service academies have some form of critical race, anti-racism, or related objectives, which sometimes fall under the umbrella of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals.
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For example, the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs requires a course on “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Students,” according to the database. “This course includes a video on the subject of Black Lives Matter,” CriticalRace.org wrote.
Four of the academies were found to offer materials by authors Robin DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi, whose books explicitly call for discrimination, according to Jacobson.
All five academies also have offered voluntary CRT-related trainings or activities to their students, faculty and staff, while two have mandatory trainings for faculty and staff, according to CriticalRace.org.
“Do we really want our future military officers to view themselves and the troops they will command through an obsessive racial lens? Is military cohesion and effectiveness improved by putting people into racial and ethnic boxes? These are questions the military leadership will need to consider as it evaluates whether and how far it takes the teaching of CRT and related ideologies as part of a military service academy education,” Jacobson said. “Because the education of military officers is so important to our nation, public and political scrutiny is justified.”
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Jacobson noted critical race language and theory has been “espoused and praised even by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley,” who fired back at GOP lawmakers in 2021 who questioned the military’s interest in studying critical race theory.
Milley had a tense exchange at a House Armed Services Committee hearing with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who asked top military officials to clarify the Defense Department’s approach to critical race theory. Gaetz and Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., expressed concern about discussions regarding critical race theory and “white rage” at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
In response, Milley argued it was important for military cadets and officers “to be open-minded and be widely read” about concepts across the ideological spectrum.
“Such top-down pressure contributes to the culture in which the military service academies operate,” Jacobson said.
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According to the findings, the Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Military Academy at West Point and Naval Academy all have mandatory programs that are required of all cadets and students. “These trainings consist of modules, online orientations, orientation programs, and all other forms of training/curricula,” CriticalRace.org said, noting that the Coast Guard Academy and Naval Academy mandate similar trainings for faculty or staff.
“CriticalRace.org is a fully-sourced and documented resource. We make it easy for the public to understand the facts as to Critical Race training throughout all levels of education. You may like it or hate it, but the facts are the facts and that is what our unique databases provide,” Jacobson said.
Fox News’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.