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All midshipmen at U.S. Naval Academy to receive ‘diversity’ re-education from a ‘walking safe space’

Navy documents published by CDR Salamander on Thursday revealed the nature of the U.S. Naval Academy’s so-called “Diversity Peer Educator Program,” now in effect and planned to run until 2032. All midshipmen are subject to instruction by a “walking safe space,” whose expertise will include “sensitive topics like race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”

This diversity educator position is the product of a 2021 initiative taken by the USNA’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The office indicated that it would create “a position in each company that specializes in the education of peers and the facilitation of proper reporting procedures for instances of discrimination.”

The academy’s diversity re-educator program was thereafter described in a February 16, 2022, memo sent by the USNA’s Commandant of Midshipmen. Its purpose: “to create an inclusive environment that fosters dignity and respect throughout the Brigade by equipping midshipmen to lead across cultures in support of the USNA Mission.”

In advancement of such an “inclusive environment,” the academy’s diversity peer educators will facilitate small group conversations as a means to “inform midshipmen, faculty, and staff and foster a culture of cohesion.” Inclusivity and cohesion are regarded as being linked to sailors’ “moral development.”

CDR Salamander procured a partially redacted copy of the USNA’s “Diversity Peer Educator Education Discussion Guide,” wherein these group conversations are discussed along with best practices.

“Create a Safe Space” is listed as the #1 best practice for facilitating group conversations around diversity. This best practice is not limited to the group discussion, however.

The diversity re-educator is expected to serve “as a walking safe space for peers.” Extra to providing a mobile refuge for midshipmen, the re-educator is tasked with advising “company midshipmen leadership on best practices to make equitable decisions” and serving as a “resource for peers who need to seek help in all matters of diversity and inclusion.”

When is a maritime exercise racist? When is a direct order actually a micro-aggression? The diversity educator should know.

The re-educators are expected to morally develop and inform the academy’s constituents in accordance with the USNA’s “Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.” Since the USNA “remains an inclusive campus,” the plan released last year explained how all programs “must intentionally aim to advance the understanding of, and address the challenges of, underrepresented populations.”

The USNA’s DEI office noted that inclusion “requires commitment and intentionality from everyone to increase self-awareness of biases, to learn how experiences and environments form biases, and understand how those biases impacts their everyday decisions.”

Although “psychological, physical and emotional toughness” was identified by the DEI office as an asset to the fleet and necessary to the Navy’s “warfighting excellence,” safety and equity on campus were also greatly emphasized.

It has recently been alleged that the Navy is currently prioritizing diversity training over actual combat training.

One active-duty Navy lieutenant told members of Congress: “Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy. … It’s criminal. They think my only value is as a black woman. But you cut our shop open with a missile and we’ll all bleed the same color.”

Republican Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton’s 2022 “Report on the Fighting Culture of the United States Navy Surface Fleet” pointed out that programs encouraging diversity “come with a cost. The non-combat curricula consume Navy resources, clog inboxes, create administrative quagmires, and monopolize precious training time.”

Programs such as the USNA’s diversity peer educator initiative weigh down sailors “with non-combat related training and administrative burdens,” such that sailors may ultimately be sent “into battle less prepared and less focused than their opponents.”

Extra to the prioritization of warfighting, Cotton’s report recommended the Navy depoliticize the war room and “remove all political and sociological topics from Professional Military Education and replace them with essential warfighting courseware.”