FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—One of President Joe Biden’s nominees for top Air Force posts calls for diversity, equity, and inclusion to be part of the military’s “DNA,” while another has tweeted about “whiteness.”
Schneider and Arledge also are two of some 200 military promotions being blocked by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., in his effort to undo the Defense Department’s new taxpayer-funded abortion policy.
The Daily Signal previously reported that Tuberville had blocked the promotion of Navy Capt. Michael Donnelly, who allowed a drag show on the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan.
In April, Biden tapped Schneider as commander of the Pacific Air Forces, a major command that organizes and trains U.S. air units and bases in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, South Korea, and Japan, according to Air Force Times.
Schneider is on the record extolling the importance of the organizing principle of diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, in the military.
“Ultimately, what DEI is getting after, [is] identifying the barriers that currently exist, getting messaging out to the public [about] what opportunities do exist and then just drawing the talent that we need to excel as a force,” Schneider said in a video interview in February produced by the Air Force.
If approved by the Senate, his promotion would elevate Schneider to a four-star general.
Biden’s nomination of Schneider comes as the U.S. is faced with China aggression in the air and sea in the Pacific region.
“When we can stop having meetings about [DEI], or stop having specific, focused discussions on it, and it becomes part of our DNA, then we have achieved success,” Schneider says later in the Air Force video.
“I do think that’s one of those things we are going to have to continue to address,” the lieutenant general says. “We are going to have to continue to get after it. We are dealing with human beings that want to join the Air Force or human beings that are in the Air Force that may not fully grasp or understand where we are going with DEI.”
Currently a staff director at Air Force headquarters in the Pentagon, Schneider previously was chief of staff for Pacific Air Forces and Indo-Pacific Command, as well as commander of U.S. forces in Japan.
“LTG Schneider wants DEI to be more than a consideration; he wants DEI to be ingrained in everything the Air Force does,” William Thibeau, director of The American Military Project at The Claremont Institute, told The Daily Signal in an email.
“This is disqualifying for a general officer to even say in public, because it undermines the public’s confidence in the fighting force. LTG Schneider is politicizing the Air Force through his leadership,” Thibeau said.
Thibeau’s project at Claremont has researched many of the nominees whose promotions are being held up by Tuberville in the Senate.
In February, Biden nominated Arledge for Air Force major general.
As brigadier general, she has been active on Twitter. In September 2020, Arledge tweeted about “whiteness.”
“Two Nkomo articles today … discussions of whiteness in org theory and the ways in which whiteness (verb) has become naturalized as the ideal in orgs,” her tweet says, referring to articles by Stella Nkomo, an academic who specializes in human resource management.
Arledge’s tweet linked to two articles, one with a headline reading “The historical origins of ethnic (white) privilege in US organizations,” and the other titled “The Emperor Has No Clothes: Rewriting ‘Race in Organizations.’”
In September 2020, two years after her promotion to brigadier general, she tweeted about an article with the headline “Intersections: The Simultaneity of Race, Gender and Class in Organization Studies.”
“Women are impacted by many constructs simultaneously, not just gender,” Arledge tweeted. “Today’s reading by Evangelina Holvino. So much for me to think about both as an academic and a practitioner.”
Holvino is president of Chaos Management, a company that states on its website: “We envision a time when organizations are a place where social justice is practiced in everything the organization does every day, and where organizations contribute to and model just practices because justice is good for people, for the business, and for the world.”
Arledge also retweeted legendary tennis star and feminist Billie Jean King’s 2020 tweets honoring the Stonewall riot and LGBTQ+ rights and celebrating the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s appearance on a postage stamp.
Arledge currently serves as the mobilization assistant to the commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, according to the Pentagon. At the time she was promoted to brigadier general in 2018, she lived in Fairfax, Virginia, with her partner Mary Landon, according to the Jennings Daily News in Louisiana, her hometown paper.
Landon is a licensed psychotherapist whose specialties include “identity,” according to her listing in Psychology Today.
Arledge formerly worked for the Air Force in engineering jobs and in overseeing nuclear weapons.
Schneider and Arledge “represent the Air Force’s embodiment of woke DEI principles,” Thibeau told The Daily Signal in an email.
“BG Arledge is clearly a radical activist. Beyond seeking a diverse force, she sees her role as a lesbian to be one that defines her military service,” Thibeau said. “Furthermore, she sees her sexual identity as something that must be affirmed in Air Force policy at the expense of supposedly troubling characteristics like ‘whiteness.’ This doesn’t promote inclusion, but pits different identity groups against each other to ultimately politicize the Air Force.”
More than 3,000 veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces have expressed support for Tuberville and his demand that the Pentagon rescind its new abortion policy.
The Air Force defends the promotions of Arledge and Schneider.
“The Department of the Air Force leverages a strategic talent management approach deliberately placing those with the right level of experience and proven leadership to serve in our highest positions of responsibility and our general officer nominees are no exception,” Rose Riley, deputy chief of media operations for the Air Force, told The Daily Signal in an email.
The White House did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment for this report.
In a May 24 briefing, however, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called for Tuberville to stop holding up nominees for military promotions.
“Sen. Tuberville is—he’s threatening—right?—our national security with his political gamesmanship. That’s what we’re seeing from the senator—and risking our military readiness by depriving armed forces of leadership and harming military families,” Jean-Pierre said. “That is what’s currently happening. That is what is—the senator is threatening here. So, we urge him —we urge him to drop his holds on—that he has currently on DOD nominees immediately.”
But Tuberville’s office referred to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by the Alabama Republican.
“Voting on each major military nomination shouldn’t be too much to ask of a U.S. senator, yet the idea has sent the Washington outrage machine into overdrive,” Tuberville wrote.
“With the military missing readiness and recruiting goals, perhaps it would be wise for Congress to scrutinize more closely the leaders at the very top. Are they part of the problem or part of the solution?” he wrote. “The contrast between the parties on this question couldn’t be clearer. Republicans are focused on the enlisted ranks—the people who actually fight our wars—while Democrats are worried about the people at the very top.”
Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.
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