Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Sen. Tuberville continues crusade against “wokeness” in U.S. military

Senator Tuberville accused “woke” DEI programs, gender-affirming healthcare, and vaccination requirements of causing recent declines in military recruitment.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., is seen in the U.S. Capitol before the Senate passed procedural votes on the House passed foreign aid package on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

In an opinion piece published in The Daily Caller on Sunday, Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville continued attacking so-called “wokeness” in the United States Armed Forces.

An incredibly nebulous concept with its etymological origins in Black activism, wokeness is now the catch-all term for everything from LGBTQ rights to anti-racism to believing that climate change is real.

In his op-ed, Tuberville specifically singled out “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training,” “elective abortions and gender transition surgeries for servicemembers,” and vaccine mandates as examples of wokeness.

Last year, Tuberville was attacked by his fellow Senate Republicans for holding up military promotions over abortion policy, only backing down after over nine months.

Writing that “Biden has weaponized the DOD to serve as a tool for his radical political agenda,” Tuberville accused woke policies of causing below target recruitment numbers. However, new recruitment programs have reportedly put the Army and Air Force on target for 2024 and it’s unclear how much any of these programs affected recruitment numbers.

Because the Trump administration had banned transgender individuals from serving in the military, President Biden overturning this rule via executive order actually increased the number of potential recruits and protected people who were already serving. According to contemporaneous coverage, the number of transgender troops in 2021 ranged from just over 2,000 to just under 15,000.

Biden also, as Tuberville points out, approved providing needed gender-affirming healthcare to transgender troops.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“It is not the job of taxpayers to pay for someone to get a controversial, elective procedure,” Tuberville wrote. “Instead, taxpayer resources should ensure troops who are injured or sick get the quality, timely care they deserve.”

Despite Tuberville’s characterization of gender-affirming healthcare as elective, most mainstream research has shown that it is often life-saving.

And while vaccine mandates have a long history in the American military, the Department of Defense rescinded its COVID-19 vaccination mandate in 2023. The mandate might have affected past recruitment efforts but it is doubtful that it remains a major factor.

The restrictions on defense spending in the National Defense Authorization Act recently approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee were touted by Tuberville as a needed check on Biden’s “woke policies.”

The Senate’s version of the NDAA would cost $922 billion, over $50 billion more than last year’s, but Tuberville bragged that it “cuts all identified funding for DEI programs” and “includes my amendment prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars for any costs associated with funding gender transition surgeries.”

Tuberville wrote that addressing woke programs in the military is especially important now because America is at one of the “most vulnerable positions it has been in since the Cold War,” saying that withdrawing from Afghanistan marked the start of Biden’s “foreign policy of appeasement.”

Despite Tuberville saying that “Biden made the disastrous decision to prematurely withdraw from Afghanistan,” President Trump had actually made the decision to withdraw as part of a March 2020 deal with the Taliban. 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Tuberville also repeated his belief that “Biden has us on the brink of multiple wars.” APR previously reported that the senator claimed Biden is likely to start a war with Russia before the election as a guest on Steve Bannon’s podcast.

This latest opinion piece is simply the latest addition to Tuberville’s record of attacking “woke” government spending and Biden’s foreign policy with often specious evidence.

Chance Phillips is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

More from APR


The Supreme Court's ruling that presidents cannot be prosecuted for any official acts received seemingly unanimous support from Alabama Republicans.


Alabama’s senators sponsored a resolution to prevent the Office of Refugee Resettlement from codifying protections for immigrant children in custody.


The debate has stirred concerns about President Joe Biden's cognitive decline, while Donald Trump remained confident and coherent as he lied repeatedly on stage.

Featured Opinion

Tuberville spends his entire opinion piece obfuscating one simple truth: only the richest 0.1 percent have to pay estate taxes.