Republicans demand answers from West Point over pronoun ‘play acting’ training session

FIRST ON FOX: Republican Reps. Michael Waltz of Florida and Jim Banks of Indiana demanded answers from West Point regarding the school’s role-play exercise for cadets on “respecting the pronouns people prefer.” Fox News Digital exclusively obtained Waltz’s and Banks’ Tuesday letter to West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland regarding a leaked “facilitator guide” for role-play exercises involving academy cadets. The exercises are meant to serve as training “for Cadets to gain competence in their bystander intervention skills” — including when someone disagrees with the progressive pronoun orthodoxy. ‘WOKENESS,’ POLITICIZATION OF THE MILITARY ‘ALARMING,’ WARNS REP. MICHAEL WALTZ “Over the last two years we’ve seen a disturbing trend taking place at our military academies that puts politics over service,” said Military Readiness Subcommittee Chairman Mike Waltz. “We have an obligation to ensure military academies such as West Point are prioritizing the education and training of future military officers rather than implementing the political priorities of the Biden Administration. Every minute our soldiers spend in sensitivity training is a minute they could be at the rifle range. Chinese and Russian soldiers certainly won’t be focused on what pronoun a U.S. soldier uses.” “Cadets were forced to participate in preferred pronoun play acting during training time allotted to prevent sexual assault in the military,” Banks, the chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, told Fox News Digital. “This exemplifies how divisive and radical left wing ideologies are creeping into our service academies at the expense of consensus and reasonable goals,” the Indiana Republican Senate candidate continued. “Chairman Waltz and I will continue to hold accountable partisan officials who are poisoning our military with wokeness.” According to the “facilitator guide” obtained by Fox News Digital, the fourth role-play scenario for West Point cadets is titled “It’s Not That Complicated” with the topic of “Understanding and respecting the pronouns people prefer.” Four “characters” are included in the role-play: Cadet Baker, who is holding a cell phone and has a “friend who prefers gender neutral pronouns;” Cadet Acevedo, who is a “friend supportive of respecting pronouns;” Cadet Adams, the “instigator” who “thinks that using ‘correct’ pronouns is wrong;” and Cadet Cruz, who is “argumentative” and “agrees with Adams” that “pronouns are weird.” The facilitator of the group is instructed to read the scenario: “It’s dinner at Grant, and the four cadets are sitting at a table. CDT Baker gets a phone call from a friend and takes the call. CDT Baker messes up the way he refers to his friend on the phone and it becomes apparent that the friend is identifying as gender neutral. CDT Adams and CDT Cruz start joking about it. CDT Acevedo squashes the joking and/or tries to educate them.” Specifically in the scene, Cadet Baker “must be on the phone and struggle with getting the pronouns right for the friend on the phone” and the “other characters crack jokes and start talking about the concept of pronouns.” The role-play comes to an end when either the “arguing gets heated and clearly nobody is going to change their mind;” one “of the Cadets storms off because they can’t handle the interaction;” or the “Cadets agree to change the subject, respect Baker’s opinion, and let it go.” REP. JIM BANKS DEMANDS ACTION FROM BUTTIGIEG AFTER MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY JESUS ARTWORK COVERED Other role-play scenarios include “Friends in High Places” when dealing with someone receiving preferential treatment; “Dirty Money” when dealing with “sextortion” and helping a friend seek legal help; and “A Stinky Situation” for confronting “a peer about poor hygiene.” In the letter, the lawmakers thanked Gilland for his work developing the next generation of Army officers and wrote they “recently obtained a document for training exercises during a ‘Dean’s Weekend’ at West Point that we feel disrupts and distracts from the education and training that is needed to shape our future military leaders.” The lawmakers noted “that these training courses were mandatory for all cadets, led by cadets, and supervised by faculty.” “The facilitator guide displays an instructional role play scenario centered around misidentifying gender-neutral pronouns. As Chairmen of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, and the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, we are concerned these kinds of exercises distract from the core mission of West Point in developing future wartime officers and further erodes trust in our military with politicized, social trainings,” they wrote. “According to the document, ‘The Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (DoD SAPRO) has mandated that USMA assess the effectiveness of our prevention programming. The survey we are asking you to take today will support our ability to do this.’” “It is unclear to us as veterans how an exercise regarding preferred pronouns pertains to sexual assault prevention in the military or service academies,” the lawmakers added. The Republican lawmakers wrote they “feel an exercise of this nature is problematic, dismissive of mainstream viewpoints, and unnecessarily creates conflict between cadets with opposing cultural views, all of which negatively affects unit cohesion.” “Moreover, this exercise represents yet another instance of West Point leadership implementing policies and directives that encourage cadets to focus on their differences rather than subordinate them to collectively accomplish the overall mission and purpose,” they wrote. “The first is the antithesis of a team, the latter is the essence of a team.” Waltz and Banks wrote the “training scenario follows a pattern of disturbing developments out of West Point and other service academies over the past few years surrounding the politiz concepts being taught at the Academy.” They also pointed to the April 2021 guest “lecture by Dr. Carol Anderson of Emory University in February 2021 that featured a slide titled ‘Understanding Your Whiteness and White Rage.’”  The lawmakers hit Gilland with a litany of questions, including on confirming the “authenticity of the Cadet Facilitator Guide and role play scenario” they highlighted as well as “whether Critical Race Theory is still included in a course syllabus at the academy. Waltz’s and Banks’ letter comes as the military under President Biden’s leadership continues down the lefthand path of wokeness. The Republican congressmen have been outspoken about the politicization going on in the military that has gone as far as to cover a portrait of Jesus Christ at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. West Point did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
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