Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) joined the lawsuit over the suspension of the service academy Boards of Visitors. The boards were suspended by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, which Green calls “unacceptable.” Green, a member of the United States Military Academy Board of Visitors and an alumnus from the Military Academy, said the “Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has no authority to suspend the Board of Visitors, and he is violating federal law by doing so.”
The boards provide oversight into the Military Academies, and according to Green’s press release, their oversight is vital at a time like this; they are “facing multiple challenges, including the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and COVID-19 protocols.”
Green’s press release also said, “The Department of Defense has not identified any authority it claims to have over suspending the Board of Visitors.” Green called for “an immediate end to this suspension.”
The suspension from Austin spanned all of the service academies’ boards of visitors, including the boards for West Point, the Air Force Academy, and the Naval Academy. The suspension also included 39 other Defense Department advisory committees.
Green said that the boards were “created by Congress and the Constitution specifically to provide oversight” and thus, the “action is unacceptable.”
According to the Associated Press, Austin suspended the boards back in January, in order to conduct a review. Austin said, “I am directing the immediate suspension of all advisory committee operations until the review is completed unless otherwise directed by myself or the deputy secretary of defense.”
Austin then asked many of those serving on the boards of visitors to resign. “Defense officials said they don’t know exactly how many are being asked to resign, but it will be hundreds,” the AP article said.
Accusations also began to surface regarding the service academies claiming that they had been teaching CRT. Green was also one of the lawmakers who called for the resignation of a specific professor at the Air Force Academy for teaching CRT.
He said, “Professor García’s comments on [CRT] are utterly unacceptable and incompatible with the mission of our United States Military Service Academies. Disparaging the United States as a racist country should disqualify anyone from teaching at one of our country’s most prestigious institutions.”
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) reported that, “One Marine told us a military history training session was replaced with mandatory training on police brutality, White privilege, and systemic racism. He reported that several officers are now leaving his unit citing that training. Another service member told us that their unit was required to read ‘White Fragility’ by Robin DiAngelo, which claims ‘White people raised in Western society are conditioned in a White supremacist world view.’”
As was reported by the Washington Times, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said regarding the accusations, “I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military — general officers, commissioned and noncommissioned officers — of being ‘woke’ or something because we’re studying some theories that are out there.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mark Green with troops” by Congressman Mark Green.
Editor’s note: This report has been corrected to reflect that Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) is a current member of the United States Military Academy Board of Visitors. The Tennessee Star regrets the error.