Congressman Matt Gaetz Challenges Air Force’s DEIA Strategic Plan, Calls for Immediate Reassessment


In a recent development, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL 1st District) has issued a stern warning to the Secretary of the Air Force. The Congressman expressed grave concerns over the Department of the Air Force’s (DAF) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan for 2023. This move by Gaetz is seen as the latest development in the ongoing national debate over the role of DEIA initiatives within the United States military.

Gaetz, known for his outspoken nature, questioned the agency’s priorities, arguing that the focus on DEIA initiatives distracts from the military’s core mission—national security. He believes that such initiatives have caused alarm among his constituents in Northwest Florida, who are concerned that these priorities reflect a degradation of the DAF’s commitment to national security.

The Congressman pointed out that under former President Donald Trump’s 2020-2021 recruitment policies, the DAF was successful in meeting its staffing and recruitment goals. However, he noted a significant shift under the current administration. Last year, not only did the Air Force but also the Army and Navy miss their recruiting targets. Gaetz sees this underperformance as symptomatic of deeper issues relating to the misplacement of priorities.

Gaetz criticized the DAF for sending command signals to recruit a certain number of Americans based on superficial characteristics, like race or sex. He argued that these policies have resulted in numerous recruiting shortfalls of a historic manner. Furthermore, he expressed concern over the politicization of the DAF, which he believes has led to a decline in public sentiment and trust in the military as an institution.

The Congressman took issue with the 18-page DEIA policy document, which contains over 5,500 words, yet mentions “combat” only once, “national security” zero times, and “merit” or “merit-based” also zero times. This glaring omission, according to Gaetz, speaks volumes about where the DAF’s priorities currently lie.

Gaetz strongly believes that the DEIA working group should be eliminated altogether. He suggests that the DAF should instead reorient its strategies to confront threats from near-peer adversaries like China and Russia. He expressed his concern over the potential negative impact of an emphasis on DEIA on military recruiting and retention.

In his letter, Gaetz urged the DAF to reflect on its current state and reconsider its policies. He warned that these misguided Air Force policies could lead to further erosion of their standing and the entire reputation of the Department of Defense (DoD).

In conclusion, Congressman Gaetz is calling for a return to an America-first outlook that removes the social-experiment element from the DAF and reorients the team toward addressing the threats of our near-peer adversaries. His stance reflects a growing concern among conservatives about the direction of the U.S. military’s focus and priorities.