Sep 20, 2023
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Jim Banks (R-IN), Chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, delivered the following opening remarks at a hearing on meritocracy in the military services: accession, promotion, and command selection.

Rep. Banks’ remarks as prepared for delivery:
I want to welcome everyone to this hearing of the Military Personnel subcommittee. Today’s hearing is on “Meritocracy in the Military Services: From Recruiting and Accession to Promotion and Command Selection.”
I want to thank our witnesses for being with us today.  I hope this hearing provides an opportunity for our Members to have a productive exchange with our witnesses and provide answers to their questions. 
The questions we ask today may be focused on the military’s personnel system. However, they have much broader implications….
These questions go to our Nation’s founding principles: meritocracy, talent, and equality of opportunity. 
Across the country, these principles are under attack. They are being sacrificed at the altar of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion bureaucracies….
Bureaucracies which demand racial and gender quotas…regardless of ability.
These performative social justice goals require Government Agencies, Large Corporations, top-tier Universities, and the Military to trade skill, productivity, hard work, and ingenuity for a workforce which looks good on a brochure. 
This is demeaning to all Americans, including those singled out by quotas.
Millions of Americans are frustrated with the social justice agenda that pervades our schools, corporations, and now, the Pentagon bureaucracy.
For example, an August 9, 2022, memo from the Secretary of the Air Force explicitly laid out quota goals for its officer applicant pool…
Apparently, Air Force officer applicants should be fifteen percent Hispanic, ten percent Asian, sixty seven percent white, thirty six percent female and so on…
Americans are fed up.
There is one place we simply can’t afford to trade equal opportunity for radical ideology—the United State Military.
We must do whatever it takes to ensure that effort, hard work, and results are the ONLY relevant measures of our servicemembers.
Not only because every American deserves to be judged by their character.
But because no matter what our military does in peacetime, lethality is the only standard that will matter on the battlefield.
If these policies continue, we are placing Military Readiness and our national security at Risk…. And we are putting an end to one of the last great meritocratic systems in the United States.
Today you will hear from two panels. The first panel is a group of experts that will explain the costs of military readiness associated with trading merit for diversity quotas.
In the second panel, we will hear from DoD’s military personnel chiefs. They will describe the factors and characteristics used to select military members for promotion and command. Additionally, they will address demographically targeted recruiting and accessions.