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Crapo, Risch Introduce Bill to Protect Merit-Based Military

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) introduced the Military Merit, Fairness, and Equality (MERIT) Act, which would prohibit the Department of Defense from prioritizing the demographic characteristics of service members above individual merit and demonstrated performance.

The legislation would define “equity” for the Pentagon as “the right of all persons to have the opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, programs, and activities for which they are qualified” and would ban any Department of Defense-affiliated institution from any training or instruction that would violate this merit-based definition of equity.

“It’s imperative to our military’s readiness and efficiency that we focus on the merit of service members and not on advancing distracting agendas,” said Crapo.  “Maintaining performance-based evaluations, promotions, and training is the only way to ensure our military is completely dedicated to the task of protecting our nation and its people from the threat of bad actors.”

“The Biden administration must prioritize recruiting the best candidates to defend American freedom regardless of race, color, creed, or other demographic status,” said Risch.  “Our men and women in uniform are fully focused on protecting and serving the United States, and with the MERIT Act, the Department of Defense will too.”

“The toxic, so-called ‘equity’ agenda at the Department of Defense damages readiness and falsely suggests that our military has a problem with diversity,” Wicker said.  “My legislation would stop this overreaching social policy at its source and protect the values of merit and equal opportunity that have made our military the most powerful in the world.  The Pentagon must focus on deterrence over division.