Pentagon asks for $114M to spend on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in 2024

The Department of Defense (DOD) is requesting approximately $114 million to finance its latest round of diversity initiatives.

The DOD plans to use the funds for “diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility” (DEIA) programs in fiscal year 2024.

“The FY 2024 President’s Budget request demonstrates the DoD’s commitment to DEIA and includes $114.7 million for dedicated diversity and inclusion activities,” the department wrote in its Strategic Management Plan for fiscal year 2022 to 2026.

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It continues, “This funding across the Military Departments, OSD Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute is investing in programs and initiatives aimed at furthering DEIA, and incorporating DEIA values, objectives, and considerations in how we do business and execute our missions.”

The funding request is the largest of its kind yet for the DOD, which earmarked $68 million for DEIA initiatives in fiscal year 2022 and $86.5 million in fiscal year 2023, according to reports from the Daily Wire.

“Leaders at all levels are responsible for fostering a climate of inclusion that supports diversity, is free from problematic behaviors, and does not tolerate retaliation or reprisal against those filing complaints,” the DOD previously wrote in its Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request.

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The document continues, “Ultimately, recruiting and retaining a force with diverse backgrounds, thought, experience, expertise, and education enhances DoD’s global joint warfighter capabilities fundamental to all DoD activities.”

The specifics of the planned 2024 DEIA initiatives are not yet known.

The Pentagon is currently in hot water with conservative critics after it failed its annual audit for the sixth year in a row.

Audit investigations were carried out at approximately 700 sites by 1,600 auditors. 

The department passed only 7 out of 29 sub-audits in 2023 — identical to last year’s final results. Auditors found that half of the department’s claimed assets could not be accounted for.

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