Gen. David Berger, commandant of the Marine Corps, said during an interview on Friday that the smallest US military force has plans for a massive overhaul within the service designed to focus on diversity and "to reflect America."
What's driving the cultural shift is for the US Marine Corps "to reflect America, to reflect the society we come from," Berger told NPR's Morning Edition.
The core of America's strength lies in its diversity, Berger said, according to the media outlet's reporting, claiming that the same is true for the US military.
It's not a matter of being politically correct or "woke," Berger claimed, amid accusations that the US armed forces are pandering to the left's demands.
A recruitment ad from the US Army featured progressive subjects meant to be "shattering stereotypes" among America's service members. Meanwhile, the US Navy announced "Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity" plans. A scathing report commissioned by congressional members found that the US Navy is in disarray by prioritizing diversity over its warfighting capabilities amid Chinese aggression.
Currently, the Marine Corps has an issue with high turnover and retaining numbers. About 75 percent of troops leave the Marine Corps at the end of their four-year term, the highest turnover rate among the military services.
The top general is pushing his new plan, titled "Talent Management 2030," which outlines new measures that the Marine Corps hope will help bolster recruitment efforts and greatly increase the average length of service.
Berger also argued during the interview the importance of focusing on education and technical abilities in today's cyber warfare age, to help keep pace with an increasingly digital world, with its resulting digital challenges.
"Our advantage militarily is on top of our shoulders. It's not actually our equipment. We are better than anybody else, primarily because we don't all think exactly alike. We didn't come from the same backgrounds," Berger said.
"The capabilities that we think we're going to need are a force that's able to operate much more distributed, much more spread out than perhaps we're accustomed to in the past, using a different set of technologies than we had five or 10 or 15 years ago," Berger emphasized, also adding: "I think the people that we bring in will be able to handle the technologies and also the decision-making. It's really more about the decision-making than it is about technology."
The general concluded, "We are a purely combat force. We were built under a different set of circumstances — but that is changing."
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