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Navy Must Focus More on Warfighting and Less on Diversity Training: Report

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When announcing the christening of the USNS John Lewis replenishment oiler on July 16, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker said sailors will be “galvanized” by the legacy of the new ship’s namesake. “Leaders like Representative Lewis taught us that diversity of backgrounds and experiences help contribute to the strength of our nation,” Harker said, referring to the late congressman and civil rights activist. But some lawmakers and military officials worry that comments like the ones made by Harker are part of a larger problem of Navy leadership prioritizing social issues at the expense of military preparedness. A congressionally commissioned report released on July 12 suggests that an overfocus on administrative tasks correlates with recent Navy mishaps, including the July 2020 fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard, two deadly collisions in 2017, and the January 2016 surrender of two small Navy craft to Iran in the Arabian Gulf. Drawing on …

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