Defense Secretary Austin Hits Back at Ted Cruz: The U.S. Military Will Never Be “Soft”

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin dismissed criticisms from conservatives––including Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)––who have suggested that attempts by the U.S. military to diversify their ranks weaken the nation’s overall standing.

In particular, Cruz had lashed out at the U.S. Army after it released a campaign of recruiting ads designed to appeal to Generation Z that highlighted how different soldiers answered the call to service.

“Holy crap, perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea,” Cruz said last week.

Austin said a diverse military “must be a part of who we are.”

“I think we’re doing a great job in terms of recruiting the right kinds of people, providing access to people from every corner, every walk of life in this country. As long as you’re fit and you can qualify, there’s a place for you on this team,” he said.

“We represent the United States of America. We ought to look like America and not only in the ranks, he added. “But our leadership should look like America.”