Gov’t Watchdog Calls For Investigation Of Biden’s Top Military Nominee For Promoting Racist Policies

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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  • A government watchdog group targeting Biden nominees put in a formal request to investigate Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, whom the president has tapped to be his top military advisor, for possible racial discrimination.
  • The American Accountability Foundation accuses Brown of deliberately and illegally choosing minorities over white candidates for Air Force positions.
  • “Race-based hiring has no place in the military,” the organization said in a statement.

A government transparency group on Monday asked the Air Force to open a probe into Gen. Charles Q. Brown, who President Joe Biden recently nominated to fill the U.S.’ top military post, for potential illegal racial discrimination.

While serving as the Air Force’s chief of staff and before that as Pacific Air Forces commander, Brown made statements suggesting he selects individuals for certain roles and promotions based on their race to build purposefully diverse organizations, multiple sources show. Brown could be violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, the American Accountability Foundation (AAF) argues, making him ineligible to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

AAF filed the complaint to the Air Force Inspector General requesting a formal investigation into Brown’s “discriminatory comments and potential unlawful impact on military personnel,” the group said in a press release.

“I purposely build my office, my front office, and my team with [diversity], and I hire for diversity because they all bring a different perspective,” Brown said in an interview with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in 2020.

“All of us have to seek out those diverse candidates to bring them in, and that’s what we’re trying to do in the Air Force,” he added, appearing to convey that pursuing diverse candidates is a practice he hoped to implement through the entire Air Force.

If Brown has acted upon his “publicly stated beliefs on what should be official hiring policy of the U.S. Air Force, it would present a significant likelihood of violating the civil and constitutional rights of military personnel” as well as Department of Defense (DOD) codes of conduct, AAF said.

A recent Supreme Court decision determining affirmative action to be unconstitutional on the basis of the Equal Protection Clause set a precedent that “stamps out race-based decision-making” in not only college admissions, but hiring and promotion decisions as well, AAF argued. (RELATED: Pentagon Can Expect Challenges To Race-Based Admissions Policies After Supreme Court Ruling, Experts Say)

“[You’ve] almost got to purposely manage some of this. You can’t let it – if you do it by happenstance, we won’t change,” Brown said in the interview.

Biden tapped Brown to serve as his top military adviser once the current chairman retires at the end of September. However, Brown will likely face a rocky confirmation battle in the Senate, where Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville has vowed to block the promotions of all general and flag officers unless DOD cancels an abortion rule implemented in reaction to Roe v. Wade being overturned.

Brown spoke to People Magazine in 2021 about his intention to manage “diverse” populations in the Air Force to ensure “development and opportunities aren’t happening just by luck.” The Air Force needs to expand the pool of applicants through means including finding ways to “tweak the screening process, so it’s not so reliant upon a paper test,” he added.

Air Force diversity policies with Brown at the helm appear to prioritize bringing on non-white officers and recruits. The Air Force recently pledged to track officer promotions from a “race, ethnicity and gender” standpoint, a February 2023 newsletter obtained by the DCNF shows.

In 2022, Brown updated demographic goals for the officer corps to 67% white, down from 80% the last time they were updated in 2014, according to Air Force Times.

The DCNF previously reported how an initiative to increase pilot diversity by deliberately placing ethnic/racial minority and female trainees into a certain class failed. Air Force Education and Training Command subsequently discontinued after leaders privately warned it could violate anti-discrimination policies.

Another effort to increase diversity among pilots, of which the Air Force is suffering a severe shortage, slashed the number of prior flight hours required to qualify as a pilot candidate since “some of our airmen have talent, they just don’t have the financial means to boost their score,” Defense One reported.

The American Accountability Foundation is a government oversight group set up in early 2021 to expose leftist backgrounds of Biden nominees get their appointments blocked, according to Fox News.

“Race-based hiring has no place in the military. Our men and women in uniform deserve to be led on missions by the most qualified and skilled officers and leaders our nation has, who will give them the best chance of success and getting home safely,” the organization said in a statement.

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