For a top position at NATO, President Joe Biden’s pick is an admiral who has been outspoken about increased opportunities for women in the Navy since 1993—and today advocates diversity, equity, and inclusion policies in the military.
In February, Biden tapped Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield for promotion to vice admiral and assignment as U.S. military representative to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium.
Chatfield, 57, currently serves as president of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Chatfield is among the some 200 military promotions being blocked by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., in his effort to undo the Defense Department’s new taxpayer-funded abortion policy.
The Daily Signal previously reported that Tuberville had blocked the promotion of Navy Capt. Michael Donnelly, who allowed a drag show on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Tuberville also blocked the promotions of two Air Force generals who pushed diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, or DEI, in the military.
The American Military Project at The Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank based in California, has investigated Chatfield and numerous other Biden nominees for military promotion who are being held up in the Senate.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion policies at the Defense Department have been controversial since Biden took office in January 2021.
The top of Chatfield’s LinkedIn page touts her experience in naval aviation and DEI, saying: “Talks about #navalaviation and #dei.”
Last year, the rear admiral promoted the second annual Commander Naval Air Forces DEI Summit.
“Got my wings in ’89 and would have never believed I’d be a member of the Flag Mess standing next to CNAF [Commander, Naval Air Forces] at the 2nd annual DEI conference in ’22!” Chatfield wrote seven months ago on LinkedIn.
“The purpose of the summit,” the Navy says, “was to implement DEI concepts into the framework of the Naval Aviation Enterprise through the following three primary objectives: Providing a broad understanding of DEI concepts to enhance operational readiness and support warfighting excellence, establishing DEI feedback loops for fleet and senior leadership discussions and to build force resilience, and providing tangible tools to implement DEI core competencies in the workplace.”
In another LinkedIn post eight months ago, she wrote: “Looking forward to seeing robust attendance by Naval Aviation leaders at the CNAF DEI Summit this year! Interested in learning more about ALLY-ship? … See you in San Diego!”
“ALLY-ship” was the theme of the November 2022 conference. In a press release, one Navy officer said that “ally-ship” means that “if I’m going to have the audacity to lead, then I have to be bold in bringing people into the team.”
Another officer said that “ally-ship is a key enabler for building inclusive teams.”
In September 2015, when she was a Navy captain, Chatfield delivered a speech for Women’s Equality Day in which she bemoaned a lack of females in Congress.
“Investing in gender equality and women’s empowerment can unlock human potential on a transformational scale,” she said during her remarks.
“You cast your vote, and everybody’s vote carries the same weight,” she said, adding that 80% of congressional lawmakers are men.
“It seems a bit unequal what issues go forward,” Chatfield said.
In April 1993, Chatfield, then a lieutenant and an aviator, praised a decision by then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin to allow women to fly in combat missions.
“The goal of every Navy pilot should be to command a squadron at sea,” Chatfield said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Soon that goal will be open to women.”
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