Pete Hegseth’s ‘The War on Warriors’ examines how the military was ‘manipulated into going woke’ by the left

Pete Hegseth’s latest book, “The War on Warriors,” was a passion project for the Fox News host who says the Army he joined two decades ago has been plagued with woke ideology that could put Americans in danger. 

“My time in uniform defined the better part of my adult life. It shaped me more than anything else. It’s something I love, a brotherhood that will always be central to who I am. And so, the book ‘The War on Warriors,’ the title was meant to say, ‘Hey, these warriors, there’s a war on them, and it’s not just what they’re facing on the battlefield, it’s from within,’” Hegseth told Fox News Digital. 

“The subtitle is ‘Behind the Betrayal of the Men Who Keep Us Free,’ because this is not just a simple book of, ‘Oh, the military went woke,’” he continued. “It’s more a book about, ‘How did the military allow itself to be manipulated into going woke?’”

“The War on Warriors,” which is available for preorder now, aims to uncover the deep roots of dysfunction throughout the military. Hegseth feels diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, gender quotas and other standards pushed on the military by the left are adding layers that eliminate meritocracy. 

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Pete Hegseth’s latest book, “The War on Warriors,” was a passion project for the Fox News host.

“You can play all your games and, you know, push all your initiatives, but when the bullets start flying, who are you going to call? It’s all those, mostly, men who are raised in faith-filled, patriotic families, regardless of their racial background, who understand something greater than themselves and want to sign up to be a part of that because they love duty and honor and country,” he said. 

“If this continues in our military… not only will we be less safe, but we’re gonna get people killed. We’re going to get members of the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy… killed because they’re less prepared, less focused and their units are less cohesive, they’re less well-trained, they’re standards are lower,” Hegseth continued. “The social justice priorities of this administration, and previous, have distracted our institutions.” 

Hegseth announced the latest title from Fox News Books Saturday on “FOX & Friends Weekend.” It’s Hegseth’s fifth book, as he previously penned New York Times bestsellers “In the Arena,” “American Crusade,” “Modern Warriors,” and “Battle for the American Mind.” Despite the success, the Army veteran scoffed when asked if he should be identified as an author going forward. 

“It’s that’s not really why I do this… I write about things I’m genuinely passionate about,” Hegseth said. “It’s personal, so if you want to if we want to add ‘author’ to the title, that’s great. But certainly, Christian, father, patriot, that all come first and then the rest of it’s all just a bonus.”

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Pete Hegseth

Pete Hegseth penned the latest title from Fox News Books.

It’s certainly personal, and Hegseth says the military he joined 20 years ago is vastly different from the one he sees today. 

“The one I joined was focused on one thing — lethality. Unity of effort. Meritocracy. Are you good at your job? Train you to be the best warfighter we’ve got, and then send you with what you need to accomplish the mission,” he said. 

“The military we have now has a whole bunch of layers in between that meritocracy and the lethality that tell our troops, ‘You know what your real strength is? Your real strength is diversity,’” Hegseth added.

The Army veteran of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay who earned two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman Badge for his time overseas said he served with guys who were “Black, White, straight and probably gay,” but it was never about any of that stuff. 

“It was only about Army green and the mission that we had,” Hegseth said, noting that changes have come directly from the Pentagon, largely during the Obama and Biden administrations. “Progressives, regressive, whatever you want to call them, couldn’t tolerate a gigantic meritocracy in the middle of their attempt for control.”

He believes commanders have changed their focus, and dozens of people currently serving across all branches, with various levels of responsibility, have told him that priorities are out of whack. 

“Civilians have rammed it down the throats of our generals, and the generals are doing the bidding because they know if they want to get promoted, they’ve got to follow the social engineering prerogatives of the White House or who’s in charge. Otherwise, they don’t get promoted, and they get fired, and they don’t get the fancy jobs out in the defense sector afterwards. And so, they go along to get along, even though they know the things they’re pushing don’t make their units better,” Hegseth said. 

The cover of “The War on Warriors” features an upside combat-style American flag, which is the universal sign of distress. It also features Hegseth’s name patch from an actual uniform he wore overseas. He feels the imagery will make it clear that “things are not OK” in the modern military. 

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The War on Warriors

Pete Hegseth’s “The War on Warriors: Behind the Betrayal of the Men Who Keep Us Free” is available for preorder now and hits stores June 4. (Fox News Books)

The book also tells the story of when Hegseth was called an “extremist” by the Army that he fought for and features a letter to his sons, laying out his views on whether he would like them to serve. 

“I joined the Army to fight extremists. And then I was called one. And the hope is that readers will immediately be engaged by the personal story of what happened to me. And there are some stories in there of combat missions I was on, just to kind of reiterate the taste and smell and feel of combat… We’re not talking about a corporate job here,” Hegseth said. 

“We’re talking about life and death. And so, this subject is about what I learned, what I saw, how it’s been corrupted. And I’ve always thought there’s nothing I would love more than my kids to wear camouflage and serve their country, and I’ve got a giant question in my head about whether I want that. And I know I’m not the only one,” he continued. “This book isn’t just for vets and military folks, it’s for military families, it’s for patriots, it’s for parents and grandparents who love what this country has represented and want to understand how it went sideways.”

“The War on Warriors: Behind the Betrayal of the Men Who Keep Us Free” is available for preorder now and hits stores June 4. 

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