- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday are criticizing a recent tweet from the Defense Department that displayed the Pentagon’s top officials, because everyone in the photo is a white male.

“It’s imperative for our national security that U.S. government leadership represents the diversity of the United States. All agencies must do better,” the Democratic members of the panel said in a tweet. It continued to point out in parentheses: “(There are zero women or people of color in this group).”

Minutes earlier, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper tweeted a photo with his top officers, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and the commanders of the unified combatant commands, in the Oval Office with President Trump.

“Thank you @POTUS & @FLOTUS for hosting me & @DeptofDefense leadership for dinner yesterday at the @WhiteHouse, and for the continued leadership & support for the incredible men & women who serve to defend the Nation at home and abroad!,” Mr. Esper tweeted.

According to the latest Defense Department data, 16.2% of active-duty service members are women.

Approximately 40% of the military is made up of racial and ethnic minority groups, according to Pew Research Center data.

The Trump administration has previously come under fire for not appointing a more diverse range of officials. In his Cabinet, four of the 23 positions are filled with a racial or ethnic minority, and women occupy three of the positions.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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