The Pentagon has been accused of “wokeism” for its policies on diversity, equity and inclusion, but military leaders say the policies are helping, Defense One reported.

“When people join our military, they want to look around and see somebody who looks like them,” Air Force Chief of Staff C.Q. Brown told Defense One. “They want to be part of a team [and] feel like they’re included. They don’t want to join something that they feel like you’re put as an outcast.”

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger agreed and said the policies are not pushing service members out of the military, as some conservatives fear.

“Retention last year exceeded our goals, this year way in front of last year, so just the opposite has happened,” Berger said. “People want to stay in the Marine Corps.”

A House subcommittee is holding a hearing Thursday to ask service officials about how the policies are impacting the military.

Air Force photo by Ruth A. Medina-Villanueva