COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – The United States Air Force Academy in Colorado has introduced “diversity and inclusion” training in their curriculum to their cadets that includes the use of “person-centered” gender-inclusive language and a request to drop certain common gendered words from their day-to-day vocabulary.
Cadets were shown a slideshow presentation entitled “Diversity & Inclusion: What it is, why we care, & what we can do,” which encourages them to use gender-neutral language when referring to their male and female relatives.
“Some families are headed by single parents, grandparents, foster parents, two moms, two dads, etc.: consider ‘parent or caregiver’ instead of ‘mom and dad,’” the presentation says. “Use words that include all genders: ‘Folks’ or ‘Y’all’ instead of ‘guys’; ‘partner’ vs. ‘boyfriend or girlfriend.’”
The presentation also highlights the importance of being inclusive, and even goes so far as to police the language cadets use when declaring that they value all creeds and colors equally.
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“Not ‘Colorblind’ or ‘I don’t see color,’ but Color Conscious,” it says. “We see Color/Patterns AND VALUE people for their uniqueness.”
“Diversity & Inclusion” training is vital for “developing warfighters” that will “lead the USAF/USSF with character,” according to one of the slides in the lesson.
“How can we Lift Others (motivate our teams) if we don’t know our people? How can we Elevate Performance if we don’t include people during planning and execution?” the presentation asks of cadets. “Today we are preparing to face challenges that may not exist today. For example, Information Warfare only became a career field 7 years ago, and we stood up the Space Force in 2019. This makes our need to innovate critical. Thus, our leaders have deemed D&I a warfighting imperative.”
The “Diversity & Inclusion” training received criticism from some elected officials, including Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL), who said that the military should spend less time attempting to censor commonly-used words and phrases and more actually keeping the country secure from threats from abroad.
“It’s been a tradition in the military to get letters from mom and dad or your boyfriend and girlfriend for as long as there’s been a military,” he said. “Now we’re instructing every cadet entering the Air Force to not say mom and dad, to not say boyfriend or girlfriend, and this kind of drive towards gender neutrality. I think the Air Force should be worried about the macro aggressions against America that are happening all over the world.”