Guest post by Col. Mike (Pef) Pefley, USAF (Ret)
In response to the brouhaha created by Diversity and Inclusion Training mandated for cadets, USAFA superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark explained that everyone misunderstood his intentions concerning indoctrinating his (we hope this pronoun doesn't draw a penalty flag) troops with woke pronoun usage and preferred forms of address. His intention was not to banish "moms and dads," but to promote respect by total and perfect understanding through targeted inclusive language.
One point that has gone fairly unnoticed is the reference in the presentation to the cadets is the caution not to be racially "colorblind." Cadets might be labeled racially insensitive if they said, "I don't see color." It's impossible that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would prefer that his children to be recognized by the color of their skin versus the content of their character.
If Lt. Gen. Clark wishes that everyone understands the context and circumstances of the words, pronouns, and creative alternatives to normal discourse for cadets to follow, he will release to the public the PowerPoint charts used for the D&I training. That would clear up any misinterpretation. Why can't that be accomplished immediately? In the interest of full disclosure, why can't everyone see the full training and judge for himself?
USAFA has also promoted transgender focus as a diversity "strength" for the Air Force Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (DIE) agenda by headlining some of its very own staff as speakers to educate (indoctrinate) cadets into the "World of Wokeness."
Clearly, whoever stated, "There's no such thing as a free lunch" never was invited to a lecture on transgenders. The level of inclusion at USAFA is clearly "world class." This sensitivity training will orient the future leaders of the Air Force to promote "diversity is our greatest strength" thinking that pervades the DoD in the 21st-century force. Those talking points have been repeated ad nauseam by Gen. Milley, Adm. Gilday, and Lt. Gen. Clark. Too bad no one has ever explained how this glib phase actually does that. Where's the science?
Additionally, the focus by USAFA on transgender adaptation will aid in recruitment of that demographic to replace all the white, cisgender, toxic males who are standing in the way of force inclusion. There is clearly a hope that USAFA's replacement theory (for white males) and approach to DIE will propel "combat effectiveness" for the total force and correct recruitment shortfalls. Has math been dropped at USAFA as a prerequisite for graduation? With a 1,700-pilot shortfall and a goal to reduce the percent white pilots from 80% to 63% and lower and lower numbers of qualified applicants each year, even with the thumb on the scale for all minorities except Asian, explain how those equations are computed.
While specifically unstated, is using neutral means of addressing groups such as "Dear Comrades" more desirable than "Hey Guys"? Lt. Gen. Clark's obfuscation (or quibbling or dissembling or gaslighting) is consistent with the Air Force Academy's refusal to respond to lawfully required answers to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests posed by STARRS and others. Judicial Watch (J.W.) filed a lawsuit on Friday, September 23 to compel the Academy to reply, in some cases, to two-year-old requests for which they are delinquent. Apparently, while not being in lawful compliance with the Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom by forcing COVID-19 vaccines, Lt. Gen. Clark must think that USAFA should be given a pass for responding to required FOIA requests, too. Hopefully someone will remind USAFA that the complex called "The Air Force Academy" is not a Constitution Free Zone.
Col. Mike (Pef) Pefley, USAF (ret.) is executive vice president and chief operating officer for Stand Together against Racism and Radicalism in the Services (STARRS). He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy as a member of the class of 1974.