If the Air Force Academy has its way, its 4,000 cadets won’t be calling home to talk to “mom and dad,” but rather to their “parents,” “caregivers,” and “guardians.” The Academy’s “Diversity and Inclusion” (D&I) training, according to an expose by Fox News Digital, instructs cadets how to speak correctly in the military’s new era of wokeism.
The new speech rules, if the Academy is intent on enforcing them, could violate the free speech and religious freedom rights of cadets, however.
A D&I seminar slide from the Academy on “Inclusive Language” obtained by Fox News Digital instructs cadets to ask what people call themselves (i.e., preferred pronouns), use gender-neutral language such as “y’all” instead of “you guys,” and to replace “mom and dad” with “parents/caregivers/guardians.”
It also urges cadets not to use the term “colorblind” or “I don’t see color” or “we’re all just people.”
The D&I emphasis at the Academy goes back to at least February of 2021, when a “diversity and inclusion reading room” was opened in the campus’ McDermott Library. “Our intention is to create an informal space for cadets and permanent party [sic] to broaden and deepen their exploration of the issues involved in diversity, inclusion and justice,” said Daniel Couch, an assistant professor at the school.
The Academy has also recently formed a diversity and inclusion “team” of 82 cadets who are charged with fostering an “inclusive climate” on campus. There is also something called a “Transgender Working Group” that is charged with assisting senior officials at the base in addressing specific concerns about the D&I policy as it relates to cadets.
The Academy says all of this D&I emphasis is supposed to help prepare cadets for “warfighting effectiveness.” An Academy spokesperson elaborated on this to Fox News Digital: “USAFA develops leaders of character that can lead diverse teams of Airmen and Guardians inclusively, to enhance innovation and win future conflict.”
Apparently a woke Air Force is a formidable fighting force.
And wait: Did the Academy spokesperson actually say “Airmen?” Shouldn’t the Air Force be following its own rules for using gender-neutral language, and start calling its cadets something like “Airpeople?” “Airpersons?”
Doesn’t the spokesperson’s own statement highlight the ridiculous consequences of going woke?
And what if the Academy’s new woke “speech code” infringes cadets’ religious freedom or free speech by compelling “correct” language that may contradict their scientific and religious beliefs? What if cadets refuse to use someone’s “preferred pronouns” because it not only violates the biological reality of the two sexes but also their biblical beliefs about the way God created us male and female?
The Daily Citizen contacted the Academy about that question, to ask what accommodation might be available for cadets who object to using preferred pronouns and gender-neutral references, but had not heard back by the time we went to press. We’ll update this article with any responses we receive.
Air Force cadets ultimately take the same oath as the rest of the military: to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It would be a shame if their own constitutional rights were trampled even as they train to defend those rights for others.