(Fox News) A diversity and inclusion training by the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado instructs cadets to use words that “include all genders” and to refrain from saying things like “mom” and “dad.”
The slide presentation titled, “Diversity & Inclusion: What it is, why we care, & what we can do,” obtained by Fox News Digital, advises cadets to use “person-centered” and gender-neutral language when describing individuals.
“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 states. “Use words that include all genders: ‘Folks’ or ‘Y’all’ instead of ‘guys’; ‘partner’ vs. ‘boyfriend or girlfriend.’”
“Not ‘Colorblind’ or ‘I don’t see color,’ but Color Conscious,” it adds. “We see Color/Patterns AND VALUE people for their uniqueness.”
Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., a Green Beret and Afghan War veteran, pointed out during an interview with Fox News Digital that “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.”
“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,” he said. “I think the Air Force should be worried about the macro aggressions against America that are happening all over the world.”
The diversity and inclusion (D&I) training also includes an exercise asking cadets to separate into small groups and write down as many “G-Animals,” or animals that start with the letter “G,” that they can think of in one minute’s time.
“What does this activity show us about the power of combining our diverse perspectives?” the activity asks. “If this were an operational USAF/USSF [United States Space Force] challenge (think COA [course of action] development) what risks might be present if we did not fully leverage the diversity of our group?”
One slide in the presentation claims that D&I training is critical for “developing warfighters” to be “prepared to lead the USAF/USSF with character.”
“How can we Lift Others (motivate our teams) if we don’t know our people?” it asks. “How can we Elevate Performance if we don’t include people during planning and execution?”
“Today we are preparing to face challenges that may not exist today,” the training says. “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.”
At the beginning of the training, cadets are assured that “what’s said here, stays in the room (let’s have each other’s backs),” and cadets were instructed not to “share people’s stories with their name/identifiers).”
The presentation also asks cadets to finish prompts like, “What I think about me in terms of who I am,” “What others think about me,” “What might be misunderstood about me” and “How squad/classmates can help me feel valued.”
At the end of the presentation, cadets are informed about additional D&I resources on the academy’s Colorado Springs campus, including a “D&I Reading Room” and “Affinity groups.”
According to the academy’s website, affinity groups help cadets “gather around a shared affinity or bond” and can be “identity-based,” “interest/career-based” or “cadet experience-based.”
A professor quoted in a 2021 press release by the academy describes the D&I reading room as a “safe space” meant “to broaden and deepen [cadets’] exploration of the issues involved in diversity, inclusion and justice.”
The academy also offers a “Cadet Wing Diversity and Inclusion Program,” where graduates are given a purple rope to wear across their left shoulder “symbolizing their position as a diversity representative” so that they can “advise students on diversity,” according to a press release.
An August 2021 memo by the academy that proposed the D&I program, obtained by Fox News Digital, said it would create “champions of dignity and respect to foster an inclusive climate in the Cadet Wing.”
“Recommended trainings include, but are not limited to, inclusive leadership, conversation facilitation, unconscious bias, and cultural sensitivity,” the memo stated. “The structure for D&I Staff will resemble [Air Force Academy Cadet Wing] Character and Honor staffs to reflect that D&I is also an institutional priority.”
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Waltz, a ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, told Fox News Digital that the program’s structure is particularly concerning because it appears to create a “separate, parallel chain of command.”
“To those of us who are a little bit older, it reminds us of what the Soviets used to do or what the Chinese do today, where they literally have political commissars inserted at every level end of the chain of command, but they have a separate reporting chain to ensure that the military is abiding by their ideology and their political doctrine,” Waltz said.
“Not only do they have diversity and equity officers in the cadet chain of command, they wear a special insignia, which is exactly what the political commissars — they would wear an armband in both the Soviet army and now in the Chinese Communist military. I just think there are some really alarming parallels,” he said.