A slide presentation obtained from a diversity and inclusion training class taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy shows that cadets are being taught to use gender-neutral language, such as “partner” instead of “boyfriend/girlfriend,” and “parent” instead of “Mom/Dad.”
The documents were shared with the press by Florida Rep. Mike Waltz (R), who said that cadets were alarmed by the presentation. Waltz is a member of the Green Beret and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
“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.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark) drew a connection between the “woke” Air Force Academy diversity and inclusion training and recent reports that military recruiters are under quota for the year.
“The Biden Pentagon looking for the causes of the [military] recruiting crisis is kind of like O.J. Simpson looking for the real killer,” said Cotton.
DEFENSE IN 'DANGER': @TomCottonAR ripped new 'woke' Air Force Academy training, warning the recruitment crisis is dangerous for America — and social justice trainings won't solve the problem. https://t.co/trrrIHsaeg pic.twitter.com/tuTSg9PS3G
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 22, 2022
Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Rich Clark said on Thursday that the academy “does not prohibit the use of ‘mom and dad’ or other gender-specific terms.” He also said that reports about the diversity and inclusion training program are “being taken out of context and misrepresented.”
The Air Force is not the only branch of the military under scrutiny for curriculums updated with diversity and inclusion training. Earlier this year, the Navy made news for adding two weeks to their boot camps to accommodate new classes on suicide prevention, sexual assault, hazing, and racism.
In April of 2021, West Point Military Academy hosted a controversial lecture called, “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage.”
“Everything, when it comes to training, is an opportunity cost,” argued Waltz. “Every hour, every day you’re spending training on this stuff, you’re not training on all the other things we need that I would argue would be a higher priority to fight and win wars.”