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When Will the Air Force Academy’s Alumni Association Confront the DEI Nemesis?

Posted on Wednesday, April 3, 2024
by Outside Contributor

By: Scott Sturman

Air FOrce DEI

Superintendents at United States military academies enjoy great latitude to implement policies that affect the training and philosophical attitudes of the cadets and midshipmen under their command—a cohort who will cast an outsized influence over future military policy and constitute 20% of the officer corps.  Recent areas of emphasis such as CRT, DEI, gender identity, and blatant discrimination against white male cadets are controversial, politically driven, illegal, and divisive.  The public for the most part remains oblivious to political activism at service academies, wrongly assuming that merit, equal opportunity, and a service-over-self ethos compose the foundational principles of training. Occasionally, as with the recent “Duty, Honor, Country” controversy at West Point, the public receives a glimpse of the internal trappings at U.S. military academies and the power superintendents wield to transform the foundations of these institutions.

There are few safeguards at service academies to mitigate the implementation and prioritization of programs, however disruptive and destructive. Opportunities to inform the graduate community of their scope and nature are similarly limited.  The Air Force Academy (AFA) Association of Graduates/ Board of Directors (AOG/BOD) is composed of elected and appointed graduates, who ostensibly represent the alumni, whose recommendations and insights should be aggregated and then transmitted to the superintendent. AOG members provide the AFA critical financial support, and it is not unreasonable that the superintendent receives periodic updates regarding opinions from the graduate community. The experiences and knowledge of 47,000 alumni, who graduated from the first class in 1959 until the present, provide a valuable resource for the AFA administration.  

The intimate association between the BOD and those it represents became strained when transparency and accountability diminished. The BOD’s unbalanced support of DEI initiatives, silence regarding scholarship eligibility based on race and sexual orientation, failure to denounce overt racial discrimination against white, male cadets, and refusal to explore the linkage between unusual deaths and serious injuries suffered by cadets during the mandatory Covid vaccine program led many in the graduate community to believe that the BOD abandoned its independence to serve as an unquestioning advocate of administration policy. 

Racism and radical ideologies must be opposed vigorously in the armed forces and at the AFA, for these pathologies have no equal in promoting institutional decay and undermining morale and cohesion.  DEI and CRT, Marxist derived ideologies, are inculcated, promoted, and enforced at the AFA, despite the administration’s repeated denials.  Cadets receive instruction on proper pronoun use, attend lectures on the “Genderbread Person,” are surveilled by embedded DEI representatives who function and report outside the normal chain of command, and are subjected to racial discrimination by members of the faculty. The academy’s $273,500 contract with the intelligence gathering company 3Gimbals to monitor cadets’ social media communications raises grave concerns about infringement of their 4th Amendment rights.  Most cadets express contempt for these dalliances that provide little benefit and serve to divide the Cadet Wing by racial and sexual identities. 

Imagine one is 18 years old and filled with expectations after being appointed to join a select few in the AFA Class of 2025.  To join the ranks of Jimmy Doolittle, Dick Bong, and Robin Olds is an opportunity for which only the best and brightest are chosen. But while at home in the months prior to joining one’s classmates at basic training, a book arrives in the mail from the AFA that is designated as required reading.  The initial impression is one of bewilderment that the AFA administration recommends a book incongruent with the profession of arms and the recipient’s expectations of the institution’s literary preferences.

George Takei’s book, They Called Us Enemy, is an oversimplified, biased critique of America, published in a comic book format, and written at the junior high school reading level.  It conveys a message imbued with racial overtones and advances oppression politics that dictates self-worth based on appearance rather than merit and character. The book is manifestly political—advocating open borders and openly critical of a former President of the United States.  Who paid for this charade or authorized its dissemination?  These are legitimate questions to which the AOG and Foundation remain opaque and evasive.

Times change, but as depicted in Spielberg’s Masters of the Air, the preeminence of honor and the behaviors required to endure great sacrifice in service to our country do not.  It is the duty of the graduate community to ensure that others following us at the AFA are prepared to meet these challenges by being offered rigorous academic and military training devoid of political indoctrination and consistent with the responsibilities and rights granted by the Constitution. Cadets understand that the academy experience is diluted and distorted by the woke ideology that permeates it.  Let’s stand with them and affirm that courage and tenacity are as indispensable on the ideological battlefield as they were over the skies of Germany 80 years ago. 

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12 days ago

The author’s point about the unawareness of the general public is spot on. America just assumes that of course the military of all institutions, seeks, develops, and rewards merit. Sadly, that is no longer true. We need to ring the bell. Great work Mr. Sturman.

11 days ago

I know this is a tangential issue and maybe I missed an article addressing it however I feel compelled to add it to this thread. What about the decision to take away the USMA slogan “Duty Honor Country”.? They replaced it with a generic Army values. It breaks my heart to see this and how deeply it hurts those who loved by that code. Why is nobody rallying against this?

Tish D.
Tish D.
12 days ago

Article fails to address the way the AFA has underserved those groups. DEI is an effort to include qualified diverse groups. Argue why DEI should be removed, why was it needed? Why was it put in place!? Those are the issues that need to be fixed , not merely doing away with the latest acronym.

Gary Vee
Gary Vee
13 days ago

This article misses the key source of courage and tenacity at USAFA – the Air Force Falcons football team. The airborne struggles during World War II seem almost quaint in comparison to the weekly dogfights in the Mountain West Conference. Even the less athletic students sitting in the stands build character seeing true heroes give their all to bring glory to the Academy. Go Falcons!

Madison Swaniawski
Madison Swaniawski
13 days ago

This was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the insight. I’ll be able to use this for sure.

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