(RepublicanWire.org) – Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican, grilled the Air Force over the diversity training that replaced “mom” and “dad” with gender-neutral terms, calling it “un-American.”
Cotton’s letter to Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, is demanding answers from him regarding the “diversity and inclusion” training exercises the academy put cadets through.
“Cadets were reportedly instructed to refrain from using terms such as ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ or ‘mom’ and ‘dad,’ and instead use terms that ‘include all gender,’” Cotton noted.
“The training also condemns the use of the term ‘colorblind’ or the claim that someone does not ‘see color,’” the Cotton continued. “Even the term ‘terrorist’ was deemed inappropriate.”
“These divisive and un-American training exercises have no place in our military and demonstrate an alarming lack of focus at the Air Force Academy,” Cotton wrote. “The Air Force Academy ought to teach future airmen to revere our nation’s traditions and values, not to have contempt for them.”
Cotton warned that the Air Force Academy’s “increasing politicization is damaging the institution’s reputation” as well as the branch as a whole, and he asked the Air Force Academy to confirm the training happened and answer several questions regarding it.
“The Air Force Academy does not prohibit the use of ‘mom and dad’ or other gender-specific terms,” the spokesperson said. “The recent briefing on diversity and inclusion is being taken out of context and misrepresented; the slide in question was not intended to stand alone.”
“First and foremost, the briefing centered on respect for others and the warfighting imperative of leveraging diverse perspectives to solve our nation’s most difficult national security problems,” the spokesperson continued. “Our strategic competitors are doing the opposite. Our American diversity is a strategic advantage and opens the door to creative solutions, providing a competitive edge in air, space and cyberspace.”
The spokesperson said the “slide on ‘inclusive language’ was intended to demonstrate how respect for others should be used to build inclusive teams, producing more effective warfighting units.”
“Understanding a person’s context shows respect,” they added. “Until you know a person’s situation, we should not make assumptions about them.”
The slide presentation titled, “Diversity & Inclusion: What it is, why we care, & what we can do,” 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.”
Cotton said in a tweet, “The Biden Pentagon needs to stop focusing on getting rid of gender-specific language like “mom” and “dad” at America’s service academies and instead focus on the recruiting crisis our military faces.”
In Colorado, The Air Force Academy is encouraging cadets to apply for a fellowship program for “gender minorities” that specifies “cisgender” men need not apply.
The academy sent an email on Sept. 14 informing cadets that the 2023 application for the Brooke Owens Fellowship for “undergraduate women and gender minorities interested in aerospace” is due by Oct. 10.
The application on the fellowship’s website says, “If you are a cisgender man, this program isn’t for you.”
“If you are a cisgender woman, a transgender woman, non-binary, agender, bigender, two-spirit, demigender, genderfluid, genderqueer, or another form of gender minority, this program is for you,” the application states. “If you are a cisgender man, this program isn’t for you… but we encourage you to check out our spinoff programs, the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship and the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program.”
The USAFA’s email said the Brooke Owens Fellowship is a “nine-week paid internship at a leading aerospace company” and that any undergraduate who is a “woman or gender minority” is welcome to apply.