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US Air Force cadets ordered to ditch gendered language during diversity and inclusion summit

The US Air Force Academy is under fire for holding diversity and inclusion training that encourages cadets to use non-gendered language, scrapping words like ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ and ‘boyfriend’ and ‘boyfriend’.

According to screenshots from the seminar, obtained by FOX News DigitalAir Force training officials ask recruits to use generic terms like ‘partner’ instead of ‘boyfriend’ or ‘boyfriend’ and ‘parent’ or ‘parents’ instead of ‘mom’ and ‘dad’.

The slides shared by FOX News drew outrage from many across the country, including Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL).

Waltz, a green beret and veteran of the Afghan war, spoke to the news agency about his feelings about what he calls “destructive” lessons being taught to young cadets.

He even compared the workshops to those seen in the communist Soviet Union and China, held to push extreme ideologies on recruits.

A screenshot of the 'diversity and inclusion' training for cadets at the US Air Force Academy
A screenshot of the 'diversity and inclusion' training for cadets at the US Air Force Academy

A screenshot of the ‘diversity and inclusion’ training for cadets at the US Air Force Academy

“It’s absolutely devastating to morale, to unity, to everything I know from a military, the otherwise integrated way before the rest of the country in 1948,” Waltz said in the interview.

The Academy recommends that trainees adopt ‘person-centred’ language, using ‘person with disability’ instead of ‘disabled’ or ‘transgender people/service members’ instead of ‘transgender’.

‘Y’all’, ‘folks’ and ‘squaddies’ also get a thumbs up, according to the slides, while ‘guys’ are out.

The move is part of a push for diversity and inclusion within the Air Force and other armed forces.

Cadets in a training exercise at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado
Cadets in a training exercise at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado

Cadets in a training exercise at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado

A spokesman for the Air Force Academy said in a statement that the training should help prepare cadets for any future conflict.

“As part of the Diversity & Inclusion Cadet Leadership Program, this conversation was developed by cadet leaders and USAFA staff to introduce all cadets to the Department of Air Force’s definitions of diversity and inclusion, as well as how these concepts improve our warfighting effectiveness,” the spokesperson said.

The seminar also included diversity of thought experiences that required cadets to name as many animals starting with ‘G’ and then get together as a group to see how many they were able to get individually, as opposed to when everyone combined their lists.

Training also suggested that phrases like ‘colour blind’, ‘I can’t see colour’ and ‘we’re all just human’ be phased out.

Cadets salute during an induction ceremony at the US Air Force Base in Colorado
Cadets salute during an induction ceremony at the US Air Force Base in Colorado

Cadets salute during an induction ceremony at the US Air Force Base in Colorado

Nicknames and jokes directed at other cadets are similarly discouraged, and racial and homophobic slurs are strictly prohibited.

“USAFA develops leaders of character who can lead diverse teams of Airmen and Guardians inclusive, to enhance innovation and win future conflicts,” the spokesperson continued in the statement.

Rep. However, Waltz disagrees.

“For those of us who are a little older, it reminds us of what the Soviets used to do, or what the Chinese do today, where they literally have political commissars deployed at every level of the chain of command, but they have a separate reporting chain for to ensure that the military adheres to their ideology and their political doctrine,” the congressman said.

FL Rep.  Mike Waltz pushing back against the diversity and inclusion training
FL Rep.  Mike Waltz pushing back against the diversity and inclusion training

FL Rep. Mike Waltz pushing back against the diversity and inclusion training

In 2021, the US Air Force Academy made headlines to announce a Diversity and Inclusion Reading Room, specially designated with curated books and described in a release as a ‘treasury of big ideas and a safe space for open discussion.’

“We need to create an understanding of the challenges of diversity, racism and injustice, promote a wide range of perspectives and be respectful of people we agree and disagree with,” says Mark Jensen, chairman of the Academy’s Faculty Senate and professor of philosophy . .

“Our intent is to create an informal space for cadets and tenured parties to expand and deepen their exploration of the issues involved in diversity, inclusion, and equity,” said Assistant English Professor Daniel Couch.

Waltz told FOX News’ Tucker Carlson during a recent interview that he has been in contact with parents and cadets at the US Air Force Academy about the lessons.

“When we’re in the majority, we’re going to legislate this and we’re going to cut it out of the U.S. military,” Waltz added.

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