Stop using terms like “mom” and “dad” is the what the U.S. Air Force Academy is telling cadets. The new, controversial directive has put the school on the defensive as it implements the Biden administration’s “inclusive language” agenda in all branches of the military.
The military academy, based in Colorado Springs, has received intense criticism over a PowerPoint slide instructing cadets to replace gender-specific terms with gender-neutral ones. For example, “partner” is considered a better alternative to “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” Terms like “parents,” “caregivers,” and “guardians” are preferable to “mom” or “dad.”
To be “inclusive,” cadets should also avoid saying that they are “colorblind” or that they “don’t see color” or “we’re all just people,” according to the slide.
A screenshot of the slide, which is part of a training titled “Diversity and Inclusion: What it is, why we care, and what we can do,” was shared with Fox News by Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), an Afghan War veteran and vocal critic of “wokeness” in the U.S. military.
“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,” Waltz told Fox News. “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.”
“I think the Air Force should be worried about the ‘macroaggressions’ against America that are happening all over the world,” he added in a mocking reference to “microagression,” a term leftists use for behaviors they see as unintentional or indirect discrimination against members of a marginalized group.
In response to criticism, the Academy alleges the language of the slide was taken out of context and “misrepresented.”
The slide, according to the Academy, was intended to “demonstrate how respect for others should be used to build inclusive teams, producing more effective warfighting units.”
In another slide shared by Waltz, cadets are referred to the Academy’s “Diversity & Inclusion Reading Room” for additional “resources” on the topic. That room, according to a February 2021 news release, is a “safe space” intended to “broaden and deepen exploration of the issues involved in diversity, inclusion and justice.”