BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code
We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.
– US Air Force Academy Honor Code
Integrity first. Service before self. Excellence in all we do.
– US Air Force Core Values
BGen(S) Kristin Goodwin, soon to be the newest Commandant of Cadets at the US Air Force Academy, commissioned into the Air Force with the Academy Class of 1993.
The policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was instated in February of 1994. Anyone who entered the military prior to that date answered a question about homosexuality during the enlistment process. Those who answered in the affirmative were refused enlistment.
How was Col Goodwin — an open homosexual — able to enter the Air Force?
This isn’t actually a new question. Since the repeal of DADT, it has been evident a few senior military leaders who are homosexual entered the military prior to 1994. (For the record, their enlistment itself isn’t generally questioned, as the statute of limitations on UCMJ Article 83 (Fraudulent Enlistment) has long expired.)
Ultimately, questions of those prior accessions to military service won’t come to much, just as they haven’t since the repeal of DADT. The general post-DADT issue will, however, be a fascinating discussion point for the USAFA cadet classes Col Goodwin will oversee — as the cadets practically venerate the Honor Code (in spirit, if not in deed).
No doubt someone will work a hypothetical story into an early Philosophy class, which normally includes the nearly clichéd “is it wrong to steal bread if your children are starving?” or “is it wrong to lie if you were hiding Jews from the Nazis during World War II?” type of discussions.
It could make for a fascinating thought experiment.
Is it “wrong” to lie to enter the US military — or the Air Force, whose first core value is “integrity”? Is it wrong to “live a lie” as a cadet under the Honor Code?
What if you eventually become a leader, a General, or the Commandant of Cadets — now charged with enforcing that standard of integrity and honor?
If nothing else, the contradictory complexity of society’s relativistic morality lends even more support to the need for unchanging, absolute morality — that is, the Truth of Scripture. With some grace for human application, you do not have to spend time explaining why what was once wrong is now right (it’s rarely vice versa) if the moral code that serves as your foundation does not change.
And God’s Word doesn’t change.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.