Column: Does the Air Force Encourage Division?

In a column published by the Air Force Times, US Air Force SSgt Preston Haskell called the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen David Goldfein, “wrong.”

Kind of a bold move, but he has an interesting point of view, including this tidbit on whether the Air Force values diversity over unity:

A truly pervasive cultural phenomenon is plaguing our military, and that is one of political correctness. For example, one of my most cherished feelings I have about our military is how integrated and multifaceted we all are. I absolutely love that I work with people from almost every background, race and religion our nation has to offer. So why would the Air Force encourage division?

You are allowed to be proud, and even proclaim that pride, in being black, Latino, homosexual, atheist or transgender, yet I cannot proclaim my pride in being a white, heterosexual, male Christian without serious reprimand.

This division is encouraged and supported by the Air Force. The vast majority of the people I work with feel the same frustration that I do, regardless of their heritage or background. Political correctness is void of humanity; people lose their value as human beings as they digress into divisible statistics.

Even if his perspective isn’t factually correct, the fact he believes it says something significant about the culture in the Air Force.

If Airmen feel as though pride in certain skin colors, genders, sexual behaviors, and religious beliefs is permitted — even encouraged — but pride in other skin colors, genders, sexual behaviors, and religious beliefs isn’t, has the Air Force created a “diverse” force — or a divided force?

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One comment

  • This kind of thing is built into the promotion system. Promotions in all the military services are handled “in-house” up to through the rank of full Col. After that, from BG on up, they become political, with every promotion requiring Presidential appointment and then Senate approval. This is fertile ground for political sycophants.

    In such a system, like scum on the top of a pond, boot-licking officers tend to rise to the top. Political correctness becomes more important than military competence, but it’s the assured path to more stars for some officers— the rank-and-file be damned. Hence, the morale problems that Sgt. Haskell talked about in his article.

    Higher leadership of that stripe distorts the military culture, and tends to degrade both individual and unit performance. But this is not a new problem; it was rife in our colonial days. The military academies, stressing military competence, were established to try and correct the problem. But, since 1976 they have gone down the slippery slope of political correctness as well.

    It is almost impossible to rise to the upper levels of military leadership without being politically correct. Then, when those civilian politics go awry, as they have in recent years, the whole military culture dutifully follows along.

    Does this mean that we should not have civilian control of the military? No. But it does mean that every voter should be careful and knowledgable about who they vote for. Our military services will, sooner or later, espouse the same politics as the politicians who control them. As I said at the start, it is built into the promotion system.

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