Air Force Colonel David Murphy on Chick-fil-A and USAFA
Responding to the effort by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein to ban Chick-fil-A’s Rodney Bullard from speaking at the US Air Force Academy’s 2019 NCLS, retired Air Force Colonel David Murphy penned an interesting piece at the Defense Post.
Citing a public complaint by USAFA professor Craig Foster (of DFBL, the behavioral sciences department) over alleged Chick-fil-A views on marriage, Murphy said [emphasis added]
Despite Foster’s shockingly shallow argument, I’d like to focus on the one good thing he did cover…Dr. Foster said: “Lt. General Silveria sent a clear message when he told cadets, “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.”
Let’s focus on the general’s quote, and not Foster’s implied add-on, “unless they work for Chick-fil-A, then discriminate away.” You cadets have already embarked on the most fantastic adventure you could ever imagine, serving the USAF as a leader…Leadership, the main reason the nation invests in you, is an incredible challenge. Of course, the key to getting along with others is human dignity and mutual respect. Add to that humility, and you can’t go wrong as a leader.
Part of the challenge of growing into leadership is understanding and embracing those who hold ideologies, views, and yes even morality different than your own. Don’t do what your DFBL professor suggests and close yourself off from beliefs different than yours (which again, nobody even knows for sure Bullard holds)!
Instead, embrace, understand, and integrate them, because leadership is best practiced “hands on.” You’ll have different views and ideas than many you serve with and that’s okay. In fact, it’s better than okay, it’s how our democratic society operates and it’s a crucial component of combat effectiveness. Groupthink is ruinous to strategy and tactics.
Further [emphasis added]:
I served with and led so many people whose moral, ethical, or sexual framework was different than mine, and you know what? I’d gladly do it all over again. Because serving others is what leadership is all about, not rejecting them based on their nonconforming ideas.
Funny how acceptance of nonconformity is the societal norm until the person is nonconforming because of their religious beliefs.
The full piece is worth the read.