The Air Force Song Gets a Gender-Neutral Update

US Air Force Chief of Staff General Dave Goldfein has announced that the third verse of the Air Force Song — most often sung alone, during memorials or at the end of Service Academy games — is now officially gender neutral:

At the Air Force Association’s conference in Orlando, Florida, Thursday, Goldfein recalled attending a women’s volleyball tournament at the Pentagon last year, when the U.S. Air Force Academy thoroughly beat the other service academy teams.

As Goldfein sang the Air Force Song with the female cadets, it was apparent that the lyrics left them out…

So, Goldfein said, he’s ordered the song to be tweaked slightly, to reflect that fact that women serve in the Air Force.

“These are the women we will ask to go into combat and fight, just as women have done for a generation…Yet this version of the song, their alma mater, was not about them…It is time for us to change.”

This is far from the first time the Air Force has neutralized its language. In 2003, during the height of the sexual assault “scandal,” the US Air Force Academy “Bring Me Men” ramp was turned into “core value” ramp — not quite the same ring to it.

In the end, it’s just a song. Besides, one article noted it had been updated once before — 70 years ago, when “Air Corps” was replaced with “Air Force.”

While traditions should not remain simply because ‘that’s the way its always been,’ neither should traditions change merely because society has changed.

Remember, it’s not about you.

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