Yesterday, Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett chaired the first meeting of the Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion – a recent creation of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper explicitly in response to the death of George Floyd. In that meeting, Secretary Barrett used some direct – if somewhat unspecific – language [emphasis added]:
Diversity is more than tolerance. Genuine diversity generates acceptance. This Board’s mandate is to move forward with alacrity and positively transform the Defense Department for today’s service members and for generations to come.
Alacrity notwithstanding, her statement begs the question: What does she mean by “acceptance” that is more than tolerance?
For context, consider that Read more
- The US Air Force hasn’t had a male Secretary of the Air Force since 2013.
- The outgoing Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is African American. The incoming CMSAF is female and Asian American.
- The incoming Chief of Staff of the Air Force is African American.
- Of the last three Chiefs of Staff of the Air Force, two were Jewish.
- Both the US Army and US Air Force (acting) have been led by a homosexual Service Secretary.
Every day it seems there’s an article about the first woman to do something in the Air Force (with an all-female crew), or the Army (again), or the first black woman to do something in the Air Force, or the first Sikh woman to do something in the Army, or how many different ways the Air Force can launch aircraft with only one skin color or gender on board (and the Navy does it, too).
See “Diversity: You’re Doing it Wrong.”
Yet, somehow, the US military, and the US Air Force in particular, manage to be accused of institutional racism, gender discrimination, religious extremism, and intolerance — by those very same people. In recent days, US Air Force and other military leaders have been practically tripping over themselves running to microphones, hand-wringing and expressing contrition for unclear — or imagined — affronts. Or, in other cases, those leaders are simply making direct accusations against their own Service [emphasis added, capitalization original]: Read more
Celebrating “Diversity”…You’re Doing it Wrong.
Documented histories of the Tuskegee Airmen indicate the famed World War II aviators “overcame segregation” to become some of the best combat units of the war, and that their continued excellence in service ultimately contributed to the de-segregation of the US military long before the rest of American society.
In a twist of apparently unintended irony, the US military has repeatedly chosen to celebrate the Tuskegee triumph over segregation by…instituting segregation [emphasis added]:
The aircraft was a C-5M Super Galaxy assigned to the 22nd Airlift Squadron, and its 11-person crew was all African-American. This historic mission was created to honor the heritage of the Tuskegee Airmen…
This flight was historic since it was the first time an all African-American C-5M crew was formed to honor the heritage of the Tuskegee Airmen and highlight the diversity of the Air Force…
“It is important that the Air Force is diverse enough to have an all African-American crew…”
To make the crew work, they needed to de-conflict schedules…“The barriers to making this happen were just coordinating a time when everyone could be available between other training events, leave and other obligations.”
In other words, a US Air Force unit went out of its way to coordinate the schedules of personnel and aircraft to make sure it could man a mission with an entire crew of one particular skin color.
That was 2018, but it continued in 2019 and the trend continues today, with US Air Force units bending Read more
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 Read more
Last week, the US Air Force Academy hosted its annual National Character and Leadership Symposium. Superintendent LtGen Jay Silveria — fresh off his “diversity” Op-Ed — noted that diversity was a large part of this year’s NCLS as well:
[Silveria said] the Air Force Academy’s appreciation for diversity and its willingness to respectfully address controversy make the school stronger…
The theme of the event is “Ethics and Respect for Human Dignity, a topic Silveria called “timely and pertinent.”
USAFA’s opening press release noted speakers at the NCLS included Dr. Ruth Read more
US Air Force Academy Superintendent LtGen Jay “Tonto” Silveria may have gotten a bit in front of his Commander-in-Chief when he re-entered the public debate over diversity last week (following his much-watched “get out” speech over a racist event that turned out to be a hoax).
Writing in an Op-Ed published at CNN entitled “Why Diversity?“, Gen Silveria said [emphasis added]
our real advantage is the intellect, innovation, creativity and courage of our troops. If any among us thinks these qualities are defined by race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or identity or any other factor of the human condition, then the Air Force Academy and our military is not the place for them…
To put it in the terms of a military leader: Diversity is a force multiplier. We must do this together — all ranks and ages, races and religions, sexual orientations and identities — all of us.
The problem is Gen Silveria’s boss, President Trump, has indicated the opposite — he’s said Read more
RAdm Robert Sharp, director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office and commander of Office of Naval Intelligence, recently made a fascinating statement in support of the LGBT community [emphasis added]:
[Sharp] said his commitment comes from the important role diversity and inclusion play in building a strong Navy. It not only the right thing to do, he said, it is a warfighting readiness imperative…
Nowhere is that more important than in the intelligence community, he said.
“It’s our job to go out there and understand adversaries. We need to be looking at threats from every different angle, and if we can’t bring in diversity of experience, diversity of expertise, diversity of thought, we will not be as good as we need to be for our nation.”
That begs two important questions: Read more
CAPT Mark Melson, commanding officer, USS Makin Island, speaking at his ship’s LGBT pride event:
“Pride Month shows the importance of diversity in our Navy, and how that diversity makes us stronger.”
How, precisely, does diversity in sexual behavior make the Navy stronger? “Pride month” doesn’t make that explicit (no pun intended), and the Department of Defense has not said homosexuality has improved the ability of the military to accomplish its mission.
If diversity in itself is what “makes [the military] stronger,” the US military is doing it wrong with Read more