Paul E Vallely MG US Army (Ret)
The Destructive Nature of DEI
A Female Minority USAFA Cadet
June 17, 2023
I never thought I’d consider leaving USAFA after working so hard for my appointment, but here I am, contemplating if this is the Air Force. I want to commit to the next chapter of my life. The first day of Basic Cadet Training was full of chaos. Still, I remember with intense clarity taking the Oath where I promised to support and defend the Constitution – not any person or political agenda – but the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The military is supposed to be an impartial actor for the Commander in Chief. Our occupation and work environment is supposed to be devoid of political agendas and the influence of radicals. And yet, anywhere one looks, the radical liberal and communist propaganda has infiltrated our ranks, our classrooms, and even the officers of tomorrow.
Coming from a military family, including Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Silver Star recipients, I have always valued meritocracy. I worked extremely hard to ensure I was qualified, based on merit, for acceptance into the Academy. It would be demeaning and a disservice to my Nation to only be at the Academy because I am a minority female. Anything but a system based on merit is less than optimal and weakens our defense. We all want to serve with Airmen who are the best at what they do, not just those who meet the quota for skin color, sexual preference, or other characteristics.
As Cadets, especially impressionable freshmen, we must sit through hours of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) briefs. We all understand that respect is vital, but categorizing people as oppressors and victims based on skin color is absurd. Placing so much emphasis on an alleged problem that doesn’t even appear to exist is an exercise in futility and is profoundly detrimental to morale. Shouldn’t a “problem” of this magnitude be evident to most service members?
I see many bright young Cadets who know that what is going on is wrong but simultaneously are too afraid to speak up. Many times, during our DEI briefs, even if 90% agree with a statement if it could offend one person, Cadets will hold back and politely nod their heads. Perhaps this reluctance to speak up stems from an environment where the leadership is grossly out of touch with the American public. Being politically correct has somehow become the most crucial part of our training. I pray our adversaries are wasting as much time on this as we are.
Leadership erroneously believes these meetings unite us as a team, but Cadets walk out whispering and shaking their heads, feeling more divided than ever. We are continually told that we are in the business of “killing people and breaking things.” Still, when discussing issues within our ranks, we are all about “safe spaces and time outs” because it would be a calamity if someone’s feelings were hurt. This tense atmosphere leads to record low morale. The heart-wrenching fact that three USAFA Cadets died this last semester alone should be a sobering enough statistic to force leadership to adjust their heading. This low morale issue can also be seen by the significant drop in recruitment and retention rates. How can we be a force ready to take on our adversaries if we can’t effectively recruit and retain service members?
If the mission of DEI is to “Attract, recruit, develop and retain,” it’s failing miserably. Our nation must wake up and realize that the more our politically selected leadership espouses such divisive ideologies, the deeper the divisions and the greater the damage to our nation’s defense. It’s not about skin color, ethnic background, or sexual preference; it’s about the mission, serving our country, and defending the Republic. I now have a decision to make. Do I decline to serve because of the ongoing push of such a radical ideological agenda, or do I stay and fight for what is right? The fundamental freedoms our forefathers fought and died for are priceless. I will fight.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves” -Abraham Lincoln.
-US Air Force Academy Cadet
Thanks to the STARRS Organization for providing this testimony.
Distributed by the Stand Up America US Foundation