By Scott Sturman

Superintendents at United States military academies enjoy great latitude to implement policies that affect the training and philosophical attitudes of the cadets and midshipmen under their command—a cohort who will cast an outsized influence over future military policy and constitute 20% of the
officer corps. Recent areas of emphasis such as CRT, DEI, gender identity, and blatant discrimination against white male cadets are controversial, politically driven, illegal, and divisive. The public mostly remains oblivious to political activism at service academies, wrongly assuming that merit, equal opportunity, and service over-self-ethos compose the foundational principles of training. Occasionally, as with the recent “Duty, Honor, Country” controversy at West Point, the public sees the internal trappings at U.S. military academies and the power superintendents wield to transform the foundations of these institutions.

Service academies have few safeguards to mitigate the implementation and prioritization of programs, however disruptive and destructive. Opportunities to inform the graduate community of their scope and nature are similarly limited. The Air Force Academy (AFA) Association of Graduates/ Board of Directors (AOG/BOD) comprises elected and appointed graduates, who ostensibly represent the alumni, whose recommendations and insights should be aggregated and transmitted to the superintendent. AOG members provide the AFA with critical financial support, and it is not unreasonable for the superintendent to receive periodic updates regarding opinions from the graduate community. The experiences and knowledge of 47,000 alumni, who graduated from the first class in 1959 until now, provide a valuable resource for the AFA administration.

The intimate association between the BOD and those it represents was strained when transparency and accountability diminished. The BOD’s unbalanced support of DEI initiatives, silence regarding scholarship eligibility based on race and sexual orientation, failure to denounce overt racial discrimination against white male cadets, and refusal to explore the linkage between unusual deaths and serious injuries suffered by cadets during the mandatory Covid vaccine program led many in the graduate community to believe that the BOD abandoned its independence to serve as an unquestioning advocate of administration policy.

Racism and radical ideologies must be opposed vigorously in the armed forces and at the AFA, for these pathologies have no equal in promoting institutional decay and undermining morale and cohesion. DEI and CRT, Marxist-derived ideologies, are taught, promoted, and enforced at the AFA despite the administration’s repeated denials. Cadets receive instruction on proper pronoun use, attend lectures on the “Genderbread Person,” are surveilled by embedded DEI representatives who function and report outside the normal chain of command, and are subjected to racial discrimination by members of the faculty. The academy’s $273,500 contract with the intelligence gathering company 3Gimbals to monitor cadets’ social media communications raises grave concerns about infringement of their 4th Amendment rights. Most cadets express contempt for these dalliances that provide little benefit and serve to divide the Cadet Wing by racial and sexual identities.

Imagine one is 18 years old and filled with expectations after being appointed to join a select few in the AFA Class of 2025. To join the ranks of Jimmy Doolittle, Dick Bong, and Robin Olds is an opportunity for which only the best and brightest are chosen. But while at home in the months prior to joining one’s classmates at basic training, a book arrives in the mail from the AFA that is designated as required reading. The initial impression is bewilderment that the AFA administration recommends a book incongruent with the profession of arms and the recipient’s expectations of the institution’s literary preferences.

George Takei’s book, They Called Us Enemy, is an oversimplified, biased critique of America, published in a comic book format and written at the junior high school reading level. It conveys a message imbued with racial overtones and advances oppression politics that dictates self-worth based on appearance rather than merit and character. The book is manifestly political—advocating open borders and openly critical of a former President of the United States. Who paid for this charade or authorized its dissemination? These are legitimate questions to which the AOG and Foundation remain opaque and mysterious.

Times change, but as depicted in Spielberg’s Masters of the Air, the preeminence of honor and the behaviors required to endure great sacrifice in service to our country do not. The graduate community must ensure that others following us at the AFA are prepared to meet these challenges by being offered rigorous academic and military training devoid of political indoctrination and consistent with the responsibilities and rights granted by the Constitution. Cadets understand that the academy experience is diluted and distorted by the woke ideology that permeates it. Let’s stand with them and affirm that courage and tenacity are as indispensable on the ideological battlefield as they were over the skies of Germany 80 years ago.

Thomas Jefferson once stated, “Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty.”
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