Cadets instructed by USAFA leadership not to use words like "Mom" and "Dad"

unkown1961

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Oct 20, 2016
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The ironic thing is everyone I’ve met who is in one of these groups that “needs to be protected from harmful speech” doesn’t give a crap. Ask someone adopted by a same-sex couple if they get offended by the generalization that the vast, vast majority of people have a mom and a dad, and you’ll most likely get a resounding no. Most of this is just contrived virtue signaling.
That is polite of them not to be offended. My wife has LBGTQ among her Women's Health patients and they aren't offended when she messes up a pronoun. But they're very appreciative when she uses the correct one and respects their choices - it's professional and personal courtesy.
Same goes with a few people I interact with at work - they aren't upset.
But that doesn't mean we should ignore people's choices and call them whatever we feel comfortable with based on our own beliefs. People should be respectful of others' choices and teaching cadets to make the effort to be courteous, respectful, and professional makes sense.
This reminds me of a thread here or elsewhere a while back about young enlisted guys not calling female officers ma'am because they didn't think women should be officers. I believe the consensus was that those enlisted should have the riot act read to them.
 

FH76

USAFA C/O 25 Dad
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Jan 29, 2021
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I spoke with with my cadet about some of the issues on this forum that have been discussed such as "wokeness" and "crt" etc and basically DS states it is a non factor and cadets do not seem to have any issues with it or engage in the outrage that platforms such as Fox sensationalize. Could this be that cadets now come from more diverse backgrounds than ever, kind the intent of diversity and inclusion?
 

TigerMomNot

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Hi there,
From my cadet who was there, and who clearly remembers this slide and the context in which it was presented - people are "blowing this way out of proportion."

No one is asking anyone to stop saying Mom and Dad. It's a reminder that, when you don't know another's circumstances, more general terms like caregiver or guardian could be used to be more inclusive.

From my husband, whose mother passed when he was very young - he never took offense when people assumed he had a mom, but he thinks it would have been nice if people didn't always assume that he had one, and nicer if people used the term caregiver for his older sister rather than assume she was his mother.
 

nuensis

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May 23, 2011
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The ironic thing is everyone I’ve met who is in one of these groups that “needs to be protected from harmful speech” doesn’t give a crap. Ask someone adopted by a same-sex couple if they get offended by the generalization that the vast, vast majority of people have a mom and a dad, and you’ll most likely get a resounding no. Most of this is just contrived virtue signaling.
Consider something more relatable: Names.

50/50 chance any given person is going to screw up my name. It's hard to pronounce. I correct them the first time.

It's less funny when they continue to mess it up after that. Do I make a big deal out of it? No, not worth anyone's time. I'll correct a second or third time, after that I give up.

But internally, I know they're getting it wrong because 1. they don't remember who I am to begin with and are reading my nametape every time or 2. they're doing it on purpose because they're a prick. At best it's #1, and my presence doesn't actually matter; at worst it's #2 and they just don't respect my personal preferences, and by extension me as a person, probably because I'm one of many expendable JOs.

Agreed it's a stretch to call it "harmful speech," but if it's not acceptable to mispronounce someone's name, why is it acceptable to ignore their other preferences?

I have the time to read doctrine manuals and remember that one of my Sailors is the primary caregiver of a child but not a parent. If he cares about that distinction, I care. No worries about decreasing warfighting readiness. It's not a particularly difficult concept, and it does have impact on the people that do care.
 

unkown1961

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I spoke with with my cadet about some of the issues on this forum that have been discussed such as "wokeness" and "crt" etc and basically DS states it is a non factor and cadets do not seem to have any issues with it or engage in the outrage that platforms such as Fox sensationalize. Could this be that cadets now come from more diverse backgrounds than ever, kind the intent of diversity and inclusion?
I get the same from my 25 year old AF Lt, when I ask him about Fox fueled topics like the vaccine or CRT, he replies that "it's not a thing." My son in AFROTC says the same thing.
But I think you have a good point about the kids. They've gone to school with gay kids, kids with same sex parents, kids questioning, etc. It's a reason I think that the Catholic Church is losing young members - the younger generations play, work, and study with kids from diverse backgrounds (including kids with divorced parents) that the Church excludes or doesn't treat equally.
 

Peter2025

USAFA C/O 2025
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Mar 2, 2021
Messages
341
cadets do not seem to have any issues with it
I can assure you that this is not true. Most people who disagree with it just don't say anything, because what good will it do when this training is mandatory? (or they just keep their opinions to jodel;)). Either that or just check out in the brief and move on with your day.

EDIT: That being said, I do think fox got a few things wrong about the reality of USAFA
 

Pmaclax

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I get the same from my 25 year old AF Lt, when I ask him about Fox fueled topics like the vaccine or CRT, he replies that "it's not a thing." My son in AFROTC says the same thing.
But I think you have a good point about the kids. They've gone to school with gay kids, kids with same sex parents, kids questioning, etc. It's a reason I think that the Catholic Church is losing young members - the younger generations play, work, and study with kids from diverse backgrounds (including kids with divorced parents) that the Church excludes or doesn't treat equally.
 

Pmaclax

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Indoctrination is a thing and it starts somewhere. I particularly like this line from the commentary below, particularly the use of the word lectures.

"For more than three decades, the U.S. Army’s “Troop Information” program used films, radio programs, pamphlets, and lectures to stir..."

So if we don't want to use mom or dad, even if it's just a suggestion to be sensitive, then why not rename Parent's Weekend now for those cadets who have neither a mom nor a dad? Perhaps because indoctrination happens in phases.

Just a thought.

About the Book​

After drilling troops during the American Revolution, Baron Friedrich von Steuben reportedly noted that although one could tell a Prussian what to do and expect him to do it, one had to tell an American why he ought to do something before he would comply. Although such individualistic thinking is part of the democratic genius of American society, it also complicates efforts to train and educate citizen-soldiers.
For more than three decades, the U.S. Army’s “Troop Information” program used films, radio programs, pamphlets, and lectures to stir patriotism and spark contempt for the enemy. Christopher S. DeRosa examines soldiers’ formal political indoctrination, focusing on the political training of draftees and short-term volunteers from 1940 to 1973.
DeRosa draws on the records of the army and the Department of Defense’s information offices, the content of the indoctrination materials themselves, and soldiers’ recollections in analyzing the political messages the nation conveyed to its army during three decades of conscription. He examines how the program took root as an army institution, how its technique evolved over time, and how it interacted with the larger American political culture. In so doing, he explores the implications of trying to impose a political consensus on the army of a democracy.
 

CatDog99

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This is how Fox News capitalizes on a single slide in a presentation, taken out of context and without any background, to maximize clicks and views by the gullible masses. Very effective for Fox but, unfortunately, harmful to USAFA's leadership development efforts.
Did you read the story? Seems well sourced, to me. They provide quite a few quotes from USAFA and links to Academy web pages. According to the story, a US Representative from Florida brought this story to Fox's attention.

It's perfectly reasonable to disagree with the philosophy of the Fox story, but it's not based on a single slide. Even us gullible masses can follow the links.
 

A1Janitor

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Did you read the story? Seems well sourced, to me. They provide quite a few quotes from USAFA and links to Academy web pages. According to the story, a US Representative from Florida brought this story to Fox's attention.

It's perfectly reasonable to disagree with the philosophy of the Fox story, but it's not based on a single slide. Even us gullible masses can follow the links.
My son called me and told me several midshipmen have friends that are cadets in USAFA that confirmed the veracity of the story.

It is too easy to condemn news reported by Fox as an attempt to get clicks. Nobody discusses the russia hoax and a number of other “truths” and how they were reported by any MSM media site.

Certainly congress should investigate and get to the truth, whatever it is.
 

jeffinCharlotte

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May 8, 2017
Messages
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I can assure you that this is not true. Most people who disagree with it just don't say anything, because what good will it do when this training is mandatory? (or they just keep their opinions to jodel;)). Either that or just check out in the brief and move on with your day.

EDIT: That being said, I do think fox got a few things wrong about the reality of USAFA

Spot on. Speaking for my daughter and her roommate they say most cadets they know do not agree with it but are just following orders and not saying anything. And they also said it was no big deal but it did make them feel very cringy-whatever that means :). And yes all the media does what Fox did. ALL! But all in all most don't understand why it got national attention.
 
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Did you read the story? Seems well sourced, to me. They provide quite a few quotes from USAFA and links to Academy web pages. According to the story, a US Representative from Florida brought this story to Fox's attention.

It's perfectly reasonable to disagree with the philosophy of the Fox story, but it's not based on a single slide. Even us gullible masses can follow the links.
Fox's so-called sources are curated to advance one side of the story. Why not provide the perspective of USAFA's DEI program lead to better understand why USAFA is providing a course like this to cadets? These days you actually have to do a bit of legwork to get a more complete picture of what's actually happening, not matter your go-to news source (they're all biased!). Tell me what in this journal article, for example, is objectionable? https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiy7Jq67Kj6AhVtLUQIHSbiDiYQFnoECAYQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fjcli.scholasticahq.com%2Fapi%2Fv1%2Farticles%2F27224-diversity-equity-inclusion-why-does-it-matter-to-leadership-development.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0Bq6FdejsvikmidTtJ-igZ
 

CatDog99

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Fox's so-called sources are curated to advance one side of the story. Why not provide the perspective of USAFA's DEI program lead to better understand why USAFA is providing a course like this to cadets? These days you actually have to do a bit of legwork to get a more complete picture of what's actually happening, not matter your go-to news source (they're all biased!). Tell me what in this journal article, for example, is objectionable? https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiy7Jq67Kj6AhVtLUQIHSbiDiYQFnoECAYQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fjcli.scholasticahq.com%2Fapi%2Fv1%2Farticles%2F27224-diversity-equity-inclusion-why-does-it-matter-to-leadership-development.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0Bq6FdejsvikmidTtJ-igZ
I'm sure Mr. Looney is well intentioned, but you ignored my point. I simply pointed out that the Fox story was well sourced (multiple links to primary USAFA sources) and includes multiple quotes from a USAFA spokesperson and a statement from USAFA Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Rich Clark responding to query from Fox regarding this story.

I read the article you linked and reviewed the sources. I'll put McKinsey and NPR in the "political influence/bias" category, but they have lots of influence in public policy today. Overall, reasonable points made by the author.

My fun meter is pegged!
 

#007Boa

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Jan 5, 2020
Messages
26
Lolllll…..I thought this was going to speak to the fact that “you are independent adults now. Stop calling mommy and daddy” 😂. Cut the umbilical cord.
Not so much. It's about priorities ya'll*.

The referenced Diversity & Inclusion(D&I) presentation analogizes, howbeit clumsily, the use of "Mom and Dad" as an equivalent to the use of a racial insult (read the slides - 'bullets' act as conjunctions, i.e. and/or). Seriously? It would be difficult to present a more poorly drawn comparison to support the idea of misused titles to address others.

So, to avoid all those awkward questions about titles or pronouns, let's make it easy to recognize someone's group/self-identity. Colorize all insignias to represent how someone identifies themselves. To ensure uniforms aren't overly covered with signage just remove all rank along with all performance awards and unit designations to make room for the all-important self-identifiers. Affinity group ensignias encourage inclusion and diversity. While all that rank and award stuff are merely divisionaries' constructs.

Measuring how well USAFA is doing in D&I would be just as simple as taking a quick glance at all the colorful affinity insignia on Cadet Wing uniforms at formations. Additionally, to give weight to the D&I program, there are Purple-Roped enforcers equipped with Honor Code violations awaiting any nonbelievers. Just so ya'll* understand that USAFA takes this program seriously.

Quote from previously posted article in this thread:

"An August 2021 memo by the academy that proposed the D&I program, obtained by Fox News Digital, said it would create "champions of dignity and respect to foster an inclusive climate in the Cadet Wing."

"Recommended trainings include, but are not limited to, inclusive leadership, conversation facilitation, unconscious bias, and cultural sensitivity," the memo stated. "The structure for D&I Staff will resemble [Air Force Academy Cadet Wing] Character and Honor staffs to reflect that D&I is also an institutional priority." (emphasis mine)

So sleep well. There is little reason to be concerned about billion dollar ships burning, deteriorating triad weaponry, diminishing force readiness or inept/corrupt leadership. The Academy is laser focused on training to the priority of producing leaders who no longer recognize biological identity as a chromosomal verity but identity as defined by social anthropologists. When fully implemented the AF and its officers will finally have the diversity and inclusion of thought tools needed to defeat a near peer in combat. Raise your affinity group banner!

Fly. Fight. Win. Whatever ya'll* call folks*.

* approved titles
 
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