U.S. Air Force Safety and Qualifications vs. DEI - What Happens When Leftists Run the Military

(South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

It became pretty clear as far back as the Clinton administration that the left views the military as a giant social experiment. It is where we got the phrase “Don’t ask, don’t tell” regarding gays in the military. But the advent of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) requirements takes that leftist social experiment to a whole other level, one that is dangerous and could have serious effects on military readiness and ultimately national security.


In 2021, during a push to promote diversity in all branches of the military, the U.S. Air Force decided to do a little “experiment” with some female and minority students in pilot training classes. While anyone’s initial thought at experimenting with potential pilot trainees might be to think about selecting the most qualified candidates, not in today’s woke military, home of the Navy drag queen. The idea was to see if such a class would improve graduation rates among those demographics. It did not produce the equitable results the Air Force was looking for — and may have resulted in breaking discrimination laws.

When a large backlog of pilot training candidates began to pile up at the 19th Air Force Command at Laughlin Air Force Base near San Antonio Texas, officials at Air Education and Training Command decided that they would compose a class from “clustered” and “underrepresented” groups of people for the Special Undergraduate Pilot Training class (SUPT). The class was designed to reflect the gender and racial makeup of America. Class 21-15 became known as “America’s class,” their class motto which was stitched onto the class patch, “hand-picked for excellence.” Only they weren’t.


Officers became concerned when a memo began to circulate, saying, “We have been verbally ordered through the chain of command by the 19AF/CC [19th Air Force commander] to purposefully restructure the students assigned to [SUPT] class 21-15 to meet specific racial and gender demographics.” Signatures of officers on the memo were redacted. Again, the idea was to have a class that “looked like” America. But the racial and gender makeup of the incoming contingent would not have provided the necessary numbers. At that point, the Air Force resorted to outright exclusion, and the memo was changed to include the sentence: “The order was changed by verbal order of the 47 OG/CC to restructure the class with ‘anybody non-white.'” The memo essentially canceled out the previous procedure of forming classes based on a first-come, first-served basis based on time served in a student’s unit.


A complaint was made regarding the memo to the base’s equal opportunity office in August 2020 but met with a response that restructuring the class was not illegal. But even the officers who signed the memo stated they believed that base commanders had violated the Air Force’s non-discrimination policy by issuing the memo, but they would obey the order given in the memo unless further scrutiny showed it to be illegal. The officers also correctly stated:

None of the parties signed below agree with the order from an ethical standpoint. SUPT class structures have never been based on a minimum quota for a student’s race or gender, and the message this sends to students and future students is harmful.

In yet another example, DEI is the last thing the military should be concerned about. Military recruitment is in a free fall. According to Department of Defense data, the Army is at 69 percent of the number they need to reach 100 percent on their mission by September 30 of FY2023. The Navy is at 60 percent, Air Force at 87 percent. Only the Marines and Space Force reached 100 percent of their goals. The Department of Defense’s first inclination is to blame potential recruits themselves, citing a poll that said just nine percent were interested in joining the military. The poll also claimed that only 23 percent of those aged 17-24 were eligible without having a waiver granted. Obesity and drug use are cited as the most common disqualifiers.


The DoD poll would also have you believe that more people are reluctant to join the military because they are concerned about discrimination against women and minorities. What the DoD does not want you to know is that woke policies like the pilot training class are the very reason that straight white males, who (unfortunately for woke commanders) are traditionally the demographic that most often enlists, are reluctant to do so. Apparently, no one has thought to wonder, or even care if the Navy’s new spokesperson, drag queen “Harpy Daniels,” will pull in the traditional recruits. They have ceased to matter because…equity!

And speaking of equity, initial results from “America’s class” were shown to be “inconclusive.” Minority and female students did not progress at faster rates, and “not all students saw clustering as beneficial.” Here is a radical thought for America’s military: Enough with the social experiments. Let’s recruit the best and the brightest for whatever needs the military has so that if called, America has a fighting force that is second to none.



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