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United States Air Force Academy

Military Academy

Mailing Address
2304 Cadet Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80840
Phone
(719) 333-2025
Email address
rr_admissions@usafa.edu
School Information
"With a history of excellence and a focus on the future, the United States Air Force Academy instills cadets with pride and integrity while preparing them to serve their country and succeed in 21st-century careers. As a public university and a military service academy, we are leading the way into an increasingly complex future, driving advancement and innovation in air, space and cyberspace, among countless other fields. Whether you come to Colorado Springs for the world-class education, military training, Division I athletics, or character-building challenge and adventure, one thing is certain, the Academy experience - more than 60 years in the making - is unlike any other" (Source: https://www.usafa.edu/about/). Over 4,100 cadets attend the Air Force Academy. They boast an 80% graduation rate and in lieu of charging tuition, graduates pay for their education with a service commitment.
General Information
Recently, USAF academy began enacting changes to reflect diversity through the initiatives of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. USAF academy requires all cadets and cadet candidates to complete a course on "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Students." USAF also requires incoming cadets to watch a video promoting BLM. A certificate in Diversity and Inclusion is offered in addition to other DEI programs and resources. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • All cadets and cadet candidates are required to take a training course on "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Students." This course is an "introductory Diversity and Inclusion course as part of our commitment to working with cadets and cadet candidates in fostering a safe community built on mutual respect, teamwork, and personal dignity." Included is a video on the subject of Black Lives Matter.
  • Fox News reported, "Incoming cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy are required to watch a video that promotes support for the Black Lives Matter movement." According to the U.S. Air Force Academy, the video is "required training for inbound cadets (appointees) ahead of their arrival to the U.S. Air Force Academy."
  • Documents shared by Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., reveal that DEI training was administered to cadets. Such training involved eliminating the words 'mom' and 'dad' in an effort to coach inclusion language usage as part of the diversity and inclusion training.
  • As part of the Air Force Academy's diversity and inclusion training, "the academy also offers a 'Cadet Wing Diversity and Inclusion Program,' where graduates are given a purple rope to wear across their left shoulder 'symbolizing their position as a diversity representative' so that they can 'advise students on diversity.'"
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The USAF Academy offers a Diversity and Inclusion certificate program.
Program and Research Funding
  • The USAF Academy's Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is working to increase the amount of scholarships offered to minority students.
Resources
  • The academy provides resources on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force has been working to provide additional support for minority individuals.
  • On July 7, 2021, The Washington Free Beacon released an article describing how an associate professor of political science at the United States Air Force Academy promoted the teachings of critical race theory at the academy. Professor Lynne Chandler Garcia conceptually prompted cadets to “identify the structural racism and inequality that has been endemic in American society.”
  • A political science professor at the academy said, "I teach critical race theories to our nation’s future military leaders because it is vital that cadets understand the history of the racism that has shaped both foreign and domestic policy" in an op-ed in the Washington Post. The professor added, "In other words, racism was ingrained in the system from the beginning, and the military still struggles with these issues."
  • In a statement to the Washington Times, the academy said, "While some elements from CRT canon are included in the course to encourage critical thinking, it is not a theory endorsed by the institution as institutional doctrine." The course in question is Political Science 211, “Politics, American Government, and National Security."
  • The Air Force's Air University has a video on "unconscious bias."
  • A "Diversity and Inclusion Reading Room" was opened at the academy.
  • In 2020, the academy released a video titled, "Seek to Understand, Microaggressions."
  • Military.com reports that the Defense Department reversed a Trump administration action to "halt training on subjects including critical race theory and white privilege."
Symbolic Actions
  • On June 4, 2020, senior officers at USAF Academy gathered to discuss the events surrounding George Floyd in order to "denounce bigotry and intolerance in the wake of the international protest movement surrounding racial injustice in the U.S."
  • The Washington Examiner reported, "Critical race theory was referenced during the academy’s Acceptance Day Parade."
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley defended the study of critical race theory in a June 2021 congressional hearing. Milley said, "So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend? And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, non-commissioned officers of being, quote, ‘woke’ or something else, because we're studying some theories that are out there."
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in June 2021, "We do not teach critical race theory, we don’t embrace critical race theory and I think that’s a spurious conversation...We are focused on extremist behaviors, and not ideology, not people’s thoughts, not people’s political orientation."
  • Lynne Chandler Garcia, who is a political science professor at the United States Air Force Academy, released a statement announcing, “I teach critical race theories to our nation’s future military leaders because it is vital that cadets understand the history of the racism that has shaped both foreign and domestic policy.” The professor further states that teaching critical race theory “helps students identify the structural racism and inequality that has been endemic in American society.”
Last updated September 23rd, 2022
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