U.S. Air Force leadership was silent when asked by Fox News Digital whether it supported various woke programs being taught to cadets.
Fox News Digital has reported this week that the Air Force Academy (AFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has backed woke initiatives that promote certain gender ideology. The academy, for example, instructed students to use gender-inclusive language and refrain from using the words "mom" and "dad" in one diversity training.
However, Fox News Digital received no response after reaching out to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, a former senior fellow at far-left think tank Center for American Progress, and AFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark for clarification on these programs. The requests for comment asked whether Kendall and Clark approved of the initiatives, whether they believed they were consistent with their expectations for the Air Force and if they would reconsider supporting the programs.
Clark briefly addressed the reports in a statement Thursday afternoon, saying the programs were being taken out of context and that using inclusive language helps the Air Force produce "more effective warfighting units."
"The briefing centered on respect for others and the warfighting imperative of leveraging diverse perspectives to solve our nation's most difficult national security problems. Our strategic competitors are doing the opposite," Clark said. "Our American diversity is a strategic advantage and opens the door to creative solutions, providing a competitive edge in air, space and cyberspace."
However, the diversity training in question clearly stated that cadets should use "person-centered" language and consider that many individuals don't have a mom and dad, according to slides of the presentation obtained by Fox News Digital. The slides also say that cadets should be "color conscious."
"Some families are headed by single parents, grandparents, foster parents, two moms, two dads, etc.: consider ‘parent or caregiver’ instead of ‘mom and dad,'" the presentation stated. "Use words that include all genders: ‘Folks’ or ‘Y’all’ instead of ‘guys’; ‘partner’ vs. ‘boyfriend or girlfriend.’"
"Not ‘Colorblind’ or ‘I don’t see color,’ but Color Conscious," it adds. "We see Color/Patterns AND VALUE people for their uniqueness."
A separate report Friday revealed that the AFA has encouraged its students to apply for a fellowship for "gender minorities." The AFA said "cisgender" men shouldn't apply for the offering.
The Brooke Owens Fellowship is a nine-week internship at an aerospace company for women and "gender minorities," according to an email obtained by Fox News Digital. A spinoff program — the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship — provides similar opportunities for Black cadets.
"If you are a cisgender woman, a transgender woman, non-binary, agender, bigender, two-spirit, demigender, genderfluid, genderqueer, or another form of gender minority, this program is for you," the application for the Brooke Owens Fellowship states. "If you are a cisgender man, this program isn’t for you ... but we encourage you to check out our spinoff programs."