This has been an awful week for the United States Air Force. There was some commotion last week about the military not being allowed to proselytize to servicemen and in most reports it was presented as a virtual matter-of-fact that the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is completely under the thumb of evangelical forces. That was a serious but survivable PR nightmare. Then this weekend the lieutenant colonel in charge of sexual assault prevention, Jeff Krusinski was arrested for sexual battery. Come on! What does a guy have to do to get a break around here? Should we just pack things up and go back to being part of the army?
-Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force
I don’t know anything about who handles public relations for the military. If you hire outside firms or if people enlist with the goal of writing press releases r dreaming up commercials. If it’s an outside firm you have you should fire them immediately because your headline with this whole sexual assault scandal should have been “Hey, at least the woman Lt. Col. Krusinski forced himself upon wasn’t a fellow airman” or something like that. His job was to reduce sexual assault in the Air Force so he was doing the right thing and taking his sexual assault outside the service. With that line of reasoning you could practically fish out that old “Mission Accomplished” banner for the press conference. Sidebar: airman is the least gender-neutral term for servicemen in any branch of the armed forces. Please work on that.
I really hope your embarrassment over the infiltration of your academy by dominionist evangelical forces is genuine. It’s a damn shame that recruits are encouraged to convert to a specific faith and are frequently shunned for not converting. It’s especially tragic because the Air Force is, by far, the coolest branch of the military. The Marines might get the macho glory but you guys have fighter jets. I’ve seen Top Gun and I would put up with an awful lot of homoerotic volleyball to get to fly an F-22. A hypothetical version of me that isn’t too tall to fly a fighter jet. Also who isn’t a pacifist. Furthermore, roller coasters kind of scare me and I don’t imagine I’d do well with extreme g-forces. I’ve also been in terrible shape most of my adult life. My point is I could never have done this but better versions of me shouldn’t be excluded because they won’t be a very particular kind of Christian.
Should the Air Force go back to being part of the Army? No but not for really fantastic reasons. There are also a lot of shitty problems in the Army right now and combining a different set of problems isn’t going to make them simpler to fix. Our Military is an amazing institution capable of solving a lot of problems but only if they’re willing to identify them and work to make them better. I believe that can be done.