Air Force Academy defends telling cadets to replace ‘mom and dad’ with ‘gender-neutral language’

The U.S. Air Force Academy has defended its teaching cadets to avoid “gender-specific terms” such as “mom” or “dad,” saying that “inclusive language” is important to its mission of training leaders capable of winning wars.

The Colorado Springs-based military school recently met with criticism over a slide that instructs cadets to replace gender-specific terms with gender-neutral ones. For example, “partner” is considered a better alternative to “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” Terms like “parents,” “caregivers,” and “guardians” are preferable to “mom” or “dad.”

To be “inclusive,” cadets should also avoid saying that they are “colorblind” or that they “don’t see color” or “we’re all just people,” according to the slide.

A screenshot of the slide, which is part of a training titled “Diversity and Inclusion: What it is, why we care, and what we can do,” was shared with Fox News by Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), an Afghan War veteran and vocal critic of “wokeness” in the U.S. military.