Progressive social justice trends appear to be creeping into the Air Force Academy, as an academy first sergeant was reprimanded for instructing cadets to maintain a professional appearance, emails reveal.
“Observations made by USAFA [United States Air Force Academy] permanent party members regarding cadet grooming standards have become increasingly unfavorable,” First Sergeant Zachary Parish apparently wrote in a leaked email to cadets. “Going forward, I expect you all to do your part in reversing negative perceptions about cadet personal appearance that circulates USAFA and diminishes your credibility as a member in the profession of arms.”
The first sergeant then advised the cadets in his charge to be like Mike.
“Before Michael Jordan became a clothing brand mogul, he was actually pretty good professional basketball player,” Parish wrote, “In the later years of his career, and before the NBA’s dress code existed, he would consistently appear at press conferences in a suit and tie. He was never seen with a gaudy chain around his neck, his pants below his waistline, or with a backwards baseball hat on during public appearances.”
“Michael Jordan understood the value of a professional appearance,” he told the cadets.
“Cadets, how do you want to be seen? If the answer is not as a military professional, then perhaps you are in the wrong place,” Parish concluded his email.
A colonel then embarrassed the first sergeant publicly, accusing Parish of committing “microaggressions.”
“On behalf of all [Cadet Wing] Sr Leadership and permanent party members, let me apologize for the email sent earlier today by our First Sergeant,” Col. Julian Stephens wrote to cadets. He called the comments “disrespectful, derogatory, and unprofessional,” he promised to address this microaggression immediately.
It appears that the original email was brought to the colonel’s attention by someone else at the academy. “Please continue to be vigilant,” the colonel said, adding that everyone should treat one another with “dignity” and “respect.”
Both Parish and Stephens refused to answer questions, directing the Daily Caller News Foundation to the academy public affairs office.
“Yes, we can confirm the authenticity of the email exchange regarding cadet standards at the Academy,” the academy media relations office told TheDCNF.
“The comments were inappropriate. We have a responsibility for how we communicate and if anyone feels disrespected by someone’s words, we take that very seriously. We need to take responsibility immediately and learn from it as we move forward,” the academy further explained, adding that the incident is being addressed.
The commandant is making dignity and respect a priority for her staff.
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