The Hostile Takeover of the Air Force Academy – Scott Sturman 2/9/24


The transformation of the Air Force Academy (AFA) from a military institution to a progressive, liberal arts school has been incremental, relentless, and calculated. The goal to politicize the training and perspectives of cadets, who constitute about 20% of annual Air Force officer commissions, guarantees a source of influential officers who will apply and promote these ideas throughout their military and civilian careers.

Scott Kirby, the United Airlines CEO and a 1989 AFA graduate, is the poster child for the type of graduate the academy’s administration strives to reproduce. He was invited as a keynote speaker at the annual National Character and Leadership Symposium that is chartered to motivate and equip participants for honorable living and effective leadership. This year’s theme, “Valuing Human Conditions, Cultures, and Societies” will feature a variety of lectures whose subjects are incongruent with the formidable challenges facing the armed forces.

Mr. Kirby’s conduct as CEO of United Airlines and as a private citizen are at odds with the symposium’s emphasis on honorable living and effective leadership. He violated the basic human and medical rights of United employees during the Covid crisis. Under Kirby’s brash leadership, United Airlines became the first airline to mandate Covid vaccinations, a policy that ignored the protections of the Nuremberg Code and falsely declared the vaccine to be safe and effective. The Fifth Circuit Court reversed a lower court decision and stated that forcing employees to choose between receiving the vaccine or being placed on unpaid leave caused irreparable damage.

As an avid proponent of climate change and DEI policies, Mr. Kirby directed United Airlines to adopt a dubious business model to achieve a net-zero carbon policy by 2050, citing the same flimsy evidence the DOD used to justify its Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Mr. Kirby installed race-based hiring quotas, stating that white male pilots were overrepresented demographically at United Airlines. He summarily dismissed merit and minimized obvious safety concerns by pledging that United Airlines will hire a new pilot staff consisting of 50% minorities or women by 2030. The action prompted critics to ridicule the policy and call for a boycott of United Airlines.

As a father of seven children and CEO of a major company, United customers expect a level of deportment consistent with his responsibilities. Kirby’s penchant for gender fluidity while dressing and performing as a drag queen raised questions about his common sense. His antics may have been innocent but such behavior celebrates a lifestyle meant to sexualize children and damage the family unit.

In varying degrees Mr. Kirby’s controversial views are congruent with Covid vaccine and DEI policy established by the Department of Defense (DOD). The agency decreed rigid Covid vaccine mandates enforced by punishment, instigated quotas, and conferred legitimacy on the drag queen movement by sponsoring events with children. The AFA is not an innocent bystander in this drama. Its administration has independently embraced these narratives and bears much of the responsibility for promoting policies meant to transform an inherently patriotic and non-political student body into one committed to social activism. …

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