The US Air Force has made a few changes to their Air Force Song, in an effort to make it more “gender inclusive.”
Despite the fact that women have served in the USAF and belted out the song on more than one occasion without incident for decades, the Air Force has turned their attention to the matter in hopes of being more politically correct.
Spearheading the move is the current Air Force Chief of Staff, General David Goldfein.
“Most of us can remember standing in Falcon Stadium or at Clune Arena facing West Point (US Military Academy) or Annapolis (US Naval Academy) cadets following a spectacular win at 6,000 feet,” he wrote in a statement. “Over the past two years, I have been honored to attend the women’s service academy volleyball tournament played at the Pentagon. Our team crushed the competition last year. At the end of the match, I stood with our brave women and sang our alma mater.”
In the words of Goldfein, the former lyrics of the song simply don’t keep up with the times.
“These are the women we will ask to go into combat and fight just as women have done for a generation,” he wrote. “Yet this version of the song, their alma mater, was not about them. The version we all sang offered, ‘a toast to the host of the men we boast.’ Across the court stood athletes from Annapolis, which changed its alma mater in 2004, and those from West Point, whose song changed in 2008. It is time for us to change.”
The general is well aware that there will be backlash for the change, particularly of a society that has, according to polls, grown increasingly weary of political correctness.
“Valid as this rationale is, these changes will draw notice and spark debate,” he stated. “The Air Force song is such a powerful and enduring touchstone that has been sung at countless funerals and ceremonies. Changing it will elicit emotions and opinions. This is why I must be clear. In making this decision, I respect the views of others who will not agree. But I also know with absolute certainty and clarity that these changes are about adding to, not subtracting from, who we are. Changing the lyrics in no way diminishes the history and accomplishments of men or dilutes our eternal gratitude for their sacrifice and bravery. These new lyrics speak more accurately to all we do, all that we are and all that we strive to be as a profession of arms. They add proper respect and recognition to everyone who serves and who has served. This respect and recognition is not only appropriate, it is fully earned.”
At the end of the day, Goldfein feels that changing the song won’t really change anything.
“This is who we are. We will never forget our history. Our song embodies our ethos and must be inclusive of all who raise their right hand and take the solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. We freely take this oath without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion,” he said.
The new verse is as follows:
“Here’s a toast to the host
Of those who love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a message of the brave who serve on high.
We drink to those who gave their all of old,
Then down we roar to score the rainbow’s pot of gold.
A toast to the host of those we boast, the US Air Force!”
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