Most of the 30 new staff members gathered at the United States Air Force Academy for orientation are in their 20s and 30s. Some are air force personnel and some are academy graduates. Some are veterans of the Gulf War, while others served in Iraq. A speaker is talking to them about leadership and character. Suddenly he says, âThe academy has been isolated and has drifted away from standard air force practice. If you see anything that doesnât jibe with standard air force practice, please question it.â
He is no doubt referring to a recent series of scandals at the academyâfrom indecent behavior by drunken cadets to poor handling of incidents of sexual assault. Apparently his comment is the new party line: the academy has been isolated too long; the time has come for integration into broader military standards and for a significant change in culture.