As part of what authorities are calling a “cultural shift” in the military, the U.S. Air Force is directing commanders to create a “safe space” where recruits can engage in “healthy conversation” and “share perspectives.” According to documents acquired by the Washington Free Beacon and issued to “command teams and supervisors,” the “Airmen’s Time” project was designed to enhance the “well-being and development” of people serving in the Air Force.
The memo claims that “The intent of Airmen’s time is to create a safe space, be present, and ensure that our Air Force culture invites healthy conversation for every Airman…anytime, anywhere.” It also encourages service members to “share perspectives and life lessons, discuss what values guide us, or what is our team’s purpose.” It continues, “To further advance this cultural shift, leaders at every level are entrusted to prioritize time to elevate connection, growth, and enhance the well-being of individual Airmen while building unity within their teams.”
The move is part of the U.S. military’s attempt to change its internal culture under the Biden administration. The Army, for example, has demanded that its soldiers get instruction on gender identity and pronouns. These activities have been condemned by Republicans in Congress and some members of the military as spreading “woke” propaganda within the military.
The Air Force website reveals the initiative has already been implemented into the Air Force’s timetable and training programs, including the Air Force’s official eight-and-a-half-week basic training program, which incorporates Airmen’s Time as well as more typical activities like physical training and flight drills.
Army veteran James Carafano, who runs the national security and defense policy program at the Heritage Foundation told the Free Beacon that he has “never seen any analysis from the Pentagon which demonstrably proves the training has value that improves the readiness and capabilities of the armed forces.” He stated that the government is “spending millions of dollars on programs that somebody just thinks is a good idea.” Additionally, he explained that “at the same time, we are taking service members away from their regular duties. This appears to be an initiative that is compromising on readiness for no commensurate benefit and indeed may risk hurting morale, unit cohesion, and individual performance.”