June 2013 – MRFF Receives Assurance from U.S. Air Force Academy to Improve Briefing & Preparation of Commissioning Ceremony Speakers

During an official USAFA 50-year commissioning ceremony for USAFA Cadet Squadron 13 on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, Lt. Gen. James A. Fain (USAF-Ret.), Class of 1963, implored the graduates to “help return this country to the Christian values it was founded on.”  MRFF received a client complaint regarding this perverted interpretation of both our nation’s  history and current events while appealing for newly commissioned officers to lend their support to the ongoing assault on our democratic values and the attempt to replace them with a Christian theocracy.  After presenting this complaint to USAFA officials, Mikey Weinstein received on June 3, 2013 both an agreement on the inappropriate nature of these comments along with an assurance that the Vice Commandant (for climate and culture) is meeting soon with the Association of Graduates (AOG) to find out what sort of pre-brief/prep the 50-year-class commissioning ceremony speakers and representatives are given prior to showing up and (in some cases) speaking at these events.  A staff member of the USAFA Superintendent’s Office serving as liaison to the USAFA AOG stated:

The purpose of the 50-year class members’ presence at commissioning ceremonies is to present each about-to-graduate cadet with a set of 2Lt bars as a gift from the older class to the younger class.  When the AOG briefed the speakers, we primarily spoke about the importance of brevity and of ensuring they didn’t deflect the focus from the graduating cadets, as well as suggesting they emphasize the link between their two classes in the Long Blue Line.   We didn’t imagine anyone would make remarks such as these – we’ve had no problems with legacy class speakers at commissioning ceremonies in the past.  We’ll be much more aggressive in the future in instructing these speakers regarding what they can and cannot say—no politics, no religion, no social commentary.  The AOG obviously can’t promise that something similar won’t happen in the future, but we’ll do everything we can to prevent it.

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