• Requiring a minimum sentence of dishonorable discharge and dismissal for conviction of sexual assault;
• Assigning at least one fulltime [sic] sexual assault nurse examiner to all military medical facilities that offer 24-hour emergency care;
• Instituting a Special Victims' Counsel program in each service to provide specialized legal counsel to survivors of sexual assault;
• Prohibiting retaliation against service members for reporting a criminal offense while enhancing protections for military whistleblowers;
• Changing the rules for the military equivalent of a grand jury to better protect sexual assault survivors; and,
• Strengthening the review of decisions not to prosecute certain charges of sexual offenses.
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have finalized their 2014 show schedule and will return to the Air Force
Academy to fly at the Class of 2014's graduation ceremony.
In its 61st season, the Thunderbirds team is slated to perform 66 demonstrations at 34 locations.
The Thunderbirds, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform its first public flyover of 2014 at the opening of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1.
The Thunderbirds make one appearance in Colorado, to fly May 28, 2014 over Falcon Stadium and the Class of 2014's graduation ceremony.
The announcement of the Thunderbirds schedule confirms the Defense Department's commitment to supporting community engagement. Last October, in an internal memo to military service chiefs, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stressed a continuing need to maintain military demonstration teams.
"Community and public outreach is a crucial Departmental activity that reinforces trust and confidence in the United States Military and in its most important asset - people," Hagel asserted. "It is our obligation to sustain that trust well into the future."
The remainder of the schedule is available online at:
The Air Force's Academy respects the rights of all people and we endeavor to
reinforce and foster a culture of dignity, respect and inclusion for all.
The Academy prides itself on its inclusive environment and is absolutely a
safe and validating place for all active duty Airmen, civilian Airmen and
cadets - whether they are LGBQ or not.
We realize the hiring of Dr. Mike Rosebush is a raw and emotional issue to
many people on both sides of the issue surrounding reports in the media
about his background and alleged beliefs. Regarding those concerns, here is
what we're doing to address them:
- Although we have great confidence in our personnel and hiring processes,
we are reviewing our hiring procedures to ensure they are legally sound,
equitable, and unbiased.
- We are reviewing the hiring process ultimately bringing Dr. Rosebush
aboard in 2009.
- To our knowledge, there are no complaints against Dr. Rosebush since he
arrived in 2009 and he has effectively performed the duties required by his
position for the Academy, but we are also reviewing our complaint systems to
make sure that nothing was missed.
Regarding Dr. Rosebush's role here, there are many reports out speculating
on his role. To be clear, Dr. Mike Rosebush is an Operations Research
Analyst for the Academy's Center for Character and Leadership Development.
He analyzes data to evaluate the effectiveness of USAFA's "Character &
Leadership 101: Foundations of Honorable Living - MOSAIC Personalized
Coaching Experience" course.
He is not, as has been reported, the point man for building "character" and
"leadership" here. That is a team effort and the person who leads that
effort is Air Force Col. Joseph Sanders, Permanent Professor & Director,
Center for Character & Leadership Development.
Under Col. Sanders, Dr. Rosebush is part of the team that allows cadets to
explore and commit to their own personal development around ethical
values/virtues, and his specific role in that capacity is to analyze and
evaluate the effectiveness of USAFA's "Character & Leadership 101:
Foundations of Honorable Living - Mosaic Personalized Coaching Experience"
course — he provides technical guidance on the overall program and part of
that is to help ensure the quality of coaches who conduct the coaching of
cadets. He does not personally coach cadets.
Our brand is our cadets. This program helps them grow as confident,
competent, humble leaders who can earn the respect of those who work for
them and those for whom they work. Cadets self-select one of the 11 Air
Force virtues they want to strengthen. The program, and the professional
coaches supporting it, helps the cadets articulate the behavior she/he is
excited about and committed to strengthen, and that ultimately helps develop
stronger leaders of character.
Our cadets will one day be lieutenants for our Air Force and leaders for our
Nation. By fostering a culture of dignity, respect and inclusion for all we
continue to positively mold these young men and women and properly prepare
them to defend our Nation's freedoms.
Below is a joint statement from Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning and General Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force Chief of Staff on the USAFA personnel matter for your use:
"The Air Force is comprised of a rich workforce whose backgrounds reflect various races, origins, orientations, ethnicities, languages, cultures and life experiences. We promote an atmosphere of inclusion throughout our ranks and strive to ensure every Airman is treated with dignity and respect. If we fail to do that, at any level on the team, we break faith with our core values that hold us together.
The Air Force Academy and its leadership are looking into the personnel matter and are keeping us updated. We have the utmost confidence in [academy superintendent] Lt Gen [Michelle] Johnson's ability to lead her organization."
Regarding the allegations saying the Air Force's Academy not being [sic] a
welcoming place for LGBQ cadets, The Academy Superintendent, Lt. Gen.
Michelle D. Johnson, along with the Commandant of Cadets, Brig. Gen. Gregory
Lengyel, and the Dean of the Faculty, Brig. Gen. Andrew Armacost, and Dr.
Hans Mueh (Brig. Gen, ret.) Athletic Director recently met with Spectrum,
the Academy's affinity group for LGBQ cadets.
In that forum, the cadets expressed to Academy leaders that they are proud
to be in the Air Force and do not feel like the Air Force Academy culture
inhibits them in any way. Rather, they expressed their concerns about the
media reports and how those reports may affect the decision of young
Americans to attempt to come to the Academy.
One attendee at the forum was Air Force Capt. Michelle L. Reinstatler, an
Instructor, Department of English and Fine Arts, and the Officer in Charge
"During the forum with leadership, the cadets of Spectrum expressed multiple
times that the Academy is a safe and validating place to be LGBQ," Capt.
Reinstatler said. "Several cadets have told me they are frustrated with the
articles disparaging USAFA; these articles do not take into account the
extensive support our LGBQ cadets have received from Academy leadership or
the reality of the Academy's inclusive environment."
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s premier resource and support network for LGBT military spouses and their families, released the following statements today regarding the employment of Dr. Mike Rosebush by the U.S. Air Force Academy. Dr. Rosebush has spent a lifetime devoted to advocating the pseudoscience that homosexuality is something that can and should be "cured." Such a practice is uniformly dismissed as harmful and unscientific by organizations such as the American Psychological Association and other respected medical and social work organizations.
"Hiring a man committed to such a destructive pseudoscience in a position devoted to developing character and leadership in cadets is simply unconscionable," said Stephen Peters, president of the American Military Partner Association. "It is extremely disrespectful and offensive to not only the gay and lesbian cadets at the academy, but the thousands of gay and lesbian service members and their families proudly serving our nation."
"As one of the original founders of Exodus, and a close follower of the 'Ex-gay' movement for over 30 years, I can personally attest to the great harm done by 'reparative therapy' and 'ex-gay' programs," said Michael Bussee, one of the ex-gay reparative therapy survivors and most vocal critics. "They promote junk science, religious prejudice and shame, and have done immeasurable harm to countless LGBT individuals and their families. It is deeply disturbing that a leading U.S. military institution should have anything to do with these unscientific and destructive 'therapies.'"
The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), a non-partisan and non-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Washington, D.C., is the nation’s premier resource and support network for LGBT military spouses and their families. Founded and led by same-sex military partners in 2009 as the Campaign for Military Partners, AMPA is committed to connecting, supporting, honoring, and serving the partners and spouses of America’s LGBT servicemembers and veterans.
Dear Acting Secretary Fanning,
With great shock and an enormous sense of disgust, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has been informed of the notorious anti-gay bigot Dr. Mike Rosebushʼs employment at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Needless to say, the employment of a fundamentalist Christian, “gay conversion therapy” advocate comes as a grave insult and palpable threat to USAFAʼs lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) cadets, staffers, and faculty members, including MRFFʼs 27 LGB clients at the Academy. Accordingly, MRFF demands that USAFA immediately terminate the employment of the notorious homophobe Rosebush.
The mind literally boggles at the wretched thought of Rosebush being employed at USAFA anywhere, but especially at a place described as the Academy's "Center for Character and Leadership Development"! Mike Rosebush has absolutely no place in the hallowed halls of our military service academies. Such casehardened proponents of old-school horrific bigotry and putrescent prejudice, if employed by the United States Air Force Academy, will no doubt use their positions to erode and denigrate the precious civil rights of airmen, cadets, faculty and staff. We call on the leadership of the United States Air Force to expeditiously and comprehensively root out this menace to good order, morale, and discipline at USAFA.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation demands that USAFA exercises its responsibility towards the civil rights and protections of cadets, staff, and faculty, and immediately terminate the employment of “ex-gay” fraudster Dr. Mike Rosebush.
Dr. Rosebush respectfully declines all interviews, and wants to express how honored he is to work at USAFA — where we develop and commission officers of character. Also, he emphasizes that we at USAFA are committed to respecting the human dignity of everyone.
A litany of previous religious liberty violations at USAFA, also exposed by MRFF, have led to alleged “thorough investigations” by the U.S. Air Force and supposed continued efforts to establish a “religious sensitivity training regimen.” As recently as mid-October, 2013, Mr. Weinstein met personally with USAFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson to inform her of several unconstitutional religious civil rights violations affecting cadets, staff and faculty at USAFA.
However, Weinstein has subsequently decried the recently-appointed Superintendent for her inability or unwillingness to challenge the deep-rooted Christian fundamentalist dominance existing at the Academy.
Further fuel was added to the fire when the Academy issued a statement defending and exonerating Willoughby, stating that the hate-mail was sent “in his personal capacity,” and that “no action is being taken against the individual.”
In an interview, [Mikey] Weinstein [MRFF founder] responded: "This is the best example of how wretched the climate is there, the brazen boldness of Christian supremacy. It's an absolute disgrace. We want an apology to me, my family and the foundation, and we want him disciplined."
The MRFF billboard features a quote by Willoughby accompanied by the words “We get it, but we won’t tolerate it!” The billboard includes a graphic depiction of an American flag festooned with Christian crosses which is meant to symbolize the unconstitutional, theocratic fifth column which permeates USAFA.
The MRFF currently represents 435 USAFA cadets, staff and faculty clients, 372 of whom are practicing Protestants and Roman Catholics.
Mr. Weinstein and the foundation have frequently come to blows with the USAFA administration in the past decade due to the permeating, profound presence of, and support for, fundamentalist evangelical Christianity at the Academy.
"I didn't think I did the heroics credited to me. I was just mad out of my mind when I charged up the hill. I thought I might die, but I was going to die trying. To be part of this stamp dedication is humbling. I share this honor with all the other brave men and women who sacrificed." — George T. Sakato
The defense bill that is set to come to the Senate floor this month includes various changes to the military justice system. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, is to offer an amendment that would take sexual assault cases outside the military chain of command and give military prosecutors, rather than accusers’ commanders, the power to decide which cases to try. Pentagon leaders are strongly opposed to Ms. Gillibrand’s amendment.
Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, is pushing legislation that does not go as far. Supported by the Pentagon and Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Armed Services Committee, the measure would strip commanders of their ability to overturn jury verdicts and mandate dishonorable discharge or dismissal for anyone convicted of sexual assault. But it would keep control of court-martial proceedings within the chain of command.
Another measure offered this week by Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, would exempt victims of sexual assault from having to testify at what the military calls Article 32 pretrial hearings, which can include cross-examinations of victim that are so intense they frighten many victims from coming forward.
Finally a leader at USAFA that really lets you know how all of us at USAFA especially at USAFA Preparatory feel about you and your beliefs, can't wait 'til you are escorted off campus and I am sure the majority of staff/cadets (believers and nonbelievers) wish that could happen now. Stop pushing your beliefs on us. God will always be a part of the US Military even when you are gone to meet him face to face. You know you can do a lot for the homeless veterans out here but you could care less about them but when it comes to Christians you are willing to fight against us, well you will never win and so you know the war has already been won. I am on staff at USAFA and will talk about Jesus Christ my Lord and savior to everyone that I work with [emphasis added]. Do something productive with your life and Stop harassing the fine people at USAFA. I really pray for your soul.
Regarding the e-mail sent by Mr. Allen Willoughby to the MRFF, we can confirm that Mr. Willoughby is a trainer at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School, and yes, he did send an e-mail to the MRFF in his personal capacity [all emphasis added] and not as a representative of the Air Force's Academy or the Prep School.
Supporting the right of free exercise of religion relates directly to the Air Force core values and the ability to maintain an effective team. Air Force Academy Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual's free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion.
All Academy Airmen, especially commanders, supervisors and those who are in daily contact with cadets or cadet candidates, must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force and the Air Force's Academy.
The Air Force's Academy remains committed to protecting individuals' right to practice any religion they choose, or no religion, provided their practices do not violate policy or law, or impede mission accomplishment, military readiness, unit cohesion, standards or discipline.
It's also important to point out that USAFA has a robust, structured Religious Respect Training Program that helps cadets, cadet candidates, faculty and staff understand how the First Amendment applies to them at USAFA with an expectation that all are educated on religious respect and, in turn, are practitioners of respect.
First, the Cadet Honor Oath remains unchanged. However, in the spirit enabling all to be true to their beliefs, the Air Force's Academy made the final clause optional - cadets can choose to say that final clause or not.
Second, it seems the MRFF is confusing the facts and also does not understand the difference between 1) the commissioning Oath of Office, 2) the Cadet Honor Code, and 3) the Cadet Honor Oath, which remains unchanged.
Finally, and most importantly, I refer you to the MRFF's mission statement and the apparent disagreement of its fundamentals with the final clause in the Cadet Honor Oath as optional, thereby allowing all to be true to their beliefs, whatever those beliefs are.
To help define the differences in the Cadet Honor Code and Cadet Honor Oath, I refer you to our story about the Cadet Honor Code and Honor Oath - you might want to pass it along to them since they seem to be unclear on the facts and, specifically, that the Cadet Honor Oath was not changed — we simply made the final clause optional, which is directly in line with the MRFF's mission statement to ensure "that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom."
Here is the link and the story: http://www.usafa.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123368388
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - After reviewing the Cadet Honor Oath, and
in the spirit of determining a way ahead that enables all to be true to
their beliefs, the Air Force's Academy has decided to make the final clause
"Here at the Academy, we work to build a culture of dignity and respect, and
that respect includes the ability of our cadets, Airmen and civilian Airmen
to freely practice and exercise their religious preference - or not," said
Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, Academy Superintendent. "So, in the spirit of
respect, cadets may or may not choose to finish the Honor Oath with 'So help
"At the Air Force Academy, we produce Lieutenants for our Air Force and
leaders for our Nation, so our focus here continues to be on developing
leaders of character" General Johnson said. "This all begins by living
honorably. The Honor Code and Honor Oath reinforce this fundamental value."
Thanks for taking the time to talk with my Vice about this matter. This Honor Oath is one of the new things since my graduation, evidently in about 1984. Col Miller was able to bring together the Prep School and other entities on base to put together a way ahead. We’ve already directed the Honor Review Committee to fix this next week when they meet. The Prep School poster has been taken down.
We are assessing the situation and have many mission elements, to include Prep School leadership, the Honor Review Committee and other entities on base, working to put together a way ahead that is respectful to all perspectives.