Millennials, diversity measures and more: Your letters

Readers discuss the military's takeover by the millennial generation, the new Air Force diversity measures, and controversies about religion at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, and about paying back re-enlistment bonuses in California.

Want to share your take on these and other issues? Send them to airlet@airforcetimes.com. Include your name, address, phone number, city, state and rank. Submissions may be published in print and online, and edited for content, clarity and space.


I'm an Army veteran who reads the Air Force Times. The way the Air Force is depicted in your paper, it seems they are inordinately concerned with breast-feeding, transgenders, homosexuals, Millennials, etc.

I read an article in your paper that reported on the concern of Air Force leadership about the transition of millennials to becoming airmen and how they're changing basic training so millennials will be feel more comfortable joining the Air Force ["The Millennials have taken over," Aug. 8]. The entire point of basic training is to change the civilian into an airman, not to make airmen more like civilians.

Where does the Air Force find the resources to obsess over social issues that concern less than 1 percent of the U.S. population and I suspect a much smaller percentage of Air Force personnel?

The leadership of the Air Force should stop worrying about being politically correct and redirect their resources to the war.

Veteran Army Capt. James T. Slattery
San Antonio

I hope a team of Air Force leaders conducted research before announcing their new slate of diversity and inclusion initiatives, which Secretary Deborah Lee James said included an Air Force version of the National Football League's so-called "Rooney Rule."

It may look good on paper, but if aspiring NFL coaches were asked about the Rooney Rule, I don't know how much positive feedback they would have provided over the past few years. Of the 32 NFL teams, only four have African American head coaches, or 13 percent. Going one step further, of the 128 head coaches at colleges comprising the Football Bowl Subdivision, only 13 are minorities.

I hope the Air Force has better results with its diversity initiatives than the NFL or college football.
Master Sgt. Rick Lasnier (ret)
Goldsboro, N.C.


In a recent interview with base public affairs for a Meet Your Leadership series at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Kersten, 39th Medical Support Squadron commander, mentioned his Christian faith and quoted the Bible.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation and its president, Mikey Weinstein, is demanding the Air Force rebuke what Kersten said as well as punish him. If the Air Force has real integrity, it should respond to this demand with the words of Army Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, when the Germans demanded that he surrender during World War II's Battle of the Bulge: 'Nuts!'

If not, the Air Force should take Kersten to a general court-martial and see how that plays out in the press.

Mr. Weinstein and the high-minded sounding MRFF are one in the same. He founded the MRFF and makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from donations the MRFF receives spouting his hate of Christianity. I have a feeling many of those who donate to the MRFF through things like the Combined Federal Campaign do not know what the foundation really does under its banner of 'stopping religious coercion in the military.'

Weinstein and the MRFF would not dare condemn a Muslim soldier or airman for quoting the Koran. He has no interest in religious freedom in the military. On the contrary his goal is to stamp out any mention of Christianity in the military. Not sure about Judaism or the Old Testament of the Bible. I would love to see his reaction, or lack thereof, if someone quoted King Solomon or Moses at a military function.

Navy Cmdr. Wayne L. Johnson (ret.)
Alexandria, Va.


As a 100 percent disabled Marine Vietnam veteran and taxpayer, I have seen our government treat our military people with no respect for the sacrifices they make for our country.

The latest affront to our men and woman in uniform is in regards to paying back the bonuses from 10 years ago, when our troops re-enlisted to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was said that there was a discrepancy in overpaying.

I for one always heard you can't get blood out of a rock, so I wonder how those killed are going to pay back said money. Are the families going to be burdened?

When it comes to disgraceful acts, this one is at the very top. We have to be the laughing stock of the world.

If Obama and our government can give sworn enemies like Iran $150 billion, then he can forgive those who have laid their lives on the line for our country with the swipe of his pen by executive order.

Marine Cpl. Gregory J. Topliff (ret.)

Warrenville, S.C.

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