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Woke Air Forces

Old 17th Mar 2021, 20:38
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Woke Air Forces

It’s been said a few times on here in recent months that we in the UK are heading for a Woke Air Force. I hear similar from other Air Forces and other arms of the military too. This article was recently published on an ex-copper’s blog that was written by another copper who has just left the Police Force. They felt that they were already in a wrong place and that they were now leaving because of it after 20 years. Are we all heading the same way?

Of particular note was this bit.

I’m done with grandstanding cops, dancing for YouTube, wearing rainbows as self promotion, kneeling for a twitter photo, lecturing the public about things that shouldn’t concern us, forgetting we are the law police, not the public morals police, Im done with them doing anything other rather than actual policing. I’m done with the false narrative that suggests this is the norm and that all cops are more interested in being woke social workers than doing their job. A false narrative we have facilitated by allowing this self indulgent, shameless self promotion of a few individuals, to proliferate.
It struck a cord with me and also I wonder if initiatives like ‘Astra’ or the British Army’s ‘Castle’, and the constant insincere drive for extreme-levels of D&I by some of the butt-snorkelers chasing promotion, is missing the mark for recruitment of Generation Z and Generation A - who are not the social justice warriors and ‘wokes’ that the millennial Gen Y can be. Are these ‘next generation’ initiatives missing the future military generation by a country mile because they are aimed at the wrong next generation? If you were trying to aim for something fit for 2040, would you ask 30-40 year old Gen Y millennials or 20-30 year old Gen Z (or even the newest Gen A)? It seems that these initiatives are being driven and shaped by Gen Y?

Now I don’t condone for one minute the shocking events that have occurred across HMForces over the past few years (the latest revelation being the RAF Regt this past week) - behaviour that belongs nowhere in any military. But are we going too far, are the butt-snorkeling promotion chasers ‘firing for effect’ and does it actually reflect what we need and who the military should be? Does the constant drive to try be all-inclusive of the importance of each Branch, Trade and Specialisation blunt our combat edge significantly and provide a false narrative that will eventually need to be reversed? For instance the new Any Branch Station Commanders seem to generate a need to bolster each and every one with a peer ‘aircrew operator’ on a flying station, thus doubling the number of OF-5s required! Or is there really this utopian world out there that our current woke-ish vectors seem to be leading us towards and the Gen X dinosaurs need to just do one!

Asking for a friend...
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Old 17th Mar 2021, 21:53
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Well as a Gen X dinosaur who has already done one, I'm going to sit back, grab the popcorn and wait to see what the boomers have to say.
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Old 17th Mar 2021, 22:12
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Yeah lets go back to paying women 75% of the pay for an equivalent ranked male. Lets make them go cap in hand to their Stn Cdr if they want to get married. Lets throw them out for getting pregnant (shock horror) with loss of pension rights. Lets deny women the right to MQs.

No, let's go further, lets have frenzied, istitutionalised, invasive inestigations against gay people.

Yeah LETS go back there!


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Old 17th Mar 2021, 22:31
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The promotion chasers have always been in the RAF system, since time immortal. Merit needs a tie breaker alas.However this is the wrong place to get a objective view on a subjective subject.
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Old 17th Mar 2021, 23:33
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ExAscoteer2 gender based pay has been out of HMForces since 1991 (30 years ago) and pregnancy has been supported since 1999 (22 years ago) when the MOD had to pay out maternity claims of £60M. No one is suggesting going back to that, nor the LGBT policies removed since 2000 (21 years ago). All roles are now open to all genders (for the RAF since the first non-male Gunner graduated in Jan 20).

What is being asked is ‘are we there yet?’ Or do we have to go around an ever tightening spiral wringing out every single last tiny little non-inclusive wrinkle and be so crazily diverse that none of us can agree on anything? Where does it stop? Until the military can no longer operate as there are no bosses or workers (because rank is non-inclusive), no camaraderie because we are so crazily diverse (driven away from common understanding in case some people feel left out) or no one is willing to take risks anymore because they might be held accountable and hung out to dry?

I was kind of hoping that after 20 years for most things, and even just 1 year for the last bastion of male combat roles rightly being beaten down, that we could just rub along now rather than a constant tirade from the butt-snorkeling promotion cadre virtue signalling via all means necessary at every opportunity! Twitter being one of the worst of all platforms with “my own views” trumpeted everywhere, but with a “hey, look at me, aren’t I magnificently benevolent and virtuous” undertones buried within. If we are to be be deemed ‘woke’ can we just say that most of us have been ‘awake’ for frickin’ years!
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Old 17th Mar 2021, 23:58
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Originally Posted by Corporal Clott View Post
ExAscoteer2 gender based pay has been out of HMForces since 1991 (30 years ago) and pregnancy has been supported since 1999 (22 years ago) when the MOD had to pay out maternity claims of £60M. No one is suggesting going back to that, nor the LGBT policies removed since 2000 (21 years ago). All roles are now open to all genders (for the RAF since the first non-male Gunner graduated in Jan 20).
Firstly do not even TRY to lecture me on this. Don't you DARE!

Secondly, looking at the standard male, ok look we are being oppressed response such as we find repeatedly on this forum, no, we haven't yet got it right.

I routinely work with girls who don't think they can be aircrew / engineers / scientists / military / whatever because they are STILL routinely told they can not be good enough.

So aye, we still need change!

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 18th Mar 2021 at 08:15. Reason: Fix quote
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 04:35
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Originally Posted by ExAscoteer2 View Post

Firstly do not even TRY to lecture me on this. Don't you DARE!
Well, this is awks. Just checked - did you really PPRuNe in 1954? Gotta love diversity, inclusivity and tolerance.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 06:33
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I always thought having an airforce was about fighting and winning a war.

Hope you guys don’t get into a hot one.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 07:33
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I routinely work with girls who don't think they can be aircrew / engineers / scientists / military / whatever because they are STILL routinely told they can not be good enough.
Well maybe if you stopped calling them ‘girls’ then that might be a start? Secondly, surely that is society’s fault, probably a cultural issue in certain areas of society, that stereotype their females so badly that they feel they cannot be “ aircrew / engineers / scientists / military / whatever “? Why should the various Forces (and I include the Emergency Services) have to allow grandstanding and as Clott puts it ‘virtue signalling butt-snorkelling promotion seekers” to seem to use it for their own benefit?

The first thing society should stop doing is buying gender stereotyping toys and painting all bedrooms pink for a female and decorating them with dolls, fairies and princesses. Secondly, make sure that everyone is just treated as they are - no more “look at Wendy, she’s a woman or lesbian, she flies Typhoons, isn’t she so amazing” - it’s been done already and many have gone before Wendy over the past 30 years. Finally, we must stop the shameful use of quotas and targets for BAME and gender. The best human or person for the role should get the job, where so-called ‘positive action’ is ceased where it picks the female or BAME candidate over the non-female or non-BAME candidate. If that is not discrimination on grounds of race or gender, then I don’t know what is!

The role of Armed Forces recruiting, selection and training is to feed and provide a cohesive fighting unit (in the Emergency Services they need similar levels of cohesion). Some of today’s actions are eroding that, and it also does diversity and inclusion no good at all as it isolates a large group who no longer feel a wanted part of the organisation due to the fact that they are not ‘diverse’ due to no fault of their own.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 08:03
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Oh wow, that was a bit shouty. I think you have also just proven another point that I would like to make. When someone even mentions that some D&I feels wrong to someone who identifies as a male, white, Anglo-Saxon and protestant then there are rolling of eyes, sucking/gnashing of teeth and mutterings/inferences of privilege. How can that intolerance of a view be possibly right?

The current military active bystander training is a classic. Wrapped up in a D&I wrapper, this really is just CRM and HF training with a overt agenda to make issue of diversity and inclusivity matters. Quite frankly I find it insulting that it is presented in that way. I also find it insulting and demeaning for my chain of command to tell me it is wrong to have some sort of initiation ceremony where someone gets a part of a 81mm mortar shoved up their backside - I know that is wrong, and so do the vast majority of us. But now every single arrival or leaving event will be toned down to such an extent that it won’t be an event at all. That cohesion that B Word mentions will be lost, and just because a small group of individuals were idiots the rest will suffer and the slow drip-drip indoctrination will continue.

I have been in a meeting where I have been shouted (yes, shouted) at for mistakenly using ‘man/woman’ instead of ‘male/female’. Apparently it is wrong and it shows my unconscious bias! Really? If that is not intolerant of an error between a term for sex or a term for gender, then I don’t know what is! But the person doing that so publicly seemed to take great pleasure in doing so, probably just so they could earn another social justice warrior badge for their collection.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 08:13
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Well Clott I hate to tell you but it isn't going to get any "better" from your point of view. the world changes and if you talk to anyone under 30 (or better under 20) all you'll hear are the things you seem to hate.

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Old 18th Mar 2021, 08:24
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The OP inferred that 'Generation X dinosaurs' were to blame for rampant wokeism. No! As a collective my generation is decidedly sceptical on the whole thing (and the youngest of us are only just 40, hardly dinosaurs in modern terms). Like the OP I see encouraging signs of scepticism from Gen Z, particularly young women on the gender self-identification issue. We have to grit our teeth and get through the phase of maximum Gen Y influence in the working population (which is what the civil service leadership is responding to; military leaders ape them for career brownie points). Politicians are, I think, already looking beyond Gen Y - see Kemi Badenoch's excellent dismissal of critical race theory in the Commons from a few months ago, identifying it as illegal to teach to schoolchildren as an uncontested idea, and scrapping unconscious bias training for civil servants. And other elements of society have recognised that it isn't one-way traffic to a woke future: see the courts ordering closure of the Tavistock Centre, see the Met commissioner ordering her officers not to kneel for BLM and retaining the public's confidence, see the line strengthening on transgender participation in womens' sport despite the best efforts of campaigners.

This will pass; it'll be a painful few years but I am becoming more confident! Boomers were radical once (hence the 'reactionary' conservatism of Gen X) but raising children tends to foster a less radical outlook and that's what Gen Y is now doing in earnest.

Finally, should you ever despair of the media, social or otherwise, be reassured that most politicians understand very well that it (especially Twitter) is not representative of public opinion, even if our seniors sometimes fail to.

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Old 18th Mar 2021, 09:23
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I have always been a believer in EQUAL opportunities. Whether you are male, female, blue, green, earthling or Martian, it does not matter as long as the best person for the job gets the job. I know historically there have been issues where certain sectors would not ever employ a specific gender or race/religion for a particular role but things have moved on a lot in the last 50 years. Most issues (not all) these days are down to, and I am vastly exaggerating now, someone who has left school with zero qualifications and expects to get the CEO role at a major corporation just because they are blue/green/LGBTQ+ etc on the basis that there are no other blue/green/LGBTQ+ people on the board of that company. They see it as a right rather than something they earn.

Best person for the job, not quotas is what should be promoted in my view. ITs just a shame I am in the minority these days being a white European male.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 09:53
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Being Woke

This thread was always going to be a fun one!

What always comes across to me is actually how poor we are at listening to each other. All of us. I absolutely include myself at times.

There are those that think the woke generation are just young upstarts with a liberal agenda. Then there are those that deem themselves to be woke who view everyone else as ignorant and bigoted.

The reality is probably that the vast majority of people actually inhabit the same middle ground but many of those just won’t listen sufficiently to realise.

ExAscoteer has given a good example with the shouty ‘don't you dare’ statement. We don’t always have to get angry with people to make our point.

This thread is about the Air Force (I assume we mean the RAF). Whilst you may encounter girls in the outside world who are being given the wrong message is that really still true in the RAF?

Ironically enough I once (2005) rebuked an ATC officer for telling two female cadets (they were on a station visit to Coltishall) under her charge that the RAF doesn’t encourage girls to be pilots. The VR(T) Officer was a female Flt Lt. Go figure.

I don’t doubt that there are many examples out there of bad apples who treat people poorly. But that is true from both sides of the fence.

As ES says we are seeing the effect of a long overdue rebalancing where we are addressing unfairness for the good of everyone. But we need to be damn careful we don’t turn it in to one of those movie sequel/remakes where we keep the same script but just change the players.

I am very moderate in my views and have mellowed significantly over time. I guess that’s what parenthood does for you and certainly what having children of both sexes does for you.

Just as I don’t agree that women, for example, should be unfairly treated I also don’t think a white male should be unfairly treated.

Whilst I am happy to be a part of the current changes taking place it would be a damn shame if my ‘white male privilege’ status was thrown back at me to the extent that I then became militant.

How long until we have men chaining themselves to the gates of Downlng Street or throwing themselves under race horses?!

I am trying to keep it fairly light-hearted but I won’t be surprised if this thread spirals into an unpleasant place to be. Unless we can step back and try to understand other viewpoints instead of feeling big and strong for shouting at someone.

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Old 18th Mar 2021, 10:12
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I suspect ExAscoteer is Ex for a reason.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 10:13
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It's all very well being woke, but I wonder how much it'll help when you have to fight an enemy who are not?
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 10:14
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I'm all for them, the only time I find it all dissapointing is when companies set recruiting targets and that can be detrimental, If you need 100 people and 70 of them are women turn up, employ them, if 70 are men, employ them, but not to take on 20 of the 70 men or women if your company has recruiting targets of 50 / 50, that's wrong.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 10:27
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It can end up as discrimination by gender while having intended to do the opposite.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 10:40
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butt-snorkelling promotion seekers
- I suspect these aren't a new invention . Being 'woke' is just the latest wave to surf on, it'll pass. I might just be unlucky but the youngsters I come across (teens/twenties!) seem to be a harder working, more sensible and better informed lot than me and my peers were at that age.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 10:42
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Quite a few years ago I was talking to a 16 year old girl and her dad at a barbecue and I asked what her plans were. Fantastic at maths and physics, about to do 'em at A level, then become cabin crew for an airline. Eh? You thought about university and doing an engineering degree perhaps? No... Dad said he'd suggested such a route but all she wanted to do was see the world for free... I suggested she use her work experience opportunities to have a look at engineering; probably also should have suggested flying as a career. Wish I'd better used my opportunities at school.

Second recent example was a female ATC cadet packing my bags in Tesco for charity - despite the stand down of the VGS fleet, she was absolutely sold on flying and had won a gliding scholarship. Brilliant. Hope that despite the current covid whoopsie she has got her wings and will make a career as a civil or military pilot.
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