The U.S. Air Force abandoned an experiment aimed at boosting pilot training graduation rates for women and minority pilots after the 2021 initiative failed to achieve the intended results and officers privately warned it could violate anti-discrimination policies, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
As part of the larger military-wide effort to promote diversity in the service’s pilot ranks, the 19th Air Force command near San Antonio, Texas, “clustered” racial minorities and female trainees into one class, dubbed “America’s Class,” to find out if doing so would improve the pilots’ graduation rates. However, not only did the effort fail to boost minority and women candidates’ success rates, but officers involved say they were ordered to engage in potentially unlawful discrimination by excluding white males from the class, documents show.
On Wednesday, a federal judge in Georgia ruled in favor of an anonymous Air Force officer who refused to take a COVID-19 vaccine as per the Air Force’s mandate, scoring another victory for freedom of religion.
According to CNN, Judge Tilman Self issued a preliminary injunction forbidding both the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force from enforcing its vaccine mandate on the female officer, who sought a religious exemption from the vaccine.
The U.S. Air Force allegedly went out of its way to lower the standards of physical fitness tests and other exams in order to ensure that a female candidate could ultimately qualify for the elite Special Tactics team, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The allegations stem from an anonymous memo that was received by the Beacon, claiming that a female candidate who repeatedly failed and quit multiple times when she initially couldn’t pass the training program was allowed to try again until the qualifications were lowered in her favor.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Air Force announced that it had rejected approximately 2,130 requests from service members for a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, as reported by the Daily Caller.
“More than 10,000 requests from across the Total Force have been received,” the Air Force’s statement read, “of which approximately 2,100 have been disapproved due to military readiness considerations.”