Policies are subject to change at any given time. The Air Force has been implementing many policy changes recently. There have been so many directive policy changes that have come down the pipeline the past couple years. A lot of these policy changes happen because the large amount of people in the military pushing feedback up the chain of command. The military is undermanned and since we have an all volunteer service, they have to recruit. The changes that are underway are sweetening the deal to the average and susceptible American that are willing to enlist or commission into the military.
This year began with a major change to our tattoo policy. This changes opens the door a little bit more for potential recruits to join even if they are covered in tattoos. The tattoo policy used to be more restrictive to maintain professional appearances. I don’t think tattoos are unprofessional unless they contain profanity, nudity or gang affiliations. Most people in our country have tattoos. Unless the Air Force relaxes the requirements to enlist, we will eventually run out of people. We all know that we can’t stay in the military forever and our future generations will have to eventually wear that gauntlet. This was a smart decision made by higher leadership in the Air Force.
The maternity leave duration has been increased from 8 weeks to 12 weeks. A woman starts her maternity leave as soon as she has the baby. Women in uniform are rejoicing but the men have been forgotten. Our men are still only receiving (if I remember correctly) 10 days and they have to use those days within 60 days of the child being born. This change has fired up some of my fellow airmen. I think it is great that maternity leave has been extended. It gives the mother more time to physically heal and allows her to get the infant on a schedule. I feel like this favors the female airmen more than the male counterparts and has created a gender equality issue. Why is it taking so long to make the changes to paternity leave and make the whole situation more fair? I get very annoyed when I hear fellow female airmen use the excuse “I need the maternity leave to bond with my child.” Ladies, we just spent 9 months carrying that child! That is the most intimate bond that we get to have and our male counterparts will never have that. Since men can’t bear children, they deserve the same amount of “bonding time” we are receiving. Hopefully more changes are imminent on the horizon.
Don’t ask, Don’t tell has been repealed since 2001. I think this was a much needed change of policy. I don’t hide my relationship and the fact that I am straight. I think it is wrong to demand another individual to hide their personal life. I think it is completely close-minded and cruel to attempt to use my religion as the backbone of my argument. Once again, this change came about due to pressure from the main American culture. I fully support this change because I believe that every human deserves to be happy. If being with a person of the same gender makes you happy, who I am to force my ideals and religious beliefs down your throat.
This brings me to one of the newest and a controversial change to Air Force policy. Transgender airman are allowed to enlist if they have already transitioned and if an airmen is identified as having gender dysphoria, the military will pay for your “transition”. The military has briefings being filtered down to be understanding and supportive to your fellow airman as they transition. I don’t know how to feel about the military paying for transgender transition surgery/medications/procedures. I think I am extremely close-minded about the concept of transgender. I don’t believe there is any way to physically change your gender. Despite body modification to make it look like the opposite genitalia, it is not. Despite the hormones you are taking, your chromosomes still read either XY (male) or XX (female). You can’t naturally change your gender therefore I believe you are still a man with female body modifications or female with male body modifications. I will call you whatever name/gender you wish to identify with. I don’t care what bathroom you use. I don’t care what PT test you take or even if you pass. It’s not my business. I still believe ALL people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect even if I do not agree with your personal beliefs. I won’t ever disrespect you because I think differently.
Change is a part of life and Air Force change is only logical. I am confused on why the mainstream culture is has such a high influence in military culture. The military is supposed to be the elite, in other words, a select few. The feminists are placing a lot of pressure on our legislative branch for equal rights. Now women are allowed in combat. Only time will show us if this was a smart idea or not. Honestly, only time will tell if any of these recent changes were actually beneficial to the military.
I am but one logical thinker.