The academy is a nirvana
of inclusion for LGBQ cadets
without worry or fear of discrimination, harassment or bias, according to statements made by three cadets
during a 45-minute telephone briefing with reporters held this afternoon.
The three cadets, all members of Spectrum
, the LGBQ group on campus, didn't reveal their last names, but fielded questions in the wake of the revelation this week that Dr. Mike Rosebush
, a conversion therapist who formerly worked for homophobic Focus on the Family
for 10 years, works in the character and leadership department.
: "I don’t think leadership is an issue at all at the academy. All I’ve experienced since the current leaderhip has gotten here is nothing but sheer support. The only issues I’ve ever had have been cadet-on-cadet. Every time that’s ever happened or what I’ve heard from others is that leadership as soon as they’re notified of it have taken care of it and stopped it."
: "We do not have the full range of views from all LGBQ cadets at the academy. But I can inform you that one cadet statement saying his career would be ruined is completely false. I hold a very high job in the wing. Everybody I’ve ever talked to [at the academy] is ok with me being gay. Being out in the military will not ruin your career."
: "I’ll just say I, personally, never had any problems with anyone. You’d think the most religious people would be against you the most, but people here are really supportive. I definitely feel that from the permanent party, the squadron, my teachers in my classes. There’s no problem that I’ve seen."
The cadets also said they are more worried about bad press coverage hurting the academy's ability to draw new students than Rosebush, himself.
Two of the cadets said they didn't even know Rosebush existed before the story broke on Tuesday about his association with Focus, Exodus International
and other groups that believe LGBQ people can change their sexuality through prayer and counseling. "His position is such an administrative position I don’t know of anyone who has deal with him directly," William said.
Instructor in charge of Spectrum, Capt. Michelle L. Reinstatler
, said she had worked with Rosebush directly and "never had any negative experience with him."
However, one of the female cadets said it was "disappointing" the academy had "someone like that" on staff, then quickly added, "But everybody is allowed to think what they want. As long as they don’t pressure others, that’s perfectly fine.
I do not think having Rosebush having these views is harming to the academy."
Lt. Gen. Johnson
is expected to finish her review of Rosebush's hiring and other matters within a time certain, public affairs spokesman Maj. Brus Vidal
——————— ORIGINAL POST, FRIDAY, NOV. 22, 10:15 A.M.———————
Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson
Four days after word got out
that the Air Force Academy
employs a conversion therapy advocate
, Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson
has issued a statement. The statement comes hours before the academy's hand-picked LGBQ cadets hold court over the phone with the media.
Here it is:
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.