COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force changed lyrics in its service anthem by dropping gender references that exclude women.
The change announced Thursday by the Air Force chief of staff, Gen. David Goldfein, is designed to make the service friendlier to women, The Gazette reports.
“Our song must reflect our history, the inspiring service and accomplishments of all who’ve served, and the rich diversity that makes today’s Air Force indisputably the strongest and most capable in the world,” Goldfein wrote in a message to airmen, cadets and academy alumni.
The change originated when female Air Force Academy cadets asked Goldfein why the anthem’s third verse hailed the bravery of men, but not women.
The third verse is meaningful to cadets at the academy near Colorado Springs, where it is sung after sports victories, but students took issue with the third line: “To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly.”
In the new version, the line is changed to read, “To a friend we send a message of the brave who serve on high.”
Other gender references in the song remain, including “at ’em boys, give ‘er the gun.”
My first thought was to vent some spleen over this trite silliness, but then I realized how very difficult it’s becoming to even give a shit at all these days.