Hate groups, gangs not acceptable to Air Force
By Staff Sgt. Julie Weckerlein, Air Force News Service
/ Published October 17, 2006
WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Active participation in hate groups and gangs is not compatible with the Air Force way of life, and any Airmen found guilty of such participation will be punished accordingly, said Air Force leaders here recently.
"It goes without saying that participation in such activity has no place in our Air Force," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley.
"Not only does it run counter to our core values, it fosters divisive behavior and destroys good order, morale and discipline," he said.
Department of Defense and Air Force policies prohibit active participation in any activity that promotes the objectives of organizations and groups that attempt to illegally discriminate or otherwise deprive individuals of their civil rights. This could include participating in public demonstrations, fund raising, recruiting, organizing, leading or training in support of such organizations.
Open display of symbols or literature showing support for these organizations may also constitute "active participation," even if not an official member of the organization.
If found guilty of such behavior, Airmen may receive additional training and education, and may face punishment up to separation from the service.
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley said Air Force leaders feel strongly that every person should have the equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of race, gender or ethnic origin.
"We put on our uniform everyday and defend freedom -- that means freedom for all," Chief McKinley said. "We have no room for discrimination or racism of any kind in our Air Force. Every Airman should have an equal opportunity to be successful."
During his many years as a first sergeant, the chief said, he never saw any gang activity amongst his Airmen. He credits that to the high standards the service sets for its enlistees.
"Our Air Force recruits highly qualified men and women, and I'm very proud of the caliber of Airmen in our force today," he said. "We will continue to provide them an equal opportunity environment to live and work. This includes making sure (gang and hate group activity) doesn't exist in the Air Force."