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Final changes to Air Force song announced

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) --

All stanzas of the Air Force song have been updated to better capture and represent the valor and heritage of the 73-year-old service while also recognizing the diversity and contributions of today’s Total Force regardless of gender.

The announcement by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, completes a two-step process in which male-only references were revised to capture the distinguished service, the high standards, and central role that women play in every facet of the modern United States Air Force.

The first step focused on changing the song’s third verse, which also serves as the official song of the United States Air Force Academy. Goldfein unveiled those new lyrics in March and suggested that additional changes to remove the remaining male-only references would be made at a later date and after further review.

The updated lyrics include subtle but important changes that more accurately illustrate the role women have played for decades.

“These new lyrics speak more accurately to all we do, all that we are and all that we strive to be as a profession of arms,” Goldfein said. “They add proper respect and recognition to everyone who serves and who has served.”

At the same time, Goldfein re-emphasized the careful consideration that went into the decision for whether, and how, to change the lyrics.

“I also know with absolute certainty and clarity that these changes are about adding to, not subtracting from, who we are,” he said. “Changing the lyrics in no way diminishes the history and accomplishments of men or dilutes our eternal gratitude for their sacrifice and bravery.”

The complete new lyrics are:

The U.S. Air Force Song (Adapted)

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
At ‘em now, Give 'em the gun!
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

(Verse II)
Brilliant minds fashioned a crate of thunder,
Sent it high into the blue;
Valiant hands blasted the world asunder;
How they lived God only knew!
Boundless souls dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wings, ever to soar!
With scouts before and bombers galore. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

(Verse III)
Here's a toast to the host
Of those who love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a message of the brave who serve on high.
We drink to those who gave their all of old,
Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.
A toast to the host of those we boast, the U.S. Air Force!

(Verse IV)
Off we go into the wild sky yonder,
Keep the wings level and true;
If you'd live to be a grey-haired wonder
Keep the nose out of the blue!
Fly to fight, guarding the nation's border,
We'll be there, followed by more!
In echelon we carry on.
Oh, nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

Lyrics printed with permission from Carl Fischer, LLC.

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