By Mike Pefley, STARRS VP Communications, USAFA ’74
Our nation was founded on the moral courage of patriots in order to free themselves and future generations. The paragon of moral courage for the seekers of freedom was George Washington. His courage in battle was demonstrated long before there was even an inkling of an independent nation in the new world.
Why did the powers that existed call it “the New World?” Was it because of the mysteries it held which “civilized Europe” felt drawn to unlock? Perhaps it was the call of unrestrained opportunity that drew courageous people from all over the world to the land of opportunity.
Fast forward 400 years from the first settlers arriving predominantly from Europe and you’ll find that same optimism and the courage to take a chance on a now known land of opportunity by millions of seekers for a better life. Just to dispel the drum-beaten Marxist narrative that is a bald-faced lie, America is NOT a racist nation. People don’t gravitate toward oppression; they flee from it.
That’s why Venezuelans, Cubans, Africans, Haitians, Chinese, N. Koreans, Salvadorans, Afghans and many more risk everything to live, work and establish families in the United States of America. These teaming masses strive for the opportunity while demonstrating the courage to leave behind the known in seeking the unknown of the New World.
You might be wondering, what does all this rhetoric about foreigners immigrating to the United States have to do with the military?
I’ll tell you, this American tradition of courage, established in the 1600s was, and is, the hope for freedom and liberty for the entire world. American courage was demonstrated in the founding of the nation in 1776. It was continually re-established in our American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Never in human history has any nation of citizens gone to the aid of so many people at home in America and in such far distant lands. What is it about Americans that drive them to sacrifice for so many others? I believe that the driving factor is American exceptionalism and American courage.
Because of my years of service in the US Air Force, I’m going to also point to the USAF Core Values. They are: Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do.
Once you hear those values, you have to admit, they are about personal and organizational courage. They are the values of George Washington, America’s first and foremost soldier. They are the values of our Founding Fathers. They are the values of the legions of American men and women that fought for the end of slavery, for Civil Rights, for freedom for others in countless wars. It is courage that drove them and courage that sustained them when it appeared the odds were against them.
Last month, the US Air Force Academy graduated its 64th class and commissioned all but a handful of those that have strived for the past four years. The fact that a few won’t be commissioned is probably not a big deal in the minds of many. It is inconsequential to the general officers at the Air Force Academy and throughout the Air Force; because they lack the moral courage to stand up to planned aggression against anyone that dares to question DoD leadership in their planned purge of those that will not bend to an illegal, illogical and yes, evil order to be vaccinated. “Comply or we will crush you.”
What do they care that the youngest, most idealistic and newest members of the Air Force are demonstrating courage? They are saying to themselves, “I don’t need to show courage, I’m a general, I want my next promotion or I’m going to retire.” Courage is no longer in their make up because they have nothing to lose by not doing the right, moral and courageous thing.
One last point, for all the silent general officers that have retired and are happy being in the “NO Courage Club,” because to stand up and speak out against tyranny may cause you to lose some “feather in your nest” income or wonderful personal opportunity, “Shame on you!”
…RIP Military Leadership Courage.