The Air Force has removed several posters on display at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia after the National Organization for Women and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation made complaints that the posters were sexist, the Air Force said, reported by the Virginia Pilot.
Military Religious Freedom Foundation filed a complaint earlier in February on behalf of 16 officers, non-commissioned officers and civilian clients to get the posters removed which had language from a 1955 Air Force manual that referenced “faith.”
One poster, which depicts light sprouting upward from where the Twin Towers once stood, says: “Men cannot live without faith except for brief moments of anarchy or despair. Faith leads to convictions — and convictions lead to action. It is only a man of deep convictions, a man of deep faith, who will make the sacrifices needed to save his manhood.”
The Air Force originally dismissed the complaint.
“The posters do not officially endorse, disapprove of, or extend preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief, which is the standard established by regulation that would warrant action,” spokesman Maj. AJ Schrag said in a statement to Military.com.
On February 9, the National Organization of Women also filed a complaint about the posters and wrote a letter to Air Combat Command.
“The passages glorify the military’s reliance on male dominance, stating without equivocation that ‘It is only a man of deep convictions, a man of deep faith, who will make the sacrifices needed to save his manhood…'” President Terry O’Neill wrote.
“What message does that send to young women who currently serve, or want to serve, in the military? What do you say to the women in your command who make the same sacrifices to protect their country as do men? Is the purpose of the U.S. armed forces really to assist ‘only’ men to make sacrifices necessary to save their “manhood?” she added.
Air Combat Command spokeswoman Maj. Malinda Singleton said in an email that the posters were not in line “with intended messages about personal integrity.”
“With additional time to review all seven posters outside the narrower, primarily religious context of the original complaint about two of them, we concluded the gendered language used in the display interfered with intended messages about personal integrity,” Singleton wrote.
“We’ve chosen to update the display with something that reflects the diverse and inclusive force we are today,” she continued..
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation said one of its clients, nine of which were female, told them that the posters had come down.