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Video: Air Force Academy general can’t define gender identity labels listed in program guidelines

970 cadets salute during the Class of 2022 Graduation Ceremony at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 25, 2022. (Trevor Cokley/U.S. Air Force)
July 20, 2023

The head of the Air Force Academy was unable to define two gender identities listed in guidelines to qualify for a fellowship program promoted by the school that excludes “cisgender” men.

During a hearing on admissions standards at military universities that cater to applicants based on race and gender, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) challenged Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark on what the terms “agender” and demigender” mean.

Both gender identities are included in eligibility guidelines for the Brooke Owens Fellowship, which is offered to Air Force cadets.

“In that fellowship, it specifically says, ‘If you are a cisgender man, this program isn’t for you.’ … You’re literally pushing a program in the academies that says, ‘If you’re a cisgender woman, a transgender woman, a non-binary, agender, bigender, two-spirit, demigender…’ What’s ‘demigender’?” Gaetz asked.

“Sir, that’s a term of the people that are eligible for that particular scholarship, that is available to…” Clarke said before Gaetz interjected, saying, “Yeah, but what’s a demigender person?”

“It’s a person who looks at their gender in a different way than I do, sir,” Clarke responded.

“Well, sure. That’s all of these people. You’re a cisgender man, you don’t even get to apply. Do you know what ‘demigender’ really means?” Gaetz asked.

“I’m not really sure, sir,” Clark said.

“Right, so do you know what ‘agender’ means?” Gaetz asked.

“Sir, I don’t,” Clark replied.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby recently claimed the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies removed by Republican lawmakers from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) are crucial to the country’s military readiness.

Kirby’s claim comes amid a divisive debate on the NDAA, which narrowly passed the House of Representatives.

The legislation, lauded by Republicans for its stance against what they label as “woke” Pentagon policies, has drawn significant criticism from Democrats, according to Fox News.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.