USAF Service Song Gets Makeover to be Gender Neutral
The USAF Service Song, “Wild Blue Yonder,” is getting a makeover by the brass in order to make it more “gender neutral.”
So far, they’ve only adjusted the last verse, but have plans to fix the rest as soon as they can.
Military.com reported on some of the changes to the USAF Service Song “Wild Blue Yonder.”
Verse III is now:
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!
The old version went, “A toast to the host of the men we boast.”
Air Force Secretary David Goldfein authorized Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria to implement the change immediately. He stated that conversations with the men and women at the USAF academy brought up the idea that a more gender neutral song would be appropriate. Women currently make up 20% of the Air Force, but the applicant pool for the academy is growing.
Other service academies changed their songs previously. The Naval Academy in Annapolis changed theirs in 2004, and West Point changed theirs in 2008, according to the article in Military.com.
The USAF service song “Wild Blue Yonder” dates back to the Army Air Corps prior to 1947 when the USAF came into being.
“I respect the views of others who will not agree. But I also know with absolute certainty and clarity that these changes are about adding to, not subtracting from, who we are. Changing the lyrics in no way diminishes the history and accomplishments of men or dilutes our eternal gratitude for their sacrifice and bravery…It is time for us to change.” Secretary Goldfein
Women at the USAF academy will be at a 31.2% level for the class of 2023. There is no information on when the other verses will be changed. The first verse says “At ’em, boys give ’em the gun.”
Here is the full original Wild Blue Yonder song:
Featured photo: Lt. Col. Kevin Welsh, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” commander, conducts an reenlistment ceremony at the Arctic Thunder Open House in Anchorage, AK, June 29, 2018. (U.S. Air Force/SrA Cory W. Bush)