The U.S. Air Force has investigated an airman at Luke Air Force base in Arizona and found he faked text messages claiming he was denied special duty assignment due to his ethnicity.
Images with the messages allegedly showed an exchange between a Black airman and a white superior regarding a special assignment.
The messages which were shared with names covered showed alleged texts sent to a Black airman saying, “We won’t be sending your name up for [unspecified position at] the squadron. Sorry about not telling you in person.”
The airman responded asking, “Is there a specific reason on to (sic) why I can’t?”
A reply, that has since been ruled as fake by the Air Force, showed the airman being told, “We personally do not feel as if you are a good choice for the squadron. You currently have a shaving waiver which isn’t a professional image, and I think the air force is looking for somebody of white complexion and with an image that the air force needs.”
The reportedly false texts went viral and within days the Air Force began to investigate claims of discrimination made in the texts, per Military.com.
“The 56th Fighter Wing has concluded its investigation into reports that an airman was denied a special duty assignment by their supervisor based upon their demographic identity,” Luke Air Force Base spokesman Sean Clements told Military.com in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
The spokesperson sent on saying, “Following an exhaustive investigation, authorities determined that the statements published did not occur and the text messages were fake.”
Military.com offered context as to why the assignment could be considered important, saying that while “special duty assignments are grueling” they are also significant and assist the military member in obtaining promotions and can lead to bonus pay.
Per the outlet, Celents said the service member who faked the messages is facing Uniform Code of Military Justice punishment but “the airman can still appeal his punishment.”
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