For our bonus blog, I paid close attention to a speech by our commander of the Air Force detachment, Lt. Col. Bohn. As a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, our views (while we are in uniform) are caught in the spiral of silence. We are not caught in the spiral because we are too afraid to voice our opinion against opposing views, but because we are regulated not to state them. The main reason for this is because the second we open our mouths with our uniform on; we are representing the Air Force. People love to diminish the thought of how we are our own individual person because all they see is the standardized uniform and we are automatically generalized into this group. I am proud to serve in the Air Force in a few years, but before I continue this blog, I have to state that what is written comes from the hand of a college student from Mid-Western Nebraska and the views of the Air Force are not in anyway reflected or considered.
Dissoi Logoi helps the analysis and invention of arguments. It is accurately stating that there are two sides to every argument. The first to introduce this was Protagoras saying, “On every subject, there are two logoi opposed to one another.” Dissoi Logoi has been incultured to us from the very beginning. It was embedded in our lives everyday and incorporated through our education and practiced through our government in our courtrooms. Stated in an earlier blog post by Harrison H., “Dissoi Logoi is essential to compromise and compromise is essential to maintaining political balance.” Politics are most-commonly associated with two main parties, democratic and republican.
In Detachment 465, we have both parties represented, but we have an obvious majority of republican cadets, probably coinciding the fact that we are in Nebraska. Like most small communities, we know who is democratic and who is republican, if not because they have said it, it is because we can tell by their viewpoints on certain topics. The democratic cadets, I have noticed, do not voice their opinions as much because we have some very strong-opinionated republican cadets.
In Lt. Col. Bohn’s speech he spoke of equality and dissoi logoi without actually using the term dissoi logoi. The military is huge about equality and diversity. They promote diversity greatly because it provides a variety of talents and perspectives. Lt. Col. Bohn told us about how if we had only one type of person in the Air Force, it would not work well because there would be many flaws since it is only one perspective. There are strict regulations in the Air Force about discrimination and this allows all types of arguments to be heard. These regulations help a lot, especially legally, but it does not completely squash the spiral of silence because most people want to be liked and not looked-down-upon because of their views. These regulations can be found in the AFI 36-1201, http://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/eeo/afi-36-2706.pdf. This also talks about the Equal Opportunity Program, the objectives, and all the policies within it. This program is not only military, but it is civilian as well, which is explained within this AFI.
Overall, in the speech, we learned about the importance of dissoi logoi and how you should always look at both sides. If you are one-sided, don’t take advice, and are close-minded, missions can be inefficient and fail. We learned that to be a good leader, you must be able to embrace diversity and different ways of doing things, not squashing ideas all at once.