Investigation finds Black airman faked racist text messages from supervisor

Airman will face Uniform Code of Military Justice punishment for fabricating the exchange

A U.S. Air Force investigation found that a Black airman in Arizona faked racist texts from a supervisor to claim skin color played a role in the service member being denied a special duty assignment, and he will now face Uniform Code of Military Justice punishment.

"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," a Luke Air Force Base spokesman said in a statement Tuesday, according to Military.com. "Following an exhaustive investigation, authorities determined that the statements published did not occur and the text messages were fake."

The controversy originated in May, when the Black airman sent screenshots of the alleged text messages to the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page and claimed they were from a supervisor who denied the service member a special duty assignment. The post quickly went viral, leading to the investigation.

"We won’t be sending your name up for [redacted] at the squadron," the screenshot of the text message read, according to the Air Force Times. "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 the image that the Air Force needs."

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Luke Air Force Base, home of the 56th Fighter Wing.

Luke Air Force Base, home of the 56th Fighter Wing. (Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)

"This is the third job that has been held over my head due to my looks, and something that’s based on personal preference," the airman responded.

According to a Task & Purpose report, the airman who was accused of sending the racist message was identified as a White technical sergeant and the recipient as a Black senior airman, both of whom served in the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron. The White technical sergeant was the senior airman's manager and in charge of planning and scheduling maintenance, the report said.

But the investigation found the exchange was fabricated.

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The logo of the Department of the U.S. Air Force

The logo of the Department of the U.S. Air Force (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

The report comes as members of the U.S. military have increasingly complained about a "woke" culture in the ranks, which they say has potentially led to the current recruiting crisis and has caused some leaders to walk on eggshells for fear of being seen as racist or sexist by their subordinates.

"Merely questioning the goals or methods used to promote ‘Equity & Diversity’ is punished and that punishment is swift, harsh and public," one service member told Fox News Digital last week.

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"I 100% believe the military is woke. I see daily minorities, overweight people and women not adhering to military standards," another said. "Nobody corrects them due to the fear of being fired and labeled a racist or a sexist."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images)

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The service member who made the fabricated claim has not been named, while a base spokesperson told Task & Purpose that the airman is facing nonjudicial punishment and can still appeal.

"The 56 FW has a zero tolerance policy on acts of discrimination," the spokesperson said.

Luke Air Force Base did not immediately reply to a Fox News request for comment on the case.