Air Education and Training Command leaders are diligently working to remove barriers, promote mutual respect, and encourage tough conversations in safe spaces.

The First Command is leading efforts to strengthen diversity through deliberate actions to raise awareness about opportunities; developing partnerships with underrepresented groups; removing barriers to serve and providing mentorship to our current force.

 Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-7001, Diversity & Inclusion, broadly defines diversity as “a composite of individual characteristics, experiences, and abilities consistent with the Air Force Core Values and the Air Force Mission. Air Force diversity includes, but is not limited to: personal life experiences, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, cultural knowledge, educational background, work experience, language abilities, physical abilities, philosophical and spiritual perspectives, age, race, ethnicity, and gender.” The Air Force increases its warfighting capabilities and lethality by attracting talent from a diverse body of applicants and leveraging their unique characteristics, experiences, and abilities.

 

Learn more about the U.S. Air Force Rated Diversity Improvement Strategy here. 

 

Video by Andriy Agashchuk, Marcelo Joniaux, Tech. Sgt. Tenelle Marshall
Real Talk: Race and Diversity in the Air Force - June 17, 2021
502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
June 17, 2021 | 48:52
Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Education and Training Command, hosts the seventh episode of Real Talk: Race and Diversity in the Air Force, June 17th, 2021. Joining Lt. Gen. Webb for this episode will be: Brig. Gen. Brenda Cartier, Incoming AETC Director of Operations.
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Keesler celebrates Pride Month

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jasmine Galloway
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- As we celebrate Pride Month, we must remember that it wasn’t always acknowledged as a celebration.  On June 28, 1969, the community responded to a police raid that began at the Stonewall Inn, a bar located in Manhattan, New York, that served as a safe haven for the city’s gay, lesbian and transgender community. A year later, the first Pride parade was held at Stonewall, stretching fifteen blocks and bringing out thousands of supporters.

“I’m such a fierce ally and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community because I believe in equality,” said Captain Jeanette C. Santos, 81st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron licensed psychologist. “I believe that every human being deserves to be respected, loved, and to have all of their rights, but this particular community has been marginalized and mistreated.”

Celebrating Pride Month signifies a movement towards equality for all, though there is still work to be done we have come a long way in recognizing those in the LGBTQ+ community.

“To see us as a nation, but not only that, as an organization here at Keesler celebrating Pride shows that we are also acknowledging service members within this community,” said Santos. “Hopefully this month will open up some minds and hearts and even if it doesn’t, being exposed and educated about the enormous contributions of this community and how valuable they are is a step in the right direction.”

Sometimes there are people who make misinformed assumptions as to why someone is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, oftentimes invalidating their experience and labeling them as something that they’re not. 

“One thing that bothers me is when people call it a lifestyle or a choice,” said Santos. “What is a choice is to live and love your true self and not let others dictate your life.”