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33rd FW engages in Rated Diversity and Inclusion Events

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Amber Litteral
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

The U.S. Air Force prioritizes diversity and inclusion within the force to stay competitive and strong. Diversifying the service allows for a variety of different perspectives and experiences to be used to drive the total force forward.


The 33rd Fighter Wing took an active role in the Air Force’s effort to expose youth to aviation career fields.


Members of the 33rd FW participated in virtual discussions with Tallahassee high school Junior ROTC students, Feb. 23 and 24 and visited Air Force ROTC cadets at Detachment 145, Florida State University, Florida, March 11.


“A more diverse Air Force starts with information availability, and if we can instigate that availability for individuals at a younger age, people may have a better opportunity to enter these career fields,” said Capt. Jessica Kelly, 337th Air Control Squadron air battle manager instructor.


The virtual briefs with Tallahassee high school students focused on Air Force commissioning avenues, rated career field opportunities and diversity and inclusion efforts. 


“The younger generations are often in this unique situation where they are more socially in sync with today’s culture than the overall Air Force,” said 2nd. Lt. Nicholas Black, 58th Fighter Squadron pilot select. “Their perspectives and mindset allow us to see what direction our Air Force might take.”


During the visit, Kelly, Black and Col. Jon Wheeler, 33rd FW commander, discussed their Air Force experiences and the importance of a more diverse military moving forward. 


“Some students wanted to know more information on specific career fields,” said Kelly. “A few gentlemen I spoke with were selected as air battle managers, so I was able to speak on my experiences on the training, deployments and assignments.”

Kelly spoke with some cadets, answering questions about her career as a female Air Force officer.


A few female cadets asked me what it’s like being a woman in the military,” said Kelly. “I was happy to talk about my experience and advise them on navigating their careers while continuing to break barriers.” 


Individuals like Cadet Capt. Christopher Hiney, Det. 145 AFROTC cadet, and future Air Force combat systems officer, are optimistic about a more diversified military of the future.


“Hopefully, the Air Force will continue to bring in diverse minds that will advance our force in future generations,” said Hiney. “With the growing diversity in our military, I believe we can better develop more innovative solutions and ideas.”


The effort to reach out to younger generations now paves the way for an evolving Air Force. Discussions and interactions with these students and cadets reflect one of the events' primary goals, motivating and cultivating the next generation of diverse Air Force officers.


“The diversity of ROTC programs will soon reflect in our Air Force’s officer corps, and with that comes new perspectives, ethnic insight and different backgrounds that will only strengthen our Air Force,” said Black.