Armed Forces News

Members of the 335th Training Squadron freestyle drill team perform during the 81st Training Group drill down on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., March 8, 2019. Airmen from the 81st TRG competed in a quarterly open ranks inspection, regulation drill routine and freestyle drill routine. Keesler AFB trains more than 30,000 students each year. While in training, Airmen are given the opportunity to volunteer to learn and execute drill down routines. (Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Gen. Charles Q. Brown, the Air Force chief of staff, believes the service is at a crossroads. Address and resolve diversity issues now, he believes, or pay the consequences later.

“We have to work as leaders to create and foster an environment in all our units where all airmen can reach their full potential,” Brown told a virtual audience of airmen with the 322nd Air Expeditionary Wing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brown called upon his audience to speak up when necessary, show consideration for others, and resolve to address difficult topics.

“I think for all of us, it’s hard to speak up. You get a knot in your stomach. But once you say it, you feel so much better. When you say it, it makes a difference,” Brown said.

He told the airmen about a personal challenge he had to overcome when he first joined the Air Force, as he tried and failed to qualify on the .38 caliber and 9 millimeter handguns. It got to the point, Brown said, where the instructor asked if he was having personal problems or other issues. It turned out that his issue was cross dominance. Even though he is right-handed, his left eye is dominant.

“I was barely getting past it until I figured it out,” Brown said. “We all have setbacks. But I think the sign of complete failure is when you quit trying.”