JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
Second Lt. Leon Davis, cyberspace operations officer for the 33rd Network Warfare Squadron of the 688th Cyberspace Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, initially joined the U.S. Air Force for financial reasons, a better life and to pave the way for his family.
“I signed up for my three daughters and to be able to show them something positive -- sharing a greater purpose passing down principles and morals that they can stand on,” said Davis, a South Carolina native.
In 2014, he enlisted in the Air National Guard where he served as an aerospace ground equipment Airman at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina.
During his time as an Air Guardsman, Leon was inspired to become an officer.
“I realized how much representation and diversity in the senior ranks mattered,” Davis said. “It matters to enlisted Airmen to have someone who they could look up to and knew I could be that. I wanted to be a representative and make a difference for inclusiveness for all Airmen."
In 2019, Davis graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the University of South Carolina School of Computer Science and Engineering and commissioned as an Air Force second lieutenant through the university's Air Force ROTC program.
As an officer within the 688th Cyberspace Wing, Davis has already begun working on ways to create change and has elevated his initiatives to higher echelons within the U.S. Air Force.
In his off-duty time, Davis now leads a team of Airmen who began a grassroots initiative to open a dialogue about the minority experience in the military.
Roughly 20 Airmen, non-commissioned officers, officers and cadets have come together to organize a two-day virtual event April 17-18 to candidly discuss challenges and their experiences as minorities in order to create change.
“The event is a platform for minority communities to get together and discuss issues that have been weighing on them,” Davis said.
The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and multiple other senior leaders will be attending the virtual event that Davis has named “The Great Gathering.”
Davis hopes that the event inspires a more candid dialogue about the topic and encourages Airmen who are interested in his initiative to create change to reach out.
“Accelerate change or lose -- what we’re doing is not something you take a pause for while you’re on a mission, but it is a part of the mission,” said the 25-year-old officer.
“When folks are focused and they don’t have to worry about these issues," Davis added. "When these issues are heard, we are able to solve them, take better care of people and folks operate more efficiently.”