MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Alabama –
Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones visited Air University, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, Feb. 15, to gain a deeper understanding on accessioning future leaders and educating the officer, enlisted and civilian force through the range of professional military education offered.
“We have to develop more military and civilian leaders. Whether four years or 20 years, we want them to have a wonderful career,” Jones said. “The AU footprint is massive, spanning our JROTC and AFROTC detachments, AFIT, Maxwell and Gunter, to name a few. Our instructors play an instrumental role in shaping the culture and mentoring the careers of our Airmen and Guardians.”
The trip highlighted the scope of AU’s mission and its career-long impact on Airmen and Guardians’ leadership and professional development, highlighting the modernization of the curriculum and seeking new ways to attract and retain Airmen and Guardians throughout all phases of engaging with AU. For many, AU is the first and enduring impression of joining the military and serving the Air Force and Space Force.
During her visit, Jones had lunch with enlisted Airmen, attended briefs with AU leaders, visited the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, and spoke with Air War College students and the newly-selected chief master sergeants at the Chief’s Orientation Course.
Jones reminisced on the impact Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps had on her while at John Jay High School in San Antonio. The culture, leadership experience, and scholarship opportunity played an influential role in her pursuing ROTC in college and, ultimately, commissioning into the Air Force.
Jones offered kudos to the staff for increasing efforts to seek out the unique considerations that enable people to serve, especially in underrepresented groups and talent that the service needs.
“The steps Air University is taking to learn how people can serve better, show them and their families how they will be treated in the military, and identify the more nuanced barriers that people face in determining to serve and continue serving, matters,” Jones said. “We have to compete for the nation’s best and talented, it is a mission imperative.”