The Air Force Starts Here: LGBTQI+ Airmen in the First Command

  • Published
  • Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – On June 17, 2021, Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Education and Training Command, sat down with Brig. Gen. Brenda Cartier, incoming AETC director of operations and communications, to discuss our LGBTQI+ community within the Air Force.

“The commitment to service by LGBTQI+ Airmen adds to the inclusivity and rich diversity of the Air Force family,” said Webb. “Diversity, when harnessed, provides an asymmetric advantage that is ultimately a warfighting imperative.”

Listen to episode 52 of The Air Force Starts Here podcast or watch the live video on our Facebook page to hear Cartier describe some of her experiences serving in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era, how she sees today’s total force celebrating diversity and what work still remains.

On Dec. 22, 2010, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Act became law. Certification occurred in July 2011, and full implementation of the act occurred in September 2011. This allowed lesbian, gay and bi-sexual military members to serve openly in the U.S. Armed Forces.

On April 28, 2014, the Pentagon released an update to the Department of Defense Human Goals Charter, which, for the first time, included language related to sexual orientation in the section dealing with the military. The charter reads, “Our nation was founded on the principle that each individual has infinite dignity and worth. The Department of Defense, which exists to keep the nation secure and at peace, must always be guided by this principle. In all that we do, we must show respect for service members, civilian employees and family members, recognizing their individual needs, aspirations and capabilities.”

The original Facebook Live was part of AETC’s Real Talk series highlighting The First Command’s priority to cultivate an environment of excellence for all Airmen.

Listen to The Air Force Starts Here podcast wherever you stream podcasts or here on our website.