MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones visited Air University, Feb. 15, 2022, 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,” said Jones. “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 visit highlighted the scope of AU’s mission and its career-long impact to 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.
Jones reminisced on the impact Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps had on her while at John Jay High School in San Antonio, Texas. 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.”
Jones visit included having lunch with enlisted Airmen, mission briefs with Air University leaders and the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, and speaking to Air War College students and at the Chief’s Orientation Course held here for newly selected chief master sergeants.