Commander's Log: Freedom & Equality

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano
  • Air Force Test Center

Air Force Test Center Family,

This is a deeply troubling time for our Nation.  Even as we struggle to unite in our fight against COVID-19, we find the fabric of society stretched thin by racial inequality and senseless violence, at times involving those in our communities who have sworn to protect and defend us.  Many of you are concerned about your safety and the impact this divisiveness could have on your loved ones.  There is much uncertainty today, and no better time to renew our commitment to each other and to our shared values.

Each of you is a vitally important member of our Test Center family, and we will guard your safety and your freedoms relentlessly.  For years, our Air Force has strived for greater diversity and inclusion with some success, but we must continue to improve.  There are no easy solutions to eradicate the stain of prejudice from our culture, but I believe our ability to communicate, understand, empathize, and unite will remain fundamental to our success as an institution.

Many of our Test Center units have already seized on recent events to bring the topic of equality to center stage.  For those who haven’t, I ask unit leadership to take immediate action to ensure every Test Center Airman—military, civilian, and contractor—has the voice we collectively need to hear.  Establish a new level of commitment to freedom and equality, and hold each other accountable.  This could lead to difficult conversations, but don’t let that deter you.  We must unite in thought and action.

Equally important, we must remain committed to a peaceful but resolute struggle against inequality long after the current public unrest subsides.  I ask every one of you to personally invest in an environment where every Airman feels secure, and where all Airmen can achieve their dreams and potential.  Reach out to friends, co-workers, and people you may not know well.  Listen to them and strive to conquer your personal biases—we all have them.  You are unique and treasured members of our Service.  Please take care of and advocate for each other.

As we continue to build an environment of dignity and respect for all Airmen, remember the beacon you represent to America.  Please don’t let current events reverse some of the progress we’ve made in recent years, and please don’t shy away from boldly demanding change in your own corner of the world.  Whether we are engaged in social change or defending our Nation, we are stronger when we are together.

Thank you for all you do for each other and our Nation.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly with your suggestions and concerns.  As always, it’s an honor to serve with you!

Major General, USAF