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AFSOC deputy commander visits FSU, FAMU cadets for Diversity and Inclusion event

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Rito Smith
  • AFSOC Public Affairs

Florida State University and Florida A&M University hosted U.S Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, deputy commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, and service members from Hurlburt Field, Florida, Sept. 23, 2021, to speak to ROTC cadets about leadership, career opportunities, diversity and inclusion within the force.

The day kicked off with a speech from Hill about the current security environment and future of the force.

Hill shared his leadership advice with the cadets to “trust your instincts, lead by example, and be a happy leader.”

After the speech, Special Tactics officers called in a CV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft for a landing at Hammer Field on campus. The aircrew offloaded and showed the cadets the aircraft and its capabilities.

“I think about how in the world’s greatest Air Force we have so many formidable types of aircraft and with that, the Air Force has so many capabilities to protect our nation, and that’s pretty amazing,” said Katherina Gagni, Cadet 1st Lt. Alpha Flight deputy commander at FSU Detachment 145. “You don’t see things like this every day and I think it inspires a lot of people to see what they could be doing in the Air Force. It also gives people a sense that they have a place of belonging in the force,” said Gagni.

Cadets were also able to meet with Special Warfare recruiters and service members from various career fields at Hurlburt Field.

“We were super pleased with the reception we had from both Florida State and Florida A&M administrators to allow us to come on campus and be here to engage with their student population,” said Hill. 

The ROTC cadets ranged from freshmen to seniors, some had already secured commissions and others are getting their first look into the Air Force.

“Our ROTC populations are great recruiters for us,” said Hill. “We need them to go out and cultivate a climate of inclusion so that we can attract a diverse population of leaders into the force.”

After a morning of engaging with ROTC students, AFSOC leadership made their way to the FAMU campus to meet with and discuss career paths with students from one of the top historically black colleges in the nation.

Once there, introductions were made followed by one-on-one conversations from service members with diverse college experience, backgrounds, and career paths.

“One of the things we are trying to do in the Air Force is to bring in more diverse folks who would not normally know about serving in the military, to expose them to it and see if a career in the Air Force is something they’d like to embark on,” said Hill.