According to the New York Times and Yahoo News, there are too many white men flying planes these days.
Before I even took command of my service’s recruiting efforts this spring, Air Force leadership made it clear to me that improving diversity would be on the top of my to-do list. And recent national events only serve as an accelerant as we take aim and tackle this vexing issue.
Pentagon leaders didn’t need to explain the why, although Gen. David Goldfein, our former chief of staff, did that in calling diversity “a war-fighting imperative.” It’s been clear for some time that our progress in better reflecting the society we serve has been too slow.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the first African-American to lead any branch of the military, has called on us to accelerate change or risk losing ground to Russia and China, both of which are integrating potential game-changing technologies like artificial intelligence and hypersonic flight. We need both the best technologies and the best people to win. Improving our diversity falls squarely in Brown’s mandate.