From USAF top enlisted person

garandman

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Who am I?

I am a Black man who happens to be the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.

I am George Floyd…I am Philando Castile, I am Michael Brown, I am Alton Sterling, I am Tamir Rice.

Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks…I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes. What happens all too often in this country to Black men who are subjected to police brutality that ends in death…could happen to me. As shocking as that may sound to some of you…I hope you realize that racism/discrimination/exclusion does not care much about position, titles or stature….so yes, it could happen to you, or one of your friends, or your Airmen, or your NCOIC, your Flight Chief, your Squadron Commander or even your Wing Commander. This, my friends, is my greatest fear, not that I will be killed by a white police officer (believe me my heart starts racing like most other Black men in America when I see those blue lights behind me)…but that I will wake up to a report that one of our Black Airmen has died at the hands of a white police officer.

As I struggle with the Air Force’s own demons that include the racial disparities in military justice and discipline among our youngest Black male Airmen and the clear lack of diversity in our senior officer ranks…I can only look in the mirror for the solution. I, the CMSAF must do better in ensuring every Airmen in our ranks has a fair chance at becoming the best version of themselves. While this is a complicated issue…I, along with every other leader across the force, am responsible for making sure it becomes a reality.

What have I been doing?

Not enough…I have done my share of community service work, been in involved in mentor programs, voted in local, state and national elections, but I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever I have done in the past is just not enough. So, I spent the last week, “plotting, planning, strategizing, organizing and mobilizing” just as Killer Mike, the popular Atlanta rapper and activist encouraged us to do. Twenty-five of my closest friends (White, Black, Asian, enlisted, officer and civilian) and I have an ongoing dialogue where we began by acknowledging our right to be angry about what is happening.

We eventually moved beyond the rage and began to think about what’s next? What could or should we be doing as a group and as individuals to stop this from happening in our communities across these United States? We don’t have all the answers, but we do have some of the most brilliant minds, many, who have first hand experience with this topic and we will continue working towards a solution. While we can’t change the world, we can change the communities we live in and more importantly, those where our Airmen strive to be seen, heard, and treated as human beings. I have also not done enough as your most senior enlisted leader…while we have made progress in many of the areas that impact our Airmen and families; I believe that we have not made much progress in this area of racial injustice and diversity among our ranks. This is why I’m working with General Goldfein, first and foremost to have a full and thorough independent review of our military justice system. We will look to uncover where the problem lies and how we can fix it. We are also working to improve the diversity of our force, especially within the senior ranks. I hope this message triggers responses and ideas from each of you on things we can do better.

What should you be doing?

Like me, acknowledge your right to be upset about what’s happening to our nation. But you must then find a way to move beyond the rage and do what you think is right for the country, for your community, for your sons, daughters, friends and colleagues…for every Black man in this country who could end up like George Floyd. Part of my group’s solution involves helping to bridge the communication and understanding gap between law enforcement and young Black men. You decide what works best for you, where you can have the most meaningful impact and most importantly, what you can stay committed to…we didn’t get here overnight so don’t expect things to change tomorrow…we are in this for the long haul. Vote, protest peacefully, reach out to your local and state officials, to your Air Force leadership and become active in your communities…we need all hands on deck. If you don’t do anything else, I encourage everyone to fight, not just for freedom, justice and equality, but to fight for understanding. You might think you know what it’s like to grow up, exist, survive and even thrive in this country as a Black person…but let me tell you, regardless of how many Black friends you have, or how Black your neighborhood was, or if your spouse or in-laws are Black…you don’t know.

You don’t know the anxiety, the despair, the heartache, the fear, the rage and the disappointment that comes with living in this country, OUR country every single day. So, take the time to talk to someone – your brand new Airmen, your NCOIC or your Flight Commander - about their experiences so that you have a better understanding of who they are, where they come from and what drives them. Frankly, you owe this to every Airmen, but I’m asking you specifically to pay attention to the Black Airmen in your ranks during this trying time. Don’t misunderstand me, they don’t need, nor do they want any special treatment…but they deserve to be treated fairly and equally, both by our United States Air Force and these United States of America…this begins with you, and I am asking, no fighting, for your understanding.

Like you, I don’t have all of the answers, but I am committed to seeing a better future for this nation. A future where Black men must no longer suffer needlessly at the hands of White police officers, and where Black Airmen have the same chance to succeed as their White counterparts. Trust me, I understand this is a difficult topic to talk about…

Difficult…not impossible…

Difficult…but necessary.

Who am I…

I am Kaleth. I am a Black Man who happens to be the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and I am committed to making this better.
 

headednorth

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Don’t misunderstand me, they don’t need, nor do they want any special treatment
LOL. Spends all that time begging for special treatment and then says they dont want any. Some people are so used to special treatment that when you treat them equally they think they're being picked on.
 

Rockrivr1

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The Military really frowns upon rank and file personnel making statements like this to the public. Granted he has the rank, but I wonder if he'll get any flak for stepping out of the chain to post that. In today's environment probably not, but it does beg the question of whether this will affect the rest of his career.
 

headednorth

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@garandman Have to admit, this thread came up on my new posts list. If I had realized it was in the mil section I would have kept it to myself. Makes more sense now why you asked if I had served.
 

KMM696

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The Military really frowns upon rank and file personnel making statements like this to the public. Granted he has the rank, but I wonder if he'll get any flak for stepping out of the chain to post that. In today's environment probably not, but it does beg the question of whether this will affect the rest of his career.
Affect the rest of his career??? What are they going to do, not promote him?

Garandman, I'm going to guess you were Army based on the thread title - his rank is Chief Master Sergeant. His job is Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, matching position to Command Sergeant Major of the Army. He is the senior USAF enlisted - and literally unpromotable.
 

Rockrivr1

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Affect the rest of his career??? What are they going to do, not promote him?
You know how the military works. Step out of line and no matter what the rank they can make life miserable. So he'll most likely end up retiring if things go that way. Problem solved on both ends.
 

Picton

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Lol.

This wasn't outside the chain of command. He didn't issue this until his boss, a white guy named Goldfein, approved it. If he'd said "hold off, Sergeant Major," it would never have seen the light of day. If Goldfein had been black, he'd have written it. Anyone who's ever been in the military knows how these things work: at their level, these guys are politicians.

Of course the USAF leadership saw this before he posted it.
 
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Without opining on this statement he made, but rather to give some additional context.

The Air Force has had some pretty awful CMSAF in recent times. He has not been one of them, and is widely respected by nearly all of the enlisted.
 

Uzi2

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Times change. I was in the military in the late '50s. There were never any issues of this kind that I was aware of. Jack.
I was in during the late 70's and there was quite a bit of racial tensions, mostly exhibited by blacks( most of whom were chronic malcontents anyway) and just saw that crap as a way to lash out. The red black and green flag, clenched fist, doing the "dap" black power movement was in full swing.
 

NHKevin

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Without opining on this statement he made, but rather to give some additional context.

The Air Force has had some pretty awful CMSAF in recent times. He has not been one of them, and is widely respected by nearly all of the enlisted.
Really? When I was in boot camp I could tell you my chain of command up to POTUS/CiC. At no point since did I know the CMSAF. I'll bet most don't know any leadership above the wing commander level.
 
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Really? When I was in boot camp I could tell you my chain of command up to POTUS/CiC. At no point since did I know the CMSAF. I'll bet most don't know any leadership above the wing commander level.
I didn’t either, until CMSgt Wright. He has the nickname “Enlisted Jesus”. Maybe it’s just because the last guy was so terrible, but when he took over, he actually listened to people’s complaints and immediately began making changes. Most for the better. He’s very well liked.
 
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No, you don’t need to be a veteran to have an opinion.

Just wanted to emphasize you don’t have any experience with racial relations in the military.
I have never been president. I have never been a woman. I have never been a minority. I have never been a dog. I have never owned a Yamaha. And yet, I have plenty of opinions on all of them. I'm open to other people's opinions, especially when they have an outside opinion.

I cant argue with that
I can.
 
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Now that I've read his statements, I will give a bit of an opinion.

I dislike when things are made out to be about race. We are talking about an issue, where certainly race can and does play a role, but absolutely is not just about race. It affects ALL races. So when he says one of his greatest fears is " that I will wake up to a report that one of our Black Airmen has died at the hands of a white police officer" and not " but that I will wake up to a report that one of our Airmen has died at the hands of a police officer", I think he is missing the mark.

I know he wasn't the CMSAF at this time, as it happened in 2014, but I don't recall anyone in AF leadership even mentioning this incident:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9xn9UudpS8
 

AFVet

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I was in the same time as Uzi and some of you guys, and yes the racial tension was bad, especially in the deep south, everything Uzi listed was happening and more, Islam was just starting to rear it's head and they were changing their names left and right. One buck Sgt changed his to something unpronounceable and would make new troops call him by name and when they couldn't, he turned them into,,,,, was it called social affairs ?
 

Uzi2

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Now that I've read his statements, I will give a bit of an opinion.

I dislike when things are made out to be about race. We are talking about an issue, where certainly race can and does play a role, but absolutely is not just about race. It affects ALL races. So when he says one of his greatest fears is " that I will wake up to a report that one of our Black Airmen has died at the hands of a white police officer" and not " but that I will wake up to a report that one of our Airmen has died at the hands of a police officer", I think he is missing the mark.

I know he wasn't the CMSAF at this time, as it happened in 2014, but I don't recall anyone in AF leadership even mentioning this incident:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9xn9UudpS8
Looks like paranoid brain cramped fat boy knows he completely fvcked up....walking in circles like an idiot, shaking his head "no", leaning on the vehicle..... (that's body language that is undeniably incriminating).

Killed for holding a wallet, by a morbidly obese badged mental defective. What a way to go.

image.jpeg
 
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FPrice

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As an interesting (to some) somewhat related fact. The New Chief of Staff of the Air Force is an African American.

Senate confirms Brown to be 22nd Air Force chief of staff on unanimous vote


As another interesting aside, this honor was supposedly thought to be going to General Daniel "Chappie" James back in the late 70's. He was the first African American 4 star general. However his future was cut short by health problems.

 
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