22nd AF commander reflects on African American Airmen's heritage

As we celebrate African-American History Month, a number of notable Reservists, hailing from 22nd Air Force, are inspiring. These Airmen continue to be role models for future generations. They represent different career fields though they all bring one thing in common to the table: they’ve improved our operational capability.

Diversity and inclusion are critical force multipliers and national security imperatives. With the challenges we face in today’s dynamic environment, we cannot afford to do less than fully leverage the talents of every member of our team.

So here's a shout out to these Reservists who made and are making our Air Force Reserve, a role model to follow:

Maj. Gen. Joseph McNeil

Former Commander of the 22nd Air Force; also renowned as a member of the Greensboro Four - a group of African-American college students who in 1960, sat down at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina, challenging the store's policy of denying service to non-white customers. In his civilian career, he served as the assistant division manager of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Eastern Region Flight Standards Division and the manager of the New York Flight Standards District Office.

Brig. Gen. Curtis Williams

Current Director of Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command. He oversees installation assets at nine primary and 61 tenant locations with a $6.7 billion average plant replacement value and a $2.2 billion annual operating budget. General Williams is a former Vice Commander of 22nd Air Force.

Col. Vanessa Mattox

Commander, 932nd Medical Group, 932nd Airlift Wing, Scott AFB, Illinois

Maj. Christina Hopper

First and only African-American female F-16 instructor pilot and also the first African-American female F-16 pilot to fight in a major war – Operation Iraqi Freedom. Major Hopper is now a T-38 instructor pilot at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, serving as a member of the 340th Flying Training Group, a direct group to 22nd Air Force.

Chief Master Sgt. Otis L. Jones, Jr.

Command Chief Master Sergeant of the 302nd Airlift Wing, Peterson AFB, Colorado

Chief Master Sgt. Lyndon Tubbs

Command Chief Master Sergeant, 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins ARB, Georgia

Chief Master Sgt. Timothy D. Wooten

 Senior Enlisted Advisor, 622d Civil Engineer Group, Dobbins ARB, Georgia