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    122nd Fighter Wing Hosts Historic Assumption of Command

    122nd Fighter Wing appoints first female African American commander

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Kathleen LaCorte | U.S. Air Force Maj. Jennifer-Ruth Green assumes command of the 122nd Fighter Wing...... read more read more

    FORT WAYNE, IN, UNITED STATES

    01.11.2020

    Story by Staff Sgt. Kathleen LaCorte 

    122nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    FORT WAYNE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ind. - Fighting back tears, U.S. Air Force Maj. Jennifer-Ruth Green, newly-appointed commander of the 122nd Fighter Wing Communications Flight and the first female African American unit commander at the wing, recounted a moving story to the guests at her Assumption of Command ceremony on Jan. 11, 2020 here.

    Green shared that Chief Master Sgt. Kerry Ghent said to her, “Ma’am, my friend doesn’t believe my new boss is a black woman.”

    “Are you serious? It’s 2019,” shot back Green.

    Ghent shared a photo of himself and Green with his female friend, a Ugandan colleague. The colleague could not believe that it would be possible for a black woman to be a white man’s boss.

    Quizzing Ghent about his position as chief, she said, “Do women do your job?”

    “A few,” responded Ghent.

    She asked again, “Do black women do your job?”

    “Yes, but not so many,” replied Ghent.

    Green was taken aback. At first she felt inclined to minimize the gender and race aspects of her historic appointment at the wing and to focus instead on her priority – servant leadership. But Ghent’s story hit her hard.

    “I realized that it matters,” said Green. The truth sunk in and impacted her with an awe-inspiring realization. “This is an ethnic group that I have the opportunity to be the face of.”

    Green has her own personal story of inspiration from an American hero, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Col. Lee Archer. He asked her if she had ever considered an aviation career. She had not.

    He looked at her pointedly and asked, “If you don’t stand on our shoulders, who will?”

    The impact of Archer’s question challenges Green to this day. Green said she knows by experience that when someone sees another person who looks like them doing something like this, it is incredibly encouraging.

    “I have been inspired by other people in the same way,” said Green who is one of a select group of African American professional female pilots in the United States. “I am privileged to be a part of that legacy.”

    Green carries on the Tuskegee Airmen legacy of flight through MissionAero Pipeline, an organization that offers training opportunities for youth with a missionary-aviation focus. It is her way of carrying forward the torch of a heroic legacy to pass on to the next generation. Green lives by the maxim that if people can see her in this position, they can want to be like her.

    Green, commissioned as an Air Force officer in 2005, said, “I look forward to sharing that it’s possible.”

    The audience listened in the hushed hall as Green offered her hope “that halfway around the world, someone I may never have the opportunity to meet, is encouraged, is inspired, and has the opportunity now to have a little bit of hope and excitement for the opportunity that I am able to assume today.”

    Lt. Col. Lee Archer would be proud.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 01.11.2020
    Date Posted: 02.09.2020 16:41
    Story ID: 362336
    Location: FORT WAYNE, IN, US 

    Web Views: 547
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN