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Breaking down barriers, inspiring positive change 2 Air Force leaders

WASHINGTON — Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., and Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Joan S. Bass, both first in their roles. Brown is the first black man to serve as chief of staff, while Bass is the first woman to earn the title of chief master sergeant.

“One of the things I really believe is that young people just want to be what they see,” brown told CBS News this week. “You don’t decide to be something you’ve never seen.”

“It’s humbling,” Bass said of being the first woman to serve as chief master sergeant. “And it’s an honor to serve alongside heroes and visionaries like these guys.”

All military branches are struggling to recruit and retain service members. There are several reasons for this, including the wider culture Harassment and bullying

“I am very focused on developing a culture within the organization where all of our airmen can reach their full potential,” Brown said. “Where they have zero detractors, it’s sexual harassment, discrimination, harassment, bullying. Those are the areas and it takes leadership.”

Asked about complaints from sexual assault survivors who believe the Air Force is allowing perpetrators to get away with their crimes, Brown said “our goal is to hold those people accountable.”

“Can we do better? Yes. As always, room for improvement,” he added.

Brown also explained what he believes the Air Force can do to make it easier for people to join.

“There are five main things that affect military families: child care, education, housing, health care and Spousal employment” Brown said. “These are things that help us retain and support, not only our military members, but more importantly, our military families.”

May 20 marks Armed Forces Day, when the nation honors those who serve, past and present, in all branches of the military.

“We want America to know the power of some of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military,” Bass said. “They are probably the most talented, most educated people in our country. They inspire me every day.”

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Norah O’Donnell

Norah O'Donnell

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