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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | Feb. 26, 2024

Wings of tomorrow: Inspiring young minds toward Air Force careers

By Senior Airman Austin Pate | 316th Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Daniel A. DeVoe, Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, hosted a tour of the 1st Helicopter Squadron for Oxon Hill High School students who participate in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program as part of the “GO Inspire” program, Feb. 21. 

GO Inspire, with “GO” standing for general officer, is a Department of the Air Force recruiting program, which aims to increase awareness of accession pathways among underrepresented groups, broaden community outreach to attract diverse candidates from science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, and strengthen diversity among the rated communities, as well as the broader Air and Space Forces.  

The program not only seeks to raise awareness and attract talent through targeted engagements, but it also fosters direct interaction between general officers and potential recruits to illuminate opportunities within the Department of the Air Force. 

“The main goal of the general officer inspire program is connectedness,” DeVoe said. “Reaching out to those young Americans that are going to be the next Airmen of the future and sharing our experiences, sharing our culture, sharing our way of life, enlightening them on what the opportunities are to serve.” 

DeVoe also discussed Air Force life, the benefits associated with military service and his personal career experiences as an Air Force officer. 

During the tour, students heard about the experiences and accomplishments of other Airmen and Guardians, and participated in three stations to learn about the 1st Helicopter Squadron’s mission. The students saw a helicopter display up close, explored a virtual reality flight simulator, and tried on aviation gear, such as helmets and night vision goggles. 

“At the 1st Helicopter Squadron, we try to be very involved with the local community,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Shane Garcia, 1st HS pilot. “This program gives us the opportunity to speak with the youth in the area and let them know what their options are." 

Garcia stated the program allows Airmen more time to spread information about the Air Force and aviation throughout the community and connect with them in various ways. 

"I really appreciate the program,” Garcia continued. “It also is a little cathartic to be able to talk to these students, pass on the things that worked really well for me, and moreover, the things that were my mistakes to hopefully save them some time learning the hard way." 

This personal touch, highlighted by experiences shared by DeVoe and others, underscores the program's potential to connect with future recruits on a meaningful level. 

“It was really inspiring getting to hear someone who has served so long and that has enjoyed their career,” said Aaliyah Jones, Oxon Hill High School student. “This makes me realize I'm not second guessing my decision to join the Air Force; it is clearly something that is for me.”