Air Force leaders commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. birthday

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Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody issued the following message to the Airmen of the U.S. Air Force:


As America commemorates the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we call upon all Airmen to reflect on Dr. King’s enduring legacy and on the importance of service in the cause of justice, equality, respect, and freedom.


At the height of the U.S. civil rights movement, Dr. King rallied our Nation to live up to the promise of full equality under the law, without regard to race, color, or creed. Striving to build on Dr. King’s legacy today, we have a responsibility to ensure that all Americans enjoy their right to equal opportunity and constitutional protections. 


Each of our unique personal histories, experiences, knowledge, and skills reflect a diversity that is one of our Nation’s greatest strengths. Air Force leaders are committed to creating an environment that promotes dignity and respect and brings together different backgrounds and perspectives to benefit mission effectiveness.  Embracing each Airman’s talents and capabilities will help build and sustain a diverse and inclusive culture that strengthens our Service.


In celebration of 50 years following Dr. King’s historic march on Washington, his life of service demonstrates the power in each of us to energize and create positive change. On Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, we encourage you to reflect on the lasting impact of Dr. King’s ideals and their continuing relevance today.