Women We Love 2022: Gina Ortiz Jones

Gina Ortiz Jones

by U.S. Air Force

“I’ll never forget, one of the very first things I had to do as an Air Force cadet was to sign a piece of paper saying that I would not engage in homosexual behavior,” says Gina Ortiz Jones, who joined the service during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era. The discriminatory policy forbid openly LGBTQ+ folks from serving in the U.S. military. Nearly two decades later, Jones serves as Under Secretary of the Air Force, the second-highest ranking civilian leader- ship role within the department. As the first lesbian and first woman of color to serve in the post, Jones is committed to creating an inclusive environment where all airmen, guardians and civil servants can serve to their full potential. “Some of my most rewarding work involves shaping the policies that are improving the quality of life and quality of service of our folks and their families,” she tells GO. In her work as Under Secretary, Jones is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force under the Biden Administration. This includes organizing, training and equipping over 700,000 active duty military and civilian airmen and guardians and their families serving around the globe. She firmly believes that anybody willing to serve their country should have the opportunity to do so, and uses her position to ad- dress the disparities facing underrepresented minorities in the Air Force and Space Force. “We need talent as diverse as the opportunities and challenges that we face as a country,” Jones says. “This is really important work for our nation, and I’m honored to carry it forward every day.” –LC

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