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27th SOW commander signs African American/Black History Month proclamation at Cannon AFB

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Merit Davey
  • 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

On Feb. 9, 2024, Col. Jeremy Bergin, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, signed an official proclamation for African American/Black History Month at Cannon AFB, New Mexico.

The proclamation commemorated a month-long celebration that honors the contributions of African American and Black Airmen, Guardians and others throughout our nation's history, celebrating the leaders and innovators who inspire the next generations of warfighters. Over 50 Air Commandos from various specialties, and some local community leaders, attended the event.

"As we celebrate today, what I would ask is to take a moment to reflect on the amazing contributions of all Airmen, regardless of their background, but particularly of those of Black or African American descent, to think about what it is that they're contributing to every day," Bergin said to the audience. "You are all sacrificing on behalf of this nation, and for that I am exceptionally grateful."

The event was organized by Capt. Ronson Smith, 12th Special Operations Squadron Remotely Piloted Aircraft pilot and 27th SOW Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility advisor. For Smith, this initial proclamation signing opened the door for future cultural observance events.

“This event shows all of our Cannon teammates that each of us is a valued team member,” Smith said. “We need each other to be the best we can be if we are to continue holding the Steadfast Line. I hope this event can inspire others to celebrate each other’s personal and cultural backgrounds.”

African American/Black History Month provides an opportunity for Air Commandos, civilians and families to learn more about the storied heritage of African American and Black service members throughout military history, as well as where disparities may exist and how they can be addressed, mitigated and ultimately removed.

The strength of the Steadfast Line lies in the diversity of its background and experiences, enabling it to tackle problem sets with a range of unique perspectives sourced from every community across the United States. The 27th SOW’s Air Commandos are Air Force Special Operations Command’s competitive edge, and their perspectives and inputs are the defining factors behind its continued success as a high-performing unconventional force.

“Once we recognize that what we all have in common is that we are all different, we can ensure that those teammates we work with on a day-to-day basis are not just treated with dignity and respect, but that they are also valued for who they are as an individual,” Smith said. “I would encourage everyone to ask themselves, ‘What am I not seeing?’ or ‘What would make my team better?’”

Air Commandos interested in 27th SOW DEIA initiatives can contact DEIA advisors Capt. Ronson Smith or MSgt Patrick Bailey, or the Installation Barrier Analysis Working Groups, including the Women’s Initiative Team, LGBTQIA+ Initiative Team, and Black/African American Employment Strategy Team. Some opportunities include project officer positions to plan and execute future special observances, or becoming a point of contact within a unit for DEIA.