Diversity and the Air Force
By Airman 1st Class Melody Wolff, 319th Air Base Wing, Public Affairs
/ Published July 31, 2018
GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
The Air Force prides itself in its diversity. Many service members come from all parts of the world and share a common goal of protecting America’s freedom. The AF gives service members an opportunity to provide for their families, further their education, travel and have new experiences.
Airman Junjhyun Lee, a 319th Comptroller Squadron debt management apprentice, joined the military for better opportunities and new experiences.
Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, and lived there for 18 years. Lee said he moved to the United States in 2015.
Although he did not move to the United States until he was a teenager, he was already fluent in speaking English.
“Learning English is a mandatory second language in Korea,” said Lee.
Coming from a different country, Lee sought out the best opportunities possible. Lee decided to join the United States Air Force.
“Joining the military opens you up to so many opportunities to learn about the American culture,” said Lee. “There are so many benefits to joining as well, such as education and health benefits.”
Not only has the AF given Lee many new experiences and opportunities, it also gave him the chance to become a US citizen.
Although Lee was able to come to the US legally, he obtained his citizenship through basic military training.
“I had an interview on American history questions to get my citizenship,” said Lee.
Coming from a different country can make it challenging to learn how to work with people from different cultures, however, Lee has been excelling in his job and as an Airman.
"Airman Lee has been a phenomenal asset to our team, who is a very hard worker and is always willing to learn more about our mission,” said Tech Sgt. Marcus Ayala, 319th Comptroller Squadron financial services flight chief. “One of the best things about being in the Air Force is that it is a true melting pot of people with different backgrounds and cultures, and it has been a pleasure to be able to share that experience with Airman Lee."
Lee said his plans are to try and pursue school after his enlistment is over.
Because of the experiences and opportunities provided to Lee from the military, he was able to learn to work with others from different cultural backgrounds and practice open mindedness to different perspectives. Service members like Lee are what makes our AF so diverse, and diversity is a force multiplier in mission success.
This is part two of a three-part series.