NEWS | Nov. 10, 2021

Women Veterans ROCK! recognize JBAB all-female command team

By Staff Sgt. Kayla White Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Public Affairs

The Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and 11th Wing command team received recognition for their role as inspirational women leaders by a women veterans advocacy group Nov. 7 at the National Guard Museum in Washington.  

Women Veterans ROCK!, a coalition of women veteran and women advocacy organizations, hosted a Women in Legendary Leadership luncheon to kick off Women Veterans Appreciation Week. During the event, the coalition recognized the Col. Cat Logan, JBAB and 11th Wing commander, and Col. Erica Rabe, JBAB and 11th Wing vice commander. Together with Chief Master Sgt. Christy Peterson, JBAB senior enlisted leader and 11th Wing command chief, Logan and Rabe are the first all-female command team at JBAB and one of the first in the Air Force.

“It’s humbling to be surrounded by so many fantastic organizations that support and advocate for women,” said Logan. “It is inspiring to hear the stories of these dedicated trailblazers who have broken down so many barriers, allowing women in our communities and within our ranks to have the opportunities they have today.”

One of the honored awardees who spoke at the event included retired Army Maj. Gen. Linda Singh, who served more nearly four decades and became the first black person and the first woman to serve as the adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard in January 2015.

“I got this amazing chance to serve for 38 years,” said Singh during her speech. “I came in at 17 years old as a homeless high school dropout. The military can lead you places you never thought you could go. If I can do it, you can do it.”

The Air Force has made significant strides in recent years to focus on diversity and inclusion to build a stronger, more cohesive force. In December 2020, the Department of the Air Force released an initial report on the Air Force Inspector General’s independent review into racial disparity. A subsequent review released in September 2021 evaluated both gender and ethnicity. The service has initiated root cause analyses into the findings from both reviews.

Locally at JBAB, service members and civilians took part in grassroots efforts to better understand biases with gender and race. These actions are a significant step in fostering inclusivity to motivate and inspire all Airmen and prospective Airmen.

Like Singh, all three command team members have decades of service in the Air Force. Logan, a 22-year personnel officer, has tactical and command experience from the squadron, group, joint and Pentagon levels. Rabe has held similar assignments also as a personnel officer. Peterson has more than 25 years of service experience also serving in both tactical, advisory and leadership roles around the world.

While each has their own unique story and perspectives, they all agree that they are in an incredible position to be able to inspire currently serving and future generations of leaders from all walks of life.

“At the end of the day, while it is important to have this recognition, it is less about us and more about showing the younger generation what they can do,” said Rabe. “When I was a young lieutenant, I had a female lieutenant colonel squadron commander. When I saw her in that position, I knew what was possible and what I wanted to accomplish.”

Members of the Junior ROTC program at Bell Multicultural High School in D.C. helped facilitate the event as ushers and during the Presentation of the Colors at the beginning of the luncheon.

Retired Marine Corps Maj. Luke Wright, their lead instructor, emphasized the impact of the event.

“You don’t know the depth, the height … the width of your impact,” he said, gesturing with his hands to the JBAB command team members on stage. “I highly encourage your continued involvement in our communities. My students are so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet you all.”