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Diversity Day 2018: Embracing heritage, traditions, beliefs

By Airman 1st Class Helena Owens | Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs | Aug. 14, 2018

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —

Whether it is by nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion or physical abilities, the world is full of a wide variety of people. Joint Base Charleston embraced this by celebrating Diversity Day Aug. 10, 2018, at the Chapel Annex.

Diversity Day had seven booths to visit, guest speakers, cultural specific food and ample time to converse with people from all over Joint Base Charleston.

“Our military is widespread,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Miller, 437th Aerial Port Squadron fleet services flight chief. “Everybody comes from different cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities and walks of life pushed together as one team, one fight.”

The United States military has changed in many ways, allowing it to become more diverse. At one point the military only allowed Caucasian men to serve their country, but now the military allows men and women of all backgrounds to serve.

“I think it is important to have diversity in today’s military,” said Senior Airman Federico Rodrigo, 437th Operations Support Squadron mission airlift specialist. “Especially for me being a man of mixed race, I think it’s great to be able to come together with people with differences of opinions, upbringings and experiences and still be able to accomplish the mission.”

In 1948, women were officially allowed to join the military. In 1948, segregation between white service members and black service members ended. In 2011, “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” was banned. These are only a few of many significant events the military has experienced to embrace diversity and equality.

“To be able to understand where the guy or gal next to me is from and what makes them who they are is very important,” said Miller. “A day like today opens the eyes of many people. We bring everyone together and allow people to get educated on different heritages and give them a chance to see how amazing our brothers and sisters in arms are.”