In 2015, the BEYA Stars and Stripes Committee nominated then Air Force major general Charles Q. Brown Jr. to receive the Stars and Stripes Award. Brown, center, was serving as director of operations, strategic and nuclear integrations headquarters, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army).

Gen. Brown has been coming to BEYA for years and is a regular participant at conference events and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentoring programs conducted at the annual conference. The general was recognized for outstanding performance during the 10th Annual BEYA Stars and Stripes recognition dinner held February 6, 2015.

Stars and Stripes awards recognize top-performing Black general and flag officers, and members of the federal Senior Executive Service. The Stars and Stripes dinner is held concurrently with the BEYA STEM conference.

In 2015, the Air Force served as the host of the BEYA Stars and Stripes recognition dinner, an event that recognizes top-performing Black military and civilian leaders in the United States armed forces.

At the 2015 Stars and Stripes award dinner, former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said the Tuskegee Airmen are a bridge. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American pilots in the U.S. military. They served as both fighter and bomber pilots during World War II.

As part of the Stars and Stripes event at the 2015 BEYA Conference, military leaders, both officer and civilian, participated in mentoring sessions with youth from in around the national capital area.

James said such interaction will for those youth serve as a bridge to their future. She asked those in the audience who had participated in the mentoring to continue to build the connections that link those who are successful with those who have the promise to be.

“Keep on making those connections, and keep on building those bridges. America needs you,” James said. “And if you are still in school, America needs you to keep working hard. We need Americans in the future who are grounded in science, technology, engineering and math, to continue building those bridges.

“For those of us who are more senior — America needs us too,” she continued. “We need to be individuals who are part of organizations that continue to connect and to become bridges that lead others to follow that path to excellence.”

Charles Quinton Brown Jr. was nominated to Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force on March 2, 2020 by President Donald Trump. On June 9, 2020, Brown was confirmed as the 22nd Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. He is scheduled to begin his four-year term on August 6, 2020.

As Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force,  he serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of 685,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general and other service chiefs function as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the President.

Brown’s active duty career began in 1984, when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. In 1994, Brown earned a master’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Brown has commanded a fighter squadron, the United States Air Force Weapons School, and two fighter wings. Prior to his current assignment, he served as director, operations, strategic deterrence, and nuclear integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe—Air Forces Africa, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He is a command pilot with more than 2,900 flying hours, including 130 combat hours.

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