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LGBT Pride part of diversity that strengthens force

President Barack Obama declared June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, and the Defense Department is highlighting the importance of leadership as it celebrates the achievements and sacrifices of LGB service members and LGBT civilians. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)

President Barack Obama declared June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, and the Defense Department is highlighting the importance of leadership as it celebrates the achievements and sacrifices of LGB service members and LGBT civilians. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – June is LGBT Pride Month, a designation President Barack Obama designated in June 2009, to commemorate the achievements in human rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

Sheppard Air Force Base, led by the 82nd Training Wing Equal Opportunity Office, will recognize members of the LGBT community this month who are making positive contributions to the training mission here, applying their expertise and diversity to “Train, Develop and Inspire Warriors.”

The observance began under President Bill Clinton in June 2000 in recognition of the Stonewall Inn Riot in Manhattan, New York, that took place in June 1969 when demonstrations and conflicts between police and the LGBT community lasted six days. The modern LGBT civil rights movement attributes their beginning to that incident.

The Air Force has long sought to be a diverse and inclusive force that draws the top talent from all communities and encourage Airmen to fully engage their talents and skills to help the Air Force be successful when facing many of the complex challenges that exist today. When being more diverse and inclusive, the force is more agile, innovative and effective.

By including all communities and cultures in a diverse force, the Air Force ensures a positive workplace that cultivates innovation is being created, builds support of those who identify with the United States and drawing more talent for service to the Air Force and the country. Members of the LGBT community – military and civilian – have undoubtedly contributed to the success of the Air Force as well as contributed to national security over the years.