Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Keynote Speaker: Lt. Col "Gene" Carter -- Tuskegee Airmen

Just days after a brilliant speech by Dan Clark, Lt. Col "Gene" Carter gave a firsthand account of the history and events involving the Tuskegee Airmen.

A brief history of the times: Hitler invades Poland, 1939. Mussolini introduces "fascism." The Japanese invade Pearl Harbor--December 7th, 1941. America officially enters WWII.

During this unprecedented time in our history, amidst the hatred and racism at home, some young African American men accepted an opportunity to earn their pilots license and fly for the United States--they are the Tuskegee Airmen.

He gave an intelligent hour long speech about what it was really like as an African American pilot during that time, including the rigorous seven day a week, on-call training environment to prepare them for combat.

After the war stories and a couple short videos, he gave a few recommendations for young people: (especially those in the military)

-- Three key concepts for self-improvement: preparation, education, and professional development. They are all necessary and extremely applicable; take advantage of all opportunities to get better

-- Continue learning all the time--if you don't, you're going to get left behind

-- Give your subordinates opportunities and encourage those around you to get better

-- Nobody cares more about your career than you do; you control your own fate, so don't blame anyone else if things turn out different then you planned

-- Incredible challenges lie ahead for the U.S in the 21st century; the country needs leaders; don't be afraid to be one

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