Defenders to host DEIA mentorship event

  • Published
  • By Lauren Russell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. –66th Security Forces Squadron officials will host a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility mentorship event at the Minuteman Commons here March 30 at 2 p.m. with a virtual attendance option.

Featured speakers will be Chief Master Sgts. Michael Sylvester and Syreeta Seamon-Sylvester, who are currently serving together at Osan Air Base, South Korea. The event is open to all members of the Hanscom community.

The Sylvesters will share their individual experiences as Airmen, as well as their combined experiences as an interracial couple serving on active duty.

“They have both made it to the same level professionally, but how they got there is very different,” said Chief Master Sgt. Justin Geers, 66 SFS manager and organizer for the event. “I felt this would be a great mentorship opportunity to share with our Hanscom Warhawks.”

Geers added the topics will be “raw and candid” as the speakers will address how their personal backgrounds and obstacles have impacted their respective leadership styles and how they problem-solve.

“Some assume that if an Airman is a defender then they must think like a defender, but I have 139 Airmen with 139 perspectives, backgrounds and histories,” he said. “We should all be open to listening and learning about other people’s backgrounds, and appreciate where they came from and what they bring to the fight.”

Hanscom’s senior enlisted defender hopes the mentorship event will inspire attendee self-reflection and productive workplace conversations.

“This event will certainly expose us all to something different, and I would love for attendees to bring something back to their wingmen,” said Geers.

Individuals can attend the event in person or via Zoom at