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G.O. Inspire: Commander visits hometown students

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jessica Kind
  • 343rd Recruiting Squadron

Lt. Gen. Scott L. Pleus, Seventh Air Force commander, visited several schools in the Twin Ports area, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as part of the General Officer (G.O.) Inspire program from March 7-9, 2022. 

The G.O. Inspire program rolled out in 2020 and is intended for the Air Force’s top leaders to engage with diverse youth groups and inspire them to become the Air Force’s next generation of Airmen. 

“I really appreciated the opportunity to visit with the students at these schools who all came from diverse backgrounds,” said Pleus. “We had some great questions and engagement within the groups.”

Pleus discussed leadership and what he uses to build a strong and successful team.

“Be credible, use common sense, and build trust with your teammates,” said Pleus.

Pleus is a native of the Twin Ports area having spent his childhood growing up there and going on to earn his Bachelors at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. 

“I have a lot of great memories in this area and walking the halls of these schools and talking with our next generation was very inspiring for me personally,” said Pleus. “We have some bright young minds out there.”


Local Air Force recruiters from the 343rd Recruiting Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Jay Arcega and Tech. Sgt. Matthew Goebel, coordinated four of Gen. Pleus’s school visits within their zone. 

“We really valued his visit and the chance for him to share his unique military experiences with potential future generations of Airmen,” said Goebel. “It was an added bonus that he was a native of the Duluth and Superior area because that helped the students connect with him on a more personal level.”

Pleus’s love of aviation first sparked his interest in the Air Force but he says the people he’s met in the Air Force have inspired him to stay and move up through the ranks. 

“Throughout my Air Force career I have had the opportunity to work with amazing people from all corners of the earth with diverse backgrounds,” said Pleus. “Every single Airman adds value to the team to get the mission done and it’s important we continue to build diverse and innovative teams in the Air Force.”

One of the schools visited was the Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College in Wisconsin. This was a significant visit because historically Indigenous Reservations have been difficult to access for U.S. Air Force recruiters.

Staff Sgt. Anastacia M. Rodriguez, an Aerospace Propulsion Craftsman, 6th Maintenance Squadron, and U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force INET (Indigenous Nations Equality Team) Spokeswoman, also came with Pleus to visit the school. 

Rodriguez is from the Ramah Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and has worked on several Air Force Diversity and Inclusion initiatives to include the historical change in women’s hair standards in 2020.

“Being able to influence positive changes in the Air Force so that it’s more inclusive for Indigenous people has been an incredibly rewarding experience,” said Rodriguez. “Anytime I have the opportunity to talk about my experiences in the Air Force with the local tribal community it is great, because I can possibly change the perspective of a future in the military.”

For more information on the Air Force, visit or contact your local Air Force recruiter.