Integration and diversity are crucial to moving the military forward in its strength, Air Force Master Sgt. Lisa Miller said, adding that, as such, today’s U.S. Air Force is an excellent career choice for women.

“We all come from different backgrounds, social experiments and family but with that brings a different skill set and a different perspective to the team,” she said.

Miller, who has served in the Air Force for more than 17 years, recently visited Bennett High School in Bennett, Colo., to share her experiences in the military and empower female student athletes to explore the opportunities and benefits that the Air Force has to offer.

“I decided to join the Air Force after not really wanting to go to college, but wanting to get out of my hometown and make something of myself,” Miller shared. “The Air Force has provided me with lifelong skills to use after I retire in a couple years, and free education. Not to mention the healthcare to take care of my family.”

While serving in the Air Force Miller has held various positions and has traveled the world. “Going from Southern Georgia to working in the White House to making sure high clearance individuals could complete their mission down range,” were all part of her Air Force experience, Miller said, adding that now she supports her squadrons and their families “with anything they need.”

Brian Schipper, principal of Bennett High School, said that Miller’s presentation, as part of a leadership program facilitated by DistrictWON, a U.S. Air Force partner for marketing and local engagement, was very beneficial for the students. He shared that he heard at least one student speak with Miller about college opportunities through the Air Force and how to pursue her chosen pathway through service.

“I feel the more recruiters can be in school the better,” Schipper said. “Female recruiters will be beneficial for female students as there will be an instant connection. Females need to know and understand there is a need for them in the Air Force, and all they can do while enlisted.”

Miller addressed the girls’ questions about military life and highlighted the work-life balance that she and her colleagues have experienced.

“You’ll receive exactly the same training, vocational development and promotion opportunities as your male colleagues,” Miller said. “Most Air Force jobs have regular hours, giving you plenty of opportunities to socialize, spend time with your family, play sports and make the most of the extensive fitness and leisure facilities on base. You’ll make friends for life, at work and at play, plus through amazing shared experiences such as supporting peacekeeping and disaster-relief missions.”

According to the 2022 Demographics Profile of the Military Community released by the U.S. Department of Defense, the percentage of active-duty military women has increased 2.9 percent while the women in the selected reserve has risen by 4.4 percent since 2005.

“The opportunities that exist in the Air Force for women are amazing. You could come in and do an enlistment if you’re not sure about it and come out with an Associate’s degree, many skillsets to use on the outside, lifelong friends, and an experience many of your friends would never be able to get,” Miller told the girls. “And if you want to keep going in your career in the Air Force, you can make your own way. This is your path and nobody can change the trajectory of your career but you!”