On the 11th episode of the LaaD Podcast, we talk with two officers who refuse to let their rank (or lack of) stand in the way of making a positive impact throughout the Air Force. In February 2018, Captain Lewis and 1st Lieutenant Hines successfully launched the Higher Level Leadership Conference, where their mission is to mold military and civilian minorities into highly influential leaders dedicated to unifying, educating, and empowering generations.

Captain Russell A. Lewis is a native of Harrisville, Mississippi, and a 2015 graduate of Jackson State University, where he earned his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and began his career as a Force Support Officer at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. As a Force Support Officer for the 81st Force Support Squadron at Keesler, he commanded the Military Personnel Flight where he led 40 military and civilian members. Capt. Lewis also led the Sustainment Services Flight, which consisted of 25 facilities, 400 personnel, and he executed a $21 million budget. Lt Lewis deployed to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Dhafra Air Base, U.A.E., in 2018 as an Executive Officer for the 380th Maintenance Group. 

EDUCATION – Bachelor and Master of Social Work, Jackson State University 

1st Lieutenant Jared I. Hines is a a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a 2016 graduate of The University of South Carolina, where he earned his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and is currently continuing his career as a contracting officer in San Diego, CA. With three years of Active Duty service, Lt. Hines holds a Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level I, and is responsible for the administration and execution of 426 contracts portfolio totaling over $22.5 billion in contract value. He manages a contracts team that executes a workload consisting of two ACAT 1C Programs (MQ1C Gray Eagle and MQ-9 Reaper) in various life cycle stages ranging from Research and Development (R&D) through Full Rate Production. Additionally, he supports a robust Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program servicing over 14 countries worldwide.

EDUCATION – Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of South Carolina

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