Surgeon General emphasizes step up, step out impact

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Stepping up and stepping out was the message given by the U.S. Air Force and Space Force surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg, when she spoke at the Columbus Women’s History Month luncheon, Mar. 12, 2021, hosted by Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.

Hogg visited Columbus AFB to share her experiences throughout her career and to emphasize the important contributions women have made in the military.

Hogg’s love for helping women is what inspired her to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in the U.S. Air Force.

“Often times some of the female patients complaints and issues sort of get marginalized,” said Hogg. “I thought being a woman myself and the love I have for delivering babies and taking care of new moms made this the perfect fit for me.”

Hogg said that an obstacle she has faced being a NP in the military is that sometimes they are not seen as military, they are seen as being special.

“It is not that we are special, but that we are just different and that is ok,” said Hogg.

The surgeon general had the same response to many inquires such as, others seeing the Space Force as special or women being opened up to more possibilities as diversity and inclusion soars through the Air Force.

“It feels very empowering when we are seen together,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Dawn Kolczynski, medical enlisted force chief. “It is an awesome experience and I have learned so much from Hogg.”

Hogg said she did not bring Kolczynski to the team because she was a woman, but because she had the capabilities that the job required.

“Regardless of gender, what matters to me is if you have the capabilities to handle the job,” said Hogg. “If you do then the other factors should not matter.”

Being both the surgeon general of the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Space Force, Hogg holds the great responsibilities of change and advancement in the medical field.

“The impact I hope to bring is to step up and step out,” said Hogg. “If you see or experience something that is inappropriate or offends you or someone else, do not be afraid to step up and say something.”

Hogg said she encourages those who are on the fence about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to trust the medical advice that is being given to them by professionals.

“I know it is a scary thing,” said Hogg. “Instead of focusing on the vaccine being produced in such a short time, we should focus on how much we have advanced.”