Under Secretary Ortiz brings awareness of the LGBTQ community to the position
The Senate on July 22 unanimously confirmed Gina Ortiz Jones to be Under Secretary of the Air Force, clearing the way for the former Air Force intelligence officer to become the department’s second highest-ranking civilian leader.
President Joe Biden selected Jones for the post in April.
In explaining the basis for choosing Jones, the White House highlighted that she was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program while a student at Boston University and “has spent her career working to protect U.S. economic and national security.”
During her Air Force career, Jones served as an intelligence officer and deployed to Iraq with the 18th Air Support Operations Group, supporting close air support operations. Additionally, at a time when President Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin have made diversity and inclusion high priorities across the entire military, Jones brings insight to the effort as a member of the LGBTQ community who served under “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
After separating from active duty, Jones remained closely connected to efforts to ensure the nation’s security, advising on military operations in Central and South America with the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade and U.S. Army South. She joined the Defense Intelligence Agency as an inaugural member of U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, and served in the Libya Crisis Intelligence Cell.
With her confirmation accomplished, Jones will step into a position currently filled by Anthony Reardon, administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force who has been performing the duties of the under secretary of the Air Force since Feb. 2.
Jones served as the Democratic nominee for Texas’s 23rd Congressional District in 2018 and 2020. She has advanced degrees from Boston University, the University of Kansas, and the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies.