AFTC honors Black History Month: Aubrey Harvey

  • Published
  • By Tiffany Holloway
  • Air Force Test Center

For the entire month of February, we will celebrate up-and-coming Black leaders within the Air Force Test Center. This week, we highlight Aubrey Harvey of the 96 Test Wing, during a question-and-answer session with Tiffany Holloway, AFTC public affairs director.

Tell me about yourself.

Well, I was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga. I am the fourth of five children and a 30-year retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant. I wanted to join the Air Force because I was taking flying lesson as part of the old Comprehensive Employment and Training Act program and my cousin had recently joined the Air Force. So, while home on leave he told me of all the opportunities the Air Force had to offer, being that I was taking flying lessons and enjoying it, and since the Air Force had planes; to me, it was a duh; little did I know!

What would you tell someone interested in joining the military?

The one thing that I would tell someone interested in joining the military is that the military offers you so many opportunities to grow as a person and as a professional, so be sure that joining is a win-win!

Where was your favorite duty station and why?

My favorite assignment I would say, was Japan because it allowed me to experience a culture rich in tradition and because my sons were old enough to experience it as well.

What is your career field at Eglin AFB, Fla.? What is your day job?

My career field is Force Support, which encompasses all the Quality-of-Life Services and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation type activities. Specifically, I am the Food Service Officer. 

What is involved? What are the challenges? What are the benefits?

As the foodservice officer, I am responsible for the care and feeding of the base population via two main dining facilities and a flightline kitchen operation. I am also the installation manager of the bases War Reserve Material Ration rations. These are rations that as the name implies are only used for real-world emergencies or contingencies. I have a team of over 100 military and civilian personnel spread out across the three previously mentioned facilities. I would say my biggest challenge is maintaining continuity in key positions due to the unit's high deployment requirement. As for benefits, well this is the one job that no organization can go without because it is essential to quality of life.          

What are people surprised to hear when you dive deep into being a Food Service Officer?

I would say what goes on behind the scenes and the impact the foodservice program has on mission success. For years, people overlooked the importance the food program played in mission success. It was not until Desert Shield/Storm that the U.S. Air Force realized that to sustain the energy needed to Fly, Fight and Win, takes proper nutrition and having a highly trained and agile force that can ensure you have the right foods, in the right amount, at the right time, in the right place.     

How do you manage all of the hats that you wear (jobs)?

Making time for everything is a challenge, but I maximize my Outlook calendar, and unbelievably, I can keep most of my tasks in my head.  As much as I can, I set aside a day for each of my duties.

If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?

If I were a super-hero, the power I would want most is the power to read minds; only as a means of strengthening my emotional intelligence. Because I believe having a keen sense of EI, enables me to bring out the best in people.

Thinking back to when you were in school, what black historical figure did you look up to and why?

Well, I grew up around Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. My grandmother lived two houses down and my aunt lived across the street from him.  My mother worked on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta where his father lived and where his church is located. I was also fortunate enough to live close to people such a Maynard Jackson, and Andrew Young. So, with that said I guess the answer would be all of them and the why should be obvious.     

What do you think about Maya Angelou as the first Black woman on a Quarter?

I think is a wonderful thing! I see more and more how it’s no longer a “man’s” world, and more women are taking the lead, so having a strong woman such as Maya Angelou on the quarter is not just ‘the change” which Sam Cooke saw coming, but a natural evolution. 

For more information on African Americans who served in the Air Force and its predecessor organizations, visit: