OSI Det 531 showcases mission, inspires future female leaders

  • Published
  • By Thomas Brading
  • OSI Public Affairs

In a year marked by historic firsts for the Office of Special Investigations, the 2023 Women of Aviano expo highlighted the diverse opportunities for women by casting a light on over 50 Air Force career fields, including OSI. 

During the March 2023 expo, OSI Det. 531 interacted with over 300 attendees spanning all ages, careerfields and the base’s general population at their booth, which also displayed brochures and pictures of female Special Agents executing OSI's mission in the field.    

In addition to showing attendees OSI’s mission, Special Agents took it as an opportunity to lay out recruitment requirements and provide demonstrations. 

For example, Special Agents held an innovative activity by encouraging participants to write words of affirmation on a mirror, a gesture aimed at sparking motivation and aiding concentration toward life goals, they said.  

“The mirror provokes thought, self-reflection and an inspiration,” said Special Agent Veronica Caban de Garcia, OSI Det. 531 CI branch chief. “This exercise was used to simulate times when you might look in the mirror and have space to yourself.”

Unresolved stress through disruption of sleep and high blood pressure ultimately impacts our efficiently and judgement, she added. It requires much more discipline and tenacity to look for a positive mindset. It requires you to truly look in the mirror and give yourself love and appreciation. 

For example, by showcasing the mission, capabilities and contributions of the unit's females, Special Agents also demonstrated OSI’s integration with the 31st Fighter Wing community.

“OSI is a diverse organization, capitalizing in the many strengths of its community,” Caban de Garcia said. “Joining OSI is equally challenging as it is fulfilling.”

The expo follows closely on the heels of two landmark moments within OSI this year, including the recent appointment of Col. Amy S. Bumgarner as OSI’s first female commander, as well as Special Agent Pearl S. Mundt being named the agency's first female executive director. These milestones underpin OSI's future, a sentiment echoed at the expo.

“It is empowering to see how the use of a multidisciplinary approach increases awareness on the importance of women in all levels and in all roles,” Caban de Garcia said. “When women participate in law enforcement, it becomes more responsive to --and reflective of-- the community they serve, increasing operation effectiveness and enhancing community trust.”

OSI Det. 531 did an outstanding job representing OSI and facilitating discussions of external and internal factors which stimulates our mindset; impacting how we see ourselves and our interactions with others, providing a more human and positive side into the law enforcement career field,” she continued. “These concepts are necessary for creating a culture of trusted leadership and fellowship within our organization.”

Editor's Note: For those interested in learning more about the Office of Special Investigations and possible careers within the agency, please visit the official OSI website or contact your local OSI office.