"Our military leaders should reflect the face of America."

Years ago, 4 ambitious young Latinos from various corners of America arrived at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.  Their mission?  To become officers in the Air Force and serve their country.  Each left their mark during long and distinguished journeys of selfless service and sacrifice, from combat tours in Iraq & Afghanistan to making aviation history.  After completing a combined century of service, this group has rejoined once again to form the Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance (HVLA), formerly CASABA Group. HVLA believes when our Armed Forces are strong, America is strong.  Yet, HVLA knows firsthand how the military has struggled to adapt to the changing face of America.  This is HVLA’s culminating mission--to help ensure the Armed Forces, especially senior leadership, reflects the face of America and fully leverages its greatest strength--our people. Most recently, we have expanded our ranks and continue to search for veterans from across all services who are equally committed to the cause.

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The Honorable Alfred A. Sandoval, Lt Col, US Air Force Reserve (ret)

- Academy prep-school grad and award-winning Air Force Academy Liaison Officer

- Completed service as a Lt Colonel, Air Force Reserve

- Chairman, Air Force Academy Diversity Advisory Panel

- Chairman, Air Force Academy Board of Visitors (Presidential Appointee, nominated by the Speaker of the House, and the longest serving chairman in history)

- Entrepreneur, managing partner of an investment group, and business owner

- Community leader and expert political consultant


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Raul Cisneros

, US Air Force Academy Class of 1986

- Panamanian exchange cadet

- Air Force Academy Honor Guard, graduated with military distinction

- Public relations and marketing expert

- California Assistant State Treasurer

- Director of Communications, US Small Business Administration

- Led the 2010 US Census Advertising Campaign

- Public sector senior executive, Department of Commerce Gold Medal


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Col Eddie Cabrera, US Air Force (ret)

- F-16 fighter pilot, completed active-duty service as a Colonel

- F-22 Raptor Squadron Commander and Joint Strike Fighter X-32 experimental test pilot (National Collier Trophy winner)

- Sole Air Force pilot in aviation history to fly both the X-32 and F-22 Raptor

- Operation Iraqi Freedom; multiple Afghanistan deployments; Chief, Combat Operations for the famed 8th Fighter Wing Wolfpack - Kunsan, South Korea

- Lockheed Martin Skunk Works test pilot & Senior Program Manager for a national security program

- NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Program Manager


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Maj Gen Abel Barrientes, US Air Force (ret)

- Completed service in the Air Force Reserve as a Major General

- T-39 and C-21 pilot, C-5 strategic airlift pilot

- Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)

- Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Commander of Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

- Commanded at the squadron, wing and numbered Air Force level

- Senior military advisor to the Iraqi Air Force

- Over 15,000 total flight hours, highly experienced Captain for a major commercial airline


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Col Jim Saenz, US Army (ret)

- U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets)

- 30-year combat and disabled veteran

- Command experience includes two ODAs (A-Teams), a Special Forces company, the full accounting mission in Vietnam, and the largest overseas garrison in Germany

- Operational experience includes Desert Storm, numerous counternarcotics missions, several disaster relief efforts, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and multiple counterterrorism activities

- Senior Operations Advisor to the COO at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro)

US Military Academy, West Point, NY

US Military Academy, West Point, NY