AFRL Chief Technology Officer holds open forum for junior workforce

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE -- Dr. Morley Stone, the Air Force Research Laboratory's Chief Technology Officer, met with the junior workforce on March 23 to thank them for their support in delivering advanced technology solutions to Air Force warfighters and to field questions from the audience.

Throughout the open forum event, part of a senior leader lunch and learn series organized by AFRL's Junior Force Council, Dr. Stone emphasized the importance of people being the core of the lab and the asset behind Air Force technology.

He highlighted the new AFRL human capital strategy and said it will help the organization maintain its chief investment.

Dr. Stone responded to many questions on topics including potential career paths for scientists and engineers within the organization, career-broadening opportunities, and the value of recruitment, development, and retention of a highly skilled workforce.

He encouraged the junior scientists and engineers to focus energy on performing to the best of their ability in their current position and to seek mentors as part of their career guidance plan.

"You need to work in an area you love and let that passion come through," he said. "Let your work speak for itself, and all of the other things will follow."

Dr. Christopher Tabor, Communications Officer for the Junior Force Council in AFRL's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, said the event provided an excellent opportunity for junior force members to ask questions pertinent to their own personal experiences and concerns regarding their career development.

"His comments were helpful in encouraging a younger workforce not to shy away from change but instead to work to become adaptable," he added. "By drawing from his own experience, the emphasis he placed on the uniqueness of each person's track was helpful to remove the illusion of only one or two rigidly-defined career paths."

AFRL's Junior Force Council promotes the development of future Air Force leaders and fosters communication with senior leadership through several mediums including meetings, tours, and presentations.

Dr. Stone began his AFRL career in 1992 as a materials research engineer in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate and held many leadership positions within the organization, including Chief Scientist of the 711th Human Performance Wing. He is now the primary science and technology adviser to the AFRL commander, assisting with the planning and execution of the organization's S&T program.

AFRL is the Air Force's only organization wholly dedicated to leading the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies for its air, space, and cyberspace forces.