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Airmen Celebrate 5th Annual Diversity Event

The teen and youth dance troop from the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia demonstrates the Filipino-originated Tinikling Dance during “A Taste of McEntire” diversity day celebration at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Nov. 7, 2015. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh Pavelek/RELEASED)

The teen and youth dance troop from the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia demonstrates the Filipino-originated Tinikling Dance during “A Taste of McEntire” diversity day celebration at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Nov. 7, 2015. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh Pavelek/RELEASED)

The teen and youth dance troop from the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia demonstrates the Filipino-originated Tinikling Dance during “A Taste of McEntire” diversity day celebration at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Nov. 7, 2015. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh Pavelek/RELEASED)

The teen and youth dance troop from the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia demonstrates the Filipino-originated Tinikling Dance during “A Taste of McEntire” diversity day celebration at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Nov. 7, 2015. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh Pavelek/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sachet Ratulowski, a scheduler assigned to the 169th Maintenance Operations Flight, serves Creole cuisine to Airmen of the South Carolina Air National Guard during “A Taste of McEntire” diversity day celebration at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Nov. 7, 2015. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh Pavelek/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sachet Ratulowski, a scheduler assigned to the 169th Maintenance Operations Flight, serves Creole cuisine to Airmen of the South Carolina Air National Guard during “A Taste of McEntire” diversity day celebration at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Nov. 7, 2015. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh Pavelek/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Col. David Meyer (foreground), 169th Fighter Wing commander and Col. Scott Bridgers, the 169th Maintenance Group commander, learn the Tinikling Dance, a Filipino-originated dance the teen and youth dance troop from the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia performed at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Nov. 7, 2015, during the annual Diversity Day event in the base canteen. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh Pavelek/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Col. David Meyer (foreground), 169th Fighter Wing commander and Col. Scott Bridgers, the 169th Maintenance Group commander, learn the Tinikling Dance, a Filipino-originated dance the teen and youth dance troop from the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia performed at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Nov. 7, 2015, during the annual Diversity Day event in the base canteen. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh Pavelek/RELEASED)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE -- Airmen of the South Carolina National Guard joined together and celebrated cultural diversity here with "A Taste of McEntire" diversity event, Nov. 7.

Airmen gathered to share food and cultural awareness festivities which featured Native-American, Filipino and Creole cuisines.

"It is not about ethnicity," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sachet Ratulowski, a scheduler assigned to the 169th Maintenance Operations Flight and president of the 169th Fighter Wing's diversity council. "A Taste of McEntire is about celebrating diverse cultures coming together in the military to accomplish one mission."

The teen and youth dance troop from the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia demonstrated the Tinikling Dance, a coordinated dance performed by maneuvering around the striking and sliding of bamboo poles.  

"The food is completely different from my background and what I grew up with, and it is delicious," said Senior Airman Marcus Heyward, assigned to the 169th Security Forces Squadron. 

After tasting flavors from around the world, Col. David Meyer, the 169th Fighter Wing Commander, along with fellow Swamp Fox Airmen, tested their coordination and dancing abilities with the dance troop.  

McEntire's diversity day originated five years ago when Brig. Gen. Scott Williams, former 169th Fighter Wing Commander, and other Air Guard leaders, combined the celebrations of individual cultures held throughout the year into one single day of celebration.

To become a volunteer, or for more information about the Swamp Fox Diversity Council, please contact Ratulowski at 647-8367.