The advice Anthony “Tony” Crutchfield’s father passed on to him was straightforward: Work hard. Don’t ever make others look bad so you can look good. Never be a victim.

These words have served Crutchfield well in two careers with significant leadership roles: first in the U.S. Army, where he attained the rank of lieutenant general, and now at Boeing.

Today, Tony is taking what he learned and paying it forward. As the Boeing vice president of Army Systems and the executive focal for the United States Military Academy at West Point, Tony is helping racial and ethnic minorities see themselves in top leadership and highly technical positions. As Boeing’s representative, he is responsible for leading the development and execution of a strategic campus plan with West Point, which includes STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and diversity outreach programs.

“It’s important for me to show young people that someone who looks like them is successful and that they, too, are capable of the same thing,” Tony said. “For men and women who are just starting to think about their careers, sometimes they just need an example of what is possible.”

For more than a decade, Boeing has partnered with the United States Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy to support the development of leaders with character and engineering excellence. It’s called the Boeing Service Academy Initiative and BDS President and CEO Leanne Caret is its executive champion. In this role, she provides advocacy, funding and support for its programs and represents Boeing by participating in a number of academy events and engaging in conversations about diversity and inclusion, ethics, leadership, and character.

“We know that diversity makes us stronger, but fostering a diverse workforce doesn’t happen by chance,” Caret said. “It requires conscious decisions and sustained actions in areas like recruitment, retention and development. That’s why I am incredibly proud of our longstanding partnership with our military customers to remove barriers and create career pathways for underrepresented groups through the Boeing Service Academy Initiative. High-impact programs like this are absolutely critical to ensuring equitable access to STEM education and STEM careers.”

Added Tony: “It’s crucial to bring people in that think and look differently from ourselves. These types of programs allow us to have touch points along the way so we’re able to make a difference in our company and in our country.”

Since 2010, Boeing has invested more than $2 million with each of the three academies in support of three priority areas: ethics and leadership training, STEM education and diversity outreach, and project-based learning. Additionally, more than 1,000 Service Academy graduates from West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy are continuing their service with Boeing.