Leading with Kindness and Compassion with Brigadier General Jimmy Canlas

When taking a stand against racial injustice, the world will always need leaders that continue to lead with kindness and compassion. In this episode, I interview the Commander, 618th Air Operations Center, Brigadier General Jimmy “Vegas” Canlas. We talk about creating space to have difficult conversations that can empower people towards meaningful change, some of the best and worst advice he’s heard, and how he has maintained his personal and family values while ascending the ranks.


Brigadier General Jimmy R. Canlas is the Commander, 618th Air Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center), Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The 618th AOC (TACC) is responsible for operational planning, scheduling, directing, and assessing a fleet of approximately 1,100 aircraft in support of combat delivery and strategic airlift, air refueling, and aeromedical operations around the world.

General Canlas was commissioned in 1992 as a distinguished graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He earned his pilot wings in 1994 and has commanded an airlift squadron, an expeditionary group, and an airlift wing. He is a joint qualified officer having served with the United Nations Command in Korea and on the U.S. European Command (J-4) staff in Germany. Other staff tours include time at Headquarters Air Mobility Command and Headquarters Air Force. Prior to his current position, he served as the Vice Commander of the 618th AOC.

General Canlas is a command pilot with more than 4,400 hours in the C-21A, KC-135R and C-17A.