Follow your gut; it usually points to your destiny

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla -- I've always heard people say, "Follow your gut instinct because it's probably right." For as long as I can remember, every time I was asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" the answer was different.
 
It seemed my dream job changed as often as the seasons and was probably as diverse. When I got to college I decided I should finally choose a career path and stick with it. It did not come as a surprise to me the Air Force was my "gut" choice because I knew the Air Force offered two things that were important to me. 

First, I wanted to be part of an organization I could be proud of. 

Second, I wanted to work with motivated people who understood the importance of their jobs. As I complete my first year as an Airman, I know I couldn't have chosen a greater profession. 

For 60 years the men and women of the United States Air Force have been taking to the sky, space and most recently cyberspace, to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States and its global interests. 

While our technology and tactics continue to evolve with the challenges we encounter, one thing remains constant. No matter how good our weapons or tactics are, the Airmen who make up the Air Force are our greatest asset. 

The men and women I have worked with this past year are the reason the United States has the greatest Air Force in the world.

I am in awe of the challenges they face on a daily basis and the way they adapt to complete the mission. Every day I feel very proud and humbled to be part of this magnificent team. 

Since becoming an independent service in 1947, the United States Air Force has brought a unique set of skills and resources to the table when it comes to defending America. 

In many conflicts the United States has been involved in, the Air Force has delivered air superiority over its enemies and provided a safer working environment for Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and all our Coalition partners on the ground.

Recently, the Global War on Terrorism has highlighted the diversity of roles Airmen play.

Today Airmen serve side-by-side with our sister services around the globe from escorting convoys and rebuilding infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan, to dropping humanitarian supplies over Southeast Asia and launching satellites into space. 

America's Airmen are highly trained professionals who serve wherever and whenever needed. 

While many of our roles have changed, one role remains constant--maintain air superiority. 

Every 90 seconds a tanker or transport plane takes off somewhere in the world delivering fuel, supplies, and troops quicker and safer than ever thought possible. 

Close-air support is called in on a regular basis to take out targets swiftly and efficiently, and support troops on the ground. 

This partnership between the services is becoming commonplace and today's Airmen are rising to the challenge and doing their part to defeat the enemies of the United States. 

In a recent visit to MacDill Air Force Base, Berlin Airlift veteran Col. (retired) Gail Halvorsen reflected on his memories in the cockpit and shared his thoughts on how despite the many changes the Air Force has experienced since he was serving, one thing remains the same, "Airmen and their attitudes," said Halvorsen. 

"They continue to exemplify integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do," he said. 

As one of the Air Force's newest Airmen, those words filled me with pride and proved to me my "gut feeling" was right...the Air Force is and always will be, everything I expected.