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  • A first sergeant's pride

    It was about 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2016, when I decided to get up from behind my desk and do something for my maintainers. It was a chilly day, so I figured hey, why not bring them something to keep them warm on this very cold morning. I grabbed some hand warmers to hand out to them while they were out on the flight-line working in what I
  • Analyzing failure, realizing success

    The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Air Force, Defense Department or the U.S. Government."We have an issue. I'll call him in and figure out why he failed to..." said the supervisor who walked into my office that sunny day."Stop," I said, "find out the
  • Finding strength, resiliency through Air Force family

    I joined the military to provide for my family, but I never would have expected the challenges my family would face and how we would evolve.When I enlisted in the Air Force I joined another family without intent. This family has been with me ever since, especially during my family's darkest tragedy.FamilyAfter completing basic military training and
  • Staying safe, remaining vigilant

    If you've been watching the news lately, you've undoubtedly seen the tragic results of terrorism in Paris and other parts of the world; and you may have even heard about threats in the U.S.Should all of this concern us? Sure, to an extent. While running around scared there's a terrorist hiding behind every door or shrub is obviously extreme and
  • WWII WestPoint grad's perspective on terrorism, ISIL

    With the last surviving members of World War II averaging in their mid-nineties, I often wonder what thoughts these heroes may have about the evolution of war since the 1940s and the rise in terrorism.In the 70 years since WWII, America has fought in multiple wars and operations. It's safe to say that technology has significantly influenced war,
  • Exercise Ultimate Reach up close

    I have been part of the Air Force for five years, and I've seen numerous C-17 Globemaster III's in the air or heard them while spending time with my family. However, I never really thought about where the plane was heading or what was inside.After experiencing exercise Ultimate Reach 16-1 and traveling half-way around the world to airdrop the
  • What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

    As a young smart aleck, when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my favorite response was, "A firetruck." I enjoyed the reactions I would get from that answer. Despite that joking response, I recognized the importance of the question and how much the answer could influence the direction of my life. Periodically, I think we all
  • A view of the world

    Prior to entering U.S. Air Force basic training in July 1985, my view of the world consisted of my hometown family, friends and the local environment.  Since I came from a rural community, my view of the world was very small.  This is understandable since I was surrounded by people who had the same beliefs and were brought up in a similar
  • The path to resiliency

    My personal story of resiliency started growing up in Bogota, Colombia where I learned that integrity pays off. During this time, I survived illegal drug cartel violence that killed thousands of Colombians each year. I am thankful I grew up during these difficult times, because I know that these experiences prepared me not only to survive, but to
  • Focus on PEOPLE - not promotion

    The new U.S. Air Force promotion and stratification process is a hot topic concerning our Airmen. When addressing recent chief's and shirt's panels, I have found it best to emphasize and encourage our Airmen to establish and follow a proven leadership philosophy. Too often our Airmen are focusing on the end result or the next promotion and not the
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