Commentary

December 5, 2013

A 10 year decision

Tags:
Commentary by Airman 1st Class C. Massey
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Commentary_pict
Airman 1st Class Chris Massey holds his son, Mason, while hugging his wife, Sarah after an Air Force basic military training graduation at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, Feb. 28, 2013. Massey arrived at BMT 26 days before his 28th birthday and believes that age doesn’t define a person, rank or position because everyone who has joined the military committed to serve our country.

When most people decide to join the military, it’s usually right after high school. They don’t seriously consider joining active duty military at 27 years of age.

As someone who arrived at basic military training 26 days before his 28th birthday, I know all too well that there are reasons for joining ten years later than most.

When I was 17, I visited U.S. Army and Air Force recruiters. Quickly, I decided on the Air Force, as my grandfather, stepfather and cousin had done before me, with my parents’ blessing.

I proceeded to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and scored well enough to impress the recruiter. All that was left was signing my name and swearing in.

I had a moment of doubt that made me question whether or not I was ready. “Why was I joining? What have I done with my life up to this point? What are my other options? Am I ready for this commitment?” I asked myself these questions over and over.

The doubt was too much to ignore so I called the disappointed recruiter to tell him that I had changed my mind.

As each year passed, I wondered, “What if I had joined?” and “Is now the time?”

Over the next 10 years, I married the love of my life and had a healthy baby boy. I had been working the same job for eight years with no chance of advancement and my options in the job market without a degree seemed bleak.

At 27-years old, I had to wonder if it was too late.

I contacted the local recruiter and the first question I asked him about was the age limit for joining active duty. Upon hearing that I only had four months left on the clock, I knew I had a decision to make. It was now or never.

I chose now.

Now 11 months into my military career, I am a 28-year-old airman first class, making me as much as 10 years older than my peers. This will remain a fact for the rest of my military career.

In my opinion, age does not define a person, rank or position because all of us committed to serve our country. We were all taught the same core values and are held to the same standards.

The extra years of personal life experience should be an advantage for me because I feel like I may be better prepared to handle many different situations.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Military life: Separated, but not alone

  MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about is how am I...
 
 

CCAF offers jump on education

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA — The Community College of the Air Force was established in 1972 to recognize academic achievements for technical training by Air Force schools. It awards an associate in applied science degree to enlisted members of the active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command who have completed the course...
 
 

AF promotion system: How do you stack up?

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA — With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well. The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are...
 

 

AF Study: Why Airmen remain in the Service

Southwest Asia — U.S. Air Force senior leaders are witnessing elevated retention rates due to military members remaining in the service beyond their initial service commitment.  The increase in retention rates produces challenges to enact the congressionally-mandated force reductions, which creates budget dilemmas. By understanding the military members’ motives, budget decision maker...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Run to the Sound of the Guns…Be a Servant Leader

Many of us have seen the best and worst in leadership throughout the course of our careers as Airmen. Usually we can think of two names, one good and one bad, that personify each bound of the leadership spectrum. This reality l...
 
 

Staying safe during flash flood season

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  — July is here with high temperatures and a high chance of flash flooding. The months with the highest probability for thunderstorms are July through September. Las Vegas’ annual rainfall is approximately 4.13 inches, and while this may not seem like a lot of rain, the elevation of Las Vegas makes a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>