Air Force

January 17, 2014

New SecAF to Airmen: With change comes opportunity

Tags:
Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Operating Location - P

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James talks to a gathering of uniformed and civilian Airmen during her first town hall meeting as the Air Force’s senior most civilian leader Jan. 9, 2014, in the Pentagon auditorium, Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama nominated James to be the top Air Force civilian in August 2013 and she was sworn in as the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force on Dec. 20, 2013.

WASHINGTON – The Air Forces most senior leader gave insight into her life and shared career advice with Airmen across the Air Force during her first town hall Jan. 9.
Speaking from the Pentagon auditorium, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James spoke about her 32 years of defense experience, passing on lessons shes learned, and encouraging Airmen to view challenges as opportunities.

James, who grew up along the New Jersey shore, originally came to Washington D.C. with her lifelong dream of becoming a diplomat for the State Department.

But that dream job never happened.

I prepared all these years, and now the dream was busted, James said. boy, was it devastating.

With a signed lease, James had to stay in the city and figure out a way to move on with her career.

You have to pull up your socks and get on with it, James said. That was when my dream shifted. I had to zig-zag in life.

In 1981, James began her career in the field of defense.

Now, more than three decades later, that is where I have spent my professional life, James said of her experience, which includes everything from working for the Department of Defense to a related private sector industry.

James said her swearing in as the Air Forces 23rd secretary is the culmination of that period, noting that not receiving what she thought was her dream job may have been a blessing in disguise.

James offered her story as an opportunity to talk to Airmen about how they approach their own career challenges today, particularly in the face of significant personnel cuts, forcing many to reconsider career opportunities.

The projections are up to 25,000 reductions in personnel and hundreds of aircraft will come down as well, James said.

With these cuts, James encourages commanders and supervisors to go make the first move, and help their Airmen.

Reach out to them, go on the offense, and give them some advice, said James, who encouraged mentorship throughout her address.

A theme in James short tenure as secretary has been opportunity. Opportunity is what set James on the path of working for the Department of Defense.

One door closes, another door opens, James said.

For Airmen who are looking to retire early or separate, or are worried they may be selected for involuntary separation, James encourages them to be proactive in their career, and to own it.

If you dont have enough information about your specialty and what is likely to happen in your career field, go on the offensive and ask questions until you get answers, James said.

Although budget uncertainty means the numbers remain fluid right now, James pledged that senior leaders will strive to be as open with information as possible. Her goal is to disclose as much information as possible, as quickly as possible.

Were going to be transparent, James said. Thats our job. And get you as much information as possible so you can make those career decisions.

James, who was formally sworn in Dec. 20, 2013, implores Airmen to own their careers, whether thats as a member of the Air Force, or outside of the service.

Manage your own career and take the reins so you can make a good judgment and proceed in your career, James said. Seize the opportunity. Dont be afraid of the opportunity. Youll be better off for it.




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


 
 

 

New allotment rule protects troops from lending scams

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed a policy change in new paycheck allotments to prevent unscrupulous commercial lenders from taking advantage of troops and their families, Pentagon officials said Nov. 21. According to a Defense Department news release, effective Jan. 1, 2015, the change in DOD’s financial management regulation will prohibit service members from allotting...
 
 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would separate. Line of...
 
 

AF to implement DOD TDY policy changes

The Defense Department recently implemented two TDY policy changes impacting travel reimbursements for Airmen. The first change took effect Oct. 1, and made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations, Reimbursable and Incidental Expense Policy. The second will be a change in long-term TDY per diem expenses and takes effect Nov. 1. Referencing the new policy...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Sarah Corrice

AF tests first all-electric vehicle fleet in California

Air Force photograph by Sarah Corrice Miranda Ballentine greets vendors during the unveiling of the first federal facility to replace its entire general-purpose fleet with plug-in electric vehicles Nov. 14, 2014, at Los Angeles...
 
 
aadd

Airmen Against Drunk Driving volunteer opportunities

Would you like to be a good wingman over the month of December? Assist in helping the Airman Against Drunk DrivingProgram accomplish the goal of having ZERO DUIs for Edwards AFB. AADD is extending abase-wide invitationfor volun...
 
 
Untitled-1

Edwards flight test community prepares for federal spectrum auction

Air Force graphic As flight vehicles increase in complexity, so does their data requirements. This graphic of a typical aircraft displays the integrated sensors and avionics system with major components showing how each compone...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>