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.


 
 

 

News Briefs July 18, 2014

Express fuel pumps to shut down July 21 & 22 The AAFES Express gasoline station will undergo vapor testing next week, which requires the pumps to be turned off to complete the process.†The fuel pumps will be shut down 8-11 a.m., July 21, and 7 a.m.-1 p.m., July 22. For more information, call (661) 258-1078,...
 
 

Exchange celebrates 119 years with 5 percent MILITARY STAR card discount

July 25, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service marks a historic milestone, celebrating 119 years of serving Soldiers, Airmen and their families. July 25, 1895, General Order No. 46 established the exchange on military installations, directing post commanders to set up an exchange at every post. Since then, the Exchange has supported U.S. troops...
 
 

Focus on deliberate self-development

I am an American Airman. I am a warrior. I have answered my nation’s call. These words should resonate with each of us who have the honor and privilege of wearing the uniform. Each time I recite our creed, I feel a sense of pride. I hope every Airman reading this shares my sentiment. Each...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Edwards says goodbye to Weavers

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Outgoing commander of the 412th Maintenance Group, Col. Robby Weaver (right) receives his retirement pin from his wife Susan during Weaverís retirement ceremony July 10. Weaver and his wif...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Got a ticket? What now?

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber 412th Security Forces Squadron defenders pull over a vehicle for speeding. Many drivers have experienced the sinking feeling that accompanies the flashing lights and siren of a police vehic...
 
 

Annual duck blind drawing set for Aug. 9

Waterfowl hunters can participate in the annual duck blind drawing scheduled for Aug. 9 at the Rod and Gun Activity, Bldg. 210. Base hunting permits may be submitted to drawing officials from 9 a.m. until the actual drawing begins, which will be at approximately 10 a.m. Duck blind reservations are required for all base affiliated...
 




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>