Air Force

July 25, 2014

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Tags:
Staff Sgt. TIMOTHY BOYER
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would be selected to join the Air Demonstration Team.

Millions of people witness the precision aerobatic performances of the Thunderbirds annually, but few ever get to be part of the team.

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, was selected to the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron and will be transferred to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where she will become a Thunderbird.

“I was in shock after I was notified I was selected for the position,” Seltmann said. “A couple months ago I was taking photos of the Thunderbirds at our air show, and now I will be part of that team. It was such a rush of emotions. I remember sitting in my car crying because I was overwhelmed with happiness.”

In August, Seltmann will join the more than 120 enlisted Thunderbirds from a broad spectrum of Air Force specialty codes.

“Staff Sergeant Seltmann was selected because her records showed that she had a great breadth of experience as a photojournalist,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Martinez, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron chief enlisted manager. “She will be doing the same job as she currently does at Luke, but with the added possibility of flying in the backseat of the F-16 Fighting Falcon to capture images.”

Seltmann was initially hesitant to apply for the position with the Thunderbirds.

“I really didn’t think it was possible for me because I have three children at home and my husband is also enlisted,” she said. “I contacted one of the team’s photojournalists to ask about the frequency of TDYs and such, and I found it wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

After conversations with her leadership and husband, Seltmann decided to apply.

“My husband always supports me and pushes me to be the best I can be,” she said. “I might not listen to him as often as I should, but he is one of the main reasons I’ve been successful.”

While the selection process is highly competitive, every Airman has the opportunity to apply to join the Thunderbirds.

“We have the awesome responsibility of representing more than 700,000 total force Airmen who make up the Air Force,” Martinez said. “The Thunderbirds are just ordinary Airmen executing an extraordinary mission.”

For those who may dream of being a Thunderbird but feel it is out of their reach, there is hope.

“I couldn’t help but think about how amazing it would be to be a Thunderbird,” Seltmann said. “I honestly didn’t have a clue if I stood a chance. I am glad I took the chance and applied.”
While those flying the jets are often the most visible members of the Thunderbirds, it takes a team to keep the demonstrations on track.

“I am a prime example as a photojournalist,” Seltmann said. “The Thunderbirds’ mission takes pilots, maintainers, schedulers and more. Just like the Air Force, every job is important to the mission. If you want to be part of the team, regardless of your career, apply. I got my dream job, and you could too.”

For more information on the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds visit www.afthunderbirds.com.




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


 
 

 
Senior Airman
JAMES HENSLEY

F-35 pilot training underway

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Travis Byrom, Lockheed Martin instructor pilot, briefs students in the first F-35 Lightning II training course before the start of class May 5 at Luke Air Force Base. The students are Lt. Col. Sean Ho...
 
 

Everything I need to know about leadership, I learned …

I am sure you’ve heard of, or even read, Robert Fulgham’s best-selling book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Fulgham’s text resonates with many for the simplicity with which he describes “how to be a person.” Leadership in the 21st century Air Force is a much discussed topic, and one can...
 
 

Which one are you?

Have you ever worked for someone you felt was impossible to deal with? How about someone who you simply tolerated? Or have you worked for someone you actually really wanted to work for? What was your work environment like, and what was the attitude of the people among the different types of bosses? Let’s be...
 

 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

Wild Weasels reunite

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS The Wild Weasels gather for a group photo during their reunion May 1 at Luke Air Force Base. The Wild Weasels were formed during the early days of the Vietnam War. Their mission was to seek out and...
 
 

News Briefs May 15, 2015

Leadership Gold Members of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence are visiitng Luke to present Dr. John Maxwell’s Leadership Gold, which grows leaders and fosters teamwork, at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 2 in the Navy Operational Support Center, Bldg. 300, Room 412. Open to civilians and all ranks of enlisted and officers....
 
 

AF announces senior selects

The following master sergeants have been selected for promotion to senior master sergeant: 61st Fighter Squadron Heather Hefner 56th Maintenance Group Christian Brandon 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Paul Branstetter and Brian Leonard 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Andres Vasquez 308th Aircraft Maintenance Unit William Jennings 310th AMU John Taylor 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Tommy C...
 




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>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin