Defense

January 15, 2014

New SecAF to Airmen: With change comes opportunity

Tags:
SSgt. David Salanitri
Air Force News

Air Force photograph by Jim Varhegyi Air Force photograph by Jim Varhegyi
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.


 
 

 

Headlines August 22, 2014

News: GAO: Pentagon violated law with Bergdahl swap - Congressional investigators say the Pentagon violated the law when it swapped five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years.   Business: U.S. Air Force issues RFI for new rocket engine - The US Air Force is officially looking into...
 
 

News Briefs August 22, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,200 As of Aug. 20, 2014, at least 2,200 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,821 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
navair-triton

MQ-4C Tritons to arrive at Pax River this fall

  MQ-4C Triton test air vehicles at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., will fly cross-country to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., this fall. The MQ-4C completed a test flight Aug. 19 with updated ...
 

 
Boeing photograph

Boeing program completes critical design, safety reviews

Boeing photograph Boeing recently completed the Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review of its Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft and the Critical Design Review of its integrated systems, meeting all of the companyís Commerci...
 
 
global-hawk2

Air Combat Command loans Global Hawk to GVCTF

Air Force photograph by Jennifer Romo The 412th Test Wing’s Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command. Tail number 2035, from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., is jo...
 
 

NASA awards program analysis, Control Bridge III Contract

NASA has awarded the Program Analysis and Control III Bridge contract for support services to ASRC Research & Technology Solutions of Beltsville, Md. The cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity basic contract has a minimum ordering value of $1 million and a maximum ordering value of $37 million, with a performance period beginning Aug. 30 through Feb....
 




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>