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 March 27, 2015

News General Dynamics withdraws as T-100 prime contractor General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology has withdrawn itself as the prime contractor on the T-100, the offering for the T-X trainer replacement program based on the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 design.   Business SpaceX’s fight with U.S. Air Force called a clash of perceptions Billionaire Elon Musk’s...
 
 

News Briefs March 27, 2015

Contractor extradited from Iraq pleads guilty in bribes case A man extradited from Iraq in a military contract bribery case has pleaded guilty to three charges in an agreement with federal prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose has scheduled sentencing for July 1 for Metin Atilan. His attorney, Nick Gounaris, says the two sides agreed...
 
 

Ninth Boeing GPS IIF reaches orbit, sends first signals

Boeing Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites are steadily replenishing the orbiting constellation, continuing to improve reliability and accuracy for users around the world. The ninth GPS IIF reached orbit about three hours, 20 minutes after launching today aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and...
 

 

F-35 Lightning II costs drop, report shows

A recent account of F-35 Lightning II aircraft program costs shows decreases, the Air Force’s F-35 program executive officer told reporters in a media roundtable March 24, 2015. Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, citing this year’s selected acquisition report on the aircraft, called the roundtable to clarify cost and performance facts. He also acknowledged the...
 
 
NG-growler2

Northrop Grumman delivers center/aft ‘shipset’ for first international EA-18G Growler

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman mechanics perform final quality inspections on the center/aft fuselage shipset produced by the company for the first Australian EA-18G Growler. The subassembly will be delivered to B...
 
 
Navy photograph by Monica McCoy

Navy conducts production acceptance test of Tomahawk missile

Navy photograph by Monica McCoy Members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division team at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head prepare a Tomahawk missile for a functional ground test at the Large Motor Test Fa...
 




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>