WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio —
Experience is one of the most important aspects of service that makes Airmen great and allows the Air Force to excel. Each airman’s journey is unique and many have begun their military service in other branches of the armed forces. Many leadership skills translate well to other services, and having diverse Airmen with diverse backgrounds provides tangible benefits to the Air Force. For important and varied career fields like maintenance, these experiences give Airmen the opportunity to learn, grow and lead.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Davis, an avionics specialist with 445 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and a former Army infantryman, said he enjoyed his transition from the Army to the Air Force Reserve and that it had been a great experience passing on the leadership skills he had learned in the military.
“It’s rewarding to have the opportunity to work on being a good leader, helping others balance their responsibilities. It allows us to speed up the learning process a bit and get people on the fast track to success,” Davis said.
Davis was a mortar gunner in the Army infantry. He attributes his ability to effectively contribute to the 445th Airlift Wing to his experiences. One of the biggest takeaways from his previous service was the importance of leadership.
“It’s rewarding to learn from past experiences and help others learn from your successes and mistakes,” Davis said. “That’s being a leader.”
With the demand placed on the maintenance skills of Airmen, it is important that leaders can manage maintenance activities and rely on their Airmen to lead from the front. Davis believes the small-team leadership skills he focused on in the military contribute to his current vision for the Air Force.
“I like doing hands-on work and being involved in the process, and I like working in small teams and building relationships with the Airmen I work with,” Davis said. “I really appreciate the professionalism of the Air Force at all levels. People took me under their wing and now I have the opportunity to take young Airmen under my wing and pay it forward by sharing my experiences with them,” Davis said.
Maintenance Responsibilities Airmen are an integral part of the Wing’s mission. From inspecting and troubleshooting equipment to hands-on repairs and maintaining proper standards, these professionals ensure the 445th aircraft is always ready to fly. Having maintenance Airmen with experience in other branches complements the Air Force with experience from across the force.
Another important skill that airmen learn and practice daily is time management. Different branches operate in a way that can provide unique challenges and can inform how Airmen with this prior experience meet the daily challenges of the Air Force.
“Some of the most important skills that are needed in today’s environment are time management and the ability to prioritize activities,” Tech said. sergeant. Bradley Fryman, 445th AMXS Communications and Navigation Technician and former Navy official.
“What we do requires us to manage stress and meet and hopefully exceed expectations. How we approach leadership plays a huge role in the success of our maintenance business,” Fryman said.
Fryman believes his experience working on aircraft aboard aircraft carriers helped develop his leadership skills and gave him a passion for problem solving. He sees good leadership as a means to accomplishing the mission and preparing young Airmen for success.
“How we perceive leadership is key to not getting bogged down in problems and finding solutions instead,” Fryman said. “It was a great choice to come here to the 445th, and I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the opportunities I’ve had to bring that experience to the table. I feel like my transition from the Navy to the Air Force allowed me to transfer skills and knowledge to what we do here in a way that they otherwise wouldn’t have,” Fryman said.
The valuable contributions made to the Air Force by past service Airmen from other branches are borne out by their leadership. Senior Staff Sgt. Gerald Sandoval, 445th Aircraft Maintenance Unit Flight Leader AMXS, sees these Airmen and their experiences as positive additions to the squadron.
“What I noticed immediately from Staff Sgt. Davis and Tech Sgt. Fryman was how they used some of their culture and skills learned as an infantry soldier Army and Navy Aviation Technician,” Sandoval said. “They have definitely been noticed by their teammates as well as supervisors as excellent young leaders and go-to technicians who will make sure to complete the mission while always looking out for the safety and well-being of the members around them.”
Airmen like Davis and Fryman who have served in other branches demonstrate that their prior experience matters, not only technically for the jobs they currently perform, but also in how they approach people, leadership and culture. knowledge and problem solving of the Air Force. This relationship between currently serving in the Air Force and bringing experience from prior service highlights that diverse Airmen with diverse backgrounds make the Air Force stronger.