My Air Force Mission

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“Dude 14, we’ve just located 10 anti-coalition militia in a bunker located 300 meters from our position! Request an immediate strike on that target!” Imagine hearing those words screamed into your ear and knowing that in the next moment you were about to execute a task that you trained seven years to do. This was my situation during my first combat sortie in Afghanistan. It goes without saying that employing weapons against enemies of the United States comes with a great amount of responsibility. The Air Force invested considerable time and resources into training me to skillfully execute my mission in the F-15E Strike Eagle. My duty title on paper is Weapons System Officer however, there is always a story behind each and every member of the Air Force that encompasses more than just a duty title. The goal of this essay is to reveal a little bit about my own personal story highlighting how my background and values led me into the Air Force, address what I feel are my most important Air Force experiences, and illustrate how my job specifically contributes to the Air Force’s mission. I grew up near Atlanta, Georgia where there were no active duty Air Force bases nearby. I also come from a family with no military background and was never encouraged to join the Air Force. I joined because my own personal internal reasons and nothing else. I played on my high school baseball team for four years, and in that time I grew to love the hard work, commitment, team work, and sportsmanship that it took to succeed during the season. In fact, between my junior and senior year of high school, the traits I learned from playing baseball stopped becoming traits and they started becoming my complete persona. I wanted to find a career field... ... middle of paper ... ... that I bestow on them will be what they are armed with when they are flying combat sorties wherever they may be. Even though I am no longer deployed to Afghanistan, the knowledge that I can pass on will still thrive in the F-15E community and allow others to complete the mission of the 4th Fighter Wing. Being an officer in the Air Force is something I am very proud of. In addition to being an officer, I am honored to be a Weapons System Officer in the F-15E. Inside both the Air Force and the F-15E are values that I held dear from an early age even before joining the Air Force. I was lucky enough to be in a career field where all of my training led up to a pinnacle of saving American lives in Afghanistan. After the combat time was over though, the new challenge was to pass that knowledge onto the next crop of aircrew to which I am currently proud to do serve.

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