Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude, How 100 Feet Saved My ANG Career

117 Maintenance Group patch

117 Maintenance Group patch


I was in the fifth year of my first enlistment when I came to the first major crossroads of my career.  I was already a full-time Active Guard Reservists on the flight line and had been very fortunate in my career up to that point.  However, there had been a recent shakeup in leadership and with that came a change in how we were being managed. Over the next several months my attitude progressively worsened. In my mind I was still doing more than my fair share of work without some of the benefits I had grown accustomed to from my former leadership. Finally during one drill, things came to a head. My friend and I were in the flight chief’s office and someone brought by a potential enlistee. Between mine and my friend’s comments I doubt the young man left with a favorable impression of the flight line. We were immediately told to go into the Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Chief’s office where our flight chief “counseled” us on our negative attitudes.  I expressed my feelings on the way things were being run by him and he looked me dead in the face and said the six words that would change my career forever, “If you don’t like it, LEAVE!” I immediately fired back, “I WILL!” As it happened there were a couple of openings in the Maintenance Operations Flight, an analysis position, which fortunately I wasn’t selected for. Who wants to deal with all those numbers anyway? There was also an engine management/documentation position, which I was selected for. 

I came to the MOF with a reputation, but also with an opportunity. I had to make a decision. Was I going to be the person they had heard about with a bad attitude, or was I going to be someone else? MOF gave me a chance at a clean slate. I took the opportunity to re-prove my worth and ability and made the most of it.  I distanced myself from the negative influences and stopped spending as much time around the friend that I shared so much negativity with. I physically moved 100 feet down the hall, but the distance that this moved my career is immeasurable.  This all happened less than 12 years ago. I have been blessed to continue to progress through the MOF and now have the privilege of being the MOF Superintendent.

This is not to brag. This is a message of hope. It doesn’t matter if you are a first term traditional airman or a full-timer who has been around 10 plus years. Take control of your situation. The friend with whom I had developed that negative attitude with never took that leap and because his attitude had only worsened, it cost him his career.  That very easily could have been me had I not taken a chance and left my comfort zone. On the other hand, I personally work with individuals who did take that chance and have blossomed into some of the best airman this unit could have representing it. Don’t let a negative attitude or unfavorable work environment be the reason you to miss out on the many blessings you can get out of being a member of the 117th Air Refueling Wing. 100 feet can make all the difference in the world.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.