HILL AIR FORCE BASE — On Aug. 6, Airmen from various units across Team Hill were able to have lunch with Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, Air Force Materiel Command commander; Brig. Gen. Gary Keefe, Massachusetts Air National Guard commander; and Chief Master Sgt. Michael Warner, AFMC command chief.
The luncheon was a one-of-a-kind experience where Airmen from different organizations and components of the Air Force, including the Air National Guard, were able get some practical career advice from some of our esteemed Air Force leaders. It was the first time that many of us had an opportunity to sit down and interact with a four-star general, and many of us took advantage of the opportunity.
The communication was real, honest, and straight to the point. Our questions were answered entirely and even expanded on.
One of the most memorable questions asked was by Senior Airman Taylor Ryan from the 75th Medical Operations Squadron:
“Is there anything that you learned in the past that has helped you in your career?”
Gen. Pawlikowski answered: “When I was in the first grade, I came home and told my mother that I didn’t want to go back to school. I was discouraged because I couldn’t read like the other students in my class. My mother then told me that, no matter what it is that you do, try your hardest and be the best that you can be until they fire you.”
Her candid and humorous response left a mark on many of us. It showed that despite life’s challenges, you shouldn’t be discouraged and should always be willing to try your hardest and be the best that you can at whatever you do.
Hearing these motivating words from one of our senior leaders shows us as young Airmen that, with a bit of dedication and motivation, we can achieve our goals and be successful.
We would like to extend a special thank you to Gen. Pawlikowski, Gen. Keefe and Chief Warner for taking some time out to spend with us. It’s an honor to be a member of the Air Force and serve with you. Thank you for your leadership.