HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — For one Team Hill worker, it was a dream to become an Air Force officer. She just didn’t know the path to get there would be so challenging, and so rewarding.
2nd Lt. Laketa Fludd, an acquisitions program manager with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, was told by her recruiter that becoming an officer would simply be a matter of applying. After all, she met all the requirements, including a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. She began pursuing this course in 2008, but soon learned the Air Force was eliminating officer positions, and not looking to bring in new officers at the time. She didn’t let that setback deter her from pursuing her dream.
“I’m an example of someone who started with a dream and despite challenges and failures, was able to get to where I wanted to go,” Fludd said.
When joining the Air Force as an officer didn’t pan out, Fludd decided to enlist. In 2011, she enlisted as an aircraft maintainer working on C-130s, a field she had no prior knowledge or experience in. Her first assignment was to Yokota Air Base, Japan, and it would set the tone for her career.
“I was a 27 year old airman 1st class, joining a career field where, as far as age, race and gender, there weren’t many people like me,” Fludd said. “Initially there were several ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions about me joining the Air Force as an enlisted member. Over time, my peers and supervisors saw that I was dedicated to learning my job and that I was serious about my career.”
Through hard work, perseverance and the support of her husband, supervisors and leadership who believed in her, she proved her worth. At her next assignment at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, she applied and was accepted to Officer Training School.
“Sometimes, having aspirations is perceived as being selfish. As long as you have the right motives behind your goals, and work hard to pursue them, you’ll be successful,” she said. “You can’t let difficulties stop you or be an excuse.”
Fludd said African American history—February’s national observance—is rife with examples of people who had dreams and goals and didn’t let challenges get in their way of achieving greatness.
“History is important,” she said. “We learn so much by looking at the lives of those who came before us. It’s important to look back and see how, as a country, our values have changed and the strides we have made.”
Fludd is married to Tech. Sgt. L’Javar Fludd-Moss, NCO in charge of ground radio in the 729th Air Control Squadron.