The “In Focus” series is a monthly feature that puts the spotlight on some of the 419th Fighter Wing’s best and brightest Reserve Citizen Airmen. Find it on Instagram @419fw
Meet one of our deployed reservists, Staff Sgt. Hailey Sloat, a weapons load crew member in the 419th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron currently serving in the United Arab Emirates.
Hailey, 22, describes herself as curious, persistent, and motivated. She joined the Air Force Reserve straight out of high school and has worked on both F-16s and F-35s. Before taking part in this first F-35A deployment to the Middle East, she also served in Afghanistan and Japan.
“Working on the F-35 is a cool opportunity,” she said. “Some people think this is a man’s job, but that’s when my feminist side comes out. You honestly just have to show the guys up, be the best person on the job, and earn respect. It also helps to be a little sassy.”
When she’s not working on the F-35, she works as a yoga instructor in Salt Lake City. She also spends time hiking and skiing in the great outdoors of Utah, where she grew up.
“I’ve always been into health and wellness,” she said. “I got into bodybuilding at first, but I wanted more balance in my life, and yoga helped me do that. Teaching new students how to be grounded, that’s so rewarding for me.”
Hailey said she plans to go back to school to study mechanical engineering and robotics. “I love knowing about and learning about everything — from space to artificial intelligence.”
Even though Hailey serves in the military, she’s unashamedly herself. She even brought her yoga mat with her to the UAE, and hopes to teach and connect with people there.
“It feels weird when people see the military as heroes, because this is what we wanted – I chose this and I’m doing my job,” she said. “People tend to see the military as hardcore, but you can still be your own person. That’s why I love the Reserve. You’re here to do a job, but then you’re back to doing your thing.”