Year of the Pathfinder: 423rd CS Airman reflects on unique background and experiences

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Eugene Oliver
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs
  • Where is home for you? What is your background?

Home for me is Trinidad and Tobago, where I lived with my mother and sister. We lived in a small community, with my dad working abroad in New York City. I attended college and worked as a cell phone tech support agent in Trinidad before transitioning to Pennsylvania. There I found an Air Force recruiter and began my journey to join the military.

  • How did your background help shape who you are today?

     

    I was raised on a foundation of respect and appreciating all that I have. Living on an Island, very close to friends and family gave me a strong sense of community and togetherness. These concepts are very apparent in the military community so it felt like it was a great fit.

     

  • What made you decide to pursue a role in the Air Force / military involvement?

     

    My sister was my inspiration to join the military. Being a member of the Marines, the way she carried herself was very inspiring. I always had a fascination with computers and technology so I wanted to pursue a cyber-related career field. My parents always gave me and my sister the freedom to pursue anything we wanted so they were great motivators when I made the decision to join the United States Air Force.

     

  • What is your job and what motivates you to perform it? How do you contribute to our mission?

     

    I am a 3D0X7 for the 423rd Communications Squadron. As a Cyber Surety Craftsman, I am responsible for providing encrypted keys and devices for various sections in the 501st Combat Support Wing.  The only motivation I need to perform my job to the best of my ability is to give back to the Air Force. The Air Force has provided so much to me and my family, so it’s the least I can do.

     

  • What does it mean to you to be a Pathfinder, and what makes you proud to be a part of this team?

     

    Being a member of the 501 CSW has been enlightening.  Seeing the impact of our day to day contributions makes me see the how we are affecting the wider mission. What makes me proud to be a part of this team starts in my flight.  Seeing the growth and teamwork develop during my two years at Molesworth makes me intrigued for the next two years I will be here.  There is definitely a special culture here in the 501st and I am excited to see it carry on down the road.

     

  • What are some future goals?

     

    My goal is to climb the enlisted chain as far as I can before transitioning over to the officer side.  Finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Become a skilled pianist and DJ. Have my parents visit Europe for the first time. There are a lot of short term and long term goals.

     

  •  What are your favorite parts about living here in the UK?

     

    First off, I was thrilled to travel to the UK because I am a die-hard football (Soccer) fan, FC Barcelona to be specific.  Living out here gets me closer to the action so I was very grateful for that.  The UK is an amazing hub when it comes to traveling to other European countries. Trust me, there were a few countries on my bucket list so to get them knocked out early was awesome! I also have some distant cousins that live here, so it was great to meet some new family members.

     

  • How can we be a better Air Force?

     

    Innovation is key to making the Air Force even better in the future.  Incorporating new ideas and concepts will help us evolve with the times.  The Air Force is a stew pot for a lot of different cultures and backgrounds so making sure everyone feels welcome and heard is important.