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SSgt Merritt stands with other Airmen in uniform October 2022 - Meet SSgt Jodi Merritt

Unit: Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/Cyber Warfare Mission Systems Branch.

SSgt Merritt provides administrative support to all military, civilians and contractors working at AFLCMC/HNCO. In addition, she coordinates and manages a variety of tasks in direct support of the commander, directors and senior leaders.  

What is something your proud of within your AF career? 

Thus far, my proudest moment in the AF is making E-5 on my first try. When I was an E-1, my BIGGEST goal was to make SrA BTZ. I worked my butt-off to put up a good fight. I had over 300 volunteer hours, I was in a position meant for a higher rank, and I was CLEPing classes. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it. I took it really hard. I felt like I was working super hard and it wasn’t appreciated. After I found out I didn’t make it, I lost my motivation. I quit working so hard and I treated my job like a typical 9-5. My leadership noticed that I wasn’t performing as well as I used to and instead of encouraging me to do better, they told me that it was a good thing I didn’t make SrA, because I didn’t deserve it. Not only am I proud of getting my motivation back, I am proud of my resiliency and strive to do better...even if I was the only one who noticed. Fast forward to Lackland, I came with a better mindset and studied my butt off for E-5. I told myself that I needed to make it so that I can be a better supervisor than what I had…and I did it! 

Why did you join the military? 

When I was a freshman in high school my cousin joined the Army and it inspired me. I was constantly going to recruiters from different branches trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I graduated. When I sat down with the Air Force recruiter, he was super helpful and explained the opportunities, benefits, and even some of the negative experiences he had. He was definitely not a stereotypical recruiter. He was the only recruiter that didn’t make everything sound like rainbows and butterflies. I took his honesty to heart, and knowing that I wanted to travel and get my degree, I went with the Air Force.  

What attributes do you like to see in a leader? 

Some attributes that I like to see in a leader is empathy, advocating for their airmen, honesty, supporting, and motivating.  

What is the most difficult part of being a leader? 

To me, the hardest part of being a leader is seeing the potential in someone, but not knowing how to get them to where they could be. Everyone learns differently and gets motivated by different things, so it is a lot of trial and error.  

What is a leaders best asset? 

A leader’s best asset is trust and honesty. 

What motivates you? How do you motivate a team? 

I am a goal setter. Having goals and creating a roadmap on how to achieve those goals is what motivates me. I plan on motivating a team by providing an environment that is enjoyable, offering opportunities for them to do professional/personal development (such as college classes or attending professional enhancement seminars), not micromanaging and allowing room for failure.  


MSgt Issacs at work - looking at file foldersSeptember 2022 - Meet MSgt Jeremi Roland Isaacs 

Unit: 66 Comptroller Squadron 

MSgt. Isaacs is the Flight Chief for Financial Operations 

 What is something you are proud of within your AF career?
I am really proud of the family and teamwork culture that my team and I have created in our work center.

Why did you join the military?
I was searching for a purpose and when the Air Force mission was explained to me, I knew I found my calling.

What attributes do you like to see in a leader?
The first attribute that I want to see from my leader is the ability to care about the mission and people. My leaders should ensure that our organization is promoting growth and development of our subordinates. Also, my leader should believe in the people working for them. Lastly, I want my leader to be inclined to taking risk (logical risk), not afraid to think outside of the box.

What is the most difficult part of being a leader?
Ensuring you are centered when making a decision. You don’t want to create an environment where preferential treatment is being perceived. I want to ensure that even my most troubled troop, still believes, that if they make a mistake, that there is always an opportunity to get back on track and that success is possible.

What is a leader’s best asset?
The best asset of a leader is their heart. You still have to hold members accountable but you can still care for them through their unfavorable circumstance.

What motivates you? How do you motivate a team?
What motivates me is seeing my coworkers and subordinates grow into the leaders that they are meant to be. Knowing that each member has reached their potential ensures that our Air Force is in great hands.

I motivate my team by including their goals in the everyday operations. I make sure that, we as a leadership team put our members in positions that will grow them for their future roles. Once our team understands that we care about them that usually provides them the motivation to do their best.
What are some struggles you have faced with Covid-19? How have you overcome them?

Covid-19 has identified the need for my team to be trained in all aspects of the job. With the contagiousness of this virus, I could have a whole section out for 5-10 days. This would directly affect our ability as an organization to take care of our customers. This issue requires constant flexibility, adaptability and vigilance. We review our processes to ensure we are as efficient as possible. Also, we have cross trained our personnel earlier than at the typical 1 year mark. This allows us to plug and play to meet the mission needs. The cross training process isn’t fast but it ensures we can meet our customers’ needs in a timely manner.

How have you stayed connected to your work center in a virtual environment?

My Squadron commander and deputy commander created an inclusive environment that embraces virtual technology. When events occur in the office we use Zoom and Teams to ensure our teleworking members can join us. We have CC calls, awards presentation, and AFMC Connect events were our members are able to join in from anywhere using virtual technology. 


SrA Johnathon Hones working in the fieldMeet SrA Johnathon Jones

Unit: 788 Civil Engineer Squadron

SrA Jones is an EOD Training Planner.

What is something you are proud of within your AF career? 

I am proud of my deployment to Niger where I served as an Air Advisor to Nigerian soldiers teaching counter-IED skills.  

Why did you join the military 

I joined because I wasn’t happy with where I was at in my life and I needed change. It was the best decision I ever made. 

What attributes do you like to see in a leader? 

A strong attribute that I believe any leader should have is the willingness to get their hands dirty and join in tasks that their subordinates do. I believe this technique works especially well because we operate as a team effort and not as individuals.   

What is the most difficult part of being a leader? 

Even on your bad days, you are expected to be the one that others ask for advice and direction.  A small mistake can cause the loss of respect among subordinates and peers.  

What is a leader’s best asset? 

A leader’s best asset is their knowledge and experience. They should know a lot and if they don’t know, be able to find the way. 

What motivates you? How do you motivate a team? 

The leaders that I currently have in my career.  I am able to pick aspects of them that I think are exemplary and embody those actions and be the leader that they want me to become. 

What are some struggles you have faced with Covid-19? How have you overcome them? 

The lack of in-person time with teammates has been a struggle. There is a bond that forms when unit members are able to be with one another in the shop and the pandemic stressed those bonds exponentially. We scheduled training that had to be done in-person at every possible moment to overcome that distance.   

 How have you stayed connected to your work center in a virtual environment?  

Staying plugged in the virtual environment is difficult and severely limited given the hands-on nature of being an effective emergency responder and EOD technician.  We had meetings virtually as well as group chats that helped to bridge the gap on knowledge based learning. 


November 2022 - Meet TSgt John J. WettaTSgt John Wetta - man in uniform at computer

Unit: Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, WLNN, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

TSgt Wetta is a Logistics Section Chief for C-130J Development and Production. He is responsible for ensuring the timely software and hardware upgrade of the Air Force’s C-130J fleet.  

What is something your proud of within your Air Force career?  I am proud to have been with the C-130J program through many of the firsts for the fleet.  I have helped to stand up the first AMC C-130J unit at Little Rock Air Force Base, participated in the first C-130J deployment rotation, and partook in AFSOC’s AC-130J gunship program in its infancy.

Why did you join the military?  I was instilled with the belief that if you are able to serve your country, then you should in some form.  I knew I wanted to join the United States Air Force as a young teenager, 9/11 solidified that decision for me.  

What attributes do you like to see in a leader?  Leaders should make it a priority to better those they are placed in charge of, meaning they should pass on their knowledge and wisdom about the job, the military, and life to help their Airmen better themselves.  

What is the most difficult part of being a leader?  Through my career, I have found it hardest to compartmentalize what is going on in my personal and professional life so that I can continue to be ready to assist those in my charge.  I have to remember that my Airmen count on me to be there 100% of the time.  Just because I have a bad day does not justify me taking it out on them.

What is a leaders best asset?  A leader’s best asset is when they know that decisions and plans of action are made by the choices they make and takes responsibility for the failures.  The buck stops with them.  When their team is successful, they direct it to the team members.  

What motivates you? How do you motivate a team?  I am motivated by my upbringing of being told to always do my best, even if I fail.


SrA Marissa MontilvaMeet SrA Marissa Montilva 

Unit: 88th Medical Group, SGSM Medical Logistics Flight 

SrA Montilva works in the contracting section of the Medical Logistics Flight. Her primary roles are as a Contracting Officer Representative where she oversees the daily management to include invoice payments, working with base contracting for any issues that arise, as well as working any new requirements for contract services in the MTF.  She also is the primary GPC card holder for all services within the MTF from training for personnel to the repairing of medical equipment.  These roles are vital to ensure that the mission continues in the MTF to support safe patient care. 

SrA Marissa Montilva is proud of being a part of medical logistics and how big of an impact it has on the medical treatment facility. "Without medical logistics our medical staff wouldn’t be able to provide the treatment our patients need," Montilva says. "Medical logistics ranges from purchasing syringes, ordering enough vaccines to making sure they are stored in proper temperatures, purchasing lifesaving equipment and ensuring our providers can continue to expand their education by paying for their courses and certifications. Medical logistics is vital for a medical treatment facility to run properly and safely." 
SrA Montilva joined the military for the opportunity to create a solid foundation for herself and to continue her education. 

"My goals and determination are what motivate me," continues Montilva. "I remind myself daily about why I am working so hard and that great things don't come from comfort zones. I motivate a team by giving a vision of purpose, setting realistic goals and leading by example." 

As the pandemic continues, COVID-19 has impacted all Airmen in different ways. 

"A few struggles I have faced with Covid-19 are staying active, eating healthy, and creating good time management for myself with work/life balance," Montilva admits. "To overcome these I sought out different alternatives when it came to my fitness by trying new types of workouts for example yoga, learning new mobility stretches and getting creative with my weight lifting. A goal I set for myself for this is to plan one new activity a month that challenges me in an active way; I recently tried rock climbing and next I plan to try snowboarding or skiing. As for eating healthy I try and spend more time finding simple healthy meals to make that are quick because I am guilty of getting delivery a lot during Covid-19. For my work life balance I use a planner to help me manage my tasks for both work, personal and school. I have found that it is best to take breaks throughout my work day every so often for at least five minutes and use that time to either stretch, review some school work or just recollect my thoughts on what I need to get down and how to set realistic goals for myself." 


Meet TSgt Collin Carter of the 88th Air Base Wing, Chaplain’s Office  

TSgt Carter is a Religious Affairs Airman assigned to Area B at Wright-Patterson AFB and provides direct mission support to AFLCMC. Carter provides leadership advisement and support to the Command Team, crisis counseling capabilities, and resiliency training to its warfighters.   

"I’m proud of the opportunity to be a part of a resource working group for men and fathers, and in addition to partnering with the base chapel in providing worship services for our Airmen in a deployed setting," says TSgt Carter of his military role. 

TSgt Cater says he joined the military to provide and care for his family and to further his education. He believes a leader should show transparency, versatility, love and persistence. A leader's best asset is wisdom and character. 

For TSgt Cater, the most difficult part of being a leader is balancing and adjusting resources accordingly for the greater good of the “team," meaning family, ratees, and work center.  Faith in Christ, family and team are great motivators. 

Everyone around the world has faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. TSgt Carter overcame his challenges by being "more creative in overcoming the geographical, technical and communicative obstacles. Listening to the advice of peers and leadership, making quicker decisions, accepting the possibility failure but moving on to the next play [and] trying to be more intentional and deliberate in caring for my team and work center, and leaning on my faith." 

Staying connected during telework is important for all Airmen, including TSgt Carter. He checks on teammates via text and phone calls and makes extra time while meeting in-person to discuss family. 


Meet SSgt Andrew Hill of the 88th ABW Security Forces Squadron  

SSgt Hill is Base Defense Operation Center Controller and helps the mission by providing Command and Control over responding patrols for any security or law enforcement responses to AFLCMC resources. 

"I am proud of my personal and professional growth," says SSgt Hill of his role. "I’m able to mentor people [through] being more approachable, my improvement in public speaking, and overall knowledge within my profession of arms." 

Like many other Airmen, SSgt Hill joined the military to travel and see the world. 

For SSgt Hill, a sign of a good leader means being "hands on, down to earth, humble and stern but fair and approachable." According to Hill, a leader's best assets are taking care of their people and being a good listener. 

The most difficult part of being a leader? For Hill it is delivering bad news and disciplinary actions. 

It isn't hard for SSgt Hill to find motivation. For him, motivation comes from his family and troops. "How I motivate a team is by taking care of them, just being there for them, and providing incentives here and there," Hill explains. 

Like everyone to some extent, Hill and his family were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

"My struggle was when my family tested positive for COVID and I had to provide for them while also having to conduct my duties. How I overcame these struggles was by being able to spend more time with my family," SSgt Hill explains. He also points out that as a member of the security forces, he never really worked in a virtual environment during the pandemic. 


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