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Face of Defense: Change of Pace, Steady Future Enticed Airman to Serve

This report originally published at defense.gov.

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There are many reasons airmen choose to serve their country. For one airman in the 325th Communications Squadron here, it was all about a change of pace and a steady future.

Air Force Airman 1st Class Randy West, who hails from Greenwich, Ohio, is a radio frequency transmission systems apprentice. His job is to maintain radio equipment that is used to communicate with aircraft and various base organizations.

Before he joined the Air Force, West spent more than three years building lawnmowers. Realizing factory work wasn’t for him, he searched for another path.

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“When I was in high school, my dad pushed me to join the Air Force,” West said. “He recognized the opportunities, and saw how they could benefit me.”

Joining the Air Force

Looking back on that advice, he explored his options in the Air Force. He enlisted on Jan. 24, 2017, and attended basic training.

“Basic was about what I expected,” West said. “Show up, and get yelled at for a while and do what you are told to do when you are told to do it.”

During basic training, he received his job selection as a radio frequency transmission systems technician.

“It’s really interesting when you get down into the circuit card level on radios,” West said.

Being an airman has also enabled him to pursue wrestling.

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“I have been wrestling since about 5th grade,” he said. “My goal is to try out for the Air Force wrestling team this winter.”

West equates his passion for wrestling to keeping his head in the game and accepting his responsibilities.

“When you wrestle, it’s just you and your opponent out there,” he said. “So when you lose there is no one else to blame but yourself, which is how I look at life.”

Gaining Experience

West’s outlook on life and drive to succeed has helped him leave a good impression on his leaders. He was recently selected to be shadowed by the 325th Fighter Wing commander, allowing him to share his knowledge.

“In Airman West’s short time with us here at Tyndall he has excelled at the radio shop,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Tyler Heninger, West’s supervisor. “While working at a quick pace, he completed his training ahead of schedule, becoming an integral part of our team.

“Since completing training he has actively sought additional responsibilities both in our work center and around our squadron,” Heninger continued. “We look forward to more and better achievements from Airman West in the future.”

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U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) reports are created independently of American Military News (AMN) and are distributed by AMN in accordance with applicable guidelines and copyright guidance. Use of DOD reports do not imply endorsement of AMN. AMN is a privately owned media company and has no affiliation with the DOD.