Target Analyst Earns Airman of the Year 2021

  • Published
  • By MSgt Matt Schwartz
  • 193rd Air Operations Squadron

-Could you start off by telling your position title, where you’re originally from and when you first enlisted into the military?

I am a Targeting Analyst at the 193rd Air Intelligence Squadron located at State College Air Guard Station, PA. I am originally from Bremerton, WA. I first enlisted into the military in July of 2012 at the MEPS in Atlanta. 

-Can you talk about some of the things you've been doing in the past year that led to your success?

After my graduation from tech school in October of 2020, It became a personal goal for me to work on my professional development in the Air Force by seeking opportunities for growth.

-How have those experiences helped your career develop?

It has granted me further credibility within the Intelligence Community, and it has given me greater insight on what the Air Force's role is in the bigger picture.

-What originally brought you to join the Air Force?

My very best friend compelled me to join. But I have always held a desire to serve since the beginning.  

-Can you talk about a setback or a failure that you've ended up learning from?

Coming from four years of Active Duty in the Marines, each failure was a learning experience and an opportunity for improvement. I learned to take ownership for my mistakes, no matter how bad they were. By accepting that, I was able to become more resilient to negative outcomes and to never give up on myself or the mission.

-How do you stay focused when things get stressful or overwhelming?

I think back on experiences that challenged me in the past and how I overcame them. Those moments of triumph at the end of those struggles will strengthen your resolve and allow you to move forward with purpose.

-How do you stay motivated and productive?

By believing in something greater than just myself. Don't just acknowledge certain values; live them! This grants me the drive to seek self improvement. Having positive role models to look up to also helps guide me.

-What advice would you give to someone looking to enlist?

If you are willing to consider sacrificing a significant amount of time and effort in an attempt to make a difference in your own life and others, then dig deep and ask yourself if that is the right choice.

-Do you have an internal code or mantra?

Gratitude sets the groundwork for life. Be grateful for all that you have, and how far you have come--and what you have yet to accomplish!

-Is there a book that’s influenced you that you would recommend? If so, why?

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. There is an indescribable amount of wisdom in this book on how your thoughts fuel your actions, and how it can guide you to live the life that you wish to lead.

-What do you focus on in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?

Going to the gym, reading books/audiobooks, and other intellectual pursuits. Hobbies include playing the trumpet, hiking, bushcrafting, writing, and martial arts.