Military News

Monday, August 31, 2015

NCO finds calling by helping others

by Senior Airman Adarius Petty
432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

8/31/2015 - CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada -- Is this the job for me? Did I pick the right career field? One might find themselves asking this question throughout their Air Force career. If this question arises, don't fret, there are several viable options an Airman has to expand their careers without having to leave the Air Force.

Tech Sgt. Noah Stamps, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing command chief's executive assistant, has first-hand experience with that same situation.

Stamps was not always fond of his job in the Air Force. He first joined the Air Force in 2002 as a security forces Airman at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

Being stationed at Minot often presented its share of unique weather conditions which made it challenging for Stamps to do his job as efficiently as possible.

"Its Minot and it gets down to negative 60 degrees in the winter, and as a SF member you would do a lot of outside work," Stamps said. "So when you're out in negative 60 degree weather and you have to perform with excellence and integrity, those kinds of conditions can test your excellence, integrity and your dedication to service. So being expected to perform in that type of weather, there's nothing easy about that."

Although the climate at his first base was somewhat difficult to endure, Stamps recalls one of the pros about his first base was his phenomenal leadership who valued morale, promoting Comprehensive Airmen Fitness before it was popularized.

He credits having great leadership that valued taking care of their Airmen for shaping his future outlook on how he would value his Airmen and those around him.

"I'm a firm believer in that if you take care of airmen 100 percent of the time, they will take care of the mission 100 percent of the time with 100 percent of their effort," Stamps said. "If you are focused on the mission and forget about the people both will suffer."

As he progressed through the ranks, the feeling of wanting to make a difference in the Air Force and take care of Airmen every day steadily grew. It was at this point in his career that Stamps decided to apply for retraining.

"I wanted to retrain, to help Airmen in a different way," he said. "I had great mentors who helped with my decision to stay in the Air Force. They got me to realize what my gifts are, what my talents are and where they can be used."

In 2006, a career as a photojournalist seemed to suit Stamps' gifts but a few months before leaving for Fort George G. Meade, Maryland to attend technical training the Air Force merged Public Affairs and Visual Information career fields which reduced the number of Airmen in the career field.

Being a resilient Airman proved critical as Stamps was once again left wondering what to do next.

"My next two choices to retrain were to be a firefighter or a chaplain's assistant," he recalls. "Being a new husband and dad left me feeling like a career as a firefighter wasn't for me so I choose to be a Chaplin's assistant."

The new position gave presented multiple opportunities to help Airmen in need of something more both spiritually and mentally.

"I loved the idea of helping people out in a different capacity," said Stamps.

Once again the need to discover different ways to make an impact Airmen and their careers pushed Stamps to apply to be an Airman Leadership School Professional Military Education instructor and in September 2009 he joined the ALS team at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

"Teaching PME was a transforming experience for me," he recalls. "My impression of teaching prior to stepping into the classroom was that I would be the one imparting my vast knowledge on a generation of new staff sergeants. The reality is that they had a lot to teach me; I learned more from my students than they did from me."

Although many attempted to discourage him from being an instructor, Stamps continued to apply for the special duty position until was eventually picked for the job and offers a piece of advice to all those that may face similar challenges.

"Always pursue your passion," he said. "There are so many people that join the Air Force and are given an Air Force Specialty Code, given a job. A lot of people grow into loving their job. Some people don't and if you don't grow into loving what the Air Force has given you then you needed find something that is going to help you pursue your passion."

Stepping out of his comfort zone proved beneficial to his career development into a non-commissioned officer and whole person concept.

"Teaching PME made me a better NCO, a better leader, a better man... I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to be a part of their lives as they added significant value to mine," he said.

Experiencing multiple special duty assignments and two AFSC's, three deployments, graduating 22 ALS PME classes and holding a total of four jobs in his 13 year career that have prepped him to give advice to help other Airmen that may be wondering what the Air Force has in store for them as well.

"Tech. Sgt. Stamps is full of immense knowledge and has been a key mentor of mine for about a year now," says Senior Airmen Andrew Ingersoll, 432nd WG/AEW executive administration. "His leadership and mentorship have guided me in the right direction in not only with career decisions but also in life decisions."

Impacting the Airmen beneath him isn't the only task that Stamps is focused on.

"It is easy to see how TSgt Stamps' diverse career and breadth of experience has made him such a resilient leader," said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Ditore, 432nd WG/432nd AEW command chief. "It is an awesome sight to watch him engage with Airmen of all ranks as he provides mentoring, counseling, and many other wingman fundamentals. Noah is an NCO that leads by example and exemplifies our Core Values of Integrity, Service, and Excellence."

One thing is certain, no matter where the road may lead Tech. Sgt. Noah Stamps will be continue to inspire Airmen to pursue what brings them the greatest satisfaction.

"I will keep pursuing my passion, as long as I can wear this uniform and take care of people with excellence and integrity," Stamps said. "My advice to people is pursue your passion don't accept what was given to you if that's not what fits you."

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