BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Professional resiliency can be demonstrated in many ways, one of which is understanding that when one door closes, another is bound to open.
This was exactly the case for Tech. Sgt. Leah White, a personnel specialist assigned to Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center.
“I joined the Air Force at the age of 18 in 2010 as an active duty member,” said White. “I was then discharged in 2011 for failure to complete medical technician technical training. But I was determined to proceed with my Air Force career. As fate would have it, the Reserve recruiter was closer to my home at the time and I was back in the service as a reservist within a few months.”
Like others that have embraced adversity and used it as fuel to achieve future success, White credits her initial experience in the Air Force as her motivation to succeed.
“That experience was very humbling for me and made me into the go-getter I am today,” said White. “It showed me how driven and determined I was capable of being. Now I know if I want something, I will continue to grow and learn from my past to obtain that goal no matter what obstacles I am presented with.”
After overcoming her initial setback, White has succeeded in a variety of personnelist roles at several different assignments to include the Pentagon and the Air National Guard Readiness Center in Maryland before arriving at ARPC.
“This is my second time being assigned to ARPC. I loved it so much the first time I came back,” said White. “I always tell people from my experience, ARPC feels like one big family to me. The unit always ensures that the mission is taken care of but before anything, they take care of the people completing the mission.”
Currently, White serves as the Key, Command, and Joint Duty Assignments List facilitator in the Assignments Directorate here. White and her team are responsible for managing assignments for field grade officers, facilitating student outplacement for in-residence students and managing headquarters active guard-reserve term assignments for master sergeants through chief master sergeants and majors through lieutenant colonels.
White attributes her inspiration to perform her best stems from working in a force support career field and helping others.
“I make it my duty to ensure members are getting the proper help they need,” said White. “I always tell our members I have been on the other side of things before where I felt as if I didn’t receive the help I needed and was left on my own to figure it out. It’s not a good a feeling. I enjoy helping others, in and out of uniform, daily. The feeling I get from a simple kind act encourages me to be a better person.”
As White continues to serve the future leaders of the Air Force Reserve, she also plans to capitalize on her Air Force experiences by mentoring young women who are interested in joining the military.
“I often get asked a lot of questions from young women, including those in my hometown, about being in the military,” said White. “Something I would love to do in the future is to host a panel discussion for girls in high school that are interested in joining the armed services to facilitate an open dialogue about the female experience in the military.”
Through her community outreach efforts, White hopes to inspire other young women to be confident in their decision to serve their country.
“Everyone who joins the military has a different ‘Why’. Why they made that specific decision. Many started off like me and joined to be able to support myself as a young adult and eliminate the financial burden on my family,” White said. “I want them to know their story matters and other young women can accomplish anything they set their mind to.”