Monday, December 17, 2012

Words from an OAY: SSgt Banks

Staff Sergeant Angelo Banks, of the 81st Security Forces Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, is the second guest OAY blogger in the series. His duty title is "Pass & Registration Clerk." SSgt Banks led eight Airmen as team leader of a quick response fire team while deployed to Manas, Kyrgyzstan. His team secured 90 sorties, which transported 296 tons of cargo worth $451 million. Airman Banks also trained members of the Kyrgyzstan military to search vehicles for improvised explosive devices and led 13 members in 19 flyaway security missions to 39 austere forward operating bases, delivering 1,300 passengers and three detainees.

I am SSgt Angelo C. Banks from Keesler AFB, MS. In October 2006, I decided to join the United States Air Force. I made the decision because my father, who was helping me financially at the time, decided that was no longer an option. With school being my number one priority my father gave me an alternative option how to earn my education for free. January 23, 2007, I was on a plane going to Lackland AFB, TX.

My experience as a Security Forces member has given me a unique outlook on the Air Force. I have obviously gained some experiences and seen some situations that others will not have the privilege to appreciate. Some can say they have been to a certain base in Afghanistan, whereas I can boast being to several Forward Operating Bases, networking with troops from all branches of the military. I have had the opportunity to go through rough but exciting and academically satisfying training that will be valuable to many locations and jobs outside and inside the United States. Security Forces is surely costly on your family and time, but it is a job that you and your family can appreciate the time served in.

Being able to have the Security Forces experience along with my faith, family and support system, I have been honored to receive several awards within the past year. I do not take my reputation lightly and understand that without family, great leadership, and humility there would have been no chance for those opportunities. There are a plethora of Airman in our United States Air Force that deserve these accolades just as much, if not more, than me. My advice to any of those Airmen would be to continue to work hard and appreciate your support system and, in due time, your hard work and humbleness will pay off in a way that will consecrate your future.

For me, there is a bright future ahead to include reaching goals such as graduating with my bachelor degree in Sociology, entering into OTS, and raising my two children to the best of my ability. The Outstanding Airmen of the Year award will play a big part in my future in the Air Force, if I continue with the dedication and ambition it took to get where I am today. I have seen many talents thrown away by peers due to lack of focus. These mistakes motivate me every day to constantly strive higher and never let any situation deter me from getting to the next level of my life.


Angelo C. Banks
Staff Sergeant, USAF

Read last month's guest blog post from SMSgt Callaway >>

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