SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. — For one 20th Fighter Wing airman, the past year-and-a-half in the Air Force has instilled many important sense-of-self lessons.
Airman 1st Class Sohail (so-HILL) A. Sayeed (SIGH-eed), 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament crew member, uses lessons the Air Force taught him to give back to others.
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Sohail (so-HAIL) A. Sayeed (SIGH-eed), 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament crew member, tightens a bolt on a MAU-12 heavy duty ejector rack, Dec. 17, 2013, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. Sayeed exemplifies the Air Force core values by being a good wingman, using the Air Force to further his educational goals, and volunteering whenever he can. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Bass)
“I found that (the Air Force) makes you a better person,” said Sayeed, “that it's an honorable job, and that the values and morals that they instill into people truly benefits society as a whole.”
Sayeed originally looked into the Air Force for the education benefits, but after studying more about what can be accomplished for society as an Airman, he knew he had found the right place to be.
The Air Force core value of ‘Integrity First' is one of the biggest motivators in Sayeed's life.
“He (Sayeed) always does everything by the book,” said Airman 1st Class Christopher Schimke, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament crew member. “He always likes to make sure it's correct. He's a fantastic Airman when it comes to detail.”
“It's (the Air Force) made me never want to tell another lie, easy as that,” said Sayeed. “Especially on the job, if you tell a lie on the job and you actually mess something up, that can cause serious backlash. But if you think about it you can really do that if you tell a friend a lie, down the road they could hate you forever for it.”
Schimke said Sayeed is a fantastic example of an Airman who follows the rules.
Beyond integrity, Sayeed follows a strict code of “Wingmanship” that has been imprinted on the way he lives.
“A lot of people have trouble dealing with life in general, and with the adjustment into the Air Force,” said Sayeed. “I found that it's easy for me to talk to people, for people to get comfortable with me. It boils down to the Wingman concept, it's as easy as just watching out for them, or as tough as dealing with life problems; but it's simply being that friend and being there for them to lean on you.”
“He's a great friend,” said Schimke. “My wife calls him ‘happy man'. I know in tech school he actually helped someone who was contemplating suicide; he took the correct actions, helped them out, and gave them steps to brighten their future.”
While at Shepard Air Force Base, Texas , for technical school, Sayeed realized his ability to be a Wingman. He assisted multiple Airmen through issues like deaths- in-the-family, marriage and financial problems, and other tough situations.
Schimke said that around the shop Sayeed does things as simple as just bringing a smile to people's face.
In addition to having integrity and displaying Wingmanship, Sayeed looks at the Air Force as a stepping stone to his future.
“Eventually I want to get a degree in Astronautical Engineering,” said Sayeed. “That's dealing with space craft. That was part of the reason I joined the Air Force, I felt like the Air Force was a natural choice.”
Sayeed said that regardless of whether or not he spends 20 years in the Air Force, or gets out soon, he'll use the education benefits and lessons the Air Force taught him to further his education.
“I'm looking to join the (U.S.) Air Force Academy,” said Sayeed. “I want to be an officer, but I want my education from that school.”
Schimke said that Sayeed is definitely a man he could take orders from.
“He's a smart man,” said Schimke. “He loves to lead; and he's a good leader.”
When Sayeed isn't at work or in class, he can almost always be found volunteering in some fashion or another.
“The Air Force unleashed it (volunteering),” said Sayeed. “I liked doing it, I've always liked helping people out, but I never really sought out on my own initiative to actually do it.”
Sayeed volunteers with the Single Enlisted E4 and Below Leadership Team, the Air Force Sergeants Association, the Dorm Counsel, the Rising Four and several other organizations.
His volunteering started in technical school, where he was a student leader and had the ability to go out and represent the Air Force with a smile and service.
“He's a people person,” said Schimke. “ He'll take time out of his day, to brighten yours.”
“I volunteer as much as I can,” said Sayeed. “I'd go stir-crazy sitting in my room doing nothing.”
From integrity, Wingmanship, and education, to volunteering, Sayeed exemplifies what it means to be an Airman, and it's easy to see why he says the Air Force is amazing.
“(Being in the Air Force) is the greatest experience in my life, and the best decision I've ever made,” said Sayeed.
By USAF Airman 1st Class Jonathan Bass
Provided through DVIDS
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