CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada -- Is this the job for me? Did I
pick the right career field? Those are questions many airmen ask
themselves throughout their Air Force careers.
Air Force Tech
Sgt. Noah Stamps, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing command
chief's executive assistant, has firsthand experience with that same
Stamps said he was not always fond of his job. He
first joined the Air Force in 2002 as a security forces airman at
Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota -- an assignment notorious for
its challenging winter weather.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Noah Stamps, 432nd Wing/432nd air Expeditionary
Wing command chief executive assistant, is coined for superior
performance by Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody
during his reenlistment ceremony at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada,
July 15, 2014. During his 13-year career, Stamps has served in four
different Air Force specialties. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)
"It's Minot, and it gets down to negative 60
degrees in the winter, and as an 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 said one of the pros about his
first base was his phenomenal leadership who valued morale,
promoting the idea of "comprehensive airmen fitness" before
it was popularized throughout the service.
having great leaders who 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
As he progressed through the ranks, he
said 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, Stamps said, that he
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 technical training, the
Air Force merged public affairs and visual information
career fields, which reduced the number of airmen in the
career field. Stamps said he was once again left wondering
what to do next.
Finding His Place
"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 chaplain's assistant. I loved the idea of helping
people out in a different capacity."
It wasn't long before the need to discover different
ways to make an impact on airmen and their careers pushed
Stamps to apply to be an Airman Leadership School
professional military education instructor. 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."
plenty of people tried to discourage him from being an
instructor, but he continued to apply for the special duty
position until he was eventually picked for the job. He said
it taught him a lesson he likes to pass along.
"Always pursue your passion," he said. "There are so many
people who 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
Experience Into Wisdom
Stamps said stepping out of his comfort zone proved
beneficial to his career development into a noncommissioned
His 13-year career now includes multiple special duty
assignments, two AFSC's, three deployments, graduating 22
ALS PME classes and holding a total of four jobs. He said
that experience has prepped him to give advice to help other
airmen who may be wondering what the Air Force has in store
for them as well.
"Sergeant Stamps is full of immense
knowledge and has been a key mentor of mine for about a year
now," said Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Ingersoll, 432nd
WG/432nd AEW executive administration specialist. "His
leadership and mentorship have guided me in the right
direction, not only with career decisions but also in life
Impacting the airmen beneath him isn't
the only task that Stamps is focused on.
"It is easy to
see how Sergeant Stamps' diverse career and breadth of
experience has made him such a resilient leader," said Air
Force Chief Master Sgt. Michael Ditore, the wing's command
chief master sergeant. "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 who leads by example and exemplifies our core values of
integrity, service, and excellence."
By U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Adarius Petty
DOD News / Defense Media Activity
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