Maxwell Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > Commentary - ‘Why do I continue to serve?’
‘Why do I continue to serve?’

Posted 2/15/2013   Updated 2/15/2013 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Capt. Theresa Determan
Squadron Officer School

2/15/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- When you think of the words "Airman" and "warrior," do they resonate with you?

On Feb. 27, Squadron Officer School will showcase two wounded warriors that embody the terms "Airman" and "warrior," in an effort to persuade company-grade officers that these terms are not just buzzwords.

SOS presents Warrior Symposium as a capstone event, designed to provide insight and intellectual stimulation from military or community leaders past and present.

This year two Airmen will speak about their combat experiences.

Colonel Tony Millican and Tech. Sgt. Israel Del Toro will provide unique perspectives on resiliency and why they continue to serve the U.S. Air Force.

SOS class 13B, the 30th Student Squadron Knights, selected the theme "Why do I continue to serve?" The objective of the symposium is to encourage personal introspection at a poignant time in a company grade officer's career, four to seven years of military service.

Many SOS students contemplate the continued desire to serve against a career move into the civilian sector. For 13B's symposium, both speakers made deliberate choices to continue to wear the U.S. Air Force uniform despite being confronted with challenging situations.

Millican and Del Toro are wounded warriors who are currently serving on active duty. They both have stories that exemplify the words "Airman" and "warrior" while showcasing the resiliency of the Airman warrior spirit.

Millican is a services officer who survived a Taliban suicide vehicle improvised explosive device attack. After sustaining head trauma and hearing loss, he maintained his warrior ethos and commanded post-attack operations.

Del Toro is a joint terminal attack controller, wounded by an improvised explosive device, leaving him with third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body. He fought for four years to become the first 100 percent disabled Airman on active duty. Both Airmen will present their life stories to help students understand the question posed by the theme.

Two days after attending the symposium, students will graduate and return to their bases, many to larger leadership roles in our Air Force. The SOS experience coupled with this Warrior Symposium theme may provide an enduring legacy upon which each officer can rely as they lead Airmen and answer the question, "Why do I continue to serve?"

No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside Maxwell AFB

ima cornerSearch

tabSocial Media Dashboard






tabTop StoriesRSS feed 
Enlisted leaders engage at summit

AFROTC returns to Harvard

OSC gives 25K in scholarships

CSAF bestowed with enlisted corps' greatest honor

AFROTC cadet wins Boren Award for Arabic studies

Maxwell SAPR chief lights up Montgomery sky

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Carlton reminices on his friendship with Gen. LeMay

Total-force officers take next step

Maxwell awards youngest volunteer

Spouses donate $2,500 to help heal TBI, PTSD

  arrow More Stories

tabAETC NewsRSS feed 
AETC website undergoing extreme makeover

Laughlin Air Force Club member wins truck

Living legend receives ROTC Distinguished Alumni award

Commentary – NCOs echo through eternity

D-models return to flight after longeron repair

Pillars of resiliency: spiritual resilience

Top cop visits Luke

Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act