NAVAL AIR STATION FORT WORTH JOINT RESERVE BASE, Texas --
In this edition of Spotlight Tech. Sgt. David Flores, a 73rd Aerial Port Squadron unit training manager, shares why he joined the military and his career goals.
Q: What did you want to do as a kid?
Flores: As a kid, I wanted to do what I think a lot of kids wanted to do, which is be a pilot. I wanted to fly jets.
Q: Why did you join the military?
Flores: You know, it’s kind of a clichéd answer, but I really did want to serve my country. I wanted to be part of the uniformed service. My father was in the Air Force; he served in Vietnam. I joined really late, actually. But being in that position, being the age that I was, my mindset wasn’t to gain stuff from joining the Air Force, it was to contribute and to serve. So, that’s why I joined.
Q: What are your hobbies?
Flores: Well, these days my hobbies are a lot of Air Force work, a lot of additional duties. But I do have some firearms. I do like to shoot. Martial Arts training, which I guess you could consider that a hobby, was a way of life for a long time for me. And family, hanging out with kids. I have a lot of those and that’s a real big thing for me, work-life balance, and trying to spend enough time with the family.
Q: What is something people don’t as well about you?
Flores: Oh boy, well, I don’t know if I want people to know everything about me, but I think what a lot of people might be surprised to know about me is my long-term study of Chinese Kung Fu. Most people say I’m pretty friendly, open, but they’ve never seen a different, more aggressive side of me that can be there when I need it. But they would never guess, I don’t think, that I have a pretty strong Martial Arts background. It’s something that I think catches people off guard sometimes. That and my limited knowledge of Cantonese.
Q: What is your favorite part of the job?
Flores: That’s a tough one. I think it’s the people, really. That’s what I enjoy the most about being out here. [Seeing the] airplanes and jets are cool. That’s always fun, but I don’t get to do that a whole lot. So coming out here and being in this position especially, the unit training manager, gives me a lot of opportunity to interact with the squadron and various members of all levels. Sometimes I get to talk to officers, which is something I’m always trying to work on. So I think having the chance to talk to people, and interact with everybody, and affect good change, a positive change with their training is what I enjoy most about it.
Q: What are your career goals?
Flores: Well, what’s in front of me right now is going for that next stripe. I just completed NCO Academy. So that brings me closer to achieving that goal and I think first sergeant is something I’m eyeballing in the not too distant future. Probably the same as a lots of people. I want to get as far as I can, as high as I can, see as much of the world and the Air Force as I can. So I’m pretty open with what that might look like, but I do know I have a good short-term plan in place. I whole-heartedly believe in Servant Leadership and throughout my career that’s what I want to cultivate and demonstrate.
Q: What would you say to people who might want to join the reserve, but think it’s too late to do so?
Flores: Do it! One thing I learned in basic training was age is just a number. You can be 30 and not know in military terms as much as the 20-year-old sitting next to you. You do have some advantages in life experiences, but I say do it. It’s never too late. I joined at 30 and I was at the top-10 percent of my flight. I was doing things physically I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do, but I did, and found some good motivation. So yeah, it’s never too late.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Flores: Have a fine Air Force Day!