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Maj. Gen. Wallace W. "Wade" Farris, Jr., 22nd Air Force commander, visits 403rd wing 'You can open doors throughout your career and be prepared for opportunities."
Maj. Gen. Wallace W. "Wade" Farris, Jr., 22nd Air Force commander, speaks to 403rd Wing Reservists at an airmen's breakfast saturday morning of January Unit Training Assembly. Only a handful of derserving airmen where selected to attend the breakfast and interact with General Farris. They had the opportunity to ask him questions and visit before the wing commander's call. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Tabitha Dupas)
Maj. Gen. Wallace W. "Wade" Farris, Jr., 22nd Air Force commander, tours the propulsions shop of the Roberts Maintenance Facility while visiting the 403rd Wing. Senior Master Sgt. Johnson explains to the general the responsibilities of the airmen in the shop. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Tabitha Dupas)
by Staff Sgt. Tabitha Dupas
403rd Wing Public Affairs
1/8/2012 - Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. -- "Open your own doors!"
This is the advice Maj. Gen. Wallace W. "Wade" Farris, Jr., 22nd Air Force commander, offered to the 403rd Wing as he visited during January's Unit Training Assembly.
He spent the day touring and addressing questions and concerns presented by the Reservists starting with an airmen's breakfast where he began stressing his three key elements to a successful Air Force career: know the job, get along with people, and education.
"The (Air Force) Reserve is becoming more and more like active duty," said General Farris. "It is important to be the best you can be in your job and train as much as you can; when situations arise, you will know what to do."
The general suggested maintaining a positive attitude while on duty will help in getting along with peers. He then began to discuss the importance of continuous education through college, Professional Military Education and Career Development Courses.
"You can open doors throughout your career and be prepared when opportunities are presented," said General Farris. "Promotions and jobs are competitive. Having your CCAF (Community College of the Air Force) degree can land you above other prospects. In fact, it is mandatory for promotion to master sergeant."
Airman Basic Sheleeka Bryant, 403rd knowledge operations management, was one of the airmen selected to attend the breakfast. She has been with the wing for a year and says she was honored to be there and hopes to implement the determination that General Farris discussed into her own Air Force career.
At the conclusion of breakfast, General Farris attended the wing commander's call, where he reiterated the same three points and reminisced about his time here. He served with the 403rd Wing from July 1998 through August 1999 as the Operations Group commander.
General Farris then accompanied Lt. Col. Jason May, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron commander, on board a C-130J for the colonel's final flight before his change of command and retirement.
"I always enjoy flying, especially on the C-130," said General Farris.
He spent the rest of the afternoon meeting the Reservists who make the 403rd Wing the wing of choice. He covered topics from budget cuts, to air reserve technicians, to seasonal training orders, and football, answering each question.
General Farris spent time with the crew chiefs and expressed his appreciation to them for the job they do. He told them a story of a crew chief that was adamant about doing his job correctly when it came to a safety issue; there was a missing tool in the plane and the crew chief would not allow the plane to fly until it was found.
"He is one of the reasons I'm standing here with two stars today," said General Farris.
" It is nice to get around and visit the airmen under the 22nd Air Force," he said.
"I think it is important the higher command visits us because it lets us know they haven't forgotten about us and that we are equally important," said Airman Bryant. "He was very nice and down to earth."
At the end of the day, General Farris returned to his family for the evening. He left the Citizen Airmen of the 403rd Wing with his key to a successful career; "Open your own doors, and keep them open in order to stay in the game."