KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Some people in this world like to help people and do so with a joyful spirit.
Heather Shaw, the 403rd Wing commander’s new secretary is one of those shiny happy people, assisting unit members and guests all with a cheerful attitude and a big smile.
“I am passionate about helping people and love making other people's jobs easier,” said the mother of two who began working at the wing in September.
“Heather is such an asset to the office,” said Col. Stuart M. Rubio, 403rd Wing commander. “We are glad to have her here keeping the office, and the wing, functioning at its full potential.”
As the commander’s secretary, she will work a variety of administrative tasks, which include managing the commander’s calendar, arranging meetings, processing timecards, and coordinating official functions for the wing.
Before arriving at Keesler this summer, Shaw began her Air Force journey 23 years ago when she married now Chief Master Sgt. Clayton Shaw who works at the 81st Medical Group. Throughout those two plus decades they moved nine times and had a son and daughter, now ages 18 and 8. In addition to their children they also have four fur babies, two cats and two dogs.
For 17 of those years, she worked as a dental assistant in private practice and then moved on to work for the U.S. Air Force as one of the first civilian trained prophy technicians, who perform tasks such as the cleaning and scaling of teeth. Then, in 2017, she decided to make a career change.
“I loved what I did but I knew it was time for a change, and I wanted to continue to take care of people but in a different way,” she said. “Plus, I love to talk to people and that’s difficult to do when you are treating a dental patient.”
So, she transitioned into the secretarial field.
Shaw said she is excited to be part of the 403rd Wing, the only Air Force Reserve unit in Mississippi, and Keesler’s largest tenant unit, with 1,600 Airmen and 10 WC-130J and 10 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. The 403rd Wing can provide aeromedical evacuation, tactical airlift and airdrop, and agile combat support as well as operating the only weather reconnaissance mission in the Department of Defense.
“I am a very driven person and hard worker,” she said. “I want to continue to learn as much as I can about the U.S. Air Force Reserve and apply that to my daily tasks.”
When she isn’t at work learning about Reserve things and completing associated tasks, she can be found at home with her family baking, cooking savory dishes, watching documentaries or reading books about military history.
“I’m so happy to be here and do my part to support the mission and the people who accomplish it,” she said.