EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
During our celebration of Women’s History Month, we highlight up and coming leaders such as Tech. Sgt. Tracey Newton. Currently, she is the executive assistant to Chief Master Sgt. Brian Stafford. Newton shared her experiences in the Air Force with Tiffany Holloway, AFTC public affairs director, during a question and answer session.
Holloway: How many years have you been in the Air Force? What made you join the Air Force? Were you a military brat?
Newton: I have been in the Air Force for a little over 15 years. After completing one year of college, I decided that I wanted to do something more exciting. I originally wanted to enlist in the Army to follow in the footsteps of my older brother and sister. However, they highly insisted that I join the Air Force. It was the greatest decision I could have made. I was not a military brat, but I have many family members who served and are still serving in all branches of the Armed Forces. They inspired to me get to where I am today.
Holloway: Wow! What an interesting story. So, how long have you been with AFMC? To expand, what were you doing before being the executive assistant to Chief Master Sgt. Stafford?
Newton: Edwards Air Force Base is my first AFMC duty station. In the past, I have been stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB (ACC), Kunsan AB (PACAF), and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (PACAF). I arrived at Edwards in October 2019. Prior to becoming the AFTC Command Chief executive assistant, I was the Sustainment Services Flight Superintendent for the 412th Force Support Squadron. In that position, I oversaw the Dining Facility, Fitness Center, Lodging, and Official Mail Center.
Holloway: When mentoring new female Airmen, what advice do you give them?
Newton: The advice I provide is to do your job and do it well. Not everyone has the opportunity to serve in the world’s greatest Air Force and you were selected for a reason. Take pride in that and always put your best foot forward. Your subordinates, peers and leadership will respect this and it sets the stage for a healthy work environment. Additionally, I would advise her to continue to push forward and seek out opportunities for growth. There may be times in your career where you are challenged and pushed to your breaking point, but you cannot let that defeat you. Don’t allow anyone hold you back and don’t take no for an answer when striving to accomplish a goal. In the great words of General Brown, there are “5 stages of No,” you just have to get through them. In other words, you may not always succeed on you first attempt, but be consistent and persistent. Great feats in history don’t just magically happen. It takes hard work and dedication.
Holloway: As an up and coming leader, when you face challenges, what encourages you?
Newton: One of the things that continues to encourage me to press forward is thinking of those who are in my corner, cheering me on. There are many people in my life who want to see me to succeed. Knowing that I have their support means a lot to me. I also find that going through challenges gives me a story to tell. It helps me to lead and mentor others who may face those same challenges in the future. Nothing lasts forever so you have to keep going. The storm will eventually pass.
Holloway: How have your female mentors played a role in your life?
Newton: I have had the pleasure of having a few women mentors. They have not only played a vital role in my military career, but also in my personal life. However, one statement that has always stuck out to me is “Do everything with confidence. If you’re not confident with yourself, how can you expect others to be?”
Holloway: I feel moved by your words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your advice. Why do you think it’s important to celebrate Women’s History Month?
Newton: The women before us have overcome many obstacles and accomplished so much to get us to where we are today. Because of these powerful women, we no longer have to sit back and be quiet. We are now in the forefront and accomplishing things that generations before us couldn’t even fathom. I acknowledge, respect, and embrace this history. A proud history that should not and cannot be ignored or forgotten. Knowing the journey of how we got to this point. The women of history must be honored and their story must be told. This helps empowers us as women to continue keep breaking barriers.
Holloway: Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Newton: One thing I love about the Air Force, besides being able to travel the world, are the many opportunities we are given to expand our knowledge. I don’t particularly enjoy the monotony of working in one position for very long and the Air force has given me the opportunity to work in a an array of different jobs. This is one of the things I love about being on the Sustainment side of the Force Support Squadron. In this unit, we are in a constant rotation between the Dining Facility, Lodging, Fitness Center, and Readiness office and I have been able to work in all of them. Outside of the FSS career field, I have also worked at the Enlisted Club, Dorm Management, Unit Training Manager, assisted with FTAC and now I am a Command Chief Executive assistant. I have gained a breath of experience during my 15 years and feel that having this experience helps me to be a better leader. I can truly say that the Air Force has been good to me.