September 2010 Portrait of a Professional
/ Published September 11, 2010
MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- Portrait of a Professional is a monthly profile of an outstanding Staff Sgt. and below. Senior Airman Josh Tidwell, a HH-60G Pave Hawk Helicopter flightline crew chief with the 129th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron is featured as this month's Portrait of a Professional.
What is your favorite memory in the AF?
Well I have a lot of great memories, however most of them are stupid stories that appeal to my sense of humor. In tech school I actually got pushed into being a green rope against my will and we had groups of Airmen to take care. One of my guys was from North Dakota and had never seen a cockroach before in his life and its Virginia so they were all over this place in our dorms. So it was our second night there and this giant cockroach crawls across the middle of the room and he absolutely freaked out. He started throwing paperwork everywhere. It was like watching 'I Love Lucy' or something because he was standing on top of the chair, scared. He was screaming at the top of his lungs, I have never laughed that hard before in my life.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
All four years of school I was in Air Force JROTC color guard and drill team. I slung rifles, did award ceremonies and stuff like that.
What's the most important lesson you've learned in the military?
I would have to say this it's something directly related with my job, and that's accountability. Being really responsible for everything in your possession, from the equipment you check out to the hardware you take with you to do a job. In our career, leaving something, such as a small washer, could cause catastrophic failure to the aircraft and cost someone their life. It's funny to think back when I was younger I just threw laundry on the ground and I never thought I would have to change that method. Around here I'm so paranoid about stuff like that. I definitely think that's one of the more valuable lessons I've learned.
What motivated you to enlist in the AF?
As I stated before, I spend four years in JROTC and that really kind of got me involved with Air Force history, customs and courtesies and all the stuff you do in a high school program. As the years have passed, I actually still have the exact same friends then as I do now, we all went through the same program and it was always preached to us that it was a better career to choose the Air Force. A lot of people after high school chose other jobs, selling cell phones or working in the mall, and it's really not that impressive. Only a handful of us actually swore in and took on big blue full time, and we're actually doing pretty well. I guess you can say that I'm here because of what I was inspired from what I was taught in JROTC. That program works.
How has being an Airman changed your outlook on life?
Its let me see things I never thought I would actually get to see. I've traveled the world, only to Afghanistan and back, but I've seen things that have really made me grow up and mature. I've grown more so in these three years that in the last ten before I enlisted. It's definitely improved the character of the man.
If you could deploy anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would go to Germany. We went through there briefly on our way to Afghanistan last year and I only got to see a little bit of it. It really looked like a beautiful country and the kind of place I would like to roam around in and check out some sights.
If you could choose any AF job, which would it be?
I actually spend a lot of time considering my options for jobs, even at an early age. When I was growing up, my best friends dad was a helicopter crop duster pilot and I've always wanted to be involved with just that. I've always considered opportunities to get involved with helicopters, and it just didn't seem that I could do anything outside of crop dusting from where I grew up. So I started doing a little research and found out about this career field and the Guard. I wouldn't want to do anything else if I had the choice. However, if they every opened unmanned aerial vehicle piloting to the enlisted career field, I would love to try that.
Where did you grow up?
What are your hobbies?
I like to you around and play with computers quite a bit, I regularly go hiking. I usually try to go camping every winter in the snow. Up in the Sierras, it's my favorite time to go.