Like daughter, like mother
By Airman Michaela R. Slanchik, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 23, 2018
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- In families with a military heritage, children who look up to their parents and grandparents often follow suit and join the military themselves. Sometimes, it’s the other way around.
Staff Sgt. Amanda Robbins, 22nd Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of mission assurance, joined the Air Force in December 2011. Robbins’ mother, Rebecca Ward, had wanted to join the Air Force before she married and had children, but growing her family was always her first priority.
“When Amanda was in tech school she began encouraging me to join the Air Force with her, but I was sure I was too old,” said Ward. “She kept encouraging me to talk to a recruiter, as well as my husband and other children, so I did.”
After finding out she was under the age limit, she began preparing to ship off to boot camp.
“I taught her the reporting statement and what type of workout plans to conduct before she left for basic,” said Robbins.
In March 2013, Ward completed Air Force Basic Military Training after enlisting in the Air National Guard. She then attended tech school and learned her craft, command and control operations, before returning home to the 186th Air Refueling Wing in Meridian, Mississippi, where she plans to serve full time until retirement.
Today, Ward is a staff sergeant, expecting to sew on her next stripe in the very near future.
“Amanda likes to remind me she outranks me with time in service, but I like to remind her I will always outrank her because I'm the momma!” said Ward.
While the friendly competition to race to the top may never diminish, the endless guidance and support for each other’s careers continues.
“I would give her advice about handling her supervisors, Enlisted Performance Reports and bullet-writing,” said Robbins. “I’ve even written her an award package a few times. She has always encouraged me to study for the next rank and give motherly advice on how to handle troop-related issues if I encounter them.”
They continue to learn from each other personally and professionally as they grow together and advance in their careers.
“Amanda has always been very outgoing, strong-willed and determined,” said Ward. “Way back in the day there was a time I was very introverted and quiet, but ‘Manda has shown me that I can be brave too and step out of my comfort zone.”
Robbins reflects that she learns something new from her mother every day.
“You're never too old to fulfill your dreams,” said Robbins.