22nd MXS Airman earns spotlight performer

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Laura Valentine
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
As a spotlight performer, individuals are chosen by leadership for demonstrating one or more of the 22nd ARW commander's intents: Foster a culture of excellence ... Develop the next generation of leaders ... Set and achieve goals.

Staff Sgt. Thomas Pham, 22nd Maintenance Squadron inspection section journeyman, has been in the Air Force for almost 12 years and at McConnell for one year. When he is not training and mentoring airmen, he enjoys spending time with his wife Marlaena and sons, Brandon and Kenneth. He enjoys spending his free time working on his motorcycle and shooting.

Pham's strong work ethic and devotion have garnered the attention of both his supervisors and subordinates," said Tech. Sgt. Michael Oesterle, 22nd MXS section chief. "Since being assigned to the periodic inspection dock, he has dedicated himself to learning a completely new airframe"

Not only has he excelled on the new airframe, but he sets the example for those around him. Pham is always the first person on the job and the last to leave. He has taken it upon himself to ensure Airmen in the shop are staying on track and setting goals toward their skill level upgrade. Pham conducted 17 CDC volume reviews for subordinates; his guidance has pushed 10 troops to passing scores, said Oesterle.

"Pham truly epitomizes the 'whole-person' concept," he said. "His commitment and dedication both on and off duty are examples for us all to follow. He is a mature, articulate NCO that brings not only new ideas, but solutions. Pham is an invaluable asset in the PE dock, to the mission of McConnell, and the United States Air Force."

Who is the most positive influence in your life and why?
My dad is the most positive influence in my life. He was a wounded refugee during the Vietnam War. He arrived in the U.S. with absolutely nothing. He acquired his citizenship, learned English, and built a great life. He taught me you can accomplish anything with hard work and determination.

If you could give advice to a new Airman, what would it be and why?
I would say to volunteer, deploy and be involved. You have opportunities that most will never have, take advantage of them.

What is one goal that you have already accomplished, or would like to accomplish, during your Air Force career?
I was awarded a 7-level on F-15E Strike Eagle at my previous assignment. I'm currently training to acquire a 7-level on KC-135 Stratotankers.

Where is the most interesting place you have traveled and why do you feel that way?
Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Maybe it's not the most interesting place to see but most it's the most life changing and rewarding. Working with other military branches and countries has changed my perception on what's important to me.

If you had the opportunity to meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
I'd have a beer with a World War II-era crew chief and trade stories. I'd like here about the culture and repairing combat damaged aircraft on top of the normal servicing operations. I'd like to hear about it from a crew chief's point of view.