349th ARS Airman earns spotlight performer

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
As a spotlight performer, individuals are chosen by leadership for demonstrating the Air Force's Core Values: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do

Airman 1st Class Spencer Anderson, 349th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, was chosen as the 22nd Air Refueling Wing spotlight performer for the week of April 28 to May 2.

Anderson, an Albany, Ore. native, joined the Air Force in June 2011 and arrived at McConnell in June 2012. As a boom operator, he conducts in-flight refueling aboard KC-135 Stratotankers for multiple Department of Defense and allied aircraft around the world.

He is also responsible for cargo loading and calculating weight distribution to make sure the KC-135 is within safe operational limits on every flight.

"Spencer's dedication to our squadron and our Air Force is phenomenal," said Lt. Col. Stephen Matthews, 349th ARS commander. "He embodies the spirit of service above self in everything that he does."

His additional duties include serving as a squadron physical training leader and a readiness assistant, helping 95 members of his squadron stay deployment ready.

Anderson considers himself to be an outdoorsman during his free time, which he spends perusing his hobbies such as snowboarding, camping, traveling and playing basketball and tennis.

Who is the most positive influence in your life and why?
The most positive influence in my life is my parents, no doubt. It sounds cliché, but they really influenced who I am and where I am today. Being a third generation military member, I grew up listening to stories about my dad and his time in the Army as well as my grandpa who fought in The Korea War. They really influenced my decision to serve my country.

If you could give advice to a new Airman, what would it be and why?
A mentor gave me some very simple yet profound advice when I was young. He told me to "show up." It sounds silly but I believe it is a foundation of success in the military and in your personal life. He said "be where you need to be, and when you're supposed to be there," whether it's to work, a flight, a meeting, a class, or a family member's little league game. Do not be an empty seat, just show up. You will be surprised how easy the rest can be once you understand that. The second piece of advice I have is to know your job. Be the best at it and it will take you to some great places.

What is one goal that you have already accomplished, or would like to accomplish, during your Air Force career?
Last year I completed my associate's degree in the Community College of the Air Force in Aviation Operations. It was a great experience. Currently, I am about one year away from my bachelor's degree, and when that's done I want to get my master's degree. Never stop learning, it will give you many opportunities, plus it makes you more interesting.

Where is the most interesting place you have traveled and why do you feel that way?
I spent a few years in the Dominican Republic working with a church, so I would say that it has a special place in my heart. I got to travel to many different cities helping to build homes, churches, and teaching English classes to the youth in the communities. I would say it was the most interesting place because it showed me how people who had almost nothing could be more happy and content with their lives than many people here in the United States. It was a great eye-opening experience.

If you had the opportunity to meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
If I could meet one person, I would want to meet Thomas Jefferson. He was a very astute philosopher as well as a genius-inventor. He designed specialty chairs and doors, and all kinds of other interesting innovations. He was super interesting, plus he wrote the Declaration of Independence, and that became quite important.