I am The 908th: Tech. Sgt. Cecilia Nguyen

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Eric M. Sharman
  • 908th Airlift Wing

What does it mean to be home?

Is it a building, or is it the people who you’re surrounded by? Is it the values and morals that those people have?

Tech. Sgt. Cecilia Nguyen, a tiltrotor/helicopter mechanic assigned to the 908th Maintenance Squadron, thinks that home is all those things. The daughter of 908th Airlift Wing veterans, this Alabama native considers her reserve career an extension of her concept of home.

“I was raised by two Airmen, and they held the same values in our home that the Air Force instills in you. I just love being here, honestly,” said Nguyen.

Finding her Air Force home didn’t happen immediately. Nguyen enlisted with the desire to become a loadmaster but was disqualified because she didn’t meet the minimum height requirement for that specialty. She then pursued her lingering interest in aerospace propulsion, which became a true passion for her.

“When diagnosing a problem with an aircraft, it’s challenging because every little component is connected, and the cause of the problem may not be what you first think it is. Being able to do a job well and to completion is so fulfilling,” she said. “I love being able to work on an aircraft and watch it take off.”

About to enter her ninth year of service, Nguyen has also found a passion in leading and training the Airmen around her as she has climbed the ranks. Seeing her impact on others has inspired her to continue to improve her unit.

“Helping people and training Airmen is a reward in itself,” said Nguyen. “Watching someone go from having no mechanical experience and eventually build themselves up into a confident, capable technician is wonderful.”

Those very Airmen have motivated Nguyen to create an environment where they feel the way she does. She wants a unit where people feel at home, feel welcome, and want to be there.

“My whole point of being here is to inspire future generations, especially women in maintenance and future leaders,” said Nguyen. “I want to make this unit a home for people.”