I am The 908th: Tech. Sgt. Michael Coleman

  • Published
  • By Maj. John T. Stamm
  • 908th Airlift Wing

Starting when he was no more than 8 years old, Tech. Sgt. Michael Coleman, 908th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron avionics technician, and his older brother would accompany their father, a telecommunications technician, to work some nights.

It was there that he would acquire the skills, attributes and work ethic that would serve him well as a Reserve Citizen Airman.

“Rather than get a babysitter, my father just took us to work with him,” Coleman said. “We’d help him with whatever he was fixing. That’s where I first learned how to troubleshoot and resolve issues.”

His parents wanted him to obtain a college education, but Coleman’s heart really wasn’t in it. He completed two years’ worth of classes before deciding he really wanted to see what else life had to offer. 

In 2012 Coleman took a leap of faith and joined the Air Force Reserve at the 908th Airlift Wing as an avionics technician.

“I’d always been mechanically inclined, and I loved working with my hands.  And, since I really wanted to work on aircraft… actually, that’s all I wanted to do… joining maintenance was a perfect fit,” he said.

Coleman now serves the 908th AW full-time as an Air Reserve Technician, whose greatest job satisfaction comes from watching aircraft take off and knowing that his skills, knowledge, teamwork and leadership helped generate that lethal combat capability.

“I have my father to thank for that,” he said.

He also has some advice for individuals who are considering military service or working in the skilled trades versus, or in addition to, pursuing an academic career.

“Talk to people who actually work in the industry you are interested in. Chances are you know somebody, or know somebody who knows somebody, who can tell you what working in that field is really like and the best way to prepare yourself for it,” he said. “You’ll learn more from those conversations than you ever will just attending career fairs or searching the internet.”

Tech. Sgt. Coleman is a bold, agile and dedicated Airman supplying superior combat capability, which is why he was named the 908th’s Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2024.