This is Jennifer Gamble. She was referred to me through @Interviews With Incredible Women and described as “the eternal optimist who can easily create positivity in any situation and brighten everyone’s day- just by being herself! Oh ya, and she’s quite the badass too!” Anyone who qualifies as a badass deserves a free spot on IWIW; I asked her a few questions about her experience*. Jennifer is 32, works for the U.S. Air Force as an Airfield Operations Officer at Joint Base Andrews. She has been married to her husband, Jeremy, for almost six years and they have been stations all over the world, including Korea, Germany, Spain, and throughout the U.S.
Jennifer is originally from Springfield Missouri, and grew up with two working parents (her dad often had 2 or 3 jobs) and she has a twin brother, Ben. She is the first in her family to graduate from college, and she is proud to come from a humble loving background. Jennifer loves being outdoors, working out, being healthy and experiencing new things. She loves to travel, and meet new people. Like she says, “I feel so fortunate for the life I have, and just hope to make the most of it!”
Jennifer, thanks for your service to the United States and for taking the time to answer my questions. You really are an incredible woman.
Q: We are about the same age, which means we have had a few decades to experience life. What are some of the greatest lessons you have learned?
JG: Well, I commissioned to be a pilot, but it turns out I’m not tall enough, therefore, not very good at it. I think the lesson there was that sometimes, no matter how bad you want something, or how hard you try some of us are just not meant to do certain things. The other lesson I learned from that experience is that the people who matter most are the ones who love you for who you are, not the job you do. My husband and family supported me the entire way, and never once let me get down about it. After the failed pilot training attempt I got my current job, and I am definitely meant to do this job. I love it, and I’m great at it.
Q: Tell me about your work with the Air Force. How has being a woman in aeronautics been interesting/wonderful/difficult?
JG: I joined the Air Force at the age of 19 sort of on a whim. I woke up one day and thought “that would be awesome,” so I just went and did it. You could call it a calling, a sense of adventure, whatever. Joining the Air Force has been the best decision I have ever made. I love it. You might think that being in a career field with few women would be tough, but I have found it to be the opposite. My Air Force brothers have treated me just as that – as family, as a sister, and I have always felt accepted. I started out Enlisted, and then at my 9-year mark crossed over to become an Officer. I am now an Airfield Operations Officer and am in charge of the airfield at Joint Base Andrews. I run the airport where Air Force One is located, so it can be a challenging and stressful job at times, but its awesome!
Q: Do you have a message that everyone should hear?
JG: The message that I have for the world is that we all have an influence on something, someone, so be conscious of that and make the most of it. Perception really is reality, so if you go into every day, every challenge, with a positive can-do attitude, either you will get it done, or people will appreciate your attitude and love you enough to help you get it done. I have always been someone who is willing to work hard. I’ve never been the smartest person in the room, but I really believe that with a positive attitude and a smile you can achieve almost anything.
We all have a purpose here on this earth. I have no idea what mine is, but I know I find joy in seeing other people happy. I don’t think I do anything special, but if others need help I help them; if someone looks like they are having a rough day I make them laugh, or give them a hug. If everyone would care a little more about others, this world would be a better place. I find joy in working hard, and knowing I am doing the best I can at whatever it is I am doing. I know that I feel good when I know I am doing the good-right thing. I’m not perfect, nobody is, but I really try to remain positive, and give each day my best shot! I have found that false motivation…is still motivation. On the days I struggle, or bad things happen I look for the positive, and press on! Eventually things will get better, and the bad moments are simply moments in this way bigger picture called life. Get through the yucky moments so you can press on with the wonderfulness out there!
Q: What inspires you? Where do you find your greatest joy?
JG: The men and women I work with in the Armed Forces inspire me. When I was in Iraq, I would see young men and women come back to our base, horribly wounded, and they always seemed to be concerned about their fellow Airmen or Soldiers. There’s something to be said for fighting for something more than yourself and looking past all the political controversy to serve your country.
My greatest joy is seeing the happiness, success, and love in others. I think that’s why I try to remain so positive. There’s no better feeling thank knowing that you made someone’s day better, or helped them in some way. A little love goes a long ways!
* If you know someone who would be great for @Interviews With Incredible Women, please message me. J