All posts by mmarch

24 hours in the Air Force: your story in photos

by Tech. Sgt. Mareshah Haynes, Air Force News Service

Air Force Week kicks off in New York City

Are you a chef in the dining facility who prepares the midnight meal? Are you a security forces member who guards the gate at all hours? Are you a medical technician who works the swing shift in the hospital? Have you ever wanted to show the world exactly what goes on during your Air Force workday?

Here’s your chance. Help us document your Air Force story.

We want to show the incredible diversity, ingenuity, conflict and triumph that occur within the Air Force in just 24 hours. Help us tell your part of the Air Force story in our photo project, “24 hours in the Air Force.”

On March 29, participants will take a photo of what’s going on in their work center at a specific hour. Once we have all of the photos, we’ll compile them into an album showing Airmen at work in various locations and career fields during each hour of that day. The album will appear on our social media sites in April.

No one knows your Air Force story like you do, so who better to tell it? Send your name, location and career field to to get your place on the clock.

Please remember to keep it classy, Air Force, and don’t submit any photos that you wouldn’t want your grandma or your commander to see. As always, operations security is a must. If you have any questions regarding OPSEC violations, contact your security manager or public affairs office.

Show us what’s going on where you are, whether it’s a promotion ceremony or an exercise. We want to see it.

DoDLive bloggers roundtable: Healthy Base Initiative

by Meredith March, Defense Media Activity Air Force Production

Air Force Week kicks off in New York City

If we better understand how to make healthy lifestyle choices, will we be more likely to make them?

The Healthy Base Initiative, a recently announced demonstration project for the Defense Department’s Operation Live Well, aims to determine just that.

At a recent DoDLive bloggers roundtable, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and Charles E. Milam, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, revealed that the year-long demonstration project will evaluate 13 installations to design a cohesive program that empowers service members, their families and civilians to take charge of their health by making informed choices.

Many of the services’ and installations’ longstanding programs will be evaluated to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Best practices across participants will be shared with the services for further implementation throughout the force.

“The idea is to reach out into the communities [and] link projects that build health and environments where our men and women in the service and their families and civilians can make healthy choices,” Woodson said.

Because obesity-related health issues not only affect service members’ readiness, but also increase the risk of early military discharge or serious illness, the initiative will emphasize the importance of programs that encourage making informed nutritional food choices, weight management, tobacco cessation, and increased physical activity.

“We hope to … determine which programs really make a difference in bringing down obesity, promoting living healthy lifestyles, and increasing level of fitness,” Milam said.

Listen to the bloggers roundtable audio (MP3)

Learn more about the Healthy Base Initiative.

Women’s History Month: granting a last wish

by Meredith March, Defense Media Activity Air Force Production

I never had the honor of meeting Mildred McDowell, but she inspired an experience that taught me about the undeniable camaraderie past and present Air Force members share.


I was working at Airman magazine in early 2011, when one of the writers, Randy Roughton, traveled to Illinois to interview the 103-year-old McDowell. At the time, she was our country’s oldest living female veteran.

In his story, published in the March/April issue, Roughton mentioned that McDowell, who joined the Women’s Army Corps in 1943 and later transferred into the Air Force, wished to eventually be buried in her Women’s Air Force uniform–which she no longer possessed.

As a staff, we were touched by the many calls and emails we received from service members three and four generations younger than McDowell, offering to track down a replacement uniform. It had been more than 40 years since she had retired, and people still appreciated her service and felt inspired to honor her.

We were told that McDowell was thrilled when she was presented with the uniform later that year.

“She was very proud and pleased that she would be able to be buried in her uniform,” said her grand-nephew, Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Stan Giles of the 134th Air Refueling Wing at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn.

When she died at the age of 104 on Nov. 15, 2012, McDowell was buried in her uniform in Ramsey, Ill., about 75 miles north of Scott Air Force Base.

Learn more about pioneering Air Force women on the Women’s History Month page at

Bloggers roundtable: 100 years of flying

by Airman 1st Class Zachary Vucic, Defense Media Activity Air Force Production
edited by Meredith March, Defense Media Activity Air Force Production

On Tuesday, March 12th, we participated in a bloggers roundtable with a U-2 pilot, whose name is being withheld, who discussed the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron‘s history, centennial anniversary and U-2 mission.

Air Force Week kicks off in New York City

Listen to the audio from the roundtable (MP3).

The 1st RS, based at Beale Air Force Base, is the military’s oldest flying unit.

Despite a number of name and mission changes over the years, the squadron, which was established on March 5, 1913, remains a fixture of United States Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The squadron is the training unit for the Air Force U-2 program.

Originally called the 1st Aero Squadron, the 1st RS has flown 47 different airframes while being stationed at 52 locations throughout the world.

Check out Airman magazine features on the 1st RS and the U-2 mission.

Women’s History Month: honoring female trailblazers

by Rich Lamance, Defense Media Activity Air Force Production
edited by Meredith March, Defense Media Activity Air Force Production

Female Airmen have come a long way in seven decades.

Air Force Week kicks off in New York City

While women were allowed to serve in just two official Army Air Corps women’s aviation units more than 70 years ago, they currently comprise nearly 20 percent of the active-duty Air Force.

Each day this month, is celebrating female Air Force pioneers by showcasing a woman or women’s organization that made an impact on the service.

The series began with Col. Jeannie Leavitt, the Air Force’s first female fighter pilot and later the service’s first woman to graduate from the Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Last year, Leavitt became the Air Force’s first female combat wing commander.

Other profiles will include Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, the Air Force’s first female four-star general, and Sheila Widnall, the first female Secretary of the Air Force.

To read all of profiles in the series, go to’s Women’s History Month page.