Tag Archives: AFRS

Collaboration is the key!

1st Lt Tori Hight
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The world changes at a rapid pace. Every day we hear news about natural disasters, economic changes and new technological breakthroughs in air, space and cyberspace.

Have you ever found yourself sitting on the couch, watching everything unfold and wonder how you can be a part of the change?

The Air Force Collaboratory is your opportunity to take action and make a difference in solving real-world problems.

The collaboratory is an initiative that encourages science, technology, engineering and math-inclined students, influencers and young people to engage and collaborate with the Air Force to solve real-world challenges in an online community.

The current challenges focus on current and future Air Force technologies for search-and-rescue operations, software coding for unmanned quadrotor drones and calculating precise coordinates for the newest GPS satellite launch.

Users begin by creating a profile and can even link their profile to their Facebook page. The next step is to choose a project. Each project contains a mission brief and materials to help you understand the issue. Users will have the opportunity to find solutions to the challenges alongside real Airmen, who will provide feedback and direction along the way. Collaborators will have to rely on the same critical thinking and problem solving skills as their Airmen counterparts as they work together to develop ideas…ideas that may save lives.


 By Senior Master Sgt. Kathleen McCool
Air Force Recruiting Service

While on an aircraft recently my seven-year-old son pointed out the window and asked me what was below. As I replied “mountains” he got a strange look on his face and said “that’s funny, they don’t look so tall from up here.” Senior Master Sgt. McCool

As I reflected on what he said I realized his statement mirrored my career. As I was looking ahead at each challenge I faced, the mountains appeared so tall, but as I climbed them and looked back down I discovered they weren’t as tall as I thought they were.

My first “mountain” came on the morning of Aug. 3, 1995, when my dad drove me to the Military Entrance Processing Station in Phoenix, Ariz. I can remember it as if it was yesterday — standing under the fluorescent lights outside the building. The fear that had been building over the last year in the Delayed Entry Program was now staring me in the face. I was leaving home for the first time to attend Basic Military Training (BMT). The “mountain” seemed enormous and I almost begged my dad to take me back home, but his words of encouragement were the reason I was able to walk into the building that morning and survive the next six weeks of basic.

It wasn’t until three years later when I returned to BMT that I realized the “mountain” didn’t seem so tall. These experiences continued throughout my career as a health services apprentice, a member of the base honor guard, a military training instructor and here in recruiting duty. I have been fortunate to have many mentors and peers along the way who made the climb much more enjoyable. As you face mountains, find someone to help with your climb and know that someday you will be able to look back on each “mountain” in a different light.

Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Kathleen McCool (right), Air Force Recruiting Service recruiter screening team superintendent, counsels a prospective recruiter. She was recognized as the Air Education and Training Command senior noncommissioned officer of the year for 2010. (courtesy photo)