Airman Spotlight Senior Airman Matthew Rice

Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea -- Name: Matthew Rice

Unit: 51st Communication Squadron

Job title: Airfield Systems Technician

Job description and its impact on the overall mission: Maintain air traffic control ground-to-air communication systems, Instrument Landing Systems, and the Enhanced Terminal Voice Switch. Basically we allow ATCs to communicate with pilots in the air. Most importantly, we maintain the systems required to assist pilots in landing when they are unable to see.

Time in the military: 3 and half years

Time at Osan: 8 months

DEROS: November 2013

Hometown: Dallas/ Ft. Worth, Texas

Hobbies: Working out and working

Why did you join the military? I wanted a new challenge in my life. I wanted to be somewhere I could make a difference in more than one way. Being a civilian allowed me to earn money and work hard without benefits. Being in the Air Force strengthens a person's resolve by challenging them with having to make sacrifices in life. In my opinion more so than a civilian ever would have to do.

Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years? I plan to be a part of the Air Force as long as they will allow me to stay in. I plan to have a few college degrees by my 20 year mark.

What do you do for fun here? I spend most of my time working out. Weekends I try to travel around Korea to see the people we may be called upon to defend. It helps motivate me to know why we are here.

What's your favorite Air Force memory or story? I went TDY to Puerto Rico for seven weeks. No lodging was available on base so I had to stay in a 2 story condo. We got to support flight operations and I was able to enjoy the local area!

What accomplishment are you most proud of? I am proud to having the physical and mental capability to be an effective Airman. Not everyone can say that and mean it.

Who are your role models? My role models are all the people that care about their troops. Everyone knows when they have a leader because the leader will stand in front of you. No one ever forgets the person that makes you care about what you are doing. The ability to make people want to do what is needed to be done is not something you can teach a leader. The leader has to want it as well.