Celebrating Women of Osan, Part II
By A1C Rachel Casas and A1C Dominic Salcido, 51st Fighter Wing
/ Published March 13, 2014
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- In recognition of Women's History Month, the WHM committee is highlighting women who embody the month's theme of "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment." This is part two in a series of four of inspirational women on Osan Air Base.
Name: Senior Master Sgt. Kathleen A. Ross
Unit: 51st Security Forces Squadron
Job title: First Sergeant
Job description and its impact on the overall mission: (I) serve as Squadron First Sergeant for the 51st Security Forces Squadron, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, the largest Security Forces unit in Pacific Air Forces. (I) serve as the primary advisor to the Squadron Commander regarding the health, welfare, and morale for a 479 person combat unit.
Time in the military: I entered the Air Force on Sep. 8, 1993 at the age of 20. After completing basic military training and technical training, I was assigned to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, as a Supply specialist. I served at various locations throughout the Air Force, providing support to Operations PROVIDE COMFORT, Operations NORTHERN and SOUTHERN WATCH and Operations ENDURING, IRAQI FREEDOM, OPERATION NEW DAWN and JTF Horn of Africa. I have served for the last 6 years as a First Sergeant in various Units to include; Security Forces, Aircraft Maintenance, Civil Engineer, Air Mobility and Logistics Readiness Squadrons. I have also deployed to several locations as a First Sergeant providing consistent care to Airmen deployed around the world.
Time at Osan: I am here on a two year tour with my husband Senior Master Sgt. Darryl Ross. We came from RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom in July of 2013.
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York and graduated May, 1991 from Bishop Ford Catholic High School.
Hobbies: Traveling and Shopping. Mostly spending quality time with my family (husband and 2 dogs).
Why did you join the military? I was struggling with two jobs and attending college. School loans and cost of living in New York and New Jersey drove my decision to enter the service and I needed a sense of purpose. I decided on the Coast Guard first because I spent a lot of time on boats and the beach growing up. The Coast Guard recruiter said I needed to wait 6 month for a slot to open up and then....the Air force recruiter got ahold of me in the hallway. I visited McGuire Air Force Base, the dorms, base facilities, met some Airman and I was sold (with the GI benefits!) I was in the Air force 30 days later and never looked back.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? 2013 USAFE-AFAFRICA Katharine Wright Memorial Award and my Master's degree.
Who are your role models? Anyone that has succeeded in spite of a set back and who has made an incredible comeback from a challenging situation.
What drove you to continue your career in the military? The incredible job of helping Airmen every day. Also, I always felt I owed my supervisors a debt by continuing to serve.
What advice do you have for other women coming into the services? Always be a professional and act like a woman - you CAN do both. Always be YOU, always strive to be smarter, stronger, and better.
If you could start over from the point which you joined the military, would you do it all over again or choose something different? I wouldn't change anything in my career, my journey was meant to be mine. I do wish I stayed in touch with more people throughout my career.