From firing rifles to shooting Canons

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Samantha Wagner
  • 934th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
After ten years of being an AF Security Forces Specialist I decided to change careers and try my hand at photojournalism. Although I had plenty of experience with photography, blogging was about the closest to journalism I ever got.

As a security forces member I was responsible for defending the force. Our orders were straight to the point. Serve and protect the members and assets of the US Air Force. Today I am learning to serve the Air Force in a different way. I am not only capturing the stories of everyday events and telling the world, but I am preserving history. My favorite part is that I learn so much about other units and people on base by writing their stories.

The transition from Security Forces to Public Affairs is more difficult than I initially thought. I spent a decade following strict guidelines and being a part of a very structured organization. Public Affairs is not so clearly defined. The schedule can change at any given moment without any notice. A typical assignment could be as simple as taking photos at a retirement ceremony to photographing and writing the story on a training mission in a remote location on drill weekend. I have spent more time in the back of a C130 Hercules in the past five months than I have my entire military career.
In a way, they are the same as they both can be fast paced and you have always got to be ready for the unknown, and the next challenge.

As I have put away my M4 and now carry a Canon or Nikon, I can say I've had a lot of great experiences with the SFS but am grateful for the opportunities there are in the Reserve to cross train into a completely new field. I guess I better wrap this up now, I've got a deadline to meet!