When a fire burns it spreads

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jordan Castelan
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Airmen of the 4th Air Support Operation Group possess many qualities, however one Airman possesses a unique desire to learn, drive to engage and distinguished flame igniting a passion to pick up and play a wide variety of instruments which refuses to be extinguished.

Tech. Sgt. Clarissa Padilla, 4th ASOG knowledge operations manager, finely tunes her life, passions and work ethics to a note of 'B#'.

"My history with music began in the seventh grade during middle school band," said Padilla. "My aunts and uncles had gone through the same band class before me; they all had the same teacher and it influenced me to do the same as well."

For Padilla, the process of continual self-improvement doesn't end. With the focused energy derived from her musical endeavors, she channels her talent into her personal and professional life.

"It enhances my mission capabilities," said Padilla. "It balances my work and personal life in a positive way; it recharges me, and it takes care of my whole being."

Having charged and ready Airmen present in the workplace creates a culture focused on balance, which spreads like wildfire. Motivating and encouraging others enhances their effectiveness, helping to develop well-rounded and resilient Airmen.

"She's a spark in the office," said Master Sgt. Douglas Middendorf, 4th ASOG cyber surety NCOIC. "Sometimes it feels like her attitude is contagious around the shop. She's a valued member of the team and helps accomplish the mission at hand."

Padilla attributes her success as a musician and an Airman to being able to innovate and explore further options which led her to where she is now.

"Success is part of an environment," said Padilla. "Access to different instruments and a teacher who would allow me to explore is no different than a mentor in the workplace. It never hurt to ask to see if I could play another instrument and continue to better myself."

Priming for success requires many elements to fall into place. Fires don't begin to burn by themselves and people don't spontaneously learn a new instrument or help foster a better atmosphere. Repeating successes requires Airmen learning, engaging and taking a passion in what they stand for.