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Mother, Chief inspired by Airmen

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Chelsea FitzPatrick
  • 127th Wing

KROPP, Germany-- With nearly three decades of time in service, a chief in the Michigan National Guard’s 127th Wing has dedicated the vast majority of her enlistment to serving Airmen.

It also doesn’t hurt that she has nearly three decades of motherhood to help her résumé as well.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Dawn Porter, 127th Force Support Squadron chief, says she couldn’t leave FSS if she tried.

“I am going on 28 years, and I keep coming back because I just love services,” Porter said. “You never do the same thing twice, there’s always something different, and it’s always a fun challenge.”

In a career field that is “home” to 16 different jobs, the interchangeable nature and adaptability of the Airmen create countless opportunities. This has been important during Porter’s time at exercise Air Defender 2023 in Germany, where she’s spent nearly a month leading the services team in providing lodging and morale, welfare and recreation services for more than 1,000 service members.

“I was going to get out years ago, but the Airmen are what keeps me here, I mean, they want to learn, they’re energetic,” Porter said.

Porter believes that no matter how long you’ve served, you can always learn from those around you.

“I always tell my Airmen, ‘Everything I’ve learned is from you guys,” Porter said.

At home, Porter enjoys spending time with her daughter and grandchildren, the latter of which she says are, “the cutest little things ever.”

Though a minority in her extended family, her grandfather served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, before the Air Force became a branch unto its own. Despite the fact that she is one of the few continuing to serve, her family cheers her on even if they don’t fully understand the difference between branches.

“It’s kind of funny; they all still think I’m in the Army,” Porter said.

When away from home on temporary duty or deployment, Porter’s family has always supported her military career as much as they can, looking after her daughter when she’s away on duty or deployed.

“They’re very supportive of anything I do, and they want to celebrate, like when I got promoted to chief, they’re like, ‘Oh Dawnie just got promoted to General,’” Porter said with a smile. “They don’t understand but they try to support me as much as they can.”