17th Training Wing Spotlight for November

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Tech. Sgt. Rachel E. Franklin, Defense Language Institute military language instructor, is the newest 17th Training Wing Spotlight, a series highlighting Goodfellow Team members.

Airman 1st Class Caelynn Ferguson, 17th Training Wing photojournalist: What led you to join the Air Force?

Franklin: I joined the Air Force, like many, because I didn’t have any direction after high school. The benefits were appealing: free education, travel opportunities and an enlistment bonus. I also thought it was honorable to serve our country.

Why do you still serve?

I still serve because I enjoy what I do. I have been fortunate to have unique opportunities over the last decade that many people are not fortunate to have in an entire lifetime. Furthermore, I serve to be part of a team that gives something back to the country for all of the freedoms and opportunities that it has provided me and to protect our way of life. I consider my service as a form of payment and contribution that allows me to thrive in our free society. The military is such a noble profession and I am proud to be a part of the elite, patriotic group of Americans that serve.

What’s been the most impactful moment in your career?

The most impactful moment in my career was actually a failure. Upon completing a strenuous interpreting course, I was not selected for the follow-on assignment. I was devastated because my plan and hard work did not succeed and I felt my talent wasn’t good enough. It was a huge blow to my ego. I fell into despair and wanted to give up. Failure happens to everyone and further success requires that you learn from mistakes and missteps along the way. When that door closed, another opportunity surfaced. I landed my current job at Defense Language Institute as a military language instructor. I use my hard-earned language skills every day and have regained my self confidence

What is your life like off duty?

My life off duty is active. I spend six days a week at the gym. Furthermore, I enjoy athletics: running, biking, hiking, tennis, skiing and martial arts. I try to be active in the community as well, doing local races and volunteering with horses. Aside from that, my interests include travel, food, wine and art.

What do you want to accomplish during your time at Presidio of Monterey?

Before I leave DLI, I hope to be selected for the Middle Enlisted Cryptologic Career Advancement Program and also have a line number for Master Sergeant.

Is there any advice or anything extra you would like to share?

I have some quotes that keep me focused when I get stressed at work or in life:

“Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.”
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
“Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth.”