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GAFB Airman to blow things up with Army

Airman 1st Class Michelle Michael cranks out a pair of dog tags Tuesday at the Vance Deployment Center. Airman Michael will leave the Air Force to join the Army in May. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stephen Musal)

Airman 1st Class Michelle Michael cranks out a pair of dog tags Tuesday at the Vance Deployment Center. Airman Michael will leave the Air Force to join the Army in May. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stephen Musal)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The United States Army has traditionally been the domain of the highly motivated servicemember, physically fit and courageous of heart. The oldest of our military branches has no place for the lazy or the timid - so it's a very good thing that Airman 1st Class Michelle Michael is neither.

Airman Michael, a personnel specialist with the 17th Mission Support Group's Personnel Readiness Function, is the latest of more than 10 volunteers from Goodfellow for Operation Blue to Green - a program allowing active-duty Airmen and Sailors to trade in their blues for Army green.

In addition to serving her country, Airman Michael said she originally joined the Air Force for a chance to travel to distant lands. She got her chance, deploying to Southwest Asia, but wanted to do more.

"I felt guilty sitting in my air-conditioned office while the cops, Marines and Soldiers were all outside the wire in the heat," Airman Michael said. "I know that any job in the military, from plumber to pilot, has an important part in getting the mission done," she added, "but I want to go where I'm most needed."

For Airman Michael, that determination and sense of volunteerism will lead her out of the Air Force May 16, and the next day she'll head into the Army and the world of explosive ordinance disposal. After she completes the four-week Warrior Transition Course (a training program specially designed to acclimate Airmen and Sailors to the Army lifestyle), the newly promoted specialist (E-4) will head to Redstone Arsenal in Alabama to train with other Soldiers, as well as Marines, in the basics of EOD.

From Alabama, the new Soldier will find herself at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., where she will learn the rest of EOD's lessons alongside Sailors, Airmen and Marines in addition to her fellow Soldiers.

Though Airman Michael said she only signed up for four years of Army life, she said she hasn't yet decided whether to make the Army her career. For the moment however, she's highly motivated about her new job as a high-speed, low-drag, hoo-ah EOD Soldier.

"The only thing I'm worried about is the weight of the bomb suits," she admits, smiling. "But I've been working out like crazy. I'll be fine."