USAF condones airman’s message: “I am getting out of the USAF and you shouldn’t stop me”

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Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick


An Airman based in Louisiana has given her account as to why she’s leaving the Air Force- and the Air Force was more than happy to publish it on their official channels.

Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick of the Barksdale Air Force Base 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs wrote the piece, titled, “Why I am getting out of the Air Force and you shouldn’t stop me.”

In the op-ed, Corrick talks about how she loves being in the USAF, but that she feels she would be better off working in the private sector.

“When I first signed my name on the dotted line to serve my country, I had all these crazy, outlandish ideas of what I thought my Air Force experience was going to be,” she wrote. “Well, spoiler alert, they didn’t come to fruition, but what I got was a million times better than anything I could’ve ever imagined.”

Taking the skills she has learned from the Air Force, she plans to become successful- even if it doesn’t mean doing twenty years.

“I feel like there is a false perception that to make time in the military worthwhile, you must serve 20 years, which is not true,” she said. “I am proof of that. If you’re on the fence about joining because you don’t want to commit to 20, join and see what it is all about. If you are on the fence about getting out, there are three things I want you to consider.”

In the Airman’s eye, the key is to allow Airmen to go forward and do what they want when it comes to careers, and that the Air Force should not hinder those wishing to leave.

“When you find out your Airman is separating, please do not discourage them,” she said. “The choice to separate is harder than you think. Instead, I challenge you to not only talk to them but listen. Showing them that you care and support them is a priceless gift that could change their mind or help them solidify their decision. Retention is important, yes, but so is creating a culture where Airmen are free to make decisions based on their personal, educational and professional needs.”

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10 thoughts on “USAF condones airman’s message: “I am getting out of the USAF and you shouldn’t stop me”

  1. Sadly, the military can’t give you what you want since the needs of the services always come first.

  2. This article doesn’t really tell the whole story. All AFSCs have seen a decline. Pilots are turning down massive bonuses to re-enlist. Mobility pilot take rates dropped six percentage points, to 37.9 percent, in 2018. That’s nearly 10 percentage points lower than in fiscal 2016, when 47.6 percent of mobility pilots signed up for the bonuses. Lack of flying, crappy quality-of-life, and insane additional duties are sending a clear message: if you want to fly, head to the airlines.

  3. I’m wondering why anyone would want to stop someone from getting out of the service in the first place. It’s their [your] choice, no one else’s. Serving your country, even for a short time, is honorable and commendable. I can understand a supervisor or commander trying to convince a person to stay in, especially if that persons skill-set is in dire need of the Air Force or other service. But in the end it is a personal choice; so good luck to you, and thank you for your service.

  4. Retention is a reflection of the unit commander’s ability to lead. The Air Force has let the problem of toxic leadership go for far too long, and this is one if the best indicators.

  5. While I agree that toxic leadership can be a reason to leave the service, as far as I can tell this is not the reason for SrA Corrick. She seems grateful for her experiences and training and will apply it in the civilian world. We always say the grass is not always greener on the outside, but I’ll bet she will be just fine and prosper.

  6. Nobody that military life is an easy one. As late Colonel David Hackworth stated in his book About Face, it the military family that gets the short end of the stick. Especially now since the country has been at war with terrorism for the last 18 years with no end in sight.

  7. Yeah, but the military doesn’t really care as long as people continue to join up because there are no good-paying jobs with good medical care, a pension, retirement benefits, prospects to grow, and a secure economic future. The military, like the private sector, views its own workforce as expendable and easily replaceable.

    “Retention is a reflection of the unit commander’s ability to lead.”

    When you don’t see your senior officers and NCOs coming around to your area from time to time and getting to know you, it just shows that they really don’t care about what is going on until it blows up in their faces. The only time they hear about you is when you are facing some sort of military disciplinary action

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