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17th TRW Spotlight: Staff Sgt. Patrick Berger

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

This spotlight features Staff Sgt. Patrick Berger, 17th Contracting Squadron contract specialist. He enjoys being a dad, camping, running and cooking.

1. How does your job support the 17th Training Wing's mission?

As a contract specialist, I am responsible for getting various base organizations the supplies or services they need at a price that is most advantageous to the government. Without contracting and the services we provide, the 17th TRW would not have the resources required to train and accomplish its mission to train the future force.

2. What do you find most rewarding about your work?

This job allows me to see many of the base’s inner workings as a whole, rather than the narrow focus of a single area. It’s rewarding to see the big picture of how a base functions and learn about its individual units and their contributions to the base. 

3. What has been your biggest challenge in the military, and how did you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge is being away from family for periods of time throughout my career. In those times, it’s ok to lean on others for support, and to reciprocate that kindness when others are struggling.

4. What has been your most memorable experience in the military?

I used to be a weapons troop before retraining into my current career field. In 2014, I was on a temporary duty assignment on an aircraft maintenance recovery team in a remote part of Canada. After fixing two broken F-15Es, we watched the northern lights in the middle of the night as the jets took off to return to home station.

5. What is one piece of information or advice you would like to pass on?

One thing the military has taught me in my time so far is that change is constant, for better or worse. If you’re going through a rough time, whether it’s with your job/supervision/co-workers, etc., know that it will pass. Good things could be right around the corner.

6. What led you to join the military?

A tough financial climate and inconsistent work after college led me to explore other avenues.  My father was in the Air Force, and we had a good experience as a military family, so I decided to enlist, and I’ve had experiences I can’t imagine having in other jobs.

7. What are your hobbies?

My hobbies include: camping, running, cooking, and learning to play guitar.

8. What do you want to accomplish during your time here at Goodfellow Air Force Base?

I would like to gain as much experience as I can in this career field and help my squadron succeed throughout my assignment here.

9. What has been the most meaningful experience you have had on Goodfellow?

Attending Airman Leadership School with a group of great people with completely different life and work experiences from my own. The experience was valuable and put a lot into perspective for me.